Skullcandy hits it out of the park again with the PLYR 2 headset.
In 2012, Skullcandy acquired high-end audio systems manufacturer Astro Gaming. Seeing as the Astro A40 is the official headset of Major League Gaming, doing so has given them a head-start on breaking into the gaming community. Skullcandy has since announced a new line of gaming headsets- the SLYR ($80, which I reviewed last month), the PLYR 2 ($130) and the PLYR 1 ($180).
Though these headsets are completely separate from the Astro line, they are similarly built with quality in mind, though they are more affordable. Similar to the exceptional SLYR headset, it is compatible with PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC gaming, and is also well suited for music and movies. The PLYR 2 lacks the PLYR 1’s Dolby Digital Surround Sound virtualization, but utilizes Skullcandy’s proprietary Supreme Sound technology. For its price point, the PLYR 2 boasts great sound- voice chat comes through very clearly, and game sounds and music have just the right balance of bass and treble. Game subtleties like footsteps and whispers come through clearly (and can help reveal your enemies), while grandiose explosions and gunfights sound appropriately bombastic. There’s even three EQ settings if you want more customization- Supreme, Bass, and Precision. For extended play sessions, however, the standard Supreme mode fared best in our tests.
Similar to the SLYR headset, the PLYR 2 is an incredibly comfortable headset. This is a feature that is too often overlooked in favor of sound and mic performance. Though those are obviously important, if the thing’s a pain to wear, it won’t get much use. Even in long gaming sessions, the PLYR 2 fit snugly without too much pressure on the ears- the foam padding does a great job of keeping your mind off the headset and on your game. The SLYR and PLYR 2 are among the comfiest headsets I’ve ever worn – in general, I completely forgot that I was wearing them. It’s also one of the coolest-looking; the black/ yellow combination that I received for review is definitely well-designed, though it also comes into two color variants.
Convenience is a big factor in the PLYR 2. Every button you need is located on the outside of the headset, from volume and EQ to power. Adding to the convenience factor is a feature that wasn’t present on the SLYR model- when you flip the microphone up, it mutes automatically.
Overall, I’m quite pleasantly surprised by the level of quality in Skullcandy’s first line of gaming headsets. If you’re not looking to spend a ton of money on something like the Astro A50s, the PLYR 2 will do just find in its stead. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what else Skullcandy has up its sleeve for the future.