When I saw that Invision was due to receive Thrustmaster’s Y250 series headsets, I was very keen to get my hands on one. Being a musician, I’m far fussier about audio quality than your average gamer and I’ve found that gaming headsets these days always seem to concentrate on styling first, then features and finally audio quality. They also seem to be awfully easy to break, with flimsy plastic being the main material of choice. Thrustmaster has done things differently with this headset, and it most certainly pays off!
The Y-250P has a pair of 50mm ‘High-end’ drivers which provide a frequency response of 10Hz – 25Khz. There’s also a detachable uni-directional microphone, an adjustable ‘double-metal’ headband (with decent padding), in-line controls for game, voice and bass levels and finally a 5.2 metre cable. It weighs a hefty 348 grams.
Thrustmaster provides the headset in fairly standard packaging – a box with a clear window to see the contents. Inside the box, the headset and in-line volume control are held securely in a molded blue plastic insert. The usual (vast) array of wires and manuals are contained behind this plastic. All in all, a functional, no-frills box which seemed to survive it’s trip through Royal Mail well.
As for connectivity options, the Y250-P is the most versatile out of all of Thrustmaster’s Y250 series headsets. The headset comes attached to a small wire leading to a 3.5mm audio plus microphone jack with a clip – a very nice addition. This small wire is used to connect the Y250-P to your mobile or media-playing device. I found it amusing that it even works as a phone headset! Obviously if you’re going to be doing any serious gaming, you’ll want to connect the headset to the in-line volume controller. This is where you’ll find the majority of the wiring (all 5 metres of it) to connect it to your PS3 or PC. For PC, connecting up is very simple. The USB cable goes in a spare USB port, and the 3.5mm jack goes in your headphone socket. PS3 is a little more complicated as you have to plug the headphone jack into a splitter cable which connects to the PS3′s AV cable (remeber the one in the box you thought you’d never use?) Not the most elegant solution, but more Sony’s fault than Thrustmaster’s.
I absolutely love the build quality of this headset. I’m sure most gamers out there have had a headset or three break on them in the past, but Thrustmaster has gone to lengths to make it very sturdy. As the Aussies say – ‘Built like a brick dunny!’. The adjustable headband is very thick and has a strip of plastic and metal running through it. This is that part which is exposed when the headband is lengthened and it’s nice to see something this strong. It certainly holds up far better than the flimsy headband used on the SteelSeries Siberia. There’s leather padding where the headband rests on your head and this makes it very comfortable and gives a premium feel. The Y250-P’s earpieces, like it’s headband are chunky and connected to the headband via a very sturdy hinge – they don’t feel like they’re going to come off easily. The microphone is detachable and is plugged into a port on the left earphone. It’s a very snug fit and definitely won’t fall out. The middle of the microphone flexes, allowing it to be adjusted to the right position in front of your mouth.
As far as the styling goes, it’s clear that Thrustmaster have concentrated on building a sturdy, rather than stylish headset. It’s not ugly by any means, but the look is quite basic- the only colouring is subtle blue accents on the earpieces and mic. The rest of the headset is made of black plastic decorated with various embossed patterns. I never usually worry about how pretty my headset looks, the functionality is far more important to me. I’m glad Thrustmaster have decided to concentrate on this, and making something that lasts.
The Y250-P is a very chunky headset that’s built well, and as a result of this, it’s pretty heavy – 348g to be exact. The leather headband and earpiece covers do a very good job of making it easy to wear during long gaming sessions, but due to the weight, you’ll probably notice it is on your head. I’d still say that it’s one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve worn – the leather makes all the difference!
When using the Y250-P, one thing has really stood out to me. It’s audio quality – it’s absolutely amazing! I’ve used far too many headsets that lack detail in bass and treble, but they Y250-P doesn’t have that problem at all. It delivers boomy gunfire and the twang of ricochets equally well. This depth is even more evident when using the built-in bass boost control, you can boost the bass as high as you like and the treble frequencies are still clear and crisp! When I’ve used this feature on another headset (*cough* Turtlebeach PX21 *cough*) it’s almost completely drowned out the treble, leaving it sounding like a muddy mess. I’m sure the wide frequency response and huge, quality drivers help the Y250-P achieve this. The earpieces are also isolated from outside noise very well, and this helps to give a really good 3D audio effect when playing games and silences any noisy interruptions. You’ll definitely be able to hear the enemy coming! The microphone is good, as I expected. Microphone quality these days seems to be limited by the voice chat service you use, rather than the quality of the microphone. I did notice that it seemed to pick up breath noises quite easily though.
The Y250-P is great, it’s an absolute pleasure to wear and game with. The Y250 series is Thrustmaster’s first venture into the gaming headset market, and if they continue to release products of this quality, I can see them gaining the same fame as SteelSeries and Turtlebeach. However there is one thing I find confusing – why do Thrustmaster sell a separate PC headset? The Y250-C is the PC equivalent to the Y250-P, but reading the specs show that the Y250-C is exactly the same, but lacking the amplifier, bass boost and USB soundcard that the Y250-P has. As the Y250-P acts as a separate soundcard for PC, this brings all kinds of advantages – the ability to independently control voice chat and game sound levels from the in-line control, for example. Not only this, but according to the current Amazon prices (on the date this article was written), the Y250-C is the most expensive out of all of the Y250 series headsets!
If you’re in the market for a new headset and value audio quality over style, I highly recommend you buy the Y250-P if you’re a PS3 or PC gamer, or the Y250-X if you’re a 360 person. I’m pretty sure it’ll last longer than any SteelSeries or Turtlebeach you were considering, Thrustmaster have done a great job here!
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.