If you’ve stepped in to a retail store in South Africa that sells video games lately, you’ll have noticed a deluge of new gaming peripherals and products from Orb. From DS styluses (styli?) and chargers to controllers, gaming headsets and everything in between, their budget-minded range is nothing if not extensive.
We got the opportunity to tackle their GPX2 gaming headset . It’s a pretty basic, but universal stereo headset with a built in microhpone that’ll work on your PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. What’s it like?
Starting with its physical attributes; the The GPX2’s ear cups are made of a faux, plastic leather and are not detachable (and changeable) like some premium gaming headsets. I wish they were, because they’re actually – despite what it says on the box – quite small. They’re pretty comfortable, but after an extensive session, they can lead to quite a bit of sweaty-eared heat a tingling bit of pain as well. They’re attached to the also faux leather covered, adjustable headband by fairly sturdy swivels, allowing for a fair amount of customisable comfort. The left speaker has an external boom microphone attached to it that can be handily swivelled away when not in use.
Because the wired GPX2 is capable of interfacing with just about every device you own, it terminates in a mess of cables that’ll leave obsessive-compulsive neat-freaks running for the hills. It’s got USB (and includes a 2M long USB extension cable), pass-through RCAs and a standard 3.5m jack. The USB not only powers the headset, but also provides its audio connectivity. At least it does for the PC and PS3. Windows and the PS3’s operating system detect it, to my surprise, as an Orb GPX 2 Gaming Headset, and not the ubiquitous, cheap as chips C-MEDIA device I was expecting. Chat functions, as a result, work just fine – but because it’s all done through a single audio device, there’s distinct volume control for chat – unless you use the 3.5mm plug to feed audio from your TV’s (or PC’s) headphone jack.
Connectivity to the Xbox 360 is slightly different. Because Microsoft doesn’t allow the USB to be used for unlicensed peripherals, you can either use the 3.5mm and plug it straight in to your TV, or use the nifty RCA passthrough. There’s a caveat in that if your TV – like many new sets- doesn’t have a headphone jack and you’re not using component or composite cables…you’re pretty much out of luck. If you’re the chatty sort of Xbox Live gamer, the GPX2 includes a little 2.5mm cable that connects the unit’s inline volume control with your Xbox controller.
Audio quality is crisp and clear, but the GPX2 doesn’t feature frills like Dolby Digital virtual surround and doesn’t compete with the Sennheisers, Turtle Beaches and Trittons of the world, but it’s not meant to. At a suggested RRP of R599, (but available for as low as R405) they do everything they set out to do; provide decent, affordable sound and ample connectivity.
If you’re gamer who’s occasionally forced to do your gaming on the quiet, or somebody looking for an all-in-one solution on a budget, Orb’s GPX2 gaming headset comes highly recommended.
Last Updated: January 11, 2012