Published on April 8th, 2015 | by David Guild0
Review: Skullcandy SLYR Headset (XB1)
We have been extremely blessed to be sent a Skullcandy Xbox One headset, who’ve I’ve been a fan of since I worked on a nightshift at my local supermarket. I was suggested Skullcandy earphones by a workmate at the time, as I was on the lookout for some new ones after killing the wire on my previous set of earphones with a knife. I never knew Skullcandy even did gaming headsets, but when I did a little digging I found out that in 2011 they purchased Astro Studios who create some fantastic headsets for the higher end market, so I knew I would get a quality headset.
It was at this year’s GDC where they were showing off their SLYR range where I found out Skullcandy had a headset range and they looked damn pretty. Anyone who knows me has seen my collection of headsets in the office, from my Logitech’s G930s, Giotech EX-05, Corsair Vengeance, and Plantronics RIG to my Astros A40s. My partner tells me I have a problem and that one man doesn’t need all those headsets but I can’t help it, I’m looking for the perfect one!
Anyways that’s enough of the backstory and introductions, we are here to speak about the Skullcandy SLYR with the GMX-1 mixer. The securely packed box came with the headset, instruction manual on how to connect the headset and a 1 metre audio cable with a 3.5mm jack on one end and the GMX-1 control mounted mixer on the other.
The headset has a pretty solid feel, the black plastic headband has some flex but not enough that it will snap any time soon, especially when you compare them to the Xbox Ones boxed standard headset that comes with the console. Plus the best thing about having a plastic body is the weight, the light plastic frame and foam pad on the headband allows for longer use without them becoming too heavy to wear.
The bold green foam earcups has a fabric skin which allows your ears to breathe and shouldn’t have any problems with sweaty ears that you may get from leather like alternatives. I really only had one problem with the earpads, from the look and design they look like full-sized headphones which are meant to fully enclose your ears to block out external noise. Maybe I have big ears but these actually sat on my ears which means I could hear a minimal amount of outside noise like the wife nagging and over time they feel like they’re squeezing my head which can cause headache. I got about an hour to two hours use out of them before I had to pause the game and take a break due to it but again this may come down to my head and ear size as my child and friend didn’t experience this problem.
The stashable boom mic sits on the left hand side and when not in use it gets tucked out of the way when flicked up. I played a few rounds of Titanfall and Halo The Master Chief Collection with some friends and asked them for some feedback, they were impressed by the quality of my voice, no static or echo went through the mic.
The GMX-1 control mounted mixer is specially designed for the Xbox One and looks similar to the official Xbox One Stereo Mixer but with far more gloss. Having the mixer at your fingertips is a god send, I remember playing on the Xbox 360 without a mixer and you had the choice of hearing people within your party but saying good bye to the game audio or the other way round. Having the mixer gives you the ability to have game audio and voice audio come through the headset at the same time but allows you to change the volume on either of them on the fly, no more going in to the console settings.
The sound quality of the headset was excellent. I played a number of games from Forza Horizon 2, Titanfall and Thomas Was Alone, there was no static, echo or popping to be heard. I was pleasantly surprised how good the audio quality was, with it just being stereo and not surround sound I was still able to hear every little step my enemies took and even the feeling that someone was behind me. Driving in Forza Horizon 2 was an absolute dream to hear the turbo whizzing and the tyres hitting the kerb while trying to steal first from my rival.
The headset looks fantastic with its black and green colouring. They definitely don’t have that cheap feel to them and for £75/$99 they are perfect for any Xbox One user who is after an upgrade from the stock headset. With superb audio quality and crystal clear voice communication there is really no need to go all out and spend £140 on a pair of Astros A40s. Yes they are exclusively for use with the Xbox One and you won’t be able to use them with the PS4 or PC but if you are a one console man/woman who cares. They beat Microsoft’s own brand hands down and look far better than Turtle Beach’s Ear Force XOs.
Summary: An excellent mid-range headset with stunning bold colours and great sound quality in both game audio and voice chat.