SKULLCANDY PLYR 1 WIRELESS GAMING HEADSET REVIEW
DO: Enjoy one of the most comfortable wireless gaming headsets I’ve ever worn. Vibrant sound that works for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
DON’T: Don’t worry about the headset abruptly shutting off during periods of inactivity…that’s the power save function Skullcandy forgot to mention on the box or in the nonexistent instruction manual.
TRY: One of the best, versatile wireless gaming headset systems that’s completely worth the $179.99 price tag. It’ll be your wireless headsets for everything (if everything is an Xbox 360, PS3 or PC).
The first thing I noticed about the PLYR 1’s when I opened them up was how easy the setup was for this wireless gaming headset system. They are designed with power usage via USB which means you don’t have to go behind your TV or display stand to find an outlet.
The cord lengths are perfect for near system setup and the base station doubles as a holding stand for your headset when not in use. The whole wireless system doesn’t take up much real estate as well which is convenient for users.
Setup consists of plugging in a USB for power, an optical cable (on Xbox 360 and PS3 setups) for audio source and that’s it. PC setups only need the one USB cord for source and power. The whole process takes mere seconds and you’re up and running with wireless sound for your games.
Sound is handled with a four directional switch with up and down controlling volume and left and right controlling audio sources (game and voice). There’s also an on board EQ switch with three modes: Bass (emphasis on loud bass), Precision (mid range emphasis) and Supreme (low range emphasis)
Skullcandy has put a lot of thought into comfortable design for the PLYR 1. The soft plush cushioning built into the ear cups as well as the headband go a long way into making this headset something you’ll want to wear. I get a snugly feeling when wearing the PLYR 1’s for extended periods of time (my longest time was about 5 hours straight while playing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on my PC).
They don’t build up heat and provide a comfortable fit that helps to naturally create a noise cancelling effect. They are also super lightweight which meant I didn’t feel that sense of fatigue while using the headset during my day to day usage on PC (Skype calls, listening to music, playing games, etc). It was so comfortable I honestly forgot they were on my head at times and lost myself to projects and games.
The PLYR 1’s have a rechargeable battery system built in which gives you a noticeable light reminder tone when the battery is low and needs charging. It’s not blaring which is a nice change from other headsets I’ve used that screeched in my ear.
There’s also no audio cut off or fuzziness effect when the battery is low unless you ignore the warning tone which I did one night while listening to some electro music which hid the warning tone from my attention. It wasn’t until the music abruptly cut out that I realized I had run them down to that point.
My only real complaint (and it’s really minor because it’s a want rather than a need) is that I would have liked a swappable battery system (one charging or charged while one is in use) but that’s only because of the downtime. Granted to combat that I ended up adopting a “charge it at night” routine (like my smartphone and my portable gaming systems) so I didn’t end up with downtime.
Also it’s worth noting that the PLYR 1 has a battery power save system built in (which unfortunately isn’t included in any materials with the headset system) as I found out one day. When there’s no audio source coming into the headset they will power off by themselves after a few minutes of inactivity.
At first I thought there was something wrong with the headset or with the charging cords but then I realized it only happened during periods of no sound. But I eventually put two and two together and pieced together the source of my frustration which turned out to be a neat feature that should have been noted.
Another piece of design I wanted to highlight is the PLYR 1’s wireless range. One night I was playing games on the Xbox 360 when I ran into my kitchen to grab a drink and some snacks. My instinct was to pull the headsets off my ears because in the past wireless headsets haven’t had good enough range around the corner into my kitchen from the living room and they tended to cut out but the PLYR 1’s never dropped signal.
When I realized this I immediately decided to test how far they would go before cutting audio out and as it turns out I got about 60 feet of distance between myself and the base station before getting cut off. I’ve never had a wireless headset system give me that kind of range before and it’s the bar now for future headsets.
I tested the PLYR 1’s with both consoles (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) as well as on my laptop PC. With the ease of setup I was able to swap out between each gaming system fast and with little fuss. The first system I tried the headset with was PS3.
I played Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us for testing purposes and I was glad I chose this game. The PLYR 1’s provided clear, crisp audio from the devastated world of Joel and Ellie while giving me an extra layer of immersion to my play testing. I also enjoyed a few episodes of Futurama on Netflix to test out media listening via the PS3 with the PLYR 1’s.
Next I put the PLYR 1’s through it paces with the Xbox 360. I spent some quality time listening to the next level awesomeness that was Volition’s Saints Row IV. The bass thumping tunes of the Mad Decent radio station melted into my ears while I mindlessly wreaked havoc in virtual Steelport.
Finally I spent some time using the wireless system with my laptop PC. I used the headset for music, watching videos, a few Skype calls with friends and a plethora of games on Steam. The PLYR 1’s have become my daily use headset for my laptop and have replaced with wired F.R.E.Q. 5 headset I had been using daily.
The PLYR 1’s also feature an auto muting system with the flexible microphone attached to the headset. It works by simply lifting the microphone up into an “away” position that auto mutes the mic instantly. This works well when you may need to cough or speak with someone else during a chat session.
The PLYR 1 Wireless Gaming System is well worth the value for users looking for a versatile wireless headset system. There’s some nice surprises under the hood, like the power save function and instant muting system, that you don’t see in competitors products.
The PLYR 1’s are easy to use, a breeze to set up and comfortable as well as functional for gamers looking for a wireless gaming headset. The $179.99 price is justified for a rechargeable, adaptable gaming system that gives you a lot of mileage for your hard earned dollars, especially one that works with multiple gaming systems and can serve as an all-in-one audio solution for budget minded consumers.
This review is based on time spent testing out a retail release version of the PLYR 1 Wireless Gaming Headset System provided by Skullcandy. You can buy the PLYR 1’s direct from Skullcandy here for $179.99.