Logitech's Cordless Headset for Xbox may not cost as much as a Rolex, but at $79.99, it's certainly a luxury item in the gaming world, especially when you combine it with Logitech's $49.99 Cordless Precision Controller for Xbox. It doesn't take a math whiz to figure out that the duo will cost you almost as much as an Xbox system--which, by the way, comes with a controller--or three premium games. But if you have the dough, nothing else out there will give you that Gordon Gekko gaming feeling.
In case you're too young for the reference, Gekko was the Oscar-winning Michael Douglas character in Oliver Stone's Wall Street who said, "Greed is good, greed works," and paced his home office with a headset on before it was fashionable to do so. All we can say is that life is good when you can roam freely around your living room playing Halo 2--the headset allows you to stray up to 30 feet from its transceiver (it looks very similar to an Xbox Communicator pod but doesn't have a headset jack), and either plugs into a port on your standard Xbox controller or the open slot in the Cordless Controller's transceiver. (For you math whizzes out there, yes, the Xbox Communicator with headset does cost $29.99, which means you're really paying an extra $50 for this cordless version.)
The headset, which is adapted from Logitech's for cell phones, can be strapped over your left or right ear, with a swiveling microphone boom that also folds all the way up into a travel-friendly position. The headset is easy to slip over your ear, and once it's there, you'll barely be reminded you're wearing it. A volume control button sits on the headset itself along with a button/LED light that you press down for three seconds to turn the unit on or tap once to mute the microphone. A second, smaller LED flashes red when the battery juice is low, and a warning tone beeps.
The headset ships with an AC adapter for charging the device's internal rechargeable battery (you simple plug the cable into a little jack on the headset). That nonreplaceable battery--and its talk time--are arguably the only potential weak links. You get up to seven hours of battery life before having to recharge, which seems sufficient, but hard-core gamers may disagree. Also, we don't know how many recharges the battery will take before it starts to degrade. (Even lithium-ion batteries have their limits.)
Other than those concerns, we see no significant downsides. Sound quality was generally good, and while we didn't seem to experience any interference from Wi-Fi network or cordless phones that also play in the 2.4GHz spectrum, every once in a while, we heard a little crackling noise or hiss (it wasn't a nuisance for us or our teammates but others may feel differently). Also, audio did start crackling and eventually broke up altogether when we pushed the 30-foot range limit.
The long and short of it: Find a place in your budget for this baby--and Logitech's Cordless Precision Controller, too.