1st Place: Sennheiser 350 PRO Gaming Headset
There is simply no underestimating the importance of top quality audio when it comes to gaming, and Sennheiser is certainly no stranger when it comes to high-end sound gear. And though for many gamers the temptation of 5.1 'surround sound' headphones can be difficult to resist at the £100 mark, you're still better off with a stereo set that provides higher quality sound, build and comfort.
As stereo headsets go, this excellently-built Sennheiser PC 350 PRO has it all. The cups are foldable for easy transportation and storage. Together with the adjustable headband, they're also very large and well-padded, meaning you can game for hours on end without significant discomfort, and their closed nature does a good job of blocking out ambient noise.
Unlike the relatively flimsy microphones found on most headsets, the noise-cancelling model on the PC 350 PROs is encased in strong plastic and performs very well indeed, doing an exemplary job of cutting out that annoying background noise. Best of all, you get a separate USB sound card adapter for use with laptops and older integrated soundcards.
It might not be all things to all men (or women), but if you're looking for a headset to take your gaming performance to the next level, the Sennheiser 350 PRO Gaming Headset justifies its high price.
2nd Place: Creative GigaWorks T3 2.1 Speaker System
When it comes to PC sound systems, not everyone needs, wants or even has the room for a 5.1 surround setup. Creative has a long history of doing two things well, soundcards and speakers, and the company has gone to town on its new GigaWorks T3 2.1 system.
The styling is a timeless mixture of matte and glossy black, with a silver ring on the smoothly rounded wired remote. In contrast to the impressive triple-driver subwoofer, the satellites are tiny, and come with elegant metal stands.
Fortunately, their sound quality is anything but small, and these spiffy little units can produce rich room-filling audio while maintaining clarity and detail. Frankly, you'll have a difficult time finding a better 2.1 set.
3rd Place: Logitech Wave Keyboard
Amidst all the glam and hype over pimped-out gaming keyboards, it's easy to forget that most users are just looking for something affordable and comfortable. Logitech is one of the biggest players in the peripherals market, and its experience shows when it comes to the Wave keyboard.
What we have here is a well-designed, solid and very attractive wired USB keyboard, sporting a unique 'wave' shape that makes it ergonomically comfortable. This is also helped by the adjustable angle and integrated rubberised anti-sweat wrist-rest.
In terms of extras, there is a full set of multimedia controls and various shortcuts, including dedicated zoom, in addition to a full set of function keys. The best news? Saving yourself from RSI and keyboard-mediocrity now costs only £20!