There’s usually one surefire way to make me despise a piece of gaming equipment, and that’s to play into the age-old stereotypes of the community. From the first time I laid eyes on the packaging, I was overcome with my usual knee-jerk reaction to the cringe-worthy “NEVER RETREAT,” and “NEVER SURRENDER” nonsense splattered all over sections of the box. And with a product name like PLYR 2, Skullcandy was just asking for me to hate everything about its latest wireless gaming headset. That said, I was wrong. I had to push aside my gut reaction to everything surrounding the headset, because underneath all that obnoxious marketing is a good product.
Made to work with the PC, 360, and PS3, the PLYR 2 headset comes with the headset itself, a wireless receiver, and all the necessary chords to connect to each of these devices. Setup is simple enough, with the PC only needing one USB slot, and after a few seconds of installing drivers, the headset is in working order. Consoles function much the same way, with the most complicated being the PS3, and even that only requires a simple alteration to the sound settings. Although, it is worth mentioning that if you use an HDMI cable, you might run into some complications when connecting to a console. But, these hindrances are minor and usually only required a restart of said console. My main complaint with the general physical setup of the headset is that the cord used for charging purposes measures only a few feet. If you need to charge in a pinch, you’ll end up sitting with the receiver in your lap, hoping you don’t accidentally knock anything over.
Volume levels, as well as the balance between game and voice audio, can be adjusted with a little knob on the right side of the headset. While it’s great to have that level of control on the fly, the knob itself does feel a bit flimsy to the touch, and fine tuning the audio levels can be frustratingly inaccurate. This isn’t to say that the sound quality is bad. Games were as full and bombastic as could be expected, and I never encountered any hiccups or disturbances in the quality.
But the most important aspect a headset needs to get right is comfort, and this is where Skullcandy really shines. The earcups are covered in a soft cloth that, even after a few hours of use, never aggravated the skin. All too often, headsets of this type can put too much pressure on one’s ears, and in the worst cases pinch their edges. I hardly ever found this to be the case. As for size, the set will hold its shape, and could accommodate even my rather large head. Once you tweak the overall shape of the headset to what’s right for your head, the PLYR 2 will hold its shape, and feel just fine for hours at a time.
The mic is made out of a pliable material, giving it the ability to bend into any shape necessary, and can just as easily be placed straight up, where it automatically mutes itself. The only downside I could find regarding the mic dealt with its output volume. When communicating via certain chat programs, others occasionally found it difficult to hear me, even when the correct settings had been manipulated.
If you’re looking for something a bit more flashy than the average headset, the PLYR 2 has you covered as well. Currently available in black, white, and teal, you are given more options than the average high-end piece. Even as someone with more simple tastes when it comes to design, usually fancying basic monotone looks, the overall appearance grew on me quite quickly. Visual accents don’t scream at you, and logos aren’t plastered over every surface. It’s really pretty subtle, considering how the headset is presented in the box art and promotional images.
Are there better headsets out there? Sure. But this can lead down a slippery slope which can end with you dropping a few hundred dollars. The PLYR 2 headset will give you an affordable option that is both comfortable, and easy to set up. For the $129.99 price tag, the Skullcandy PLYR 2 headset is damn good.
The PLYR 2 was developed by Skullcandy. A review unit was provided by the company for review purposes.