PLYR 2 Has Joined the Game – Skullcandy’s PLYR 2 Headset Review
Skullcandy’s PLYR 2 headset is the most recent product from their new line of gaming headsets, following the previously released SLYR headset, our review of which can be found here. The main advantage of the PLYR 2 over the SLYR is the inclusion of wireless functionality, which allows for a much greater range of use, even considering the SLYR’s lengthy wire. With plenty of other wireless headsets on offer, from a host of well-known manufacturers, does the PLYR 2 model do enough to push Skullcandy to the forefront of gamers’ minds?
There are a number of worries that surround wireless headsets, not least of which is the difficulty of initially setting them up. Obviously, with a wired headset, you can plug a number of wires in to the back of your console and TV, and you’re ready to go. Wireless headsets often require a little more work and calibration, and fortunately this is not the case with the PLYR 2. You only need to connect the red and white audio cables, plug the USB lead from the transmitter into the back of your console of choice, and turn on the headset. You’re ready to go within about five minutes, and there’s no alteration in the set-up steps if you’re switching between Xbox 360 and PS3. There’s no need to assign wireless channels, calibrate the headset to your particular transmitter or rearrange your room to remove any signal interference, as the headset is nearly ready to go right out of the box.
Aesthetically, the PLYR 2 is quite pleasant to the eye. The review model that we used came in white, with red accents on the headset extensions and black earcups. The headset itself has a cool ‘shattered’ effect on the white portions, leaving an impression of fractured glass or a spider web. Even the transmitter is designed well, with a glowing Skullcandy skull that switches on whenever the transmitter is connected to a console. The other colour options are black and yellow or teal and navy, and each features a similar ‘shattered’ effect. The white and red model that we used actually gave off a Mass Effect vibe, and wouldn’t have looked out of place on Commander Shepard. The earcups themselves have a slight tilt to them, meaning that the bridge of the headset needs to be worn a little further back on the head than you might be used to – although I found that the earcups tended to pinch regardless of the angle that I wore them, which didn’t exactly inspire me to wear them for long sessions of gaming.
In terms of sound, the PLYR 2 is certainly better than the SLYR, with clear and crisp vocals and a deep bass level, which gives both gunfire and explosions a good depth. My only complaint with the SLYR headset was that the bass came across as a little mushy during collisions or explosions, but I had no such issue with the PLYR 2, which can be favorably compared with many of the more expensive headsets on the market.
Noise-cancelling and leakage on the headset is of a similar standard to the SLYR headset, meaning that on lower volumes there isn’t much of an issue, but if you start to go above mid-level, you’re going to be disturbing people in the same room. Volume is controlled by a knob on the right-hand side of the headset, with up and down controlling the volume levels, and left and right adjusting the priorities of microphone and in-game volumes. The EQ settings are also switched between on this side of the headset, with an analog switch allowing you to change between the three different settings.
The wireless range of the PLYR 2 is impressive, with seamless transmissions continuing as I wandered aimlessly throughout my house, from one floor to another, and into and out of various rooms. The battery life is similarly impressive, lasting for around ten-and-a-half hours on single charge. This figure came over three or four different gaming sessions of two to three hours each, so longer gaming sessions may make for a longer battery life. Unfortunately, unlike some of the other wireless headsets on the market, the charging cable for the PLYR 2 is quite short, which means that you can’t comfortably use the headset whilst it is being charged.
I guess the main question surrounding the PLYR 2 headset is: should I buy Skullcandy’s $100 headset over a more expensive version? The answer isn’t quite so simple as a straightforward “yes” or “no”, but the PLYR 2 does build an incredibly strong case for itself. If you’re after bells and whistles with your headset, such as manually programmable equalizer levels, surround sound, or some other function, then you’re probably better off splashing out a few more dollars. However, if you’re instead after a headset that delivers an admirable level of sound, works on a number of devices in your home, and removes the need for even more wires in your gaming setup, then the PLYR 2 is well worth a look. With some cool designs, an impressive battery life and a good depth to its sound, the PLYR 2 headset is an interesting wireless alternative to the more expensive options.
The Skullcandy PLYR 2 headset scores 4.5 out of 5.
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