Cheap and cheerful
In a time where the average age of gamers is on the rise it appears that all-in-one video game audio and voice chat headsets are becoming all the rage, whether this is due to wives/girlfriends getting angry over constantly hearing explosions and gunshots I’m not sure, but whatever the reason these headsets are in high demand and picking a sturdy one for a good price is a tough thing to do, can Gioteck’s EX-05 mix both quality and price?
The EX-05 is a multi-platform headset that is compatible with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, so no worries on that front, it also comes in two variants, wired and wireless, for the purposes of this review I’m going to be covering the wired version.
I’ll start with ease of use, the headset is good to go straight out the box and has no need for batteries thanks to its USB power supply, simply plug it in to the console and you’re all set. There are cables for both game audio and voice chat so you can choose to have either one or both which is very handy, there’s also a 5 meter cable connecting the headset to the USB removing any issues with console placement, however while using it I did find that the cables can get tangled up quite easily especially if you’re using a wired controller like I do, but if you’re using a wireless controller it shouldn’t become too much of an issue and there’s a handy Velcro strip to wrap any unwanted wire in if you’d prefer to do that, but it looks a little unsightly.
In terms of comfort the EX-05 ticks every box, the wide headband is soft and flexible so you barely even realize it’s there, and the all-round cupped earpieces block out any unwanted noise without sweating out your ears like some headsets. The only issue I came across is while wearing glasses, the earpieces tend to squeeze glasses against the side of your head making it uncomfortable over long play sessions, but this is an issue most headsets have and if you don’t wear glasses it won’t be an issue at all. The headset also has a stylish military all black look which is a pretty nice touch, and although the look of a headset means very little to most it can be important to some people.
Now onto the important part, sound quality. Compared to a standard Xbox 360 headset—as I’m using the EX-05 on my Xbox 360—the difference is like night and day. Friends sound as if they are right next to you and your voice is much clearer and easier to understand on the other end. There are also separate volume controls for both game audio and voice chat so you can adjust both on the fly during conversations. There was one major flaw that bugged me an awful lot while playing, if you use the headset with a wired controller or a charging cable for wireless controllers it gives off a loud, constant buzzing noise which can even be heard by others when you speak. This is a problem that a lot of headsets have and is not just an issue with the EX-05, and if you use a wireless controller the buzzing stops, so it depends on your situation to whether this becomes an issue, but like I said using a wired controller it was a major annoyance for me.
SUMMARY: All-in-all the EX-05 is a quality headset for such a low price, if the price was say double I’d consider a different option, but for what it costs this will offer you everything you could want. It’s well worth picking up and should keep your loved ones off your back for a while.
- THE GOOD: Comfort personified, barely even notice you’re wearing it
- THE BAD: Too much cable to handle leading to tangled messes
- THE UGLY: Incredibly annoying buzzing noise when used with a wired controller.
The Gioteck EX-05 comes in both wired and wireless versions for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC (Tested on Xbox 360). Visit www.gioteck.com for more details.