Afterglow Prismatic Controller & LVL 5+ Wired Headset – Review (@pdpgaming)

With so much selection as far as gaming peripherals go, it can be hard to choose between them all. Today I have the PDP (Performance Designed Products) Afterglow Prismatic Controller for the Xbox One to review, and this is one product that I am looking forward to getting to grips with. Alongside the controller review, I also have the Afterglow LVL 5+ Wired Headset review included.

The first thing you see is the eye-catching, high quality packaging. The front of said packaging shows a holographic type image of the controller that changes colour as you move the box around. The back of the packaging has information about the “Signature Prismatic LED Lighting” which informs you that you can change the colour and brightness of the LED lights. Also included is a brief description of the Dual Multi-Function Wheels, as well as the 3.5mm Audio Jack and controls.

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Upon removing the controller from the box, I was instantly impressed with the build quality. Made from a transparent plastic, you are able to see the circuit board and the internal parts of the analogue sticks, rumble packs, etc. The actual controller itself feels very close in quality to the official Microsoft Xbox One controller, as do the A, B, X, Y buttons and the bumpers and triggers. Also included in the box is the user manual, and a 10 foot USB cable.

Now, I will admit, I was expecting my first time using the controller and setting the LED colour, programming the rear wheels, and generally getting to grips with things, to be a bit of a daunting task. How wrong was I?! From the moment I had the controller powered on, I found it very easy to assign the wheels to buttons, as well as changing the LED colour to one that suited me, and lastly, putting the controller into Prismatic mode (I will admit that I found this by accident and it took me a few button presses to figure out what it was that I pressed initially).

There is a small button on the back of the controller, located in the middle between the two wheels that is basically your gateway to fully customising the controller to your needs and preferences. Simply click the button once so that the LED on the front of the controller changes to blue. You can then use the left analogue stick to control the brightness of the LED and the right stick to cycle through the colours. Once you have chosen your preferred colour, press the button on the back to store your colour choice. If you would like to use Prismatic mode, press the button on the back to get the blue LED on the front and click Up on the D-Pad. To set the rear wheels to your preferred buttons, press the same button on the back of the controller twice so that the LED shows as green and then press the wheel of your choice (the LED should then flash green) at the same time as the button you wish to map it to, then simply release the rear wheel. The wheels on the back each have three different functions – scroll up and down, and also press the wheel inwards – so six in total! Lastly, if you would like to turn off the rumble packs inside the controller, press the rear function button three times so you see a yellow LED on the front and click Down on the D-Pad. To turn them back on, press the function button three times and click Up on the D-Pad. If the rumble is on, when you get to the yellow LED light, you will see red LED’s on either side of the controller – if they are off, no red LED lights are visible.  Lastly, to mute the mic when you have a headset connected, press the button that is located beside the right analogue stick, and press again to unmute.

As previously mentioned, the controller quality is pretty amazing. I love the feel of the analogue sticks, maybe more than I like the sticks on the official Xbox controller. They seem to have more grip to them than the original controller sticks, meaning that the usual add-ons that I use for gaming are no longer needed! The controller itself is very light to hold, but it is still very comfortable to have in your hands. I feel that for my size hands, which I would probably say are medium-ish, the buttons on the back of the controller are in the perfect position. The only drawback that I have with this controller is the fact that it is wired. Now this may not be an issue for many people, but for some, maybe with young children or pets, a wired controller may not be the suitable choice.

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Now to move on and cover the Afterglow LVL 5+ Wired Headset.

I’m a stickler for headsets and always enjoy my game more when I have loud game play coming through a headset rather than a TV. To be able to do that, I need a headset that isn’t going to disappoint.

The LVL 5+ headset packaging, much like the Prismatic Controller, is very informative. The front of the box sports a nice side profile image of the headset. The rear of the box gives ample information on the back of the packaging, which includes additional bass impact drivers, easy accessible volume controls, and also the fact that it is compatible with the newer 3.5mm Xbox One controllers.

