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Skullcandy PLYR 2022 headset: The design won't suit everyone, but the sound quality and price will

If you're in the market for a less expensive but quality gaming headset, the Skullcandy PLYR multiplatform wireless gaming headset is worth your consideration. Here's why.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Skullcandy PLYR headset on mostly black and purple background

Skullcandy is known for its affordable headsets, earphones, and earbuds, but the vendor doesn't bring a new flagship product to the market all that often.

The 129.99  Skullcandy PLYR multi-platform wireless gaming headset, announced in September, is one of Skullcandy's latest gaming headsets. 

It's meant to be an affordable alternative to high-end headphone and microphone combinations. 

After testing it out, I'd say this gaming headset is absolutely worth considering -- with a few caveats. 

Also: The 6 best gaming headsets 

The Skullcandy PLYR's design, called Black DigiHype, is not going to appeal to everyone. The colors used to decorate the headset bring to mind Minecraft blocks. The transparent plastic headband and the eccentric use of color, such as the shot of pink throughout, clash with the more sedate gray ear cups -- and are, therefore, an acquired taste.

To assemble the headset, you only need to snap the fabric comfort band in place to protect your head from the harder, plastic edge, and to choose whether or not to connect the accompanying microphone.

It's a shame that there are no other style options available at present beyond a more expensive Street Fighter edition, as the wireless headset's audio quality and comfort make it a strong contender for budget-friendly gaming rig setups. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the PLYR is to wear. The memory foam earcups of the headphones are a generous size. Overall, the headset is light and comfortable enough to wear for at least a few hours without a problem. I personally prefer to remove microphone peripherals when they aren't in use, and with the PLYR, the mic pops in and out without a struggle. 

Also: The 4 best game consoles

I tested the headset using a Nintendo Switch and a Samsung S22 Ultra smartphone. Bluetooth connections were quick and stable, with links established in no more than a few seconds. Alternatively, the headset comes with a 3.5mm AUX cable for wired connections. 

Skullcandy's headset includes 50mm dynamic drivers and the sound quality, for an entry to midrange headset, is impressive. While bass and sharper tones tend to dull or become irritating at high volumes, it has an immersive quality and detail that will appeal to the gaming community. 

When it comes to gameplay, you can also customize your audio experience through an accompanying app -- and I recommend that you take advantage of this, as the Skullcandy-HQ app is worth applauding. The user interface and functionality are far beyond the typical standard I tend to expect from audio manufacturers who, unfortunately, often consider apps as an afterthought without much real-world value. 

Also: The 6 best gaming mice

The app requires Bluetooth and location services to be enabled. You connect your headset to the app and install any required over-air updates, and then you can tweak audio settings through custom equalizer channels ranging from 60Hz to 12KHz (with Bass, Mid, or High options). Alternatively, you can select from presents including an RPG mode, Music, and Film, and you can also change the volume levels for gaming and chat. 

Audio settings for Skullcandy headset
Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The detachable mic is, in my opinion, adequate but not a major selling point. There's also Tile integration, which some users might find handy. 

Overall, the Skullcandy PLYR is an affordable headset best suited for gamers. There are caveats: You will need to buy a transmitter separately for wireless connectivity with your PC or gaming console, and the style might put some people off. However, as a budget-friendly headset with quality gameplay sound, the headset is certainly worth considering. 

If you're interested in purchasing the Skullcandy PLYR headset, you can pick one up from the Skullcandy directly or over at Amazon for $130. The wireless transmitter is sold separately for $25.

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