Gaming headsets can be quite expensive these days, which is why it’s good to see affordable alternatives, for those that like to get a quality gaming experience, but can’t quite purchase the elite Astro A40’s their heart desires. One decent alternative that we recently discovered is the Afterglow Lvl 5+ wired headset from PDP, which looks pretty sleek and discloses a good amount of sound quality to boot. These are minor issues to keep in mind (mainly with the lack of charging), but overall it delivers the necessary bang for your buck.
First off, this headset only runs about $50. Now, there are cheaper models available, like the basic LVL 1 headset that goes for $20, but if you can bump up to this price, it’s worth it, especially if you’re a fan of bass in your games. That’s because the LVL 5 comes with an Active Bass Feedback system that adds meatiness to each game experience. That’s not to say it’s everything, but being able to adjust these levels and get true sound feedback from whatever you’re playing is a nice touch, usually reserved for more expensive headsets.
Utilizing a unique haptic system, you really feel the rumble that comes from the deeper noises in your games. There were times when the rumbling did get a little intense, but some people really appreciate this level from whatever they play, so they’ll feel right at home with that.
As for the headset itself, it’s quite durable, as you can easily make use of the outer shell for the headset while taking advantage of the comfortable cups that go over your ears. Sweat can still build up inside them, as any intense gaming session will demonstrate, but overall they’re very good quality, and pretty easy to plug in and use with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The LVL 5 headset is also decorative, utilizing LED lights that actually perk up once you play. These use the two AA batteries that are included with the headset, which is an interesting design choice considering this is a wired unit. Was there no way to configure it to work with simply charging from the system? I only ask because the batteries could wear down over time with a good gameplay session. At least they lasted long enough during our trial tests, though, up to at least ten hours. Never hurts to have extras on hand, though.
As for convenience for adjusting volume levels, there are some knobs on the headset that allow you to control volume and muting when necessary. I actually did a few experiments with chat using this headset and found it to be rather responsive, with only a couple of minor instances where I couldn’t be clearly heard – mainly due to that thumping bass. Maybe PDP put a little too much reliance in this, but that’s not a bad thing for those enthusiasts who are all about that bass. (No treble – there, I said it.)
While there are some questionable decisions in terms of advanced volume handling, needing to adjust manually for muting, and, again, those AA batteries needed to power on top of a plug-in, the LVL 5+ is a strong headset design from PDP, and an ideal choice for Xbox One gamers that want that visceral sound without killing their wallet.