The gaming headset market is a bit of a minefield. Not only is quality of sound input and output important, but comfort and value for money are also key factors. Sure there are plenty of top-of-the-range headsets out there, but for the average gamer who wants something affordable, they are not a viable option. Retailing at $29.99 (around £19.50 on the date of publishing), the Teknmotion Yapster Blaster is certainly a lot cheaper than most, and is a great alternative.
The Yapster Blaster is compatible with all current consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as the PC, and it ships with an attachable amplifier to improve audio. The headset is not only useful for gaming, it also provides good quality when watching movies, listening to music, or chatting over VOIP services such as Skype. It has an in-line remote with volume and microphone mute controls. The headset is powered by a single USB slot which can be removed to make it compatible with other devices using its pair of 3.5mm jacks. Though not wireless, it has a 12 foot cable, plenty long enough for the majority of couch gamers
The Yapster Blaster provides high in-game sound quality, and excellent base response thanks to the XJacker amp. Don’t expect to hear full surround sound though as these are stereo headphones. For online players of games such as Call of Duty, footsteps are a vital clue to an enemy’s position. While they can be heard using the Blaster, pinpointing an enemy’s exact placement can sometimes be difficult. That said, the overall quality of effects and music can’t be faulted.
The microphone output is of decent standard, even when heard using top of the range headsets. The same can’t be said for the input however, as the amplifier plays havoc with other users voices, especially those using low quality headsets themselves. The headset itself is fairly comfy, and is fully adjustable to fit most head sizes. The over-the-ear padding provides extra comfort as well as sound insulation from external noises. The omni-directional microphone allows gamers to adjust the distance to suit their style or volume levels.
One disappointing feature is the inability to adjust both game and chat sound separately without going into the Xbox settings every time. This is because the two inputs have been merged into one, meaning you cannot mute one without the other. Moreover, when anyone in party chat talks, it automatically turns down the volume of the game sound, which is rather annoying, especially during cutscenes.
The Yapster Blaster is a fantastic, affordable alternative to any of the more expensive headsets on the market today. Though not providing the best quality, it far excels anything else in its price category, and would be an ideal purchase for casual gamers.0