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In the box you simply get the headset, 2 x AAA batteries, and a user guide, though you really don’t expect to find more than that. The LVL 5+ headset has a long cable that comes down from the left ear cup with a 3.5mm jack on the end. It also has impressive 40mm Neodymium drivers. The volume controls are also located on the left ear cup, and so is the fully adjustable and flexible microphone. The Afterglow branded headband feels nice and comfortable due to the soft material used – this material is also on the ear cups, which only adds to the comfort. Lastly, the bottom half of the ear cups contains the LED lighting that we have become used to seeing on PDP products.

Getting started is really simple. While the provided batteries are not required, using them allows you to use the headset to its full potential. Simply slot in the batteries provided, plug-in the 3.5mm jack (please note; you will need either the Xbox One chat adapter, or a newer Xbox One controller with the 3.5mm port), and you’re good to go. Once the batteries are inserted, the LED lights come to life (green for Xbox One, blue for PS4). You also have the option to enable the Quad Boost function.

Sound quality on this headset is actually pretty good, especially for the price that you pay. I was told that the sound of my voice when using the microphone was clear, though the volume was a little on the low side unless I had the mic close to my mouth. The sound of the game play, however, was really good. I was able to notice the direction of explosions and gunfire, yet was able to sit back and take in the sounds during more relaxed game play. It is worth mentioning that the headset volume control does not work without the batteries. Whereas other headsets draw power from the controller itself, this one does not.

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I feel that with the Prismatic controller, PDP have covered all bases. While some features may take a bit of getting used to, or may even be seen as a bit of a gimmick, the controller is a pleasure to use and in some ways, I actually prefer it over the Microsoft controller. When coupled with the LVL 5+ headset, you really are good to go! The easy access volume controls, on-the-fly button re-mapping, and the impressive LED lighting on both products definitely sets them apart from competitors.  Both products compliment each other really well, and for the price you pay, I would highly recommend both the headset and the controller.

You can pre-order the Prismatic Controller from Amazon UK due for release on November 27th (£49.99).  You can pre-order the LVL 5+ Headset from Amazon UK due for release on November 20th (£37.99).  Both prices correct at time of posting.

Thanks to PDP for supplying both products for review.  Be sure to head over to their website, visit their Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages!

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Razer Kraken 7.1 Gaming Headset – Review (@Razer)

I’ve definitely got used to high quality products from the guys over at Razer, and their Kraken 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset was something I was looking forward to getting my hands on. Is it going to be something that continues the long running, high quality success that gamers have come to know and love?

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The packaging for the Kraken 7.1 headset is keeping up appearances, literally.  With its eye catching black and green colour scheme, it definitely catches the eye.  Being a fan of everything green any way, this is a great start as far as keeping me interested.  The box itself shows you what to expect design wise by sporting a nice image of one of the earcups, complete with the mesh finish and the illuminated green Razer logo on the earcup.  Also included on the box is some headset related information, including the fact that it is a 7.1 virtual surround sound headset, and that it has an enhanced digital microphone.  The back of the box lists product details and specifications, as well as a detailed image of the headset.

As with all Razer packaging, getting into the box is almost as good as looking over the outer box.  The box opens from the right to left and you are instantly greeted with a full on view of the headset.  The inside of the opened flap contains a long paragraph relating to the headset.  The headset is covered by an easily removable plastic covering that slides off of the box.  Removing the headset is relatively straightforward enough – unfasten the ties that are holding it in place and take it out of the box.  The braided USB cable is neatly tucked away behind the cardboard sleeve insert beneath the headset and the Razer user manual  and stickers are located above the headset between the insert and the top of the box.

