Nyko SpeakerCom: speakerphone for Xbox Live
Do you enjoy online gaming with Xbox Live but feel like a huge dork with the Xbox Live headset? Even if you don't mind the NASA mission-control look of the headset that came with your Xbox Live starter kit, you'll have to agree that it's not the most comfortable thing to wear while gaming. Lengthy sessions result in a sore ear and more than the occasional wire tangle. Nyko can aid your appearance and comfort level with its $25 SpeakerCom.
The device works with any Xbox controller with two expansion ports, such as the default Microsoft models included with your Xbox. Just slip it over the Xbox Live adapter, and you're ready to roll. The SpeakerCom doesn't need batteries, and without any wires, you're free to throw your controller across the room in disgust after a tough loss without the wired headset taking you with it.
In our tests, the SpeakerCom produced a clear, loud audio signal. We could make out every word of our opponent's trash talk while playing Madden 2005. It includes a volume dial and a mute button, plus two talk buttons. The only drawback is that one of the push-to-talk buttons must be depressed in order to talk. There's one on each side of the SpeakerCom, and they're easy enough to reach with an index finger. If you are an incessant trash talker or play cooperative games that require constant communication, however, you'll find that hitting the talk button will distract you from your game. It's best used, for example, between plays in Madden to politely point out your opponent's error, not in the middle of a FIFA soccer match or a Rainbow Six counterterrorist incursion.
With a street price of around $20, though, the SpeakerCom is a good buy even for occasional use. If you like chitchatting during games with breaks in the action, we recommend you ditch the Time Life Xbox Live headset in favor of the Nyko SpeakerCom. Operators are standing by.