A Low Cost Replacement For The Headset That Came With Your Console
European game accessory maker Snakebyte has been releasing headsets and other products for years. Their latest product is the HEAD:SET X PRO and HEAD:SET 4 PRO headset. Sold for right around $20, this is a low cost headset ideal for replacing that cheap headset that came with your console.
The only difference between the X and 4 models is the color scheme, with the X unit obviously sporting the green Xbox color scheme whereas the 4 model is blue to mimic the Playstation’s colors. To be clear, this is a stereo headset that uses a standard 3.5mm plug so it can be used on many devices including the Switch, mobile devices, tablets, and even computers. It also ships with a Y Splitter cable for use with a PC – one connection for audio, the other for mic support. There is no virtual surround, 5.1, or 7.1 surround sound option in this inexpensive unit.
For a $20 headset, expectations need to be realistic due to the very low cost. Low cost, though, usually means lower quality. While the overall construction of the unit isn’t the best, the sound quality is actually a little better than you think it would be.
There are a few noteworthy points that make this wallet friendly headset worthwhile. First, it is easy to use – it is literally plug and play. Xbox One and PS4 users, just be aware you will probably have to make a minor adjustment in your console’s audio menu for everything to work properly. Next, the unit ships with additional ear cups, in which both sets are easily removable. To swap cups, each sporting a slight different texture (I personally prefer the ones that were already attached to the unit), just pull forward. To snap back on, just the line the cups to the dedicated slots on the base of the unit and magnetics easily and instantly connect everything in place. This is an easy to use feature and welcomed especially for a unit with such a low cost.
The built-in mic also tucks away when not in use but is a little strange since it angles outwards away from your mouth when in use. In total, the unit is rather light but did encounter some discomfort after playing Gears of War 4 for about an hour. The top head strap, specially the underside, is composed of this light, hollow plastic that gets warm quickly. This head strap felt like it was sinking into my skull after a while. The ear cups also feel fatter than they need to be and actually get in the way a bit when resting the back of your head on a headrest.
Perhaps the biggest downside to this headset is the lack of a USB option. Including a Y splitter is a nice alternative but PC players will be turned off. At least the braided cable features an easy to use volume adjuster. The mic can also be muted by flicking a switch but there is no hardware option to adjust mic volume – only the game volume can be modified from the headset.
One feature that is totally unnecessary but is definitely welcomed is the included 3M hook hanger. Even though one of these can be bought at your local Walmart for a few bucks, it sends the right message by including one in the package. Including a storage bag would have increased the price but a hook is nice alternative. This hook just peels and sticks to almost any surface to allow the headset to neatly hang for storage.
Is the Snakebyte HEAD:SET X PRO the one headset to rule them all? Of course not, but it acts as a solid replacement to the cheap mono chatset that came with your console. The included bonuses are a nice touch, like the extra ear cups and hanging hook, but I would have preferred these pieces were excluded in order to drop the price even further. That, or swap out the extra cups (let’s be honest, how many times do you swap ear cups on your headset?) for a USB adapter and keep the same twenty dollar price tag. But alas, this is isn’t a bad unit if you are strapped for cash and just need something to fill the void. If you can afford to spend a little more, go ahead and do so to get a better feature set with a more quality unit.
Not As Good As: pretty much anything that is $40 and higher
Better Than: that mono headset that came with your console
Wait For It: a wireless version