Snakebyte as a company has been around for a couple of decades, but it’s only been in the last few years that they have really started making a name for themselves as the provider of some very interesting gaming products. It is they who are behind the HDMI:Cable, the Gaming:Seat, the Game:Pad, the Battery:Kit and more. I don’t think I need to sit here and tell you what each of those products do – the name says it all.
They have also dipped into the gaming headset market, going up against the big guns to deliver a Head:Set X Pro to Xbox One. Now, we know it’s a headset, and the X certainly signifies the link to Xbox One. But the Pro? Is it really something that will be able to hold its own across the gaming landscape?
Well, yes and no, because while it’s certainly decent value for money, the whole Pro moniker doesn’t ever really fit. In fact, it is a little misleading.
That’s not really a surprise though as the Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro comes in at a super low price, at least for a gaming headset, doing away with a premium price tag and ensuring that Snakebyte instead look to corner the lower end of the market and still just about manage to deliver on the specifications front.
Coming complete with a full black design with just a little Xbox green trim in the most important places around, and on, the earcups, the Head:Set X Pro certainly looks the part. A proud Snakebyte logo adorns the outer reaches of each cup but is very subtle in its design. Other than that you’re looking at a full black unit with little in the way of fancy design. That lack of fanciness is evident in the plastics used to create the X Pro too – they are lightweight and pretty scratchy, failing to ever really deliver a premium feel. It is solidly created though, and the addition of an adjustable padded headband – in black too – is an appreciated addition. The padding on this is a little on the thin side and after a few hours of use will find that you are probably looking for a little more comfort to be in place.
The earcups are well padded though, coming in with a leather look or separate cloth design. These can be switched out with ease, attaching via three simple magnets that clip each cup into place. I’m not really sure why you would ever want to switch between the two earcup types other than when the time comes to clean one set, as in use they very much feel similar, but the memory foam inners of these are extremely comfortable and do a decent job of removing any external noise.
Promising ‘premium audio’, it must be said that I’ve been impressed by the sounds that come out of the padded earcups of this Snakebyte unit. With 50mm Neodymium Audio Drivers which are rarely seen at this price point, both in-game and chat audio is clear, precise and very much of a level you would normally associate with a headset that would command double the price. This ensures that no matter whether you are gaming alone, or partaking in some cooperative play with a friend or two via party chat, the Head:Set X Pro delivers. I’d personally like a little more bass to what comes about, but that’s a personal preference and really not much to write home about. In fact, the overall audio experience that this brings is near on par with other headsets that I use on a daily basis. It’s just this headset is much cheaper to purchase.
That said, it has taken a little bit of amendment on the audio front in order to ensure the removal of an echo in terms of the chat levels. Thankfully this is easily done by dropping into the Xbox One console settings, before playing around for a minute or two with the various volume options. It is never really a problem. I’ve found that as long as you knock down the overall top end volume a little, and make a slight adjustment to the mic monitoring, then that initial echo pretty much disappears.
An in-line volume control rocker and mute switch allows for finer tuning too, saving for the need to go in and out of the volume settings on console whenever you want to crank things up a bit. The simple mute slider is a cinch to use when you need to kill the mic in an instant too.
That mic on the Head:Set X Pro is a pretty nifty little thing too. Flipping out of the left earcup where it is housed, the mic boom itself cuts a sharp line, fitting brilliantly with the aesthetics of the rest of the headset. While I was initially concerned that it’s short length may not allow for crystal clear chat, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, it’s a well constructed length that never gets in the way but still allows for precise chat options. Flipping it back into place when you are done talking could not be simpler either.
That left earcup also plays host to the permanently attached audio cable which includes the in-line volume controls and ends with a standard 3.5mm jack. In my eyes, wired headsets get a lot of bad press, but I have absolutely no issues in plugging this into my controller and sitting down for hours of gaming. The length of the cable – approx 4ft/120cm – is nigh on perfect too; never getting in the way and rarely feeling taut. It’s great that that cable also allows you to use this headset with any mobile or laptop which comes complete with a 3.5mm port too, and even with it turned up to 11 when you blast out some tunes, there is never anything to worry about. Just be aware that they are not isolating in any way and anyone within spitting distance will hear every single note of every single tune you decide to listen to.
With Snakebyte also throwing in a headset hook which will allow the chance for you to hang them on the side of your monitor for ease of reach, and there aren’t really too many things to complain about in regards to the Head:Set X Pro. Yes that Pro tag is misleading as there is little chance you’d ever find a ‘pro gamer’ utilising these over the usual professional grade headsets that cost ten times the money. But then, how many of us really are ‘pro’? And for that reason alone it means that anyone wishing to get themselves involved with a cheap new headset that provides great sound, decent chat options and is reasonably well built, should at least consider a purchase of the Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro for Xbox One.
Massive thanks go out to Snakebyte for providing the Head:Set X Pro for Xbox One for review. If you wish to check out the brilliant products that Snakebyte deal in, then make sure you visit them direct.