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Geek Gifts 2010: World of Warcraft Wireless Headset

Wally Bahny says any gamer who still uses a 3.5mm style headset will immediately see the benefit of the World of Warcraft Wireless Headset.

For several years, I've used a wired headset (the kind that plugs into your 3.5mm headphone and microphone ports) while playing World of Warcraft and other games. While the headset's sound has been good enough, the product's use of age old ports as well as the wire tying you to your computer and getting in your way is a hassle.

With the World of Warcraft Wireless Headset from Creative Sound Blaster, not only can you use a more modern connection-USB -- you also get the convenience of wireless. With this headset, the worst case scenario is that when your battery dies, you simply fall back to a USB-wired headset modality by using the included charging cable.

The World of Warcraft headset has several visible perks as well. The ear cups emit a color or series of colors, which you can configure using the included software. There are also interchangeable lenses that allow you to customize your headset and show your allegiance to the Alliance or the Horde. The boom microphone is detachable for those instances when you just want to listen. There are also sound volume controls and a microphone mute built into the left ear cup.

Product specifications and features

  • Communication Technology: Wireless Radio
  • Wireless Range: 30 ft.
  • Connector: USB 2.0 (wireless transmitter and headset charger)
  • Microphone: Detachable, for convenience when not needed
  • Configuration software: Allows you to adjust color of ear cup lights, voice effects, key bindings, and volume
  • Accessories: Carrying bag (which has sleeves for the dongle, charger, and other pieces), USB charger, interchangeable ear cup lenses
  • Price: $159.99 (MSRP), $126.02 (Amazon.com)
  • TechRepublic photo gallery of the World of Warcraft Wireless Headset

What I like

  • Comfortable: The headphones are superaural and have a large amount of padding both around the ears and on the top of the head.
  • Wireless: Having used a wired headset for years, I was pleased to not have a cord to contend with.
  • Sound quality: The sound quality of these headphones is great. As with most superaural headphones, you get that all-encompassing sound, but these headphones simulate surround sound, and they do it well, resulting in a rich, immersive sound environment.
  • Usable while charging: Many devices are either unusable while charging or the charging doesn't happen while using -- this headset does both simultaneously for uninterrupted gameplay and minimal downtime.
  • Woven cord: Much like other high-end peripherals, the charger cord for the headset has a woven feel (like a shoelace).
  • Configuration: The software allows the user to change the color behind the lenses in the ear cups, adjust the sound of the game and their voice by using effects, and bind keys to control various features of the headset.

What I don't like

  • Ear cup lenses: The lenses are extremely difficult to remove, and I felt like they were going to break because I had to pry so hard.
  • USB port heavy: If you want to use the headset while it is charging, you have to fill two USB ports -- one for the dongle and another for the charging cable. This could be rough on anyone who is strapped for USB ports.

Geek bottom line

Any gamer who is still using a 3.5mm style headset will immediately see the benefit of this more powerful, better sounding, wireless headset. The World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is a must for hardcore gamers and a great idea for the more casual gamers.

Geek gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ****
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: ****
  • Overall: ****

Want more reviews of tech gadgets and gizmos? Download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2010.

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