An unpretentious replacement for your ropey Xbox 360 headset.
The original Xbox 360 headset that you plug into your controller always felt like an afterthought. Sure, it worked after a fashion, but it was very much a utilitarian piece of kit. It was not going to win a fashion contest, and its flimsy design made its long-term use pretty suspect.
A lot of players in the headset market have recognised this and there are now a myriad of replacements on the shelves. These vary from the total headset with full surround sound, to wireless units and cheap knock off replacements. Sennheiser have come to the rescue with their “Headset X 2”, and its "less is more" design direction.
While they're not widely available here in NZ yet, we expect this unit to retail for around $50 - $70. Not the cheapest but certainly value for money if you take into account the Sennheiser name and their attention to quality.
The X 2 comes with a generous 1.1 metre cord which, considering it plugs directly into the controller, should be plenty for anyone. The cord features an in-line volume and mute control.
To keep the headset in place, the X 2 relies on the clamping effect of the over-the-head strap and a foam pad that sits above your "other" ear (where a second speaker would be on a traditional headset). The foam pad is quite firm and, during extended use, we found this pressure point uncomfortable as it clamps just above the ear. This could have a lot to do with the shape of our heads and ears, but a softer padding would have been good.
The microphone is of the non-flexible stick variety, with about 170 degrees of up and down movement. This makes the unit for the left ear only (sorry to you righties out there.)
One key area of concern however was the way in which the unit plugs into the controller itself. Like the stock headphones, it is quite a "soft" fit and does not take much of a tug to pull it out again. Unlike the stock unit though, it does not have a locking clip; so,in use, if you do get a bit excited, there is a chance you will disconnect yourself.