Growing up, I never really glanced at gaming headsets. Nor have I ever thought about how they would affect my experience or enjoyment when gaming. Grabbing a set of earphones from the latest phone I just picked up or using a headset that I received as a gift always seemed more than sufficient. I mean honestly, why would I need a massive noise-cancelling headset to play on my Game Boy, Nintendo DS or even my PSP (Note the PSP, in fact, came with its own set of earphones which was horrible)? However, as technology evolved, so did our way of gaming. Online gaming became more accessible and it was quite evident that I needed a lot more than just my earphones. And for anyone entering the headset market, the PDP LVL40 Wired Stereo Headset might just be what you’re looking for.
Realising that on my old headset I’d sometimes miss the volume scroll and hit the mute button made me realize that this simplistic design on the LVL40 is worth it.
Upon opening the box and discovering your new PDP LVL40 headset you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a soft and dark grey colour palette. The design is smooth, sleek and just functions so well in not being over conspicuous and out there. This may not be something everyone wants but is perfect for those not wanting to bring attention to themselves, especially when wearing the headset in public if you so choose. Followed by a smooth colour design you’ll soon notice that the headset also has quite a flexible feel to it. Being able to twist from side to side, this should accommodate a multitude of head sizes and ears with ease. This is further accentuated with the fact that it also possesses an adjustable band. This will allow you to either loosen or tighten the headsets grip around your noggin.
Disclaimer, I do have big ears, however, it just doesn’t seem as comfortable as the larger gaming headsets out there on the market.
If that wasn’t enough, it also has a padded cushion on the inner arch at the top of the headset to soften its contact with the top of your head. Moving onto to the ear cups themselves, the PDP LVL40 unfortunately doesn’t possess a large ear cup. In fact, whilst using them I found that after some time, my ears would heat up and I’d have a bit of discomfort. Disclaimer, I do have big ears, however, it just doesn’t seem as comfortable as the larger gaming headsets out there on the market. The cushions are made from breathable nylon mesh ear cushions, which was a pleasant surprise, especially since my usual pair of headsets possess a leather ear cushion cup, which I find can cause sweating at times. What I was quite impressed with though is that although the ear cups did not surround my ear completely, it did quite a good job at cancelling out outside noise. granting me a more immersive experience.
Moving onto the headset’s volume control and mic, the PDP LVL40 possesses a flexible goose-neck microphone that isn’t really the worlds best mic on the market but does an incredible job when playing online with friends. It can be muted just by flipping it up in a parallel position to your left ear cup. And back down to your mouth position to activate. It really is as simple as that, rather than searching for that mute button or hitting the wrong button. Which is actually the same thing with the volume button control. Along the left, on the backside of the earpiece, you’ll find a knob that you’ll be able to scroll up to increase the volume and scroll down to decrease. I was, at first, quite annoyed with this, as lifting my hand up away from my controls to do this felt like a time process…every second counts in a Team Death Match game in Call of Duty…however, after realising that on my old headset I’d sometimes miss the volume scroll and hit the mute button made me realize that this simplistic design on the LVL40 is worth it.
The sound quality on the LVL40 is quite crisp and clear for the price of the headset. This isn’t a surround sound headset with incredible bass to support it. But it certainly can immerse the player into the game. In most instances allowing me to hear the footsteps of my enemies and the direction they’re coming from. Turning up the volume will increase the bass output but it then just becomes a little fuzzy. I’d recommend this headset more to gamer on a budget rather than an all-rounder headset for you to use on the go for your music or watching movies.
All in all the PDP LVL40 wired headset is a rather good headset to start things off with if you’re on a budget and want a simple plug and play kind of experience. Its colour code is rather sublime, but in a good way. It’s really light so that you won’t even feel it on your head after sometime. And the volume and swivel mic to mute on and off is really cool to have on such a simplistic headset.
Although the one I’m reviewing seems as if it’s restricted to only the PS4, I was able to use the headset on my mobile phone and Switch as well. The ear cups being breathable is also quite an advantage for some but sadly, it does fall short within the same stance of the ear cups being smaller than other headsets on the market for around the same price tag. Another pet peeve I had with the headset is that the single cable that usually starts from the one earpiece and travels and converts into the audio jack is, in fact, two cables. Each one protruding from the bottom of each ear cup which then joins further down and converts into the audio jack. In our wireless era, cabling should be reduced rather than multiplied. So how much are we looking at you’re probably asking? Well, the PDP LVL40 Wired Stereo Headset goes for around R700 which isn’t bad at all for an entry-level decent headset, that focus on online play. For someone that would like to rather push longer gaming sessions and not be worried about your ears warming up and paining after a two to three-hour session, I’d say, give this a pass.