Gaming Headsets: Waste of Dollars or Skill Multiplyer?

Written by Special Bear

I remember playing Call of Duty with the stock Xbox headset. If there was any noise in my vicinity, I would never be able to hear my team mates. If the plug moved just right in the controller, it would make horrible noises and everybody would mute me. If I threw it against the wall, it would break in half.  Nothing a coat hanger and electrical tape can’t fix.  Oh yea, and you can forget hearing any enemies.

Then, a few years ago, I subscribed to a Youtube channel that specialized in Call of Duty game play and strategies. I remember watching this guy play Search and Destroy and he would always talk about hearing the enemy, and listening to them move around. This concept was completely foreign to me, but it was something I wanted to be able to do.

So, I started looking at gaming headsets. If there is one thing I’m not, it’s rich. So most of the headsets I wanted were out of reach. Keep in mind, I wanted a surround sound model; the ones with 8 speakers inside the headset.

Anyway, fast forward a bit, and my wonderful girlfriend was kind enough to pick up a headset for my birthday. Now its not surround sound, but playing with it makes a massive difference.

The headset is made by Sharkoon, model SX

Its worth noting that I’d never even heard of the brand when she gave it to me, it’s only stereo (2 speakers), and it’s wired, so I’m sure it wasn’t ridiculously expensive. This is nice because that tells me that I didn’t have to spend a ton of money to get a good result.

Now, for all of you Call of Duty players, I was pretty recently turned on to Sitrep Pro. Using Sitrep Pro with this headset feels like cheating. Yes it also looks like cheating to the enemy. They will call you a hacker, a cheater, a glitcher, a noob, a camper, and so many other things that I can’t even say, if they don’t rage quit first.

I mainly play Face-Off lately, and I can hear everything going on around me. I can hear an enemy climb the middle ladder in Erosion from almost anywhere on the map. Time and time again I’m amazed at how accurate I can be with calling out enemies that I can’t even see. You’d never believe how often I hear people say “How did he know I was there?” It is truly amazing.

If you have the opportunity to pick up a headset, even if it is stereo, do it immediately! I promise you will see results. I would recommend a model that has a separate voice and game volume control, that way you can crank up the game volume, and your team won’t be screaming in your ears. Also, compatibility with a PC is nice if you have Skype, or would like to get into commentaries.

*I should probably mention that my headset is currently out of service because the wire for the microphone popped off the circuit board. Luckily, basic soldering skills can fix the issue. This may be something to remember if you decide to shop around for a headset for yourself, which I would highly recommend.

P.S. – Don’t throw you controllers or headsets. They are too expensive to replace.  Find a better way to vent your epic rage.


~ by legionofhonorblog on August 30, 2012.

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