PDP Gaming has always been a company I have kept my eye on over the years, mostly because they specialise in the entry to mid-tier pricing of gaming controllers and headsets. Last week we were invited along to their Winter Showcase here in London and I was impressed by what they had on show for PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox One, even coming up with the PDP Level 50 Wireless Headset for PS4 to review which I have to say, was even more surprising once plugged in than it was to see presented at the event.
I should start off by what you actually get in the box itself, so unsurprisingly you will find the Level 50 Wireless Headset itself, the USB Wireless Dongle and a rather generously long 12-meter USB cable for charging. The packaging itself certainly does the job as the box is branded to the PlayStation blue (the Xbox sister Level 50 headset is in traditional green). It would have been nice if the interior holder was painted in the same box colour instead of the generic brown cardboard but that is just a personal niggle for presentation as that is not what you would have paid for when you bought this headset, with that in mind, let us take a look at the specs of the Level 50 Wireless headset.
- 50mm Neodymium Drivers
- Breathable mesh ear cushions
- Easily Accessible Volume Dial on right ear cup
- Bi-directional noise cancelling microphone with passive noise filter
- Quick Flip Mute: Microphone is Muted when the Mic Boom is flipped up
- Officially licensed, meaning arduous testing to meet first party quality standards.
First thing I have to comment on is I really do like the build quality for this mid-tier gaming headset. Simplicity is the best way to describe this headset and it begins with the full-on plastic feel to the headset. It does feel especially ‘plastic’ as well to the touch but what I also was surprised about was just how light this headset really is which I find to be incredible in a wireless headset. The inner ear cups are coloured in branded PlayStation blue and was a little surprised that no PlayStation logo or PS4 imagery is on the actual headset or inner ear cushions, again not a big deal and is just my pickiness for presentation spiking. The other aspect to this headset I like is that its bendy through the headband and ear cups making it very hard to snap this headset, something other headsets that are simply pieces clipped together can do, especially if you take it off without due consideration which has happened to me with previous headphones. The durability of the Level 50 is very sturdy because of this unique feature and more of a common sense design than making putting the aesthetics first.
The theme of common sense continues into the features of this headset as well. Normally on a wireless headset, a lot of the basics such as volume control and mic mute button, are tiny buttons located on one of the ear cups making it quite often a fiddly and cumbersome process to do simple basic things. The Level 50 does two very simple common-sense things as a headset which I feel does make it stand out even more. First the mic itself has a long boom arm attached to the left ear cup and while at first it does look a little too long, the arm allows you to position the mic exactly where you want it to be and never once feeling like you are over doing it or that the mic arm could break.
The mic itself is a good quality, my gaming party could hear me clearly with it even in intense firefights on Destiny: Shadowkeep and whilst streaming my audience said it was crisp as well without any tininess. Muting the mic is also another great common-sense design feature with the simplicity of simply raising the mic arm fully until you can hear an audio cue but can only feel it click into an upright position to know it is locked and muted meaning no more looking for that red light that normally shows that the mic is actually muted and no tiny button to try and quickly locate to activate it. I simply love this aspect to the Level 50 and no longer would suffer the missed button or “forgot to mute the mic” moments either on stream or during MP sessions with friends. The headset power button is situation behind the mic arm on the left ear cup with the EQ Mode button next to it which can switch from a more balanced audio level to a more bass focused level, the sound did sound great with either mode but I found using the more bass focused mode serving better with the bombastic games I tested the Level 50 with.
Volume control is another example of the common sense approach to the Level 50 with a volume dial placed on the right ear cup which uses the old school style of a “dial knob” instead of a button system. I have always found managing volume on a wireless headset to be pretty annoying when having to find the volume control buttons. Instead this dial brilliantly does exactly what you need it to do and its basic granted but, sometimes if basic gets the job done, basic will do. Which is really how I feel about this headset, it gets the job done at a level that is value for the price tag without forking out more just for bells and whistles.
This brings me nicely to the main feature of this headset, the Wireless connection. The Level 50 uses a USB dongle to serve as the wireless transmitter for the PS4, it Is quite a large dongle which will be very visible on the console itself particularly if you use the front USB ports. But the beauty of this method is that plugging in the dongle to the console and then turning on the headset makes them instantly connect with the PS4 automatically switching audio to the headset. Clean and efficient and removes the need to faff about syncing the headset to the console, each time I used it, it simply connected first time every time. Charging wise, the 12m USB cable that comes with the headset is brilliant for just connecting and putting away the headset to the console or any available USB port on a device on standby. Taken only a few hours to fully charge out the box, I left the headset on and idle for a full day and it still had a good charge for a 3 hour Destiny session the next day. The range the wireless is also very good, I live in a flat and from my gaming room I was able to go to my kitchen and bedroom on opposite sides of my gaming room and did not lose signal which is impressive because I can lose Bluetooth connection just going into my kitchen.
The Level 50 Wireless Headset is a brilliant bit of kit for those looking for the benefits of a wireless gaming headset on a sensible budget. There is a wired version that has the same features other than being wireless for a cheaper price but I was really impressed with the wireless model. Sound is great and it does exactly what you need it to do with simplicity at its foundation and an excellent battery and charge life to ensure this headset is good to go whenever you need it.
This is another example of PDP Gaming pushing its way through the crowd with a headset that punches above its weight and is definitely worthy of being checked out for its reliability and common sense features.