This headset offers a low cost entry into wireless gaming, but you give up some quality in the process. While there is nothing innately “wrong” with this headset, they’ve clearly skimped in areas in order to keep the price point low for the wireless feature. It does everything you’d expect, and if you really love the freedom of not having wires to deal with, it’s certainly a good starting point in wireless that won’t cost you an arm and a leg like major brands.
– Lightweight design.
– Consistent wireless connection.
– Above average sound quality.
– Plug-and-Play on all platforms.
– Low quality microphone (“Tape Recorder” i.e. 16kHz).
– Medicore bass/low tones.
– No available software for improvements on PC.
The design of this headset has high and low points. The frame is lightweight and doesn’t put too much pressure on your ears. The headband padding is soft and comfortable as well. However, the ear cups are a fabric material that could become irritating after hours of play time. Likewise the cups lack sufficient depth for people whose ears might stick out a bit more than normal. Though there is some padding in the interior of the cup, you could find your ears rubbing uncomfortably against that surface over time. All the controls for the headset are located on the ear cups, so muting the microphone and adjusting the volume are quick and simple once you’ve familiarized yourself with their location.
The high point of the unit is its overall sound quality, which I would call above average. It has good clarity, and whether listening to music or gaming you should be able to hear everything quite well. The sound doesn’t come out muddled or tinny like the very cheap headsets on the market. However, the sound quality certainly isn’t perfect or optimal, lacking much low end. I also felt like my particular headset was a little tilted in balance to the right side by default, though this is correctable in your Windows settings. I’m not certain if other units suffer from this issue, but I felt I should bring that up. For a budget wireless headset, the sound delivered quality more than I honestly expected.
If the sound is the high point of the headset, the microphone is its low point. While it didn’t provide a lot of background noise or hiss, it was overly quiet, requiring me to put the end of it very close to my face to get enough volume. And when I was able to get audible sound, the quality was seriously lacking. According to Windows, the maximum quality this can deliver is equal to that of an 80’s-90’s tape recorder. It’s simply unacceptable in current times. Why they’ve included such a low-end microphone is beyond me. And since there are no available drivers to offer further customization or options, you’re left with a simply “basic” microphone. But if you don’t care that the people on the other end of your microphone can “hear you” and little more, this probably won’t matter to you. And if you don’t intend on playing games with the microphone, you can disregard this section entirely and the overall value for you is significantly higher.
Final Score: 3.25/5Overall I can give a qualified recommendation to this headset, given you understand what it is, and what is ISN’T. It is a good, inexpensive entry point into wireless gaming. It does provide good sound in a rather lightweight and comfortable form. It is NOT a high end pro gaming headset. It doesn’t provide a quality microphone, and it doesn’t have the best available in sound quality. If this fits your wants and budget, you might have found the right headset for you.
HW-398M Wireless Gaming Headset: $57.99 – Amazon.com