To some, the word afterglow headset strikes fear in their hearts. It also has the uncanny ability to trigger an effect of babies crying, dogs barking and cats hissing. It’s the strangest thing really. Now, I will not bash the headset the whole time, on the contrary, I am going to defend it to an extent. My experience with the afterglow headset goes back to the Xbox 360 days. It was pretty inexpensive for me and I liked how the side of the headset had a blue glow. For those who come here frequently you already know, I am easily entertained.
It was a no-brainer for me at the time. I am sad to report the sound quality was terrible, the reception was more like listening to a walkie-talkie from the 1960s. The mic did not pick up the best quality either but I made due until I picked up my Xbox one. Now, as you can tell I am going to be reviewing not one but TWO headsets today. The first headset is going to be the Afterglow AG9+ Wireless and the second one will be the Turtle Beach stealth 700 wireless. I wrote about headsets for the Xbox and wanted to do a more hands-on review for everyone. Let’s begin!
The After Glow AG9+
These days it’s a little difficult to find too many atrocious 3rd party accessories. We used to have Mad Cats, they were just a well full of awful. Now, gaming companies have realized that quality needs to be a part of the product they’re trying to sell. No one is really quick to just give their money away these days. Especially for those who take their gaming seriously, they know their stuff and will not buy anything with bad quality. My experience with the one ear afterglow headset from my 360 left a very bad taste in my mouth. I will be giving my honest opinion here though, not to worry.
To start, the gimmick of the headset glowing different colors is still here. Instead of one earpiece glowing you of course now get two. Which is great and entertaining! Ahem, I digress, moving on. The look of the headset is very appealing and fits over the ears very nicely. It’s adjustable like any other headset but from the headband to the earpieces it can only be adjusted up and down. The earpieces themselves are fixed which is annoying but that’s just my personal opinion. A great quality though is its glasses friendly, that accommodates a lot of people out there. The plastic that covers the earpieces feels pretty strong and durable. I still wouldn’t try to slam the headset very hard if you have a tendency of getting red in the face from games. The last thing I want to bring up is the overall comfort of the headset. The cushion that is used felt very nice. It’s a woven fabric like many other headsets, the earpieces and the headband have the same type of cushioning. All in all, it was comfortable when I used it to watch some YouTube. For an aesthetic point of view and comfort aspect, the headset is pretty nice and does not feel or look cheap.
But Does It Work?
The short answer to that question my friends is yes. This wouldn’t be much of a review if I stopped there though and I do have a bit more to say about the functionality of it. The headset comes equipped with 50mm drivers in the earpieces which are supposed to make the quality of the audio better. Just because they are big drivers doesn’t mean they will be top-notch though. I am glad to report the audio was good, it wasn’t the best but a far cry from the worst I have heard. This, in particular, makes me happy as I was dreading even picking them up from what I remembered of the last pair I bought. Here comes the important part of why a lot of gamers buy headsets, the online communication.
After testing the audio by watching YouTube videos for an hour I took this bad boy for the ultimate spin. I logged online and waited patiently until one of my friends came on. To my dismay, however, the conversation did not go well. My friend and I are fine don’t worry, it was the output from the mic I am talking about. He wasn’t able to really understand a lot of what I was saying because I would keep going in and out. Not only that, but the audio on his end would keep spiking, meaning, of course, my voice would go from normal sounding to a lot higher volume. I wasn’t even yelling and it was doing that. The problem may lay in the mic itself.
One of the features of the mic is that it is detachable. Which is great if you want to just use them as headphones to listen to movies or whatever you feel like listening to by using the jack that comes with it. The mic is also set in a fixed position, you cannot adjust it up or down. Another feature on the mic is it has noise canceling capabilities. That means the mic is going to pick up the closest sound, your voice usually, and stop picking up anything as soon as the noise stops. All of these features I believe worked against the headset, the main reason I bought them was to talk with friends online. If I can’t do that, then they are really useless to me. I very well could have bought a faulty pair, it’s entirely possible. For the price of a wireless headset, it’s great, it doesn’t hurt your wallet much and the quality is a vast improvement on what they used to push out. You can buy this headset for younger people who are just getting into gaming and you should be fine.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700
Upon returning the headset, I was determined to get something else to write about. I love my one ear Turtle Beach Recon headset but I really wanted a wireless headset to sink my teeth into. I took to stick with what I know and picked up the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. The first thing you will notice with this headset is that there are no gimmicks, no flashing lights on the earpieces (bummer) and no detachable mic. The headset looks like it means business, the black and green color scheme works and is appealing to the eyes. Aside from the color scheme, the earpieces can actually move independently from one another. Think of a DJ who can take just one earpiece to listen to the music and leave the other open to listen to the output on the speakers.
