With so many PC accessories cutting their cords, it's no surprise to see wireless headsets joining the party. To that end, Creative has released the HS-1200 Digital Wireless Gaming Headset. As the name suggests, the unit is targeted at PC gamers who play games that allow you to use voice cooperation. But the headset works just as well for any other PC-based communications, such as Skype.
The headset uses a 2.4GHz USB dongle transmitter/receiver that also doubles as the headset's charger. Creative claims that the headset will work up to 72 feet, but in our testing we found that 60 feet was the farthest we could go without hearing static. The headphones themselves resemble a clash of old-fashioned and modern design. The black leather covering along the headband is accented by chrome sliders above each ear cup that allow you to adjust the fit to your head size.
In terms of comfort, the HS-1200s fit snugly when adjusted appropriately. However, the ear cups do seem a bit small and did a poor overall job of completely covering our ears--we would've preferred larger cups, as found on Creative's wired HS-1000 gaming headset. That said, the cups were able to do a good job of blocking outside noise in addition to preventing what we were listening to from leaking out. The HS-1200s also have a retractable microphone that turns on and off depending on the boom's location. Flip the mic all the way up (vertical) to turn off, and bring it all the way back down (in front of your mouth) to turn it on. While this operation is a bit of a nuisance to start, we got used to it as our testing progressed.
Setting up the HS-1200s is fairly easy. While it is a plug-and-play headset, Creative recommends you install their proprietary software and drivers to optimize the entire experience. (Sorry, Mac fans--the product is only Windows compatible.) To use the HS-1200s, you plug in the small USB receiver/transmitter and hold down the sync button at the same time as the headset's power button. Once synched, we never had to repeat the process again during our testing. The USB dongle also has an AC power plug that will charge the headphones as well. Creative claims a 2.5-hour charge will net you around 8 hours of listening time. But the lack of any sort of cradle means you'll have a spare power wire hanging around your desk when the unit's in use.