When it comes to Xbox gaming, more and more of us are opting to invest in headsets. The main reason that most gamers decide to buy a headset is to improve their skills whilst playing. Can style cups that cover the whole are the most popular style and ensure fully immersive gaming experience for the user. Surround-sound allows the wearer and better understanding of their environment, whether it is a racing car coming up on their inside, or a tank approaching from the right on the battlefield. Headsets also provide a benefit to others as they serve to reduce noise levels within the home. But before you rush out to buy a new headset for your Xbox, first you should consider whether a wired or wireless model is better suited to your needs.
The budget factor
As with most purchases we make, our available budget tends to have a large say in our choice of headset. Wired Xbox headsets are on the whole cheaper than wireless alternatives, with can style ear cup models available for under £25. The additional technology required in wireless headsets means that they are more expensive, with prices starting around the £35 mark.
When Microsoft first released their Xbox 360, some consumers experienced issues with sound quality when using wireless headsets. Some common complaint being that the sound would suffer from distortion, interference and even drop out completely. Improved wireless technology over the years has eradicated the vast majority of these issues. However, there is still the possibility of some interruption in sound when using a wireless headset. Wired headsets on the other hand have always delivered a dependable sound experience.
Of course, there is a variance in the quality of the sound delivered from different headset models, be they wired or wireless, dependant on the speakers that each one uses. Be sure to check the specification of any headset that you are considering and seek out some reviews on their performance.
Wired Xbox headsets are not exactly the same as those on other consoles, such as the PS3. With Sony’s console, wired headsets are plugged into the front of the machine via a USB slot. However, Xbox models are plugged straight into the control pad. This is more convenient to the user and other members of the household in that it removes the likelihood of tripping as people make their way around the room. Whilst the wire between the headset and the control pad is relatively short, it does present the opportunity for it to become tangled. The question is whether you have the patience to unravel the wire when it does get tangled?
In terms of setting up the headset, wired ones do tend to be a lot easier. You will of course receive instructions with the headset should you choose to go for a wireless model, but sometimes the connection between the two can take some time to establish. If you are buying the headset as a present for a child and aren’t too hot with technology then a wired headset might be the right option.
The final factor to consider when deciding on a wired or wireless headset is how they are powered. With a wired headset, it runs off the battery of the controller that it is attached to. Therefore you do not have to worry about recharging the headset, although the pad will need recharging sooner due to the dual drain on the battery. The fact that no battery is required in a wired headset also makes it a little lighter than wireless ones. Perhaps the most important point here is that you will never be without your wired headset whilst you wait for it to charge.
Wireless headsets cannot be used for gaming whilst they are charging. Of course, modern batteries can hold lots of power and one charge will give you hours of gameplay. Plugging a wireless headset in for 30 minutes after each gaming session is a good way of ensuring that it doesn’t run out when you need it. However, you should let it run right down every few weeks; otherwise it may result in the inability of the battery to hold a full charge.