The headset is pretty comfortable as well. Which is very important when you’re wearing them for sometimes hours on end. Instead of the cloth with padding, this set goes the route of leather. It’s not real leather but a synthetic type, which still feels nice. I liked the cloth on the other set personally but a lot of people may enjoy this better. The headband uses the same type of material as well, overall the comfort factor is there and prominent. To the touch, the headset feels like a great piece of equipment, the plastic that is used feels very strong on the earpieces and the headband. Like the other set though, I would not go around throwing these bad boys around. That would be a shame to destroy such a great headset. The mic is great here too, it adds to the aesthetics. It’s short and more importantly not a boom mic. So, you don’t get the feeling it’s in your face feeling like you would with a lot of other headsets with the boom mic. If you want to mute yourself to have a side conversation with someone in the same room as you, all you need to do is flip the mic up and you are now muted. Very convenient. Now, the important question I know you’re asking is:
But, Does It Work?!
I am happy to report that this headset far exceeded my expectations, so in short again, yes it works. The functionality is impressive and makes things a little easier in general just to use. The headset has Bluetooth capabilities, so instead of having to plug in a receiver to one of the USB ports all you have to do is connect it directly to the Xbox system (MIND BLOWN). It is a bit of a process but not a pain in the slightest. You just need to hit the pair button on your system and the pair button on the headset, bam you’re done. I did the same type of testing with this headset as I did with the other set, to give it a fair chance. I watched YouTube for about an hour and found the sound quality to be a bit better. After doing that I of course needed to do the big test…see how it operates for online communication.
I was able to connect to my friends’ party in no time flat, there wasn’t any lag or anything from what I noticed to connect. After connecting to the party I asked the same questions to my friends, can you hear me, how does it sound etc…after many questions I am glad to say everyone was able to hear me! There was no echo, no spike in volume and best of all I could hear them crystal clear. The music and other sound effects from the TV came in clear while also hearing the party online talk. So far, this was going well but there needed to be one more test. Playing an online match. Halo came to mind, so we decided to go through a couple matches. The sound was amazing, I was able to hear everything around me. Everybody’s footsteps, the guns firing and the noise my character made by getting slaughtered time and time again. Good times had by all! The headset boasts that you would have superhuman hearing, which is a pretty good description I would say.
Besides great sound, a reliable mic that isn’t intrusive and is pretty comfortable, you can also download an app on your phone. Now, why would you want to do that? That’s a great question, I’ll tell you. With equipment such as this, you want to have the most up to date firmware. Firmware basically allows you to update your hardware for those who may not know. Think of it like updating your cell phone, you want to have the newest and best software to make sure your phone is running at its best. This is a pretty great feature and will keep the headset running at top performance for quite some time. One last great feature with this set is that it can connect to your PC as long as it has Windows 10 installed.
In conclusion, my fine reader, which one should you purchase? The clear winner here for me is the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 hands down. It does not push a gimmick to sell the headset, it does that by performing the way it should and beyond in my opinion. However, the afterglow is not a cheap $20 throw away set either. It does have some pretty great qualities and again I might have just picked up a bad headset. If you’re gaming on a budget or again buying for someone who is just getting started in gaming, this would be an OK purchase. If you are looking for reliability and quality I couldn’t recommend the Turtle Beach Stealth enough. Yes, it is pretty pricey, I will not argue that at all. Think of the old saying “you get what you pay for”, this couldn’t be any more true from my experience here.
I hope this helped you out on trying to figure out what your next headset should be. If you own either of these headsets, let me know what you think about them in the comments below. I really would love to know what you guys think.