Most of us know Skullcandy as a purveyor of headphones for musical consumption, but what you might not have realized is that they produce gaming headsets too–and fine ones at that.
The Skullcandy SLYR +GMX-1 (say that 10 times fast) is a headset designed specifically for the Xbox One, giving players access to game audio as well as chat–delivering that one-two combo which is crucial for those looking to elevate their gaming experience. Albeit the real kicker is that it’s all done wirelessly through the controller, no middling components or pesky wires to be found here.
If you are looking for quality sound you will find it here with the SLYR. It has excellent range with pulse pounding bass to clean vocals and highs. This headset challenges other mid-range offerings from Turtle Beach, Astro and PDP with comparable audio fidelity and form factor.
One of the major things I look for in a headset is comfort. Whether I’m playing a game for 10 minutes or 4 hours I want something that is up to the task and isn’t going to crush my ears in the process. The SLYR X1 has memory foam ear cushions and a padded headphone band that will let you endure those long sessions, keeping you immersed and comfortable along the way. Another cool design feature of the SLYR is the fact that you can stash the mic when it’s not in use.
Gaming headsets usually cater to a niche audience, but the beauty of the SLYR is that it has that broad appeal because of it’s modest price point. For around (and sometimes under) $100 you really can’t go wrong with the SLYR considering everything that is under the hood. With a dedicated mixer for game and chat audio that links directly to the controller, you aren’t left tweaking any additional pieces, everything is literally at your fingertips–at all times.
I’d go as far as to say that the majority of gamers love getting the most bang for their buck and the SLYR for X1 delivers once again. While the gaming audio is crisp, it serves a few auxiliary functions as well. I used the headset for both Netflix and Blu-ray movie playback while not interrupting anyone else in the room. I also had the opportunity to stream some music over the X1 to my headphones whilst working on my laptop in the other room. The range is 100% tethered to the controller which is significant in a small apartment such as mine, giving me that freedom of mobility while also accessing my music sans interruption.
With such high praise also comes some nit picking. While the SLYR does many things right it falls short in a few areas. Games that have native game audio with complimentary soundtracks proved to be a little more than the headset could handle. While playing Forza Horizon 2 the audio clipped numerous times forcing me to turn off the in-game music to continue playing with the headset. I also experienced this with Madden 15 and NBA 2K14. It’s not the end of the world and it’s even something that could be worked on for future headsets or patched through the controller–but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Another thing that isn’t a gripe of mine, but might turn some away is the fact that it’s a dedicated headset for the X1. Keep in mind that Skullcandy does offer other headsets that are platform agnostic, so if that is more in line with what you want then look elsewhere. Lastly, seeing how the headset is connected and powered from the controller it will drain battery power quickly. I’d suggest investing in a play and charge kit to prevent AA swapping every couple of hours.
Ultimately the biggest things that people look for in a gaming headset are here–comfort, functionality and a respectable price point. Besides one noticeable shortcoming the Skullcandy SLYR Xbox One headset delivers a quality mid-range headset with great sound that implements a no-fuss setup–it’s truly plug and play. If you have an Xbox One and are headset hunting, keep this headset in your crosshairs and believe when I say that you won’t be disappointed.