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Review

Hands-on review: GXT 488 Trust Forze gaming headset

Image credit: Jack Loughran

The GXT 488 Forze breaks zero design boundaries when it comes to gaming headset design. The penchant for gaming paraphernalia to look as 'futuristic' as possible, often decked out with coloured accents or gaudy LED lights, remains intact here.

Nevertheless, this pair is not the most offensive, featuring a largely black design with blue highlights around the PlayStation logo.

With Sony’s official branding clearly emblazoned on the box and the headset itself, one may be forgiven for assuming that it offers some additional features when paired with a PS4. In fact, the GXT 488 is as generic as they come; Xbox One or PC owners needn’t fear compatibility issues.

That said, for a sub-£30 headset, its acceptable performance should not disappoint buyers even if it doesn’t blow them away.

Audio performance is so-so but gets the job done. When playing online shooters like 'Apex Legends', 'Call of Duty: Warzone' or 'Overwatch', aural awareness is key and being able to precisely locate footsteps and gunshot fire can be the difference between life and death.

While the GXT 488 does not feature any form of surround sound as would be expected for a cheaper pair, there was no problem pinpointing the location of enemies. Sound quality itself was fine, if not a little muddy. The 50mm speakers managed to pump out game sounds in acceptable quality but would not be recommended for watching films or listening to music.

Volume can be controlled via a slider located on the (adequately long) 1.2m braided wire and the audio can be pumped up to uncomfortable levels if so desired.

The microphone is a highlight, perched on the end of a stiff metal wire that feels solid and is highly adjustable. Other players commented on how clearly my voice could be heard on their end while unwanted ambient noises were not picked up. But it is also retractable, meaning that players using it for solo games needn’t worry about having a mic in their face when there is no one to talk to.

The 3.5mm plug has a thick handle that clicks solidly into the Xbox One controller. It feels like it is built to last and will not be susceptible to the kinds of wear and tear that can often cause scratchy sound quality at the jack end.

The GXT 488 is definitely a decent option for gamers on a budget. Sound quality is acceptable, if not exceptional, and the rigid mic actually feels a cut above the low price tag. But some alternatives, such as the SteelSeries Arctis 1 or the Corsair HS35, are just £10-£20 more expensive and look a lot less gaudy, have detachable microphones for players who do not need them, and have a solid steel construction. While this pair doesn’t have that much competition at this low price point, stumping out just a few extra quid is probably worth it.

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