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First impressions of the headset – it feels very sturdy, well made, and comfortable.  The not overly padded, fully adjustable Razer branded headband ensures that the headset does not cause any discomfort during prolonged use, as do the extremely padded and comfortable, foldable ear cups.  The ear cups themselves have a closed cup design to help maxmise the sound.  The Razer logo can be found on the outside of both, as well as the solid, mesh type design.  On the left ear cup, you will find the retractable, enhanced digital microphone, and also the 2 meter braided gold plated USB cable.  It all fits together extremely well and is very, very easy on the eye.

Setting the headset up to get the most out of its features, requires you to download Synapse 2.0 from the Razer website as there is no software CD included.  Once installed, you are required to calibrate the virtual surround sound – this is very straightforward and only takes a few minutes.  Once you have completed the calibration process, you will notice that you have more menu tabs to choose from, including audio, mic, mixer, eq, and lighting.  Each of these menus give you the option to make additional changes to features such as bass boost, sound normalization, and voice clarity, and mic sensitivity/volume.  The EQ menu allows you to choose from a list of presets, and also gives you the option to create a custom preset.  Lastly, if you decide that the lights on the headset (Razer logos on the ear cups and the small light at the end of the mic) are too much for you, you can disable them from within the lighting menu.

While using the Kraken headset, I mostly played World of Tanks, Far Cry 3, and some Battlefield 3, while using Mumble for chatting.  I could not fault this headset at all if I am honest.  Voice chat came through crystal clear, and I was informed that my voice was also coming through clear – clearer than it did while using my previous headset.  I think that the inclusion of a digital microphone rather than a standard mic was definitely a smart move.  Also, if you don’t fancy chatting ALL the time, there is a mute switch located towards the end of the microphone itself – if you do mute it, you will be able to tell because the green light goes off when the mic is off, and on when the mic is on!  The game sounds were, in all honesty, amazing!  Being able to hear sounds coming from all around you definitely helped in identifying what directions the enemy were coming from, as well as being able to hear simple sounds that were not picked up previously.  Put all of this together and you have the perfect package!

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I didn’t only use the Kraken for playing games, though.  I also watched a few films and TV shows while using them, as well as using them for listening to music.  Being able to experience watching TV/films using the 7.1 virtual surround sound  was simply awesome!  It added so much to the overall film and actually made you feel a part of it.  Music wise, there was a lot of bass even with the bass boost turned off, and this kind of overpowered the music itself.  I think it all depends on your music taste when it comes to using this headset for music – if you like music with a lot of bass, then I doubt this will be an issue for you.

I think that anybody who picks up a Razer Kraken 7.1 Virtual Surround Headset will definitely not be disappointed.  With the eye catching colour scheme and the overall comfort factor, this headset would make a lot of people happy.  The crystal clear voice chat and game sounds only adds to the whole gaming experience, and it also adds a bit of a WOW factor to watching TV & films.  Being able to customise the headset to suit you using the Synapse 2.0 software is a nice touch, especially with the list of presets that you have to choose from.  If that wasn’t enough to sway you, maybe the price will?  At time of posting, you can pick this headset up for around £89.00 from Amazon UK

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Tech Specs

  • Advanced 7.1 virtual surround sound engine
  • Enhanced digital microphone
  • Designed for extended gaming comfort
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Powerful drivers for highest-quality gaming audio
  • Closed ear cup design for optimal sound isolation
  • Foldable ear cups for maximum portability

Headphones

  • Drivers: 40mm neodymium magnets
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: 112dB
  • Output Power: 30mW
  • Connector: Gold plated USB
  • Cable Length: 2m / 6.56 ft braided USB cable
  • Approximate Weight: 340g

Microphone

  • Frequency response: 100Hz –12kHz
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: -40dB ± 4dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 63 dB
  • Pick-up pattern: Omnidirectional

System Requirements

  • PC / Mac with USB port
  • Windows® 8 / Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Mac OS X (10.6-10.9)
  • Internet connection (for driver installation)
  • At least 100MB of free hard disk space

TeckNet Redragon 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset – Review

TeckNet provide gamers with affordable, high quality gaming accessories.  Their gaming range covers every angle of peripherals that gamers could want and need to have a decent game session.  From that range, today I have the 7.1 Channel Surround Sound Gaming Headset.

