The Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro is one of the latest peripherals to come out of German gaming manufacturer Snakebyte. This brand new headset attempts to bring a pair of quality cans to Xbox One owners that won’t break the bank. When we got a pair around our ears, I turned up the volume and took these new headphones for a tour of the wastelands in and outside my front room.
Back in March 2019 I sat down and plugged in to take Snakebyte’s latest PC headset for a round of raiding. Now, the Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro and Head:Set 4 Pro follow up with the promise of the same price to performance balance that the recent PC set sought. When I clamped a pair of these to my ears I was pleasantly surprised.
• Wired Stereo Headphones
• 50mm audio driver
• Interchangeable magnetic earcups
• Passive noise cancellation – Two earcups with passive noise cancellation
• In-line volume control
• 1.2m long braided cable
Thinking Outside The Box?
Right out the box, it is clear that the Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro is not a console clone of the recent PC counterpart. Rather than follow the same flashy neon aesthetic, the Xbox and Playstation headsets take a slightly more nuanced approach that will sit better in a range of scenarios. While the PC pair has some bright yellow details and lighting on the earcups, the Head:Set X Pro dispenses with the alarmin neon for a black and green color set that easily coordinates with team green’s default console color palette. Throughout, the Head:Set X Pro is a more subdued piece of kit.
This pair of closed-back speakers are encased in a solid plastic casing that provides plenty of room for your lugs. The green detailing around the speakers is pretty minimal and the Snakebvyte logo is the only indication that this headset might be much more than a generic pair of over-ear headphones. The ears are attached to a thick plastic headband that provides some good stability and has a rubberized pad in the top to protect your cranium. Trickling down from the left speaker casing is a braided cable that gives a perfectly acceptable amount of reach and this is all rounded off by the gold plated 3.5mm audio jack.
Beyond The Front Room
The Head:Set X Pro is primarily poised to give gamers an ear into their Xbox One but the 3.5mm jack provides good flexibility for several other platforms. The headset even comes with a Y adaptor, allowing gamers to split the mic input and audio out into separate channels. This is clearly designed to give the Head:Set X Pro some flexibility for devices like the PC and allows players looking for something a bit more discrete than the Head:Set Pro. In a more obvious sense, the Head:Set X Pro has enough flex to fit most head sizes. The plastic headband has 6 points of actuation and the comfortable ear cups can both swivel and rotate to give a good range of compatibility.
This flexibility is further demonstrated in the Head:Set’s foam ear pads. While the ringed fabric defenders provide plenty of protection for long sessions, some gamers are more comfortable with a set of patent plushes. Snakebyte has somehow managed to tackle this by building in magnetically connected ear pads. Rather than battle to fit patent covers over the existing foam protection, screw on new foam guards, or simply soldier through in the trenches players heading into battle can just unhook the entire pad as a single entity and clip on a spare. What this means for losing them though, I don’t quite know yet.
Although I’ve already reviewed the Head:Set Pro, this Snakebyte model is barely comparable with the PC equivalent. Despite featuring 50mm drivers, this device has very different tuning. The overwhelming bass of the PC version is more muted here, leading to a well-defined sound. While you won’t feel mortar shells as they land, the Head:Set X Pro provides a crisp and detailed response when dialed all the way up to full volume. There is still a decent punch behind the drivers and Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic helps enhance this further.
The mic, as you’d expect is not going to hold up to the likes of a decent desktop setup and as you can hear from the sample below, does sound a little flat. However, this is to be expected and if you are using the Head: Set X Pro for calling targets rather than Shoutcasting Starcraft matches then you are not going to find any complaints here. This feature, however, manages to surprise in another manner. In keeping with the rest of the headset, the microphone arm slots away into the main housing of the left ear. Flip it up and it is simply gone. It’s a nice discrete touch that almost makes the Head:Set X Pro passable as a something for the morning commute.
With a slick design, a foldaway mic, and a really clear set of speakers, the Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro sounds like a winning formula. However, it isn’t entirely there. The plastic construction used doesn’t quite feel premium and this is kind of obvious given the price point. At just over £20, it comes in just a slither below the cost of the Microsoft Xbox Stereo headset. It is unreasonable to expect a metal and chrome finish and there are, of course, compromises.
A Constricting Compromise
The biggest single flaw that the Head:Set X Pro carries is lodged right beneath its headband. The rubberized padding fixed between your skull and the main headband provides nowhere near enough padding for anything more than a couple of hours gaming. Despite the attempt to make these headphone earcups comfortable, the headband utterly undermines this. If you are looking to get into a long raid on Bless then you might want to consider taking some breaks between boss runs. As we’ve discussed, the plastics also look and feel cheap, but the Head:Set X Pro is cheap.
When all is done, there’s a lot to like about the Head:Set X Pro. The sound that emanates from the 50mm speakers is crisp and concise, never flooding or distorting at higher volumes. This set has great flexibility and even manages to strike a great balance between function and flair, looking much more at home in the front room than hanging by your RGB battle station. What ultimately strikes me most about this entry in the Snakebyte roster is how much gamers get for their money. For around £20 on Amazon, I could pick up a headset that performs like it is twice the price. The Snakebyte Head:Set X Pro is available now from major electronics retailers. You can find out more over at the official website.