Review: Exspect: Xbox 360 headset PDF Print E-mail

With the imminent release of Xbox Live in SA, maybe it`s time you stocked up on some gaming headsets for trash-talking your opponents.

What is it?

It doesn`t get much simpler than this. The Exspect headset is a direct copy of the official Microsoft headset, which you`ll only find in the box of the more expensive Xbox 360 bundle. Those who purchased Arcade consoles will have no `free` headset.

Does it work?

Of course, you need a headset for online gaming. You`re in the middle of battle or 20 laps into an endurance race, and suddenly you mess up. Somebody needs to hear you shout `Ah crap!`, right?

Well, something like that. Microsoft says it is working hard on offering Xbox Live to local gamers, some of whom have already gone through a headset or two – they`re pretty fragile bits of kit, with thin wires and plastic bits.

The Exspect headset works exactly like the bundled Microsoft headset. It shares the same bulky connector with integrated volume controls. While it`s convenient having a mute switch at your fingertips, the bulky connector prevents the headset from being used in conjunction with the Chatpad controller accessory. This, in all of Microsoft`s wisdom, has a conventional mini-microphone socket, and needs a different headset to be plugged into it.

But it doesn`t matter because, much like the official Xbox headset, the Chatpad isn`t sold here.

That makes the Exspect kit one of very few to be available freely on store shelves. It works well and offers everything your existing (or broken) Microsoft headset does.

Should I buy it?

I think R200 is a bit pricey. A quick search of reveals other knock-offs can be had for around R150, and in Europe this same model sells for the equivalent of R110. Having used one of the cheaper, R100-priced solutions, I can vouch that the Exspect unit is better quality, but definitely not worth paying a premium for. Buy it if you have no options, but don`t insist on one.

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