You certainly don’t need to look far to be absolutely overwhelmed when it comes to picking a headset to accompany your gaming time these days. Long gone are the days of stretching some ill-fitting ear buds from your TV, any slight movement ripping them from your ears. But even then, with so many to choose from, how can you be sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck? Well that, my friends, is what I’m here to help you with. Are Puro Sound Labs first foray into gamer focused cans worth the asking price?
In short; absolutely. While not perfect, they offer up some excellent sound quality and versatility that other similarly priced sets don’t match. Let’s run down what I do and don’t like about this set in sections.
First off, the most important aspect. How do they sound? The big USP for the PuroGamer is the fact that they are volume limited. While I can hear some of you baulk from here, I found it to be a great feature that not only saved my ears from yet more abuse, but suited my young daughters to a tee. They were able to use the set comfortably without me constantly having to turn it down – though the noise cancelling still meant they were able to ignore me easily enough. The clarity on offer is rather good too. Even though they don’t go as loud as other sets, it’s still easy to make out individual details in the audio space. I reviewed Close to the Sun predominantly using these, and I found that I was still able to clearly make out the scampering of unseen footsteps amongst the buzzing of electricity about the ship. Deep bass rumbles when explosions hit, yet at the same time a tinkling piece of piano music comes across crystal clear. The range is impressive and they fast put my ageing current set to shame.
Volume is mainly controlled via the Xbox guide, though there is an inline wheel that adjusts it too. Oddly, this is labelled as the chat volume, though across my testing on Xbox, PC and more it simply controlled the volume for all audio as one. While hardly the biggest issue, it would have been nice to able to separate game and chat audio volume on the set itself, rather then having to rely on the Xbox guide. The detachable mic quality is great, with a sturdy yet flexible arm that holds position well. The mic filters out a decent amount of background noise yet picks up voice clearly and is unobtrusive enough that it doesn’t feel like you constantly have something hovering around your face.
As a wired set, you’ll need to plug them in via the Xbox controller’s 3.5mm jack. (Older controllers don’t have this built in, but you can purchase an adaptor from Microsoft should you need to) Also included is a USB plug for use on PC – sadly the USB function doesn’t work when plugging directly into the console. My main gripe with these headphones is that the USB and 3.5mm jack are not detachable. Both feed in to the main cable, meaning when one isn’t in use it simply hangs next to the other. While the excess cable is short enough to not dangle all over the place, it can get in the way a little, even getting caught once during my play session as I adjusted my position, pulling the jack out of the controller.
Next up, the aesthetics. While it’s all too easy for gaming headphones to go over board with garish colours and odd angles, Puro has instead opted for a sleek, refined look. The all black colour scheme appears more in line with something you’d see in a recording studio that a gaming set up. The fabric – all vegan according to the website – is soft to the touch and nice and light on the head. The understated logo’s on each side have a silver ring around the edges that light up a brilliant blue when plugged in via USB, as does the tip of the mic. The ear cups are soft and breathable, even long play sessions saw my head remaining cool. The headband has quite the range on it too; most sets need to be put to their max setting to fit my big head, yet the PuroGamer needed to be reigned in a touch. My kids found it comfortable too, the headband retracting enough to fit them easily.
I did find that after a while the tops of my ears began to get mildly uncomfortable. I often wear various over the ear sets for the majority of the day, and rarely do I need to remove them due to discomfort. The actual cups are circular, whereas my usual set are more oval, so it’s likely just a case of being a different shape than I’m used to, but it’s something to bear in mind.
The PuroGamer headset is a strong entry into the gaming market. Especially great for younger gamers or those with sensitive ears due to the volume limiting, for the price you can’t go wrong here. Being unable to remove the unused input is a little disappointing, and after long sessions I did experience a little discomfort, though nothing that a quick break didn’t sort out. The sound quality is excellent, the form factor appealing and being able to use it across any device thanks to the USB and 3.5mm jacks means that $70 stretches even further.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.