Plantronics Xbox Gamecon X20 Head Set review: Plantronics Xbox Gamecon X20 Head Set

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Plantronics Xbox Gamecon X20 Head Set

(Part #: X20) Released: Nov 9, 2004
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Lightweight; comfortable to wear; eyewear-friendly.

The Bad Bud won't fit snugly in some ears.

The Bottom Line The Plantronics GameCom X20 is a good midpriced headset choice for Xbox Live players--especially those who wear glasses.

7.7 Overall

Plantronics GameCom X20

Plantronics's GameCom X20 is the company's Xbox Live riff on its MX150 cell phone headset. At $29.99 list, the price is equivalent to that of the MX150, and the two look very similar. Both offer the company's Flex Grip design and a pivoting, bendable boom microphone. The GameCom X20 is designed to replace the headset that ships in the Xbox Live Communicator package.

We're fans of Flex Grip, which allows you to clip the headset onto your earlobe much as you would a clip-on earring. As a result, the bud portion of the headset sits more securely in your ear. We were able to get a pretty snug fit, though if you have a particularly small ear (and canal), the hard plastic bud, which is covered by a foam pad, won't fit as well. The flexible boom microphone is exactly that--flexible--so you'll have no trouble fitting it to the contours of your face.

The X20--which also works with cell phones--isn't as fancy or quite as feature-laden as the company's step-up GameCom Halo 2 Special Edition ($49.99), which has a bidirectional microphone (the microphone in the X20 is unidirectional but does have noise-canceling technology). In other words, it doesn't offer quite the performance of the Halo 2 Special Edition, but the difference isn't great.

Like the Halo 2 Special Edition headset, the Plantronics GameCom X20's advantage over the standard, neckband-style Xbox Live model is that you can lie back in a couch or a lounge chair without displacing the headset. It's also eyewear-friendly. Bottom line: if you don't want to spend the extra dough on Plantronics's step-up model or Logitech's Cordless Headset, the X20 is a worthy compromise.

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