Peripherals are kind of a guilty pleasure of mine; some people go on credit card shopping sprees or gambling rampages to lift their spirits, but a new controller, keyboard, mouse or headset is all it really takes for me. I’m not sure if this is better or worse, really, given the amount of plastic I’ve already got laying around my condo! Anyway, it’s no surprise that when I had the chance to give a new headset from PDP a shot, I jumped on it; PDP’s Afterglow line is generally known for its striking looks, low price and solid quality, after all. That means that today we’re talking about PDP’s Afterglow 7 Wireless Headset for Xbox One.
Let’s start with the most important aspect of a headset: I found the AG 7’s sound quality to be solid, particularly when using the device’s Bass Boost mode. If you’re playing something on Xbox One, chances are it’s something involving gunshots or explosions, so you want to be all about that bass and the AG 7 doesn’t disappoint. For games with slightly less mayhem, like Final Fantasy Type-Zero HD, the standard Pure Audio setting was preferable.
You can adjust volume with one of the sliders on the side of the headset, which is appreciated since my remote’s not always within reach and I’m awe-inspiringly lazy. The noise-cancelling aspects of the headset are obvious while you’re wearing it; don’t expect to hear much outside of your game. I thought this was fantastic, but if you’ve got a parent, kid or significant other who needs your attention, they’re probably going to want to walk over and smack you around a little.
The AG 7’s transmitter is a standard USB dongle which is plugged into the ports on the back of the Xbox One. The range on the device is around 40 feet in theory; in practice, this was long enough to cover a living room and maybe one room away, but you shouldn’t count on getting much of a signal outside of that. This isn’t one of those wireless headsets where you can take a bathroom break without missing a cutscene or whatever…not like I’d know about that. Stay put in the same room as your console and you shouldn’t have any trouble.
The AG 7’s got a retractable microphone for chat, which is always nice; I’m not a fan of having a mic dangling in front of my face when I’m not actively talking to someone. Sound quality from this is solid, assuming there’s no interference or significant physical obstructions between the headset and the transmitter. You can also adjust the balance between chat and game sound with a second slider on the side of the headset, which is much appreciated if you get stuck in a Halo match with some squeaky-voiced twelve-year old warriors.
As build quality goes, I had very few complaints with the AG 7. It’s a solidly constructed piece of kit and feels just weighty enough that you won’t think you’re holding a toy, not to mention that, as is typical for Afterglow products, there’s also nice-looking lighting where it counts. I’ve busted many a headset in my day and can confirm the AG 7 is built to last; as mentioned, this headset’s got a bit of heft to it, but still light enough to be a comfortable companion for those longer sessions.
As I said, it’s difficult to hear anything outside of your game while wearing it so you’ll still want to take breaks, but I never ran into any pain while keeping it on for a long period as I did with Microsoft’s headsets.
This is a wireless headset, so you’re going to have to keep the AG 7 charged via USB. The device’s specs say it’ll run for 16 hours on a full charge, and I’m afraid I’m not hardcore enough to play for that long at a stretch – caffeine be damned. Instead, I plugged the headset in whenever I was done with it and never encountered any battery problems. Maybe the more dedicated gamer might have to stop playing to charge up, but if you’re spending 16-hour marathons in one sitting you’ve got more pressing issues than keeping a battery charged…
My only real disappointment with the AG 7 was the fact that the device is only usable with the Xbox One. It’s a solid device all around and I’d have loved to use it on other platforms, but that’s not going to happen. While a PC will recognize the device’s transmitter, it simply refuses to play ball on anything but Microsoft’s console. I asked PDP’s representative about this and his response was that the security features necessary to make the AG 7 work with the Xbox One prevent it from working anywhere else, so it’s ‘Bone or bust here. This isn’t a dealbreaker if you’re after an Xbox One headset, particularly since quality wireless options for that console are hard to find and costly at best, but if you want a general-purpose device for your PC or other consoles, you’ll want to look at one of PDP’s other products.
If a quality wireless Xbox One headset is what you’re after, the PDP’s Afterglow 7 Wireless Headset should feed your need. The sound quality is impressive, especially when it comes to FPS titles that define the ‘Bone’s lineup, and the microphone gets the job done. I had few complaints about the build quality and features on offer, but keep in mind it’s actually one of the less expensive wireless choices at around $100, and (for what it’s worth) it looks pretty cool as well. That’s really all it takes to earn a recommendation from me. Check out the AG 7 for your sound-related needs on the Xbox One.