When it comes to gaming and the feeling of immersion, whilst we may have to wait until 2016 to get the next sensory step with VR, the next best thing is having a gaming headset that delivers audio that shapes the whole experience. Thrustmaster have recently released the Y-300X headset and have now began competing in the space dominantly owned by Triton and Turtle Beach.
Whilst Thrustmaster are more known for their flight joysticks and racing wheels they have returned to the fray with their 8th gaming headset and it’s pricing is more than affordable. Nestling in at £49.99 which is the usual retail price for a game these days, they may well have disrupted the dominated headset space with the Y-300X.
The headset for £49.99 comes packed with a number of features including -40db quality microphone for crystal clear voice chat, 60mm drivers for rocking vibrating bass, plug and play compatibility with the Xbox One, memory foam comfort and something they call “well balanced frequency response curve” which is said to dynamically change the headsets response to audio dependent upon the game that you play.
Aesthetics and Design
The Y-300X is light and features memory foam padding and Y design to ensure comfort for the user with an adjustable head mount to fit just about every head except for Sloth out of The Goonies. It’s a comfortable headset The headset microphone interestingly isn’t flexible like the coiled flexible ones we’re used to seeing on Turtle Beaches, instead it can be pivoted up and down and disconnect from the headset entirely. This ensures that the inner-workings of the microphone remain connected through wear and tear, but does present the problem that in theory you could lose the chat microphone if you are not careful.
Visually it’s not the greatest looking headset in the world it looks to the eye pretty chunky and the main detail is the lime green affinity to Xbox One. It’s abundantly clear Thrustmaster have focused on comfort and features as opposed to it’s visual appeal, in our minds Triton lead the way in making headsets look cool.
The 60mm drivers are the most noticeable element of the Y-300X, they are powerful, the bass provides deep tones and vibrations that immerse the user and give sensory self gratification in the audio department when explosions and crashes are appearing on screen. With the “well balanced frequency response curve” Thrustmaster talk about, I also found that the headset didn’t compromise bass for clean voice. I’ve personally had situations before with some headsets where the bass is so overpowering, it’s difficult at times to pick up what is being said on screen, the Y-300X pulls this off effortlessly.
Another great feature is the background noise suppression. Put one of these headsets on and you cannot hear what people are saying outside of the game world, giving you less distractions and more concentration on the game world. This may however annoy your girlfriend, so keep that in mind!
Treble is a little disappointing at times and that is really the only criticism I can make about this headset for it’s price. It does enough to give you high tones in enough clarity to identify what you are hearing (bullet spray, tyre wear) but in some situations it either feels somewhat distant or compressed. It isn’t as pin sharp as we would like, but at the same time you need to weigh into the fact that this headset is only going to cost you £49.99, so you do get what you pay for in that department.
The Y-300X is a surprise, it is a well accomplished headset that leaps into it’s own when used on the Xbox One. Whilst it can be used on smartphones and PC’s none of the internal software seems optimized to deal with the likes of playing Spotify. For £49.99 this headset delivers performance that matches higher end priced Turtle Beach headsets at a reduced price. It’s not the most attractive headset or lightest headset out there, but it is functional and provides the immersion you need in video gaming and quite frankly raises the benchmark for mid-range gaming headsets. Don’t be put off the name Thrustmaster, they may not have the marketing prowess or licensing agreements of the other headset manufacturers out there, but they have proven clearly that they know audio. We’d love to see a top of the range model from Thrustmaster as we believe they could amp the audio quality further with more expensive components and delve us deeper into the sensory worlds we explore after a hard days work.