Cyber Acoustics AC-9650
A good quality gaming headset.
- Good audio quality, good environmental sound reproduction, good microphone, sturdy construction
- Elastic headband is not good for users wearing glasses, occasional muddiness in bass
The Cyber Acoustics AC-9650 is a very good gaming headset that won't break the bank. It's comfortable to wear and delivers good audio; only people who wear glasses need to think hard before buying it.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
The Cyber Acoustics AC-9650 is a gaming headset with excellent audio and a good microphone, but it can be slightly awkward sometimes.
The Cyber Acoustics AC-9650 comes in attractive shades of gunmetal grey. It's a fairly standard over-the-head model with bulbous ear pieces that have pleather padding for extra comfort on those long, cold gaming nights. The headphones are surprisingly soft and comfortable, even when wearing the headset for long periods. The headset looks geeky, but you probably won't mind when you're fragging your opponents in a LAN event.
The headset's build quality is good. However, one annoying problem is the adjustable elastic headband, which is very firm and sits close to your ears. If you wear glasses, you will find them constantly getting pushed upwards.
The cord length of 2.13m is more than ample for most users, and you can choose between connecting to the headphone and microphone ports on your computer and connecting to a dongle that then plugs into a USB port.
The Cyber Acoustics AC-9650 headset performs surprisingly well when it comes to both music and sound effects. Mid-range and treble were clear and well-defined, with little to no distortion at high volumes. Voices and classical instruments like violins and Spanish guitars came out with the right timbre, while fast-paced electronic tracks like Goldfrapp's "Ooh Lah Lah" had each and every tone correctly defined.
The gaming headset's bass performance was also decent, delivering smooth and rich tones although very occasionally featuring a little muddiness.
More importantly for gamers, the headset was excellent at simulating the game environment. Footsteps were distinct and placed correctly on the soundstage, for example.
Communicating with your team while in noisy environments like Internet cafes is aided by the noise-cancelling adjustable microphone, which is very sturdy and effective. Although environmental audio will still be present, your voice will still be heard through the ruckus. The fact that the microphone boom is stiff works to a gamer's advantage (we've found that products like the Plantronics .Audio 770 with smoothly rotating microphone booms tend to degrade over time).
If you're looking for a headset that can help you play games on a Monday and listen to "Ride of the Valkyries" on a Tuesday (possibly while gaming), then the Cyber Acoustics AC-9650 will do the trick.
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