The 5&1 Review is back to take on a headset this time. The Skullcandy SLYR headset is the first of three new headsets Skullcandy is releasing with the help of Astro Gaming. Read on to see if the headset is a good addition to your collection.
Skullcandy SLYR headset
What is SLYR: SLYR is the first of three new headsets to come from Skullcandy with assistance from Astro Gaming. The other two, PLYR 1 and PLYR 2, will be out later this year and early next year. SLYR is a wired headset that is the cheapest of the three at $80.
How does it work: Like other gaming headsets, the SLYR needs to be plugged into a USB port on the 360 or PS3 to use (for review purposes, it was used with the 360). It plugs in the normal way, with cords plugging into the game audio to get audio in the headset, but I quickly noticed one difference between this and some other headsets.
The headset itself is not directly connected to the GMX in-line mixer. Instead, it uses a 3.5mm audio cable to connect. The main reason that it’s not always connected into the mixer is so the headset can be used as only a headset in smartphones or iPods.
Unfortunately, I did run into a bit of a snag with the audio cable. When I first set up the headset, I could hear sound out of one side of the headphones, but not the other. I finally realized the problem is that the headset needs to have the audio cable pushed in more than what you would expect. I had the cable pushed in snugly into the socket, but adding some extra force caused it to pop in, giving me full sound.
When I tried to use voice chat on the headset, I ran into the same problem. Fortunately, the solution was the same: shove the audio cable a bit harder into the mixer and it finally started working smoothly.
Outside of the rocky start, I really didn’t have a lot of problems with the headset. The headset fits snugly around the ears, and I was told the voice came in clearer than my Turtle Beach headset. Another bonus is that some feedback my Turtle Beaches were giving when playing Borderlands 2 is not happening with the SLYR, but I chalk my TB problems up to age.
The microphone doesn’t have a lot of flexibility because it’s built with hard plastic that fits into a slot on the mic and flips out. I didn’t have any problems with the mic picking up my voice, even being farther away from my mouth than normal, and the sliding up to hide it was a good feature when I didn’t want to use it.
The other annoyance I had with the headset is with the mixer. The mixer has three different modes (Bass, Supreme and Precision), along with the ability to change the master volume and balance between the game and voice volume. For some reason, you’re not able to individually change the game and voice volumes. You have to set a master level and then try to find a perfect balance between the two. I still haven’t found a balance I like to be able to hear both friends and games. Why couldn’t there be two separate volume controls? Hopefully, the other headsets will have that feature.
Why should you care: The quality of the headset is actually very nice. Compared to Skullcandy’s first gaming headset try, you can really see how the assistance from Astro Gaming has really paid off. Plus, unlike other gaming headsets, you can just use these solely for musical enjoyment as well outside of gaming. The $80 price point is a bit higher than some of the headsets, but won’t break the bank.
Who should buy it: Gamers needing a new headset or gamers that want decent sound quality without spending over $100. The quality is good but won’t top headsets that are surround sound and top-of-the-line. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, it can save you a bit of money on new music headphones if you need those as well.
When should you get it: Whenever you need a new headset. These are good, but I’d say they aren’t worth rushing out and immediately grabbing if you already have a working headset. Still, if you’re in the market for some, give this a look.
Where is it available: The easiest place to find these is at Skullcandy’s website, where it’s available in three colors. GameStop’s website also has them listed, but at a higher price.