It’s always difficult to review a headset. Gaming voice chat is far from perfect and what works well for one game, may be a disaster in another. This isn’t even factoring in the feedback from the headsets of other players. You can storm castles, traverse the deep sea, or play some ball- but good luck to you if you can’t hear your teammates. The Ear Force PX22 is a universal gaming headset that promises excellent sound quality and durability. Does it live up to that claim?
1am. 3am? It was probably closer to two in the morning. It was certainly past midnight. Not that the other survivors in Dead Island cared. The hum of the PS3 was almost like a lullaby at this point. If the dim glow of the flashlight didn’t put me to sleep- that humming Playstation technology certainly would. Why? Not a sound. I was the only player in my session that bothered to turn on my headset.
Oh, wait. I wasn’t alone with the machine at all! Someone had joined our session with voice chat enabled. Unfortunately, the situation was not optimal. Some fool was running what sounded like his air conditioning a solid two feet away from the microphone. The realization was enough to make me shut off Dead Island and pop in something else.
Suddenly I was on my Xbox 360 playing Far Cry 3- trapped between listening to someone chew off-brand Cheetos and a teenage girl guzzling chocolate milk. What now captivated my expensive headphones was junk food munching. The sound quality itself was excellent- a little too excellent. My wordless teammates were doing little more than smacking and chewing- albeit very clearly.
Third time had to be the charm. I’d determined that the headset sounded great- I just needed gamers actually willing to talk and help me further test out the Ear Force PX22. The headset’s design is great to look at and very comfortable to wear. After starting up Diablo 3, I tried to strike up a conversation in order to better test voice chat. “Why’s it so hot at this time of year? How is it over there?”
Our archer’s response was less than enthusiastic- but she came through clearly. “Cool at this time of night… Whatever.” A swordsman in our party mumbled incoherently more to himself than anyone in particular. A cursory glance over the coming walkway revealed numerous monsters- peering down curiously at the approaching party. Not a word- no one bothered to discuss how to handle this mob. This very quiet dungeon crawling session went on with little change- killing monsters and only occasionally shooting the breeze. Not a word of strategy or excitement was expressed.
With the PS3 and Xbox 360 at end of their life spans, much of their magic has diminished. A number of the gamers I played with were content to just sit back, mash buttons in silence, and talk only if necessary. With so little vocal traffic, a regular $10 headset would suffice. While it is nice that the Ear Force PX22 is compatible with the Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PC, and more- you should be sure you have friends waiting online to make good use of it.