Published on December 10th, 2015 | by Tony0
Review: PDP/Afterglow level 1 & Level 5+ Headset + Prismatic XB1 Controller
The last few weeks saw the kind folks at PDP send us over a bunch of Xbox One related accessories to play with and give them a quick unboxing and review for the website. It could not be a better time to get these items out, what with Christmas just around the corner. The average gamer goes through headsets and joypads like you wouldn’t believe, so this review has a bit of everything that you could wish for, and with none of these items costing you over £40.00 if you know where to look they also offer fantastic value for those on a budget.
The first item I took at look at was the Afterglow Prismatic Wired Controller, which costs around £36.99 from the guys at 365Games.co.uk and will be available on November 27th to us in the UK. The big selling point when looking at it briefly would of course be the unique light up feature that the pad offers via the press of a button found on the back of the pad. Press this button and you can cycle through a list of available colours until finding the one that matches your mood and by pressing the button again to lock it in. You can also make it as bright or as dull as you want by doing the same thing but using the left analog to higher or lower the brightness. Finally by pressing this button followed by up on the d-pad cycles through all available colours on the pad like some sort of gaming rainbow glowing away in your hands.
Sitting in the dark and playing with this pad certainly makes it stand out over a bog standard pad, and gives it that stand out look of something only seen on high-end custom pads out there on the market these days. But it’s not all about shiny colours is it? We want a pad that not only looks nice, but also does the job we expect it too.
Now I know what your thinking, “this is a third-party pad, so while it may look good to the eyes I bet it breaks within a few days due to rubbish parts being used”. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case in the month or so that I’ve had the pleasure of using it. Before we get ahead of ourselves here though this is not to say the pad is perfect, as there are a few things that need to be mentioned before we let the shiny lights swipe that cash out of your wallet/purse.
One such issue I can see coming a mile away will be for those who game for a while and who get sweaty hands. With the pad being made of a clear plastic for the outer casing a slight case of sweaty palms can make it a bit slippery to grasp Now normally I would suggest to you to go out and buy something like a SquidGrip to tackle this small slippery issue, but buying something like that would cover a massive chunk of the unique feature found on this pad. I guess it just comes down to personal tastes, and if it becomes a huge issue to you personally then that option is always there.
Another thing that did become annoying is the rumble feature when accepting game/party invites. For whatever reason still unknown to me the pad decides to go off on one when using the menu button to join an invite to a game/party, with the only option to stop it being to unplug the 10 foot wire cable that the game works via. It got to the point where I found myself having to join games the longer way round, as if I didn’t I had to go through the annoyance above. This only happens if when joining you hold it down longer than 3 seconds or so however, so maybe it might just be my stupidity rather than the pad itself.
Finally and this may just be a personal thing was the roller style paddles found on the back of the pad, which I’ve heard are cool for the young kids out there, but for me I prefer the traditional pad. At times I found my fingers catching these rollers and doing something in the game that I never wanted it to, so it became less of a necessity and became more of a hinderance the more I used the pad. Like I said this niggle may just be a personal thing, but I’m here to give my thoughts on the pad and missing this out would be wrong to do so.
Other than these small issues however the pad performs a lot better than I was expecting it too. This is the first time using an Afterglow/PDP product in which I found it more than just a product that had a unique selling point stuck on it which would mask issues that stop it deserving my seal of approval. So unless you’re willing to shell out around £80.00 for a special made custom pad, then kids will love to find this under the Christmas tree on Xmas day to show off to their ordinary XB1 pad using friends. And well, if you’re an old dude like me you can pretend that you’re capable of pulling off playing video games while holding the equivalent of a gaming lightsaber.
Afterglow Level 1 Wired Headset
When getting this in the post I wasn’t expecting anything mind-blowing from it at all and that’s the honest truth. Unboxing it and playing with it for a few hours before the below video was filmed, the gaming snob in me came out where I thought such a budget item would offer just that, a cheap product that would break within days and offer crap sound quality. I hooked it up to join a party fully expecting to have to unplug it seconds later due to shouts of “we can’t hear you” or “you sound like your miles away from the mic” but this wasn’t to be. No things like buzzing or humming were present when using it, and both sound and audio sounded fine for what is a headset that costs just under £12.00 here in the UK.
Now sure the headset itself looks to be made of very low-cost materials, and if anything looks like a headset that you would expect to find packaged with a new console. The earcup found on the headset has material made of that synthetic leather which I hate so much, as well as plastic on it that looks like it will only take being stretched over your head for a few months before snapping. I don’t have a time machine however, so I can only go with the month or so I’ve used the headset for, and for the time I’ve had it it’s done a good job of being a basic one earcup headset. Maybe not picking this up as your main headset if you’re an avid day-to-day gamer, but we all need an emergency headset for those times when something goes wrong with our go to headsets.
Afterglow Level 5+ Wired Headset
The older one of the bunch of headsets released by Afterglow/ PDP over this Xmas period. This one will cost you around £40.00 and comes with some features that we’ve come to expect on a headset priced around this much. This one offering things such as quadboost, which in more words simply means additional bass drivers in the headset that gives it a little more boom.
Other than that everything is pretty much standard with a headset in this price range. removable noise cancelling mic, lightweight design, and just decent sound quality throughout my time with it. Sadly though it also lacks certain things that I personally like on a headset, the headset being wired and the lack of any kind of swivel movement in the headset when not in use being two things I normally go for. That’s me simply nitpicking however, as once again for the price you pay the Level 5+ much like the level 1 will be a great first time headset for younger gamers and those on a budget if they want what will be a decent headset to own.