Bold Design. Superior Sound. Thrustmaster Y-Gaming Headset Review
This review was conducted on the Thrustmaster Y-Gaming Headset Model Y-250C for PC.
Thrustmaster, known for their top-notch racing wheels and PC accessories, hit the market this week at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show with a line of headsets for the PC as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, and Gamer Living has been taking the PC version for a test drive for the last couple of weeks to give you all the details on how they stand up to the competition.
“Bold” and “cheeky” are the first two words that came to mind when I laid my eyes upon the Thrustmaster Y-Gaming model Y-250C stereo headset for the PC. The bright red trim, set against the matte black body, draws you in from a casual glance to a closer look at the detail in the design. The three-piece, over-the-head frame design is reminiscent of those large headsets that you’ll often see pit crew chiefs or aviators wearing. The frame wraps itself around the outside of the cans with Thrustmaster’s Y-Gaming logos hinging into them to allow a formed fit for just about any noggin. Massive, 35mm removable leather ear cups on the inside offer plenty of cushion for not only maximum comfort, but provide excellent shielding from outside noise influences as well. Thick stainless steel bands are exposed when the headphones are extended for fit, and provide a high degree of rigidity to prevent the unit from easily being broken. A thick cushion of leather is fixed to the bottom of the headband to provide comfort while supporting the 3/4 lb. device on your brain case. The overall design feels more robust than many other models out there, which provides a degree of comfort when throwing them in a bag with a laptop and other equipment; unlike the Siberia V2 whose dainty frame begs not to be sent to the same fate out of the fear of being crushed, or my Turtle Beach set, which is simply too expensive to just throw around.
The Thrustmaster Y-Gaming headset might appear to be larger than many of the similar-design devices out there when worn, but in reality it doesn’t take up much more real estate than the Turtle Beach XP400s. This is partly due to the design of the headband, which is much more squared off than most gaming headsets, and gives the appearance of being larger as it doesn’t follow the natural curve of the human head. There are pluses and minuses to this design; the plus being that it ensures a snug fit over the ears and accommodates the deeper cans, which in turn provide exceptional bass response. The minus, of course, is that it leaves a smaller footprint of cushion on the top of your head, which leads to the inevitable fatigue that comes with over-the-head headsets weighing down on your cabeza after a few hours of gameplay.
A three-foot cable comes out of the left can to a single three-ring jack that can be plugged into mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, and it provides both stereo sound and microphone inputs. An additional adapter cable is included with a small control box that allows you to adjust the microphone and headphone volume independently. The microphone can also be muted using the built in On/Off switch. From the control box, a second cable is attached with independent leads for the microphone and headphone jacks on your laptop or PC. The overall length of cabling totals 9 feet, allowing you to run the PC audio cable off of your desk and through the spaghetti factory behind the computer to the audio jacks, and have room to spare to sit comfortably in your chair while gaming.
The Y-Gaming 250 series headsets come equipped with 50mm drivers that put out a well-balanced range of sound for any activity, from gaming to music to movies. It’s not very often that you’ll get a set of headphones that give you a full spectrum of sound without having to tweak an equalizer to get it just right. The bass is exceptionally full-sounding without overwhelming the mids and highs, while the highs are crisp and clean without being tinny. With the volume on my PC maxed and the knob on the built-in controller on the cable set to full, the Y25oC is most certainly not as loud as the Siberia V2 from SteelSeries, which might give my ears a few additional years of usefulness, it was still disappointing to be limited by the device as opposed to finding my own comfort zone.
The detachable microphone plugs in on the underside of the left can. The rear portion of the mic boom is flexible to allow for easy adjustment, while the rest is a durable hard plastic to ensure that it doesn’t get bent, broken, or crushed when it’s being tossed about in your backpack or other carrying apparatus. Testing the microphone over Skype gave excellent results as audio was very clear with minimal background noise.
Thrustmaster’s freshman entry into the gaming headset market most certainly doesn’t disappoint and is priced competitively to boot at $89.99, right in the middle of the pack for wired, stereo headsets. The overall design is quite eye-catching, and most certainly stands apart from its counterparts with superb audio to boot, although it could stand to benefit from a little more power.
The Thrustmaster Y-Gaming Headset (model Y-250C) receives a 4.5/5.0.
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