- Created by: PDP Gaming
- Price: £73.99 (at time of writing)
- Review Unit provided by: PDP Gaming
Introducing: PDP LVL50 Headset – Xbox Edition
Sound design in-game can elevate an experience, exponentially. It can add depth, create suspense, and tantalise and tease where to head next. Video games are such an opulent experience now; with budgets often exceeding Hollywood blockbusters. Even smaller indie titles employ talented musicians or utilise chip-tune sounds to push their titles. It goes without saying that a decent set of cans is a must, but where to begin in an ever-over-saturated market? With a brand that prides itself on performance and design of course! I mean, it’s literally in the company name. Let’s look at the PDP LVL50 Xbox Edition.
The PDP LVL50 headset blends quality with affordability. It’s the perfect mix of style and substance. It’s a headset that has been built for the Xbox family of consoles and delivers high-end audio – more than your plug in-and-play headphones can. While its premium plastic build will put off the most ardent of audiophiles, it looks like a decent unit and the black and green aesthetic makes it instantly recognisable as an Xbox product (the PlayStation version is Blue and Black). Set-up is seamless. Simply plug the provided dongle into a USB port on your PC, Xbox One or Series X|S and it’ll automatically register the headset, with an on-screen prompt notifying you once done. Beyond that, the headset will connect thereafter whenever the headset is powered on.
As the PDP LVL50 is a headset, it naturally has voice capabilities. The boom-mic is located on the left-hand side and can be turned on and off simply by changing the position of the mic. If it’s facing up, the mic is off, it protrudes towards your mouth, it’s on. There is a satisfying mechanical click between transitions which signifies that it has been turned on or off. Unfortunately, the performance of the mic isn’t perfect. While the clarity is crystal clear, its volume leaves a lot to be desired. While streaming, I would often get comments in the chat stating that I was very quiet, despite my levels all being up and speaking at a reasonable level. I found that if the foam casing of the mic was touching my lip, it sorted the issue out. Regardless, not ideal.
On the other hand, the sound quality is phenomenal and delivers an excellent level of clarity. Paired with the deep, resonating bass and vibrant mid-range, the PDP LVL50 delivers sound that does your games justice. It also helps to enrich the gameplay. During atmospheric titles such as The Medium, tension is built through little whispers off to your left or creaks in the floorboard you just traversed, all of which is delivered spatially, allowing the game world to be further brought to life. While I don’t often play shooty bang-bangs, I jumped into a few rounds of Fortnite to test the vocal aspect and found that hearing where gunfire was coming from or approaching footsteps helped me better hide in the attic prison that I had created for myself.
Life in plastic, is fantastic!
Speaking of build quality, the PDP LVL50 has a robust feel about it, that despite being plastic, feels sturdy and able to withstand the rigours of prolonged use. The memory foam padding used makes this headset an incredibly comfortable option and, although I’ve only tested it in Winter, it never felt like I was getting too hot wearing it, instead offering breathability. The battery life of the PDP LVL50 is solid and offers a good dozen hours off of a single charge. I don’t know about you, but considering I usually start my gaming for the day very late at night, that’s more than sufficient.
As mentioned earlier, everything about the PDP LVL50 is plastic, including the buttons and volume dial. They do feel a little cheap as a result but given the high-end performance of the unit, it’s a small sacrifice to pay for such a dynamic headset.
The PDP LVL50, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work with anything aside from the aforementioned devices. For the sake of this review, I plugged it into my Nintendo Switch, PS5 and even my Wii U. Alas, it is designed for the Xbox family and therefore works with the Xbox family. I felt it a shame that I could only use such a brilliant headset with one of my consoles, but there’s no hidden marketing from PDP here, it’s sold as an Xbox product.
To summarise, the PDP LVL 50 wireless headset from PDP is a cracking entry-level, premium headset. It punches well above its weight in the sound department, delivering crisp and clear audio that reverberates and resonates. While the plastic finish might not be for all, this is a headset that any gamer worth their salt should be happy to utilise. The mic isn’t the best – certainly in terms of amplitude – but the 50mm drivers inside the wonderful cans pack a punch that Lil’ Mac would be proud of.
- Crystal clear spatial sound
- Extremely comfortable
- Convenient mic
- The buttons feel a bit cheap owing to their plastic build
- The boom mic is a little quiet