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Product: Plantronics GameCom X30 Headset for Xbox 360
Company: Plantronics
Website: Official Web Site
Estimated Street Price: $29.99
Review By: Brian Kvalheim

 

Introduction

The Xbox 360 has brought out a flurry of new accessories to satisfy the hardcore and casual gamer. Plantronics has always done really well with their gaming headsets in the past. Their newest entry, the GameCom X30 is no exception. Gamers are never satisfied with a single headset fashion. Some like them resting on top of their head (aka Xbox 360 headset), and some like it behind their head (aka Xbox 1). The X30 gives you yet another choice, and a far more subtle one. A single light weight accessory that rests on your ear.

Package Contents:
  • 1 Plantronics GameCom X30 Headset for Xbox 360
System Requirements:
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox

Features:

  • Industrial-strength hipness separates gaming titans from mere mortals
  • Noise-canceling mic lets you verbally devastate foes with cutting precision
  • Extended boom flexes to fit your trash-talking maw
  • Supple, ear-melding design thwarts the chaffing of all-night kill fests
  • Single-ear coverage lets you roast online enemies while rapping with your fridge-raiding buddies
  • Inline volume and mute put you in the driver's seat
  • Plantronics quality backed by a one year warranty

     

setup

No setup is required. One you remove the headset from the packaging, it's all about plug and play. You will find that the Plantronics headset has elected to go without the standard "puck" that connects to the Xbox 360 controller. The connection is a standard headset connection, which essentially allows you to use this headset for any entertainment device supporting this male output.

using the GAMECOM X30

The first thing you will notice with the X30 one you remove it from the packaging is that it is extremely lightweight. The materials are rubber and plastic, all of which retain a very solid feel. Placing the set on your ear can be confusing the first couple times in use (as it was for me). Once you have it figured out, it's as easy as tying your shoes.

The rotating ear piece is a nice feature for those who have a preference for left or right ear placement. Even better yet, it's a great accessibility feature for someone who doesn't have any (or limited) hearing in one ear or the other. Once the set is seated around your ear, you will wonder if this thing is defying gravity. For the first few rounds of use, I thought the headset was going to fall off my ear, only because of it's lightweight design and size. Slight tugs on the connecting wire proved that the set was in no hurry to leave my head. After a short time of gaming, you don't even notice it's there.

The mouth piece sits about an inch and half to two inches away from my mouth. My concern was that gamers would not be able to hear me properly unless I pushed the piece closer to my mouth throughout gaming. That was not the case. Leaving the mouth piece in it's default position gave excellent voice communication to my fellow gamers. During testing, I asked numerous gamers how I sounded, and there was a unanimous vote of clarity and no problems with the volume of my voice. I found that the actual sound I heard was much more crisp, clear and clean than the Microsoft Xbox 360 headset. The issue I did find however, is that it's not as loud as the Microsoft's version. I prefer the better quality sound over loud.

Microsoft has made some excellent "pucks" (accessory connectors) for the Xbox 1 controllers as well as the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 headset made by Microsoft includes a puck that contains the volume switch as well as the mute switch integrated. The X30 also has included the volume and mute feature on it's headset, but in a less prominent spot. This, in my opinion, is the only downfall in this new headset (wireless would be nice though). The wire that connects the set to the controller has a small dongle in the center that contains these switches. This makes for difficult access for immediate muting or volume changes. You will find your hand sliding up and down the wire looking for the dongle while in the middle of a heated battle. Fumbling around at times trying to twist it in the proper direction so that you can change your settings. With the Microsoft "puck" connection, you never have to remove your hands from the controller to change settings. This is a downfall that would prevent me from using this headset full time. Of note, the back of the dongle switch on the X30 does have a clip that allows you to possibly mount it to your shirt (say a button up/polo shirt).

Conclusion

How It Grades
Ease Of Use: 80%
Setup: 100%
Features: 95%
Design: 85%
Quality: 90%
Price: 90%
Overall: 90%

Gamers will be delighted with another choice for trash talking their friends and family on Xbox Live. Excellent build quality, with impeccable sound, and the almost invisible lightweight packaging, this would be a hard product to avoid. With the noise cancelling technology and comfort, Plantronics has a winner on their hands. While I am not the kind of gamer who wants to fiddle with a dongle during gaming, it may be more natural for others, making this the perfect accessory for your newly purchased Xbox 360.

Feel free to comment on the review here.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 90%
Version Reviewed Plantroncs GameCom X30 for Xbox 360
Release Date Out Now
In The Box?

Plantroncs GameCom X30 for Xbox 360
 

The Good Points Lightweight, Crisp/Clear Sound, Quality Materials
The Bad Points Mute/Volume switch, Not very loud

 

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