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Xgear Multimedia Gaming Headset

Xgear Multimedia Gaming Headset is something unique as a bass vibrating headset. We’ve tested it to see if it really is the ultimate gamers headset.

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INTRODUCTION

As we’ve said many times before sounds is almost as important as the graphics in games. Even though a full 5.1-system or even a 7.1-system is preferable many times you don’t want to bother the neighbors (or spouse) and thus have to settle with a pair of good headsets. Sometimes a good pair of headsets in my view actually is even better since you get a more intense gaming-sensation. XFX are mostly known for their NVIDIA-based graphics cards but they also have a range of other gaming products. One of these products is the Xgear Multimedia Gaming Headset which I intend to review in this article.

The Headset 

SPECIFICATIONS

These headsets are not just ordinary headsets. In addition to delivering sound and recording voices through the microphone they also deliver bass vibrations. But more on that later

Specifications

  • Sensitivity 105 +/- 4dB
  • Frequency 20Hz ~ 20KHz
  • Mic. directivity Omni
  • Mic.Sensitivity -54 +/- 3dB
  • Mic. Frequency 20Hz ~ 20KHz
  • Mic. Impedance 2.2K Ohm

BECAUSE FIRST IMPRESSIONS LAST

The headset comes in a clear plastic package that as most plastic packages require some finesse (and lots of violence) to open. Inside the package you find the headset plus a little extra thingy which is used for powering the bass vibration with a battery instead of through USB. 

Side

The quality of the headset is good. Even though it is plastic it is solid-looking plastic. The color also is grey which gives the headset an aluminum kind of look. Last but not least it is light, something which is important if you are to use them for many hours.

Instead of letting you adjust the headset to fit your head it uses an elastic band to get it to snuggly fit to your head. It is very comfortable and even after 4 hours of Battlefield 2 I still had no complaints.

The earmuffs are ok although a bit small since they didn’t manage to completely cover my ears. If I had no complaints on the elastic band after 4 hours my ears actually felt a bit tired and warm from the earmuffs.

Earmuffs

The microphone boom sits on the left side and can be rotated almost 180 degrees. The boom is flexible and it thus is easy to bend it into the right shape for your face.

The microphone

THE SOUND

Since this is a gaming headset I mainly tested it in various games including Battlefield 2 and the prey demo. Without any bass vibration help the headset performs great. The bass is a bit weak but I turned it up in windows and got a good balance. Since this isn’t a 5.1 headset the positioning is dependant on your soundcard but you at least don’t have to worry about the headset not performing. The microphone was tested in Teamspeak a few times and there were no complaints from the other end.

Turn on the Vibration!

The ace in the sleeve for XFX is of course the bass vibration. With some clever electronic tricks XFX takes the bass and produce vibration in the headphones. To do this you first need some power. This is either done by plugging in the USB-cable or the included battery-adapter. Then you just turn it on and boom – your headphones will vibrate at every deep bass-sound. It isn’t force feedback so it won’t react to certain actions in the game, just deep bass.

Battery compartment

I must admit I wasn’t completely blow away by this feature. First of all I had some issues with it in my review machine. The machine consists of a DigN5 case which I use because it is big and makes it easy to switch components quick, an ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard as well as various other components. When I hooked the headset up to the on-board sound and turned the bass-vibration on I got a nasty hissing static sound in the background. Even after switching to a Foxconn Am2 NVIDIA nForce4 motherboard I experienced the same thing, although a bit less. Hooking it up to a X-Fi audio card in my main computer (Cooler Master Stacker case, MSI Diamond pro Nforce 4 motherboard) however worked pretty well and it was only when I turned the volume up to the max that I experienced any side-noise.

The controller
You can turn the vibration to medium, full or off.

It was a bit of a strange sensation using the bass vibration in games. It did add something to the game but at the same time felt a bit out of place since some stuff shook the headphones while other stuff you expected to get a kick out of didn’t.

CONCLUSION

Even though I wasn’t that impressed with the bass vibration feature of the headset there’s enough of other positive things with this headset that makes me still recommend it. At $24.99 it also isn’t expensive which makes it an even better deal.

Pros

+ Not expensive
+ Great sound quality although the bass is a bit weak.
+ Comfortable
+ Good long and flexible microphone boom
+ Good build quality

Cons

– Bass vibration feature doesn’t convince
– A bit more bass would have been nice  

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