Roundup: 3 Cross-Platform Headsets for Superior Gaming Experiences
After visiting E3 and PAX in 2015, I have received some headsets to look at. These gaming headsets work on both PC and mobile devices. They each have their own pros and cons when it comes to using them on an iOS device.
My first choice is the Plantronic RIG 500E because it’s lightweight and modular, offers comparable options for PC sound, and does all of this quite simply. The Turtle Beach PX24 multi-platform gaming headset takes second place because I like its built-in amp and lightweight design, but I find the mic boom a bit of a nuisance. To be fair, Logitech G633 Artemis Specturm RGB 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset comes in third place just because it’s an iOS-focused review. If I were writing for pure PC gaming and looking at headsets as part of a system, the G633, paired with a compatible Logitech gaming keyboard (like the G410 Atlas Spectrum RGB) and mouse (like the G303) would top the list because it has all the bells and whistles a PC gamer could ask for. As iOS headphones, they are a bit over the top.
1. Plantronics RIG 500E ($149.99)
Of the three headphones reviewed here, these are my favorites due to their modular, lightweight, and portable design. The sound is outstanding when connected to PC and using its driver software. It is very good when connected to iOS via the 3.5mm plug. On a PC, this plug extends to the USB cable, providing power and an interface for RIG 500E surround sound software.
It comes with closed headphones when you want to block out the world and optional open, vented headphones when you want to hear more of the world or just plan a long day of gaming in warm conditions. Interchangeable earcups, along with a removable boom mic, offer the best configuration options, from USB-powered social gaming headsets to robust mobile headsets.
The RIG 500 self-adjusting headphone type floats on your head, making them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. My only complaint is the round ear cups, which you have to stick your long ears into. They’re not cumbersome, but they’re not as roomy as the Logitech G633’s. They are made of memory foam, so they fit
On PC, these headphones activate simulated Dolby 7.1 surround sound with the flick of a switch.
two. Playa Tortuga Multi-Platform Gaming Headset PX24 ($79.95)
This is the most mobile-friendly headset reviewed here, because the PX24 has its own built-in amplifier. Like the blue Mo-Fi cans, Turtle Beach acknowledges that an amplifier is required to improve sound on an iPhone or iPad. The PX24’s amp is built into the cable and works with any device, unlike the other headphones reviewed here, which require PC software to create enhanced sound. With the PX24, all features are built into the headset and include an amplifier.
The negative with the PX24: the boom mic. The microphone is functional and stands out of the way, but the microphone itself fits on the end of a very flexible metal appendage that contorts very easily. Even when I pick it up, I find myself hitting it so it bends into weird positions. I’m a bit worried, perhaps unnecessarily, that all the twisting of the mic might one day lead to a broken boom. The plastic strain relief doesn’t stay in place so it slides around and doesn’t seem to hold the strain.
The PX24 is lightweight, comfortable, and offers a range of sound including Virtual Surround Sound, Superhuman Hearing that enhances the sound of characters sneaking up on you in a game, and Variable Bass Boost to enhance bass. Variable microphone monitoring supports feedback of your own voice into the system, reducing yelling.
The 50mm neodymium drivers, the largest in this review batch and the same size as Blue Mo-Fi audiophile phones, offer very good sound quality, especially when combined with the amplifier electronics.
3. Logitech G633 Artemis Specturm RGB 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset ($149.99)
The Logitech G633 is the ultimate gaming headset. When connected to a PC running Logitech gaming software, they can coordinate their sound and LEDs with other Logitech gaming products. My keyboard, mouse, and headset “breathe” with an eerie blue light, flickering like there’s a giant beast hiding inside my PC. Although an iOS device cannot configure these features, the built-in memory retains certain features such as sound profiles. However, without USB power, the beasts don’t breathe.
On PC, however, turn on surround sound and you’ll literally be immersed in another world. Movies and games are incredible personal experiences when putting on these cans.
Connection to a PC requires a USB driver. The 3.5mm plug connects to that USB cable. Remove the USB plug and plug in the mobile aux cable and you’ll add mobile features like in-line volume control, mic mute and mic select. The boom mic, which hides neatly in its built-in notch, also picks up your voice for phone calls, but if you want the mic on the controller, just flip the switch.
Another big selling point of the G633: dual source sound. Sure, some Bluetooth headsets can connect to two devices, but how many wired ones can do the same trick? With the G633, the USB connection handles the gaming while the 3.5mm plug handles the phone.
All that tech not only makes the G633 stand out, it also adds to the weight. These are big headsets, but they are beautiful and well designed, and packaged for PC Gamer. If you switch between PC and mobile gaming, and if you’ve made a commitment to Logitech’s gaming team, these headsets are a no-brainer.