DEVELOPER: Gamester Gear
PRICE: $109.99 USD
A little while ago, I received a P3210 headset from Gamester Gear to use in some of my video content and, naturally, to review. I was fairly excited about the prospect — I’m somewhat of an audiophile, so I enjoy playing around with things that can produce high quality output as well as input, and Gamester Gear promised just that. However, after having spent some time using it, I can say that it’s not by any means a perfect unit, and that it may not be for everyone.
For starters, let me say that there are a lot of headsets available on the market in all sorts of different price ranges. You can easily get a decent USB headset (with mic) for under $30 if you look around, and there are obviously headsets that range from $30-$99 for those wanting to spend a bit more money for additional features or quality, and some that are $100+ for the true audiophiles out there. This particular headset seems to go for $109.99 on most sites when not on sale, so it would be one that I’d classify as being for enthusiasts rather than general users.
The P3210 model features both a USB input as well as a traditional audio cable. This basically creates a scenario where one line is being used for audio output to the earphones while the other is being used for the microphone (should you wish to use it). The microphone is actually completely detachable, so you don’t have to make use of it if you don’t want. However, if you do, this dual set-up means that you’ll have to follow the instructions down to the letter, setting your headset as a “Default Communications Device” in Windows while setting your soundcard to be your “Default Device.” This is very important because failing to do so will render many of the features, including the very high-quality bass, unusable by your headset.
The audio output is studio quality (indeed, reported as that through Windows itself), capable of producing 192,000 Hz playback. This is further enhanced with the really high-quality bass that even produces vibrations in the headset itself. The microphone seems to record at 48,000 Hz, or DVD quality. Again, ahead of the pack in terms of quality. I found that the gain feature of the mic produced far too much white noise in my environment, so I had to turn the gain off through Windows and raise the mic volume up to around 100%. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either. The wires also have in-line controls to mute the mic, change the volume of incoming voice communications, adjustment of the bass, and adjustment of the incoming volume from games and other normal sources.
My main issue with the headset, beyond the small issue with the mic I previously noted, lies in the hardware itself. This headset has traditional rubbery wires, and while to the average person this may not seem like an issue, for me, these wires got impossibly tangled on a regular basis. At first they were fine, yet over time they would begin to twist in on themselves no matter how many times I untangled them or how much time I spent fixing them, and finally, the extent of the wire was taken up with this twisting of the cords. For the listed price, I found this to be unacceptable. I have a $5 headset I got from Best Buy some months ago that actually features a mesh wire that cannot tangle on itself. My gaming mouse also has a similar wire, and so I know that this could have been implemented on this headset.
It’s a real shame, too, because the audio output quality was great and the microphone was pretty good, but the OCD side of me simply couldn’t get past this twisting wire. Thus, after using it for about two weeks, I went back to using my wireless G930 headset.