With 2013 set to be a huge year for gamers across the world Flavour Magazine will be bringing you a number of game-related features to keep you up to date with all of the biggest news and reviews.
Later this year gaming fans will welcome the release of two huge new consoles – the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. For the first of our features, we round up the best gaming headsets on the market to ensure you are properly kitted out come launch day! However, if you are a PC lover, you can check out Fierce PC to get your gaming rig.
Here are our favourites:
Monster MVP Carbon
Key Spec: *Pure Monster Sound *Noise-Isolating Ear-cups *Professional Quality Mic *Surround Sound *In-line Controller *Detachable Microphone
Usually seen draped around actors, athletes and the such like Monster headphones have been huge over the past couple of years. This time around the headphone manufacturers team up with gaming giants EA Sports to create the MVP Carbon gaming headset. As you would expect with a Monster product the headset looks incredible and it’s simple, sophisticated design would not look out of place in any gaming set up. Opening the box it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of wires and cables that you are faced with but the set-up is surprisingly simple – after a few minutes, they are ready to use. A number of the wires will not need to be used as Monster have catered to numerous consoles and as such have supplied all relevant connectors. The headphones also come with a convenient carry case which is great for trips as the headset is just as adequate utilised as portable music headphones.
In-game the EA Sports logo lights up which is a nice touch and can be used as a tool to let those around you know not to disturb you when you are on the battlefield! The microphone is detachable and subsequently can be removed when not needed. Those fussy about which side the microphone goes and which side the cable goes need not worry as you can customise your set up due to the dual connections. The gamer can control numerous variables such as game and chat volume from the in-line controller attached to the seemingly endless headphone cable. As a monster fan, I really enjoyed using these headphones and the HD sound they provide really immerse you in the game.
Available from: monsterproducts.com
Sharkoon Xtatic Pro
Key Spec: *4 Speakers In Each Ear *Voice Monitoring *Detachable Microphone *In-line Volume Control *5.1 Channel Headset
The Sharkoon Xtatic Pro is another high-end headset which we really liked. This multi-platform offering from Sharkoon feels premium from the moment you get the box. The box is incredibly heavy and right away you realise the quality of this product from its feel and aesthetic. Each earpiece has 4 speakers ensuring an 8 speaker surround sound.
I found the Xtatic Pro’s extremely comfortable to wear, even during the recent hot spells I could wear them for a long period of time. The in-line controller allows you to control chat and game volume as well as a cool voice monitoring function which allows you clear feedback of how your fellow gamers are hearing you-you wouldn’t want a comrade to fail to clearly hear your ‘ behind you’ call when he is in the firing line of an opponent and the Sharkoon headset felt perfect for my Call Of Duty game time.
Available from: sharkoon.com
Key Spec: *Explosive Bass *Noise Cancelling Mic *USB Connection *Lightweight Design In-line Controls
This Philips headset impressed me by offering comfort for an extremely low budget from a reputable brand. At just £35 these headphones made me doubt if I was trying out the right headset – they do not feel or look like they are in the low-end price bracket. The headset has a sleek and sophisticated black and red finish and feels incredibly sturdy. The first thing you will notice when you try these out is the comfort, they are extremely light and as a result, you can enjoy several hours of gaming without having to re-adjust. The noise cancellation is very effective ensuring your concentration is on the game in hand and not your mum hovering in the background! Similarly to the premium headsets you are able to detach the microphone ensuring it is not in the way when not needed! The only downside to this headset is personal to myself in that I found the cable was perhaps a bit too short for my liking but for £35 and considering the numerous positives surrounding this headset it is a very small negative indeed!
Available from: philips-shop.co.uk
Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Rage
Key Spec: *Wireless *Fully customisable audio and illumination *3D surround sound *16 hours battery life *On-ear audio controls.
This wireless headset by Creative is also ideal for those with a slightly lesser budget but who do not want to compromise on sound. The best way to describe this headset is fun – the set up took 20 seconds and you are given the opportunity to customise the LED ear-cups by choosing from a whole host of colours.
The sound is surprisingly strong for a lower budget headset and I found them extremely comfortable to wear whilst taking advantage of the 16-hour battery life. The microphone is noise cancelling and detachable so can be used as a conventional pair of headphones – ensuring you get more from the already low price.
RRP: $99.99 Available from: uk.creative.com
Key Spec: *Surround Sound *Auto-adjust Inner Headband *Spring Loaded Headband *Lightweight Design *360° Microphone *On-ear Controls
The SHG7980 is a mid-range offering from Philips and excels in comfort making it ideal for prolonged use. The headset felt robust and I felt confident jumping around the couch excitedly during an intense game of Fifa! When you first put the headphones on you will notice how the spring-loaded headband enables the headset to fit perfectly around your head – again, adding to the comfort. In-game the bass was impressive, not only allowing a game immersing experience but also making the headset ideal for movies or music. The microphone was clear with no distortion although according to our co-op player not very loud – this may be down to me communicating too quietly or the microphone not being close enough to my mouth. Although a better product than the cheaper Philips SHG7980 I felt the £30 offering from Philips was more aesthetically pleasing. At £70 they are still a lot cheaper than some of the premium products we tested and they performed well.
Available from: philips-shop.co.uk