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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 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 reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read
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.


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.

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.