British gaming company Gioteck is splashing into North America in a big way, featuring some of the largest and most comprehensive lines for console peripherals. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I’m going to show you some of Gioteck’s products. These will be broken into three parts
Part 1: Chat Sets (This piece)
Part 2: Headsets
Part 3: Controllers
While many of the products reviewed here today are for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, they are starting to roll out a line for the next gens. There is one PS4 product I’m showing you today, and some Wii U products to come.
One of the most frequent questions I get from gamers is about chatting devices. I see a bit of diversity here and there, but the options tend to be pretty costly. Gioteck’s products tend to be much cheaper in comparison and you can even pick up multiple options for the price of one in some cases. Let’s a look at a few products today by their Gioteck Serial Codes
I’m going to be showing you two Bluetooth Headsets, and the first one here is built more for comfort. The EX-01 has a mute feature built onto the earpiece, along with a an external speaker, a small control hub and a flexing earhook, which is much better than some of the rigid plastic ones you often get. It plugs in for easy recharging through a handy USB to mini-USB cable (included.)
Now, it’s designed for either ear, but only comes with the right headset hook. What if you wear these things lefty like I do? No problem. Just call Gioteck Customer Support and they’ll send you a left one free of charge.
This is a bit more comprehensive of a package, and I admit that I liked this one much better (it’s also surprisingly the cheaper option.) This headset feels lighter, slides into your pocket and has a smaller charge extension (it’s a USB out to a smaller piece in that looks a bit like an optical cable in.) Interchangeable faceplates are included (3 in all) but that was secondary to me. It comes with the same comfortable ear piece (though again, only the right ear is packaged) and it feels a little less bulky on your ear. A small piece of foam sits to protect your ear canal as well.
Comparing both Models
I’m not a fan of Bluetooth earpieces in general (more a personal comfort thing) but the EX-02 is the superior sounding and interacting headset. The EX-01 isn’t bad, and as I had mentioned is far more comfortable than similar pieces anyway. If that style of design grabs you more than the EX-02’s does, then by all means. The one benefit the EX-01 has over the EX-02, however, is the charging method. Since it charges off a standard USB to mini USB cable, you already have a bunch of these, so losing the cable isn’t the end of the world.
The audio quality doesn’t differ much between the devices. In fact, it’s barely discernable. I’d warn against anybody that wants something ridiculously high end, as you should probably be buying more advanced headsets for that purpose. This is really just for those who need a quick device and might only game online casually.
As an added benefit, because this is a bluetooth device, you can sync it with your phones or other devices you have that will see benefit. In fact, I was surprised to see Gioteck actually acknowledge this on the box (whereas most peripherals do not.) My iPhone has a perpetual hatred of most Bluetooth devices, so it took a few shots before it found it.
EX-03 INLINE MESSENGER HEADSET (AVAILABLE FOR XBOX 360 OR PLAYSTATION 4)
EX-03 NEXT GEN BLUETOOTH HEADSET (AVAILABLE FOR PS3)
When you first take these headsets out of the box, they’ll look a tad awkward to you. They’re nothing like I’ve ever seen. They fit over your ear with a cup piece, and a little earbud cone fits right in. With a large sound center, the design does well for noise canceling, and to minimize the amount of volume you need necessary.
I should note here that “EX-03” seems to correlate to the build type, though there are two different versions. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 versions are wired, while the Bluetooth one for the PS3 is wireless and also works off a rechargeable battery.
Gioteck’s designs really waver toward military design, and these are no exception. Whereas the PlayStation designs have more straight camo, the Xbox one has a “digital” style camo. I think the Xbox ones look sharper with the digital style, but here they are side by side for comparison purposes.
Sound-wise, I found these ones to be alright. The earbud style brings the sound directly to you, and the sound centering formation means that you hear more of what you need to. For my comfort sake, I actually quite like earbuds over headphones, and so I took to this fixture well, even though it does technically fit over the whole ear. I don’t really know what headset sharing is like amongst gamers, but this one pretty well means you’ll be the only owner for sanitary purposes. Even though each one does come with extra earpieces you can switch on and off, it’s probably not worth the trouble, especially since these don’t cost all that much to begin with.
Finally, as with standard Bluetooth capability with these things, you can use the PlayStation 3 one on any Bluetooth ready device.
TX-01: THROAT MIC FOR XBOX 360
I admit that as a non-online gamer (for the most part,) I don’t delve much into announcements about chat hardware, so this is definitely the first time I’ve seen a military style throat mic for a console. I also thought this was the neatest of all of this hardware simply because of the fact that I’ve never seen anything like this before.
You’ll have to adjust the mic a bit when you get it out of the box unless you have the world’s smallest neck. Be aware that it only adjusts and retracts from the end without the earpiece plugged in. This is pretty just a wired plug and play style device. Just place around your neck, plug the jack end into the Xbox controller, push the earpiece into one ear (it doesn’t matter whether you go righty or lefty) and turn it on. I’ve mentioned before in my previous articles that I don’t generally like headsets and large earphones because of how hot my ears tend to get, so this was a nice alternative. It will take some getting used to if you’ve never worn a throat mic before, but I could see myself using this style of mic for online gaming in the future for sure.
I don’t know what is more appealing from a gamer’s perspective for Gioteck’s products – The cost level or the unique designs. Yes, Gioteck does make standard headsets (which you’ll find more about in a future blog,) but they’ve done a good job here of creating a fairly unique experience for chat-heavy gamers. The throat mic especially is a great concept once it passes through your comfort zone.
The first few Gioteck products have arrived in stores at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca. Look for more reviews of Gioteck products coming soon