My eye was instantly drawn to the packaging of the headset.  The striking red and black design on the box really does go very well with the headset colour scheme.  Also on the box, along with the image of the headset, is other information.  This includes the Multi-Function In-Line Controller, to the Ergonomic Leather Earpads.  On the side of the box is an image of the in-line control along with a list of features.  The rear of the box shows a list of product specifications.

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The headset itself is secured in a plastic inlay inside the box.  After removing it from the box, you are greeted with a view of the headset and the in-line controller.  The headset feels very sturdy and well made, as does the in-line control box.  The top of the headband is made from a rubber material and the padding on the inside of the headband is very soft and seems as if it will provide extreme comfort during use.  The rubber material that is used for the headband actually makes the headband extremely flexible which in my experience, is never a bad thing.  The earpads have a very soft padding that feels as if it will add to the comfort factor.  The outside of the earpads both sport the headset logo, as well as the SOMIC branding.  Also on each earpad is a total of 6 red lights – 3 on each side.  The rotating, noise cancelling mic is located on the left side of the headset and also feels very well made, as well as very durable.  Coming down from the left earpad is a red rubberised USB cable which houses the in-line controls, which consist of the volume controls, and two mute buttons – one for the headset, and one for the mic.  Lastly, there is the user manual, and software & driver CD.

When it comes to setting the headset up, it’s pretty straightforward.  I connected the headset up to my PC via the USB cable and installed the provided drivers and software, and was ready to go.

Firstly, I wanted to try out the mic using Mumble.  I was told that my voice was coming through loud and very clear.  In return, I could hear everybody else very clearly.  Next up, I entered a game of World of Tanks to see what the game sound quality was like.  I could instantly hear the difference in the game sound compared to my previous headset.  All sounds were coming through crisp and clear, with an ample amount of bass.  The bass was even more impressive when it came to hearing shots fired from other tanks in the game.  The in-line control box has LEDs that light up when the headset is plugged in, which I thought was a nice effect, especially when coupled with the lights on the earpads (6 on each ear).

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The bundled software gives you the ability to set up the virtual 7.1 surround sound effect by allowing you to reposition the virtual speakers so that the sound suits the action you are doing.  The software is very straightforward to use so should be able to be used by any and everyone.

This headset is not only decent for gaming.  I have used this headset for watching TV & movies, as well as listening to music.  The only slight issue I have come across is when I was watching TV using the headset.  I found the bass to be just a little bassy on select TV shows.  Aside from that, listening to music and watching movies, etc, using this headset is as much of a pleasure as it is using the headset for gaming.

Overall, I am VERY impressed with this headset, especially with the £19.99 GBP price tag.  I am not overly experienced when it comes to PC headsets, but when I compare the TeckNet 7.1 headset with the ones I have used and reviewed previously, I honestly think I would prefer to use this headset over others.  Obviously if you want to pay through the nose for a well known, branded headset, then the sound quality is more than likely going to improve, but personally, I have no issues using this £20 headset for an immersive and quality gaming session.

SteelSeries Siberia V2 Kingston HyperX Limited Edition Gaming Headset – Review (@kingstontech @SteelSeries)

Kingston is a brand that is usually associated with products such as PC memory, SSD’s, and USB drives.  To celebrate 10 years of their HyperX range, they have teamed up with SteelSeries to release a limited edition HyperX version of the SteelSeries Siberia V2 Gaming Headset.  I was lucky enough to receive one of these headsets to review.

