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

It's like wearing a cell phone headset. Oh, wait, it is one.

David Carnoy

David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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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.


Plantronics Xbox Gamecon X20 Head Set

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.
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.

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.