Creative WoW Wireless Headset Review

March 21, 2010 | 04:50

Tags: #battery-life #distance #headphone #headset #perform #review #sound-blaster #wireless #world-of-warcraft #wow

Companies: #blizzard #creative #test

WoW me. Or, not.

While not everyone in the office loved the size and shape of the headset, most of us felt they fitted very well and were pleasantly light considering the chunkiness. It's worth noting that the plastic that extends and rotates the earpieces does look and feel a bit fragile, so we'd find something else to throw about should a fit of rage-quit strike you.

The microphone has a mute button on the earpiece, and is detachable so you can use the headset as normal headphones should you want. The mic can be easily wangled into a comfortable position away from the mouth. Creative has said it's working on a push-to-talk foot pedal for those Raiders who run out of fingers and buttons during play too - serious gaming is evidently serious business.

While the on-off and mute buttons are easy to find, the volume buttons of the headset are hidden along the edge of the lip among the WoW rune designs, and are almost impossible to feel for. I could never remember if it’s the front or back that's volume down either, and ended up pressing around with three or four fingers until I felt or heard some sort of response. None of the bit-tech staff fared much better, and we'd all prefer a simple roller, which is easy to feel for and quick to use.

Creative WoW Wireless Headset Review WoW me. Or, not. Creative WoW Wireless Headset Review WoW me. Or, not.
Click to enlarge

Creative claims to have spent three years developing these headphones from the ground up with Blizzard, but we seriously think the headphone sidelights should never have left the drawing board. For a start, the lights look ridiculous, and on a more practical level, they just drain the battery. Most annoying is the fact that these lights inflate the price of what was already going to be a pricey bit of kit - paying for great quality sound and rock-solid wireless reception we can accept, but we don't like having to pay extra for pointless, battery-draining sidelights.

Creative WoW Wireless Headset Review WoW me. Or, not. Creative WoW Wireless Headset Review WoW me. Or, not.
Click to enlarge

CONCLUSION

Creative has clearly worked very closely with Blizzard to make a headset that integrates in every way possible with World of Warcraft. However, that's not necessarily a good thing, as not all of those WoW extras or useful, fun or desirable, even (we suspect) for avid fans of the game. The WoW-skinned software isn't as clean or clear as we'd like, the volume buttons are hidden the WoW runes of the earpieces to an annoying degree, and the sidelights are actually detrimental to the concept of the product.

But it isn't all bad - all of the non-WoW things that this headset delivers are very good or excellent. The sound quality was brilliant, and we were happy with the battery life too - two and half days between charges is fine, even if we have seen wireless headsets with even more life. The wireless reception itself was excellent, with great range and no loss in audio quality as we wondered around our office. Even the installation was remarkable for its ease. Take off the WoW branding and add-ons, add a volume dial instead of buttons, and this is an incredibly good wireless headset.

Creative have made the WoW branding as important to this headset as the audio and wireless aspects. It’s a shame, because while we really like how the headset sounds and feels, we'd never end up buying it. In fact, the set I have from Creative is going to undergo some serious modding to remove all the superfluous fluff! Couple that to the fact that when we asked you, the bit-tech readers, about game branding, we saw an almost unanimously negative response. Can we have a 'normal' edition of this headset please, Creative?

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