It’s fair to say that the Xbox One has had a tough time in its still fairly infant life span, from all the business with DRM, Kinect or no Kinect and other such stumbling blocks. One of the most memorable for those who were brave enough to invest in Microsofts next-gen machine was the ongoing issue of headset support. Sure, we all knew that headsets that once worked with your trusty 360 wouldn't have much chance of being compatible with a brand new Xbox One, but none of us expected the console to struggle to support any headset at all.
After some shaky PR speak and muddled messages, the solution was simple. Attach a small adapter to your controller, give it a quick update and bobs your uncle, you've got game sound and chat, all crystal clear and wireless. Sort of.
It’s been some time since all that hassle, and it seems most issues have been sorted, albeit apart from Dolby 5.1 surround sound capabilities being limited to your home theatre set up, meaning you’re stuck with stereo for now. That aside, this means there’s quite a choice of cans out there for you to choose from.
Having been a fan of Turtle Beach for some time, good experiences with their support staff goes a long way in my book, I was keen to try out their new ‘top end’ Xbox One headset, the XO Seven. I’d heard some good things, they looked nice and if E-Sports players were using them, then I was sure they'd be comfortable enough for my long, sleepless nights filled with nothing but explosions and gun shots.
After some serious testing, I was happy to know that Turtle Beach have once again delivered a quality product and could easily be described as one of the best choices for anyone looking to grab a decent headset for the Xbox One.
Straight out of the box, you’ll find the XO Seven extremely easy to set up. Simply pop the headset adapter (supplied of course) into your control pad and update when prompted. Plug the headset cable into the adapter and you’re away. Completely untethered from the console itself, which is great news for those who want some wiggle room.
The mic can be removed at will and despite some reviews I’ve seen commenting on how flimsy it is, I found it to be just right in all fairness. Constructed of a single, plyable metal rod I had no issues moving it into my desired position.
The headset itself is extremely comfortable, padded up to the nines and finished off with soft leather ear cups and head band. I felt extremely happy to be wearing these for long periods of time, with none of that head compression that some other headsets seem to punish you with. Perhaps the only downside is that the leather tended to make my ears warm up a bit quicker than I imagine a cloth based material would have but this didn't really bother me, gaming in a small room filled with electronics is a heat enduring business anyway.
Regardless of all the aesthetics, sound is key with all headsets and thankfully the XO Seven really does deliver a beautiful array of sounds to tickle those ear drums. Boasting a set of 50mm Neodymium Speaker Drivers, the bass is deep and meaty while the mids and highs sing just as you would expect and despite the lack of Dolby 5.1 surround sound support, the stereo delivered is still pure quality.
This clarity is something that transfers to in game chat, I was able to hear my friends as clear as a bell and have been told that the same can be said of the audio delivered from the XO Seven microphone. A snag for some will be the lack of options to hear yourself in the headsets mix but for me this wasn't really a problem. I’ve never been a fan of listening to my own voice, and even though the noise cancelling nature of the XO Seven can leave you unsure just how loud you're talking (or indeed shouting) it just wasn't an issue that affected me in any real way.