Alternatives to Xbox Live Headsets

Written by courtney keene
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Alternatives to Xbox Live Headsets
Choose the Xbox Live-compatible headset that meets your needs. (headphones and mic image by luka from Fotolia.com)

Though the headset Microsoft provides with the Xbox 360 console is sufficient for using the voice chat features of Xbox Live, the prepackaged headset meets only the minimum audio and voice standards. If you make frequent use of Xbox Live, you will want a higher quality alternative that is both comfortable and durable. Several options exist to serve your gaming needs.

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Plantronics

Because "the product truly becomes an extension of the operator," according to the vice president of corporate design at Plantronics, Darrin Gaddes, the company offers reliable, ergonomic headsets. You can choose one of three styles--over-ear, under-ear or ear bud--all with adjustable volume and mute controls. You'll find Plantronics' Gamecom line of headsets at your local electronics store, making them an accessible alternative to the Xbox Live model.

Turtle Beach

A company priding itself on immersive and private game audio, Turtle Beach offers headsets for any budget. Its EarForce models are made with the comfort of long gaming sessions in mind. All headsets include sturdy ear cups with oversized speakers ranging from 40 to 50mm; volume and mute controls for game sound and voice chat; a feedback-minimising microphone; and an adjustable, padded headband. Turtle Beach offers headsets ranging from the basic wired XLC to the X41, with stereo surround sound and distinct audio channel control.

Motorola

Motorola, a newcomer to the gaming headset market, has a reliable history of headset design and functionality. The official manufacturer of audio communication technology for the National Football League, Motorola has adapted an NFL-style headset for use with console gaming. Motorola designed its headset with audio-cancelling in mind to minimise outside distractions.

PC Headset Adapters

While some high-end USB models offer cross-compatibility, most PC headsets connect using an audio and voice input jack, neither of which the Xbox 360 controller supports. You can purchase an adaptor that will let you use any PC-compatible gaming headset--such as the Creative or Razer brands--with Xbox Live. The adaptor presents a low-cost headset alternative if you game on both the PC and the Xbox 360.

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