The box itself shows a clear view of the front of the metallic blue headset through the clear window.  It has both, the Kingston logo, as well as the SteelSeries logo.  You will also find a detailed list of just some of the headsets features, as well as the logos of the teams that are sponsored by SteelSeries and Kingston.  On one side of the box, you will see an image of one of the earcups, as well as an image of the retractable microphone.  You can see the same retractable microphone image on the other side of the box also.  On the back of the box you have a brief description of the collaboration between Kingston and SteelSeries, the specification list, as well as a few more images of the headset.  Lastly, on the top of the box, there is a HyperX 10 Years logo, and the game team logos again.

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On removing the headset from the box, the metallic blue colour scheme was the first thing that caught my eye.  Combining that with the Kingston HyperX branding that you will find in several locations on the headset, it all seems to work very well together.  The headset itself boasts a 1 meter, rubber coated cable that has two gold plated audio jacks on the end.  Also included is a 2 meter extension cable – also with gold plated audio jacks – that you connect the primary cable up to, to enable you to use the headset comfortably at your PC.  On the primary cable there is an inline audio control that can be used to control the volume of the headset, and can also be used to mute the microphone.  This inline control boasts the SteelSeries logo.

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The earcups themselves are 50mm driver units and are the nice metallic blue colour that was mentioned earlier and have a black mesh type design to the outside of the cup, complete with white HyperX branding.  The material used on the earcups themselves feels like a leather type material that is very soft and cushioned to touch.  On the inside of both cups, there is the white HyperX branding again.  On the bottom of the left earcup is where you will find the retractable microphone.  This is very well placed and pulls out without any exceeded force.  The microphone must be facing your mouth for you to be heard, which helps with background noise.  It is easily pushed back inside the headset again so that you can use the headset for music or movies without having the microphone being in the way.  The headband for the headset has two plastic coated metal rods that ensure stability of the headset.  The headband itself automatically adjusts to fit the head of the person who is wearing it by using elasticated metal cables instead of a manually adjustable mechanism.  The headband is a black leather type material with a soft underside and has the Kingston HyperX logo over the top.

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The headset itself is very easy on the eye.  The colour scheme works really well, and the headset is very comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.  It feels very lightweight when you do have it on your head, and the option to have the microphone pushed back inside the headset when not in use is very welcomed.  The sound quality, no matter what you are doing, is pretty amazing.  You can hear every little sound when playing a game, and whether you are using the headset to watch tv or listen to music, you will not be disappointed.  When you put all of these points together with the price of around £69.00, depending on where you look, you really cannot go wrong with this headset!

SteelSeries Siberia V2 Kingston HyperX Limited Edition Gaming Headset (@kingstontech @SteelSeries)

Kingston is a brand that is usually associated with products such as PC memory, SSD’s, and USB drives.  To celebrate 10 years of their HyperX range, they have teamed up with SteelSeries to release a limited edition HyperX version of the SteelSeries Siberia V2 Gaming Headset.  I was lucky enough to receive one of these headsets to review.

The box itself shows a clear view of the front of the metallic blue headset through the clear window.  It has both, the Kingston logo, as well as the SteelSeries logo.  You will also find a detailed list of just some of the headsets features, as well as the logos of the teams that are sponsored by SteelSeries and Kingston.  On one side of the box, you will see an image of one of the earcups, as well as an image of the retractable microphone.  You can see the same retractable microphone image on the other side of the box also.  On the back of the box you have a brief description of the collaboration between Kingston and SteelSeries, the specification list, as well as a few more images of the headset.  Lastly, on the top of the box, there is a HyperX 10 Years logo, and the game team logos again.

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On removing the headset from the box, the metallic blue colour scheme was the first thing that caught my eye.  Combining that with the Kingston HyperX branding that you will find in several locations on the headset, it all seems to work very well together.  The headset itself boasts a 1 meter, rubber coated cable that has two gold plated audio jacks on the end.  Also included is a 2 meter extension cable – also with gold plated audio jacks – that you connect the primary cable up to, to enable you to use the headset comfortably at your PC.  On the primary cable there is an inline audio control that can be used to control the volume of the headset, and can also be used to mute the microphone.  This inline control boasts the SteelSeries logo.

