Communication in video gaming has become more and more important over the years. Team work and strategy is an essential part when it comes to the need to win. How else are you going to tell your team mates that they need to hold point B or go for the flag? In the multiplayer mayhem that is the Virtual battlefield, a team that communicates, wins.
In order to do this, headsets are an increasingly essential mainstay of the modern gamer. With this in mind companies have flooded the market with all manner of headsets with all manner of price tags to go with them. Ranging from £10 to £300 and above shows just how varied the market is.
Gioteck have been making headsets and communication devices for gamers for some time now and have a great range for gamers to choose from to suit everyone’s wallet. The headset we will be looking at for this review is their HCC mono chat offering. This is a headset from the lower end of their price range, prices range depending on where you look from £10 – £30.
Out of the box the headset looks the part, a nice large ear cup and pad sits on the left side with the accompanying microphone. Adorned with Gioteck’s name and logo along with the families blue detailing that suit the PlayStation, this looks like a nice, suitable piece of gaming kit. The plastics used to make the headset do feel a bit thin but we are talking about a budget headset so price of materials does come into how I judge the overall result.
Comfort wise, the HCC Mono fits well, the is adjustment on both sides to loosen or tighten the fit around your head. I would have liked to see some swivel movement on the actual earpiece for improved comfort but this is usually a feature seen on much higher priced headsets. The ear cup itself fits very well, it covers the ear completely without any need for faffing about and adjustment of either the padding or the ear itself. The right side of the head-piece has a flat panel to keep it fitted tight to the head and this does what it’s meant to. I didn’t feel it pressing in too tightly at any point and to be honest, after a while I pretty much forgot it was there.
The microphone is on a pivot so can be raised up or down depending on if you are using it at the time or not. The microphone itself is constructed from a rubber outer so that you can bend it to suit your preference when it comes to how close to your mouth you want it to be. The microphone works exceptionally well during gaming sessions when you take into account the price of this headset again and compare it to higher priced devices. To be honest I was expecting some fade out or intermittent issues due to its budget price tag but found no such problems. Talking to friends during sessions of Destiny, GTA5 and Driveclub they could hear me chatting quite clearly and vice versa. Speech was clear through the single earpiece. The microphone picked up my voice clearly and I couldn’t hear any bleedthrough of my voice coming through the earpiece which I have experienced on other headsets in the past.
This is a wired headset and connects to the earphone socket on the PlayStation’s Dualshock 4 controller. The wire is plenty long enough for use and has a switch for volume and mute control. Very handy for those odd moments when a friend shouts down the mic due to some unfortunate death at the hands of the enemy. The advantage of the headset being connected to the controller is that you don’t have any extra long wires trailing across your room from the console. Wireless headsets are of course the ultimate answer to this issue but again, these come at a much higher price point.
Overall, the HCC Mono is a fine piece of kit. It handles itself impeccably when you consider it’s price point. I would say that this headset is designed more for either gamers that are looking to replace their original ear bud chat device that came packaged with the PS4 or for those looking to get a chat headset on a budget. One thing you have to bear in mind when choosing this headset is that it is a chat headset and not a full gaming headset in so far as to say that the gaming sounds don’t play through the headset, they will still come out of your TV or whatever speaker set up you are already using. For a full gaming headset you need to look at other devices in the Gioteck range. As it stands, the HCC Mono is a competent device and I can see it lasting a long while a staple headset in many a gamers arsenal. Add to its ability its price and I think you would be hard pressed to find credible competition in its range. To be critical I would have to say the quality of the plastic used could be improved to feel more sturdy and I would like to have seen an option either in box or as a separate product of the earpiece being on the right side rather than left but that’s just a personal preference.
To summarise, a great piece of kit with an excellent price tag to match.