Review Price £67.56
Setting the HS-1200 up is really simple as far as the hardware is concerned: simply plug in the transceiver, pair it with the headset as described in the manual and you're good to go. However, you'll need to install Creative's software before hooking things up, and it's not the most straightforward to get through. At the very minimum, you'll need to install Creative's Alchemy X-Fi, universal USB Headset Driver and AutoUpdate.
Once installed, the Audio Console - which is an attractive visual representation of a classic receiver - is easy to operate. Since the HS-1200 incorporates Creative's X-Fi processing, the usual suspects such as EAX HD and X-Fi Crystalizer are on hand for enhanced gaming effects.
Creative isn't a stranger to high-end audio gear so it comes as no surprise that despite their small size, the HS-1200 headset puts in a good performance. Driven by 40mm Neodymium magnets, sound has plenty of depth and warmth and bass is surprisingly heavy and punchy. It doesn't compare to a high-end, full-size set of headphones, but for on-ear cups the HS-1200s remain distortion-free at up to deafening volume levels.
The only real criticism is that occasionally the audio may sound a little processed or lack clarity - a product of the slight bias towards bass, but that's fairly common on gaming-oriented sets where emphasis is placed on bringing out earthy explosions over high-frequency effects. There's little to fault with the microphone, which does an excellent job of picking up your voice and filtering out background noise.
When it comes to value for money, the HS-1200 headset does quite well too, not least because there's very little that competes with it on price and performance. In fact, at £55 it's pretty darn good value if you're looking for a wireless headset.
Overall, the Creative HS-1200 Digital Wireless Gaming Headset is a decent effort: it is well-built and offers a whole range of effects that actually work quite well depending on the material. It's also very affordable, so you needn't break the bank to banish those wires. However, it does have its faults, including a slight lack of clarity and Windows only support. Most important, though, is that the set can become uncomfortable after an hour or so, which is ultimately the difference between a good headset and a really good one.
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