Headset Review – Gamer Living – 1115 words

My old headset lasted two years, staying faithful and reliable through thick and thin. I grew to fall in love with that old headset and all of its quirks and features: the way it smelled like the shampoo I used, the comfort of the heavy foam band, the teeth marks my cats left on the microphone.  But then, in a devastating coincidence, it perished to old age on the same day as my seven year old desktop PC. Heartbroken, I thought I could never love again.  But now I have a new headset in my life, the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition, and I think I can once again open my heart to allow a new headset in. Did this headset betray my trust, or did it leave me swooning and senseless?

Everything about the Flux is designed to impress. If you’re the type of consumer who dreads the process of bringing a sealed plastic case home from Best Buy, hacking away at it with an X-Acto Knife until it finally yields and then tearing it apart in order to get to your precious purchase, the Flux will be a godsend for you.  The container can be opened in two minutes by simply removing the clear plastic cover on the case.  The case is designed to be reused when transporting your headset, and can be resealed as easily as it is opened.  While the packaging is a minor point in an electronics purchase that will last years under the right circumstances, the clever container shows the care and time that SteelSeries put into every aspect of the Flux.

The SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition comes in two colours: black and white. I use the black headset, which is accented with orange wires; the white headset comes with matching white wires. The Flux allows you to customize the way your headset looks. The  ear cups have magnetic attachments so you can swap out the decorative discs on the sides. I was given a choice between silver and black with an orange logo, or just shiny black plastic. Either choice looks sleek and attractive so the appearance-conscious gamer will have nothing to complain about. If you dislike the initial choices or the colour of the wires, never fear! SteelSeries allows you to purchase new cords and discs online, meaning you can have your headset customized to your taste.

Of course, looks are meaningless if the product doesn’t work well. Thankfully, the Flux is a fantastic headset for gamers. The headset was simple to set up and worked immediately.  There was very little effort needed to calibrate the sound or microphone, and I was able to listen to music and chat with friends within minutes of opening the packaging. While playing my usual games, a whole new dimension of sound opened to me.  On the Fields of Justice inLeague of Legends, I could hear birds crowing and the wind whistling in the background.  In Borderlands 2, I could hear the distinction between my allies’ weapon types and every enemy’s cries and comedic lines. In Team Fortress 2, my performance as a Sniper skyrocketed when I realised I could now hear the footsteps of incoming sneaky Spies and perilous Pyros.  My old headset couldn’t detect these subtle background noises, and game soundtracks and sound effects were muddy and indistinct compared to the Flux. I was shocked at the difference.

The microphone is different than any other headset I’ve used in the past.  I was initially quite confused by the microphone’s placement, leading to a few minutes of fruitless searching for a microphone peripheral in the box.  Once I realised that the mic was connected to the wires via a small attachment that ends up resting against the shoulder, I was sceptical of the quality.  However, the Flux surprised me once again with high quality audio transmissions.  While using the Flux, you will need to turn your microphone volume up a couple of notches to compensate for the position, but the quality is fantastic and I came across crisp and clear while chatting and strategizing with my teammates.

Once you’ve gotten over the lack of a mic in front of your face, the Flux’s mic location is actually quite useful.  If you ever like to snack or drink while at your computer, you never have to worry about the mic being in the way.   As a cat owner, I was glad that there was no dangly mic to tempt the little devils.  Eventually, the shoulder positioning on the mic felt natural and useful.

On top of the high-quality audio input and output, the Flux is constructed very well . The headset’s upper band is a thick, flexible rubber with a plastic core that is both durable and comfortable. There are adjusters above the ear-cups, but they take only minimal adjustments and stay put where you set them.  My large noggin was no issue for the Flux’s flexibility.  Even better, the Flux isn’t stretched out when traded between users.  Instead, the headset remains comfortably firm on the user’s head, never being knocked loose or requiring tedious adjustments.  The Flux can be a little too firm at times, however, and after hours of use the headset becomes painful as the soft backs of your ears are pinched by the excessive pressure.

The wires in the Flux can be switched to different sides of your headset, and there is also an extender in case you find that the standard cord length to be too short.  If someone wants to listen in, he/she can plug headphones into the other side of the headset.  This was very useful for watching movies late at night or sharing a funny YouTube video without having to unplug and replug the headset in.  It was a very nice touch that I never realised would come in handy until I had access to it, and a sign of the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition’s careful design and clever functions.

I once felt that there was only room in my heart for one headset, and after its death that I would become an audio widow.  The SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition taught me how to love again.  Often gamers cycle through headsets at an alarming rate, buying twenty-dollar purchases that break after a couple of months.  I highly suggest investing in a high-priced but durable headset that will last years and provide an extra level of quality to your gaming needs.  It may seem like an expensive cost, but not only will you save yourself the heartbreak of constantly replacing another broken microphone, you may find yourself appreciating the Flux’s loving construction and carefully considered features.  I know that I have been thoroughly swept off my feet.


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