Skullcandy PLYR 2022: A budget-friendly gaming headset, eccentric design aside – ZDNet
‘ZDNET Recommends’: What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET’s editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Skullcandy is known for its affordable headsets, earphones, and earbuds, but the vendor doesn’t bring a new flagship product to the market all that often.
These chairs will add support, comfort, and style to your gaming setup.
The 129.99 Skullcandy PLYR multi-platform wireless gaming headset, announced in September, is one of Skullcandy’s latest gaming headsets.
It’s meant to be an affordable alternative to high-end headphone and microphone combinations.
After testing it out, I’d say this gaming headset is absolutely worth considering — with a few caveats.
Also: The 6 best gaming headsets
The Skullcandy PLYR’s design, called Black DigiHype, is not going to appeal to everyone. The colors used to decorate the headset bring to mind Minecraft blocks. The transparent plastic headband and the eccentric use of color, such as the shot of pink throughout, clash with the more sedate gray ear cups — and are, therefore, an acquired taste.
To assemble the headset, you only need to snap the fabric comfort band in place to protect your head from the harder, plastic edge, and to choose whether or not to connect the accompanying microphone.
It’s a shame that there are no other style options available at present beyond a more expensive Street Fighter edition, as the wireless headset’s audio quality and comfort make it a strong contender for budget-friendly gaming rig setups.
I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the PLYR is to wear. The memory foam earcups of the headphones are a generous size. Overall, the headset is light and comfortable enough to wear for at least a few hours without a problem. I personally prefer to remove microphone peripherals when they aren’t in use, and with the PLYR, the mic pops in and out without a struggle.
Also: The 4 best game consoles
I tested the headset using a Nintendo Switch and a Samsung S22 Ultra smartphone. Bluetooth connections were quick and stable, with links established in no more than a few seconds. Alternatively, the headset comes with a 3.5mm AUX cable for wired connections.
Skullcandy’s headset includes 50mm dynamic drivers and the sound quality, for an entry to midrange headset, is impressive. While bass and sharper tones tend to dull or become irritating at high volumes, it has an immersive quality and detail that will appeal to the gaming community.
When it comes to gameplay, you can also customize your audio experience through an accompanying app — and I recommend that you take advantage of this, as the Skullcandy-HQ app is worth applauding. The user interface and functionality are far beyond the typical standard I tend to expect from audio manufacturers who, unfortunately, often consider apps as an afterthought without much real-world value.
Also: The 6 best gaming mice
The app requires Bluetooth and location services to be enabled. You connect your headset to the app and install any required over-air updates, and then you can tweak audio settings through custom equalizer channels ranging from 60Hz to 12KHz (with Bass, Mid, or High options). Alternatively, you can select from presents including an RPG mode, Music, and Film, and you can also change the volume levels for gaming and chat.
The detachable mic is, in my opinion, adequate but not a major selling point. There’s also Tile integration, which some users might find handy.
Overall, the Skullcandy PLYR is an affordable headset best suited for gamers. There are caveats: You will need to buy a transmitter separately for wireless connectivity with your PC or gaming console, and the style might put some people off. However, as a budget-friendly headset with quality gameplay sound, the headset is certainly worth considering.
If you’re interested in purchasing the Skullcandy PLYR headset, you can pick one up from the Skullcandy directly or over at Amazon for $130. The wireless transmitter is sold separately for $25.