As someone who’s been comfortably using in-ear headphones for many years, I’ve been reluctant to splash out on a proper bulky pair of over-ear headphones, but it’s ultimately an accessory you need to invest in if you’re into playing with friends online and prefer something more substantial than the basic earphone and mic that get chucked in with a console.
There’s all sorts of headsets on the market that can offer a variety of fancy options, whether it’s surround sound, noise cancellation, and wireless bluetooth connection - for a high premium price. But if you’re after something more straightforward you can just plug in and use, the Gioteck TX-50 headset is a no-nonsense solution that’s well-designed and affordably priced at just £29.99.
Plugging into any 3.5mm audio input, the TX-50 works on any console and device, while its black-and-orange colour scheme makes it rather neutral too. But although it’s not mentioned on the packaging, it works just as well on the Nintendo Switch when played in handheld, which was one of my unlikely testing cases for the recent Overwatch port.
Like Fortnite, Blizzard have worked voice chat so that it works in-game without using Nintendo’s awful mobile app and whatever splitters you’d need to get that working. I had no problems making myself clear via the flexible metal mic. You’ll still need to tweak volume settings in-game to balance out game and chat audio, though that’s to be expected. The only control over your chat with the physical headset is an inline switch for muting the mic. Just be aware that if you plan to use the headset as a regular pair of headphones, the mic itself is not detachable, although you can adjust its position to be less conspicuous.
The TX-50 never gets deafeningly loud (even when the Switch and the headset’s inline control have volume set to max, it’s always just at a comfortable level). It’s certainly not as loud as my usual in-ear headphones, while on my laptop, I find myself tweaking the volume setting a few notches higher than usual. Nonetheless, the audio sounds great and the headset feels comfortable, with Alacantra cushioning that doesn’t overheat my ears even after extended use.
If you’re a veteran audiophile who’s exhausted your current headset, you’d probably want to upgrade to something more sophisticated and detailed. But if you’ve never owned a headset before and don’t want to splash out silly digits on one with features you may not even appreciate, then the TX-50 is an impressive choice to start with.
Gioteck TX-50 Headset Review
The TX-50 is a cheap and cheerful, but perfectly fine headset that will serve your online gaming needs on any platform (including the Switch for games that support in-game voice-chat, e.g. Fortnite, Overwatch)