Tech

One Size Fits All – Afterglow Universal Headset Review

One Size Fits All – Afterglow Universal Headset Review

PDP takes a swing at the multi-peripheral market with their universal stereo headsets. The headsets support Xbox, PS 3, Wii, Wii U, PC, and mobile devices. There are wired and wireless variants that come in blue and green. Here we look into one of their wired units, the AGP.1.

Construction and Appearance

If you have seen any Afterglow product, you’ll know immediately that it won’t fail in the looks department. The AGP.1 has a polycarbonate body (fancy plastic) with notable glowing parts here and there. The LED lights (the glowing parts) on the closed-ear speaker cups and headband can be switched on and off individually, allowing gamers to adjust their appearance from discrete to obnoxiously lit – my personal favorite. The headset sports a dual suspension headband to allow for comfortable resting upon the most peculiarly-shaped heads. The noise-canceling mic, docked on the left ear cup, is retractable and bendable which is a nice aesthetic when you are not planning on being social. Lastly the main input line, also on the left ear cup, leads to the in-line controller of the headset which sports a clip that you should use unless you want a light anchor to constantly pull on the left side of your head.

Features and Uses

The immediate feature to note is what’s printed on the box, “universal”. The headset functioned as promised on all platforms: Xbox, PS 3, Wii, Wii U, PC, and mobile devices. For all cases except use with a mobile device, the headset is powered via USB. That means when you use the headset with a mobile device, its powered via the standard headphone jack, but you wouldn’t have all of the flashy glowing colors. Honestly, if you used this headset on your phone, in public, you probably didn’t want to have a glowing head anyways. For the Xbox, the headset came with an additional wire that connects the in-line controller to the Xbox controller’s headset jack, allowing you to utilize the mic over Xbox Live as you would with any other Xbox headset. On the PC and PS3, the mic transmitted thru USB.

The in-line controller, which also glows, has a variety of controls that allows you to customize your experience. There are two dials: one for main volume and another to balance voice chat vs gameplay volumes. A mode button allows you to switch between Pure Audio and Bass Boost sits right next to a Mute button to mute the wearer’s mic. Lastly, there is a switch that changes the headset between “music” and “game” modes. From the in-line controller, the cable that connects to system you want to use this on extends to about 10 feet (over 15 feet with the extension cable that you would use with the consoles). This is great for pretty much any gaming scenario but I can’t see the feasibility of using a 10-foot-plus cable on a smart phone while being on-the-go. Well, unless you plagued with the desire to jump-rope at random intervals through-out the day, I’d stay stationary with this unit.

Performance and Thoughts

Pure Audio felt like it danced from good-to-great sound. I felt that after long play the sound grew on me; It felt comfortable, entertaining and “right”. The closed-ear cups isolate sound to keep you focused on the quality. With other headsets, I always had that “maybe I’ve been playing for too long” feeling. Points for comfort as I didn’t feel that here thanks to the polyurethane leather padding resting on your ears. After around 4 straight hours of gameplay, my head did not feel like it needed a break from the headphones. There was a slight squeezing sensation when I used it with thin-frame glasses, which I got used to. Sadly I didn’t think too highly of the Bass Boost mode as I felt that the quality dulled for the sake of making your brain vibrate with bass. Should you acquire these, you’d do well to simply stay with the standard Pure Audio.

For a pair of headphones in the $60 price range, you definitely get a comfortable, unique-looking, and truly-universal pair of headphones. While not being too keen on the Bass Boost or 10-ft-cable-hooked-to-a-smartphone concept, you would easily overlook those two when you consider why you would buy this. You’re buying this because you’re a gamer than wants a utility that does what it says it does while not putting a too unreasonable burden on your wallet or your conscience (if it was seriously lacking in the quality department.) In the universal headset department, the wired variant IS $20 cheaper than the Turtle Beach PX21’s and looks better appearance-wise than the Tritton’s AX-180 (which is just a couple dollars pricier). This headset is a sturdy competitor in the universal headset arena. Should you aim towards the wireless model, it will run you about $90.