There’s so much choice when it comes to headsets these days, ranging from ‘cheap as chips’ to ones that you’ll need to remortgage your house to fund them – ok so that’s an exaggeration but you get my meaning. There are so many different brands of headsets too that it can become quite confusing in choosing the right set for your needs. I’ve personally always stuck with Turtle Beach, I started at the cheap end of the market before finally buying my first wireless set. Time took its toll on them and I upgraded and they are still going strong after three years.
When the Xbox One was released I was concerned that I would have to source a new pair but it turned out all was ok and they worked just as well with my new console, although it hasn’t stopped me looking out for what Turtle Beach are were releasing with the Xbox One in mind. The pair that caught my eye was the XO Seven Pro.
When they arrived I couldn’t wait to bust them open, but when I noticed how nicely they were packaged I spent more time checking out the packaging rather than what was inside! As well as the headset, the XO Seven Pro’s come with Turtle Beach’s own version of Microsoft’s chat adapter, there are two breakaway cables, one for the Xbox and the other is the mobile cable with In-Line mic. There is a removable microphone boom and a micro USB cable for updating controllers.
On first inspection the XO Seven Pro is a really nice looking headset, it’s sturdy but lightweight and as soon as I put them on they immediately felt comfortable. The 50mm earcups have Memory Foam cushions that not only make them feel like there are pillows on your ears but they also create great noise isolation. I’ve been using these at work as well as gaming, it blocks out everything and allows you to immerse yourself in whatever you are doing. The headband is also padded and adjustable depending on your head size.
The headset takes seconds to set up, plug your adapter into your controller then the headset plugs into that and you are all set! If you are online with friends you can plug in the removable mic boom for chat. Not having to worry about masses of wires and having batteries charged made life a lot easier too. You may need to update your Xbox controllers, luckily I had already done mine so there was even less to do before I could get gaming.
So, the question on everyone’s lips at the this point should be, how do they sound? Actually pretty good! Due to the limitations of the headset adapter you are only getting stereo sound but frankly it’s still really good. I played a whole host of games to try to pick out differences in the audio. I played FIFA 15, Call of Duty Advance Warfare, Titanfall, Dying Light and Evolve. I love subtle bits of Audio within game design, especially when developers pay extra attention to ambient sounds in the audio. In FIFA 15 for example, listening to chants and atmosphere generated by the crowd while playing made a huge difference to the experience. With Titanfall it was great listening to the detail of your Titan’s machinery and the jet packs on the pilots almost sounded completely different with this headset on.
What’s extra special about the XO Seven Pro is the headset adaptor and the ‘Superhuman hearing’ button. Pressing the button causes it to glow and then all of a sudden you feel like the headset has evolved. FPS titles like Titanfall and COD suddenly opened up and I became more aware of what was around me. The monsters in Evolve sounded more fierce and my team mates orders were clearer. I was genuinely surprised at how much effect one button could have on the headset.
The chat adapter allows you to control the mix between chat and game volumes and when in a party my voice came across more clearly to my friends. There is another added feature that the Microsoft adapter doesn’t have, game and microphone presets. The game presets enhance voice, add extra Bass and Treble or just allow natural sound through. You can also adjust the microphone according to how noisy the room your gaming in is. Thanks to mic monitoring, you are also able to hear yourself talk so you don’t end up shouting at your TV, this can also be adjusted via the adapter too.
It’s great that the headset looks good because it means I can wear them out and about in London on my way to work listening to my music or watching Netflix. The in-line mic works really well for calls and both sets of cables are quite thick so hopefully they won’t get damaged too easily. The XO Seven Pro also have little faceplates that can be changed to whatever you like, though I quite like the design of the ones that come with the headset.
If it wasn’t for the fact I have a surround sound pair of Turtle Beach I would happily use these as my main gaming set, they are easy to set up, much more comfortable than my other pair and are more stylish too. The chat adapter will get Microsoft thinking about what features to add when they eventually upgrade theirs. The XO Seven Pro headset should really be on your radar if you are looking to up your game.