With the new consoles in full-swing, there are a number of headsets available now. Coming in a variety of styles, all with their own set of features, and ranging in price from cheap to nearly absurd. One of these, PDP’s Afterglow AG-9 stereo headset, has a great feature set and comes in at a reasonable price of just $79.99 USD.
The first thing you’ll notice by looking at the box for the Afterglow 9 and even after unboxing the headset is that it’s very similar to the previous Afterglow 7 and for good reason. Short of the issues with the microphone and range issues that plagued the Afterglow 7, it seems that PDP(Performance Designed Products) has introduced the PDP Afterglow AG-9 to replace the PDP Afterglow AG-7 headset line.
While the PDP Afterglow AG-9 shares a lot of similarities with the PDP Afterglow AG-7, PDP has included several new tricks to the Afterglow 9 which sets it apart from it’s predecessor. First and foremost is the microphone, which is longer attached to the headset, not directly. Instead the microphone can be attached or detached via a 3.5 mm connection. While this may seem a bit on the odd side, I think that its a nice touch and pretty useful, especially if the microphone goes bad, then you just need to replace the microphone instead of the sending in the headset for repair or junking it.
One thing to note here is that PDP has stated that the microphone will be available for sale on their site separately in case you ever have an issue with it no longer working or whatever. You can also contact PDP directly and they will replace it for you if you have any issues, which is always good to know ahead of time before purchasing something like this in case you do have issues in the future.
The drivers were equally impressive, rounding out decent highs and lows with both gaming and listening to regular music. For testing purposes I listened to a bit of Spotify and some of my favorite tunes which vary across different genre’s of music. Everything sounded very clear and crisp and made it an enjoyable experience. I even played a few different games such as Destiny, Tomb Raider and Forza 6 on the XB1 and had an equally good experience with game sounds that I had with music. The only complaint I had was with the amount of bass that the headset generated or actually the lack of, which was so-so until I activated the Bass Boost, which corrected that. However don’t expect earth shaking bass for the price of the headset, but it does get the job done and should be more than enough for just any gamer.
And as you can see in the pictures below, you’re still greeted with that signature Afterglow experience via the LED’s that are attached to the speaker housing, which can still be switched on and off as you desire by holding down the mode button and cycling through the LED brightness settings until you get to the one you want. I know some people are distracted by the light that the Afterglow headsets are known for, while others love it. Thankfully that option exists to appease just about everyone.
As for the headset its self, I’m happy to report that the chat and game volume controls on the headset now feature a textured wheel, so they’re easier to scroll with. However the texture seems to be built onto the wheel, instead of using a rubberized surface, which would have worked out a little better. Still it’s nice to see that PDP took that recommendation and improved on the wheels. A larger mode button is featured on the headset, which allows you to switch between the Bass Boost and Pure Audio, Other than that the headset features a line-in connection, which allows you to connect the headset to smartphones, tablets or anything else that accepts an 3.5 mm connection. A USB connection rounds out the inputs, but this is merely for charging the headset and does not double up as a connection for hooking up the headset to anything else.
And for those wondering, no, this does not work with a PC. Attempting to connect the headset via USB or the USB dongle ends up with Windows not being able to detect the headset. The headset is still just as comfortable as the PDP Afterglow AG-7 headset, and feels a tad lighter as well. However I’m not a fan of the headset’s size adjustment mechanism. Instead of using a system that adjusts the rails of the housing it puts the rail on the middle(like conventional headsets), the speaker housing is instead attached on the outside rail/slider on the headset.
Looking at the speaker housing connection I can see that it’s held on with 4 Phillip screws, however I did not attempt to unscrew them to see how exactly the unit was connected, though I’m assuming based on the way it flexes that it’s plastic. There’s definitely some play in how this was designed and adjusting the headset is a little daunting as it doesn’t feel very secure. That said, definitely be careful if you plan on picking up the PDP Afterglow AG-9 headset and try not to use to much force as this may break or damage the mechanism.
Overall the PDP Afterglow AG-9’s are a great little headset if you’re not looking to spend a ton of money and yet get a decent sounding pair of headphones. The one big advantage to these are that they are wireless and that means no cables to get in the way or anything like that. The downfall is that they only seem to work on the XB1, so you can’t use them in other places which is kind of frustrating since they are a decent pair of headphones.
For the price of $79.99 currently on Amazon you can’t really go wrong. You know PDP has great customer service should you have any issues with the product and they will replace them or make things right, and that’s very important. Plus you’re getting a really decently built pair of headphones that sound pretty damn good for under $100 and now days that can be difficult to find. So if you’re in the market for a good pair of XBox One gaming headphones, click the big blue button below the ratings section and pick up a pair for yourself today and let us know your thoughts.