First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Microsoft Xbox 360 Communicator
- Excellent microphone, Low price
- Flimsy and fragile, Volume not loud enough
The official Xbox 360 communicator isn’t as good as it could have been but at this price, it might be good enough for most.
Price$ 29.95 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 16 stores)
Among the many secrets Microsoft tried to keep before launching the Xbox 360 was the redesigned communicator headset. The original Xbox headset was a unique design but was notorious for breaking easily. It would clip onto a headband worn behind the head and was very comfortable but the clip itself was fairly flimsy. Gamers everywhere hoped that Microsoft would come to the party with a new headset that would not only be comfortable but also durable. Unfortunately, they didn't achieve this.
The official Xbox 360 communicator is generically designed and no different from any other USB headset on the market. It has one foam covered earpiece and an adjustable microphone but the band is thin and flimsy. The peripheral feels fragile and needs to be handled with care just like its predecessor. The volume and mute buttons work well but the mute has been changed into a slide switch rather than a button like its predecessor. The switch is consistent with the build quality of the entire headset and could have been implemented a little better. The headset is connected at the rear of the controller and fits quite nicely, continuing the attractive aesthetic, but it can easily be bumped and dislodged.
The sound quality of the single earpiece is a little muted and even at high volume, it is difficult to hear other gamers over the volume of the television. At the other end of the spectrum, the microphone is top notch and picks up voice well while cutting out a good amount of background noise.
Unfortunately, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Communicator isn't the headset we were hoping for and seems fairly low grade when compared with the rest of the system. Next generation gaming demanded a next generation communicator and Microsoft didn't step up as we thought they would. At this price, the device isn't too expensive but we still expected something that looks and feels far more sturdy, with performance to match.
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