Creative World of Warcraft Wireless Headset Review
While we at HardOCP have been focused on how games look for a decade, we have never talked about how those games can sound. Today we break that trend with a look at Creative's WoW Wireless Headset. While being marketed specifically to World of Warcraft gamers, we find out that they are good for just about everyone.
Creative has been manufacturing PC sound products for twenty years. It began with the original ISA Sound Blaster 8-bit sound card and has evolved into the PCIe X-FI Titanium sound card and beyond. Of late, the company has expanded its focus to include products such as handheld HD-video cameras, MP3 players, speakers, headphones and gaming headsets. Creative’s new World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is the successor to the wired version and it claims to bring a lot of things to the table for gaming on the PC that may surprise you.
Creative is specifically targeting online gamers with the WoW Wireless headset because it has partnered with World of Warcraft’s developer, Blizzard, to market its official headset to the millions of players WoW worldwide. One thing that differentiates this headset from any other is that it is physically branded with customizable lenses for the ear cups to mark a player as Horde or Alliance. The headset is wireless so gamers are free to move about without cords tethering them too closely to their PCs. Many gamers have turned to headphone or headset usage for hands-free communications and for privacy so their gaming sound does not disturb others.
For a [H]ard gamer that plays literally for hours on end, is this headset worth the price and does it deliver great sound? Do you have to be a World of Warcraft or any other game player to appreciate this product? What else does this headset have in store and would anyone ever use it in place of their favorite speakers or headphones? Most importantly, does this product make the gaming and computing experience better?
The Product, Pricing, & Packaging
Currently, the Creative Labs' World of Warcraft headset retails at Amazon and Newegg.com for $159.00. I received the full retail version of the product from Creative in a black rectangular box (identical to the ones pictured) that is heavily branded with the World of Warcraft logo and Blizzard’s official stamp. Simply put, the box is a model of secure packaging.
While we usually produce our own video content, Creative has done a great job showing off the packaging and features below.
I had to take a moment to figure out how to access the product inside because of all the flaps that were keeping everything snug. Once I opened the box from the bottom, and slide the cover upward, I was greeted by another form fitting cardboard cover keeping the headset in place. Behind the headset, there were half a dozen packages tucked away in folds of the box. Nothing was just thrown inside as a second thought. Everything inside is individually wrapped in plastic bags, as it should be. The lenses on each ear cup are protected by thick cellophane and the headset’s headband is wrapped in foam paper to prevent scratches and damage. Included are:
- 1) Creative Labs WoW Headset with Horde lenses already inserted
- A second set of interchangeable Alliance lenses
- Flathead screwdriver to change the lenses
- A 6 foot USB to mini-USB charging cable
- A USB wireless transmitter the size and length of a typical USB flash drive
- One detachable and bendable microphone
- A thick vinyl carrying bag for the headset
- A "quick start" guide
- Safety instructions
The World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty.
I was very pleased to see a carrying case included with the headset. I am always looking for a discarded plastic grocery bag that inevitably becomes torn open on my way to a gaming session, so this bag is a nice touch and a necessity for the mobile gamer. I was also pleased that the cable that connects the headset to my PC for charging is a full six feet long. The USB cable is the braided sleeve type as well so it should hold up to a good bit of abuse as well as being a good length for actual use. There are also pouches sewn inside the bag for the USB dongle, charging cable, and microphone so all is not just jumbled in scratching up your new cans.
Wait, there is something missing….where is the driver CD?! I checked the box again to be sure, but no driver CD is included. After reading the product safety guide, I began to read the quick start guide. After I learned how to connect and charge the headphones, I was greeted with a link to download the software. It truly surprises me that a company would not include a driver CD in the box. Many manufacturers have already adopted the practice of no longer including a paper manual and instead putting it on the CD with the software applications and drivers for the card. My feeling of surprise subsided and I entered the link in my browser and I was greeted with the software download for the drivers and applications as well as the manual. The combined size of the manual and driver package was 70 Megs. If a user is not on a fast broadband connection the download could take awhile. The only reason I can see for this practice is that a user will always have the newest version of software and drivers available when he or she goes to the download site for the software package. And as of typing this, there is a new driver and firmware out that we have not tested, so apparently Creative is staying on top of any issues that might arise, which is of course a good thing.