With such a huge range of headsets available on the Xbox 360, choosing just one to fulfill all your gaming needs can be a difficult task. When we look for a headset we are usually focused on comfort, clarity, style and affordability. The Thrustmaster Y-250X is a mid ranged wired headset which is at an affordable price, which aims to offer us all of the above but does it?
Out of the box you will find a headset that looks quite daunting, its big size is unlike anything else you will see in the price range. That being said, I loved the overall look. The white and green traditional Xbox colors are a great touch and it certainly looks the part. I was particularly impressed by how robust the Y250X felt, this is a well built, strong piece of kit which undoubtedly would stand the test of time. When pulled and strained the headset did not buckle, and despite its size it was extremely flexible with no signs of any weak points that usually hinder headsets. There is thick leather padding on the earpads and more notably on the headband which is soft enough to make me feel this headset was designed with comfort in mind.
The detachable mic piece is a real winner. Providing flexibility and versatility in equal measure, it doesn’t look like it will be intrusive and can bend in to an position you require with ease. The controller on the cable looks solid and has a variety of options for the user. The Y250X has a number of available variables, most notably one called ‘mic gain’. This will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone when talking which is a neat feature. You can also change the Bass, Chat and Game volumes and comes with a handy on off switch for both Voice and Mic. It also has an LED which is either Red when Voice is off and Turns Green when it’s on, letting you know if you’re actually talking to your friends and giving you the option of shutting them out with ease when in a conversation in real life.
You will find everything you need in the box to get you started, no added extras required. The cables supplied are made from Plenum, which will be strong enough to avoid splitting with every day wear and tear. One of the impressive things I noticed initially was the length of the cable supplied. It is a whopping 5.2 meters! which is plenty long enough for any situation. Also included in the box was the usual connectors, among these being a 2.5mm jack in to the control pad which has ample length and a 3.5mm jack in to the headset controller. It all connects and is powered by USB, the standard format in good quality wired headsets and set up using the component cable I already have for my 360.
In game use
After setting the headset up in less than 5 minutes I was ready to go. When you put the headset on it doesn’t feel intrusive at all, in fact it is like I suspected, a comfortable experience. Because of the extra padding it can look quite wide on your head but don’t let this deter you, it all adds up to being perfect for long gaming sessions. I suspect this is what the design is for, with a real effort to solve the problem of headaches and pains caused by conventional headsets. After a long 5 hour session I barely noticed I was wearing the headset, with no rubbing or aches. The microphone was never intrusive and sat comfortably in my desired position without straying.
I tried the Y-250X with a number of FPS games, notably Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts. The 50mm drivers really shine through, this coupled with ability to adjust the bass left me with a ‘booming’ experience. Every bullet sounded more authentic, every footstep closer and background noises became more apparent and relevant than ever. The sound quality was crisp and clear and was a significant improvement on the traditional Xbox headset. Adjusting the bass made explosions sound more deadly and real than ever, with the balanced frequency on a variety of different tones adding to the authenticity. This is a feature where Thrustmaster have excelled in, creating a perfect balance where every pitch tone never seemed out of place and didn’t seemed lacking in any area.
One of the coolest features the headset was the adjustable Mic gain, which after using I feel should be a permanent feature on every headset. You know sometimes when you’re in a game there are people who obviously don’t have this feature who you can hear every breath they take, every sniffle they make and this can be off putting. The adjustable Mic gain means you can control what level of your voice you want it to pick up. This is particularly handy when its late at night and you don’t want to shout to be heard and wake everyone up, likewise it helps for the times when you want to be more vocal. It also means you can adjust the level of background noise other gamers can hear, there’s nothing worse than other people hearing what everyone else is doing or saying in your home. The ability to adjust this feature as well as adjust every bit of the gaming sound was a simple process and was a pleasure to play around with.
I would even go as far as to say these are a good option for a standard headphone. They are certainly comparable to standalone headphones, with their rich balanced sound. I tested them out on my HTC One Mobile phone and was impressed by the sound quality on there. They block out background noise sufficiently so you won’t get distracted or interrupted by outside noises which was a huge bonus.
Overall and Pricing
I can’t express how much of a good job Thrustmaster have done here, it’s a perfectly balanced well rounded headset at an affordable price but wouldn’t be out of place on the pro circuit. This is a headset which should last you a long time, it prides itself on durability and rigidness and for that is highly commended. The headset is probably a love or a hate design, mainly due its size but give it a chance and you’ll love it as much as we did. The Y250-X is a headset I would recommend for novices and serious gamers alike, its a triumph.
Currently the Thrustmaster Y-250X is available on Amazon in the UK for a price of £43.08 here or Amazon in the US for $65.99 here. For £43 this headset is a steal, it thrusts itself ahead of its competition within its price range mainly due to comfort and variety of features. There is also a PC and PS3 version of this headset, you can check out the full range of Thrustmaster products by visiting their website here.