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The earcups themselves are 50mm driver units and are the nice metallic blue colour that was mentioned earlier and have a black mesh type design to the outside of the cup, complete with white HyperX branding.  The material used on the earcups themselves feels like a leather type material that is very soft and cushioned to touch.  On the inside of both cups, there is the white HyperX branding again.  On the bottom of the left earcup is where you will find the retractable microphone.  This is very well placed and pulls out without any exceeded force.  The microphone must be facing your mouth for you to be heard, which helps with background noise.  It is easily pushed back inside the headset again so that you can use the headset for music or movies without having the microphone being in the way.  The headband for the headset has two plastic coated metal rods that ensure stability of the headset.  The headband itself automatically adjusts to fit the head of the person who is wearing it by using elasticated metal cables instead of a manually adjustable mechanism.  The headband is a black leather type material with a soft underside and has the Kingston HyperX logo over the top.

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The headset itself is very easy on the eye.  The colour scheme works really well, and the headset is very comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.  It feels very lightweight when you do have it on your head, and the option to have the microphone pushed back inside the headset when not in use is very welcomed.  The sound quality, no matter what you are doing, is pretty amazing.  You can hear every little sound when playing a game, and whether you are using the headset to watch tv or listen to music, you will not be disappointed.  When you put all of these points together with the price of around £69.00, depending on where you look, you really cannot go wrong with this headset!

ORB GP Rumble PS3/PC Gaming Headset – Review (@ORB_Accs)

**For a list of the box contents, please check out my unboxing video that can be found here.**

When it comes to playing videogames in both short and long sittings, you want comfort, decent sound quality and a price tag that isn’t going to sting.

This is where I find out and let you know if the ORB GP Rumble Headset for PS3 and PC from ORB Accessories is up to par.

First things first. When you first see the ORB GP Rumble Headset, you are greeted with a nice black headset coupled with an attractive blue mesh padding around the headband and ear cups. The padding is reasonably thick which makes it very comfortable to wear – the longest I have worn it for at a time is just over 2 hours and I did not experience any ear discomfort. You also have the built-in mic on the left ear cup which enables you to chat to online friends while getting immersed in your favourite game. The padded headband is fully adjustable and should fit all head sizes without any issues. The cable length is very generous at around 3 metres. You also have a USB extension cable, just in case the supplied cable isn’t long enough. The headset is powered via USB, so no chance of batteries running out of juice in the middle of a major boss fight or important career race. A little further down on the cable you have the volume controls for both voice and chat volume levels. There is also a mic mute switch and a switch to turn the Rumble on and off. This headset also be recognised as an extra sound device by a PC and works with most available games. I tried the headset on both Windows 7 & 8, It was recognised by both and worked perfect with both.

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Next up we have the Rumble feature. I was a bit skeptical when I first read about this and was wondering how exactly it was going to work. What can I say? It was totally unexpected and amazing. When you activate the Rumble feature, you are instantly thrown into the game more-so than just having the amazing sound. When there is a loud roar or you end up crashing your beloved car, your ears know about it as much as your hands do from the controller. The Rumble headset feature makes the earphones vibrate which in turn makes everything seem that much more realistic.

Coupled with the rumble effects, the sound quality from the ORB GP headset was pretty surprising, especially for a headset that hasn’t cost you a fortune to purchase. There were no crackles or tinny moments and everything came through clear and crisp, both game and voice chat wise. Whilst on the subject of sound quality, I asked a few people how my voice was coming through to them and was told it was clear and they could hear me with no issues – another bonus.

Considering the price you would pay for this headset – I have seen it vary from £29.99 to £45.00 – you definitely should not be disappointed. I have nothing bad to say about it. My partner tried it as well and liked it – trust me, if he likes it, it can’t be bad! Give it a try, the rumble effect alone is well worth the money you would spend on this!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I will get back to you ASAP.