Any gamer who plays at night knows how important it is to have a solid set of headphones. We've looked at solutions in the past for Xbox 360 like the Turtle Beach X4s and the all-in-one Tritton AX Pro. If PlayStation 3 is your console of choice, you may want to check out the Ear Force P21. While they don't offer true 5.1 surround sound, they're very comfortable and offer plenty of customization features to suit your individual gaming needs.
The P21s come in all black plastic. The adjustable padded headband connects the earcups, which are covered in a shiny black shell. Each cup is cushioned with a mesh cloth that we found comfortable over long rounds of PlayStation 3 gaming.
When held, the headset does feel a bit cheap, especially where the earcups attach to the headband. There's a certain hollow characteristic to them--fortunately this did not carry over to the headset's overall performance, more of which we'll get to later on.
Out from the left earcup protrudes the boom mic. It's quite long and completely adjustable, so you'll have no trouble getting it placed perfectly. The tip of the microphone has two listening areas, one for your voice and one for ambient noise, which the headset itself will deflect. We really liked the fact that the boom can swivel 360 degrees out of sight when not in use.
A few feet down the connecting wire rests the in-line control box, which can be clipped onto your clothing if desired. On the box you'll find various switches and knobs allowing you to mute the mic, control chat, game, and bass volume, in addition to enabling Expander mode (which tries to give you fuller overall sound). That said, we enjoyed our game time better with the mode turned off.
Setting up the P21 headset is simple enough thanks to its bypass-capable RCA analog audio connections. The ports can attach right where your PlayStation 3 wires hook into your TV or receiver, preventing the need to constantly switch out wires when you want to use the headset. The cable length is also very generous, giving you up to 16 feet to work with. An included USB extender allows for the headset to hook into your PS3 when chatting.