If you take your gaming seriously then chances are you will have come across the idea of a proper headset before. Useful for cross game chat, as well as in game audio, they can be a relatively cheap way to enhance your gaming experience.
The Xbox 360 has long suffered from a mediocre headset included, which whilst providing no actual game audio, does give you the capability of communicating with friends. It is however of a seriously low quality, with game talk turning you into more of an unrecognisable dalek than being of any use.
Sennheiser has the answer in the form of the x320 headset, which combines high quality audio with a noise cancelling mic. The idea is that the headset replaces the need for a hifi or any fancy equipment, lets you game in silence so as not to disturb others and get pro quality audio if you play a lot with friends.
The design of the headset itself is typical Sennheiser stuff. Built like anything you would expect the Germans to work their magic on, it is hardy yet simple and stylish. One of the better looking Xbox accessories we have seen yet. The big Sennheiser logo on the top of the headphone band is a particularly nice touch, as is the green rings around each side of the headset. It is just enough to let you know it is an Xbox-centric device.
The mic itself swivels down and can be muted by simply swivelling it back up into a locked position. This means no reaching for a mute key when you want to chat to someone nearby, a nice touch and something which experienced gamers will enjoy.
Plugging the X320 is a bit of an issue, in that, thanks mainly to the Xbox's design itself, it requires a lot of different cables and connections. First you need to plug the actual headset into the back of the TV, via either red and white or a 3.5mm headphone jack. Then from there you need to plug the headset in via USB to the console, to give it power, then after that you need to connect the mic of the controller to a connector on the Sennheiser remote. It all ends up being a bit over fussy and leaves a serious mess of wires to contend with. We can't really blame Sennheiser too much for this as sending mic audio can only be done via the Xbox 360 controller.
Audio quality more than makes up for the wiring issue. At £100 it sounds great, essentially like a set of high quality headphones you would normally connect up to the hifi. Sound is balanced, with enough bass to keep things like FPS titles exciting. Explosions and surround sound also particularly impress.
From what we have heard from those who played against us, the noise cancelling mic included in the headset cleans up audio no end. We also found listening to friends, via the dedicated voice channel (which has its own volume control) sounded a lot cleaner. This made for a good online experience.
The X320 is for those who want the benefits of high quality gaming audio, without the price or added living room space/noise it requires. Having a good mic is merely a bonus, but a great one at that.
What do you think to the X320? Let us know in the comments below ...