Pros:Inexpensive (I paid 24.99 6% tax)
Cons:restarting the application after plugging them in.
The Bottom Line: Inexpensive, convenience of USB, Microsoft hardware quality.
After playing online games for a couple of years, I finally broke down and got a microphone to chat with fellow players as I was always in "read-only" mode.
Recommend this product?
So, I went to our local big box electronics retailer to see what microphones they had in stock. The Microsoft headphones caught my eye immediately because of the price and convenience of the headset/microphone combination.
After taking it home and trying it out (installation CD, USB, plug & play!) for a couple of hours, I can say that they are comfortable and work great! Everyone on the other side said I was coming in loud and clear (Ventrilo). It's a completely different experience being able to add my own feedback to situations now. Sure beats typing!
The microphone can be adjusted to be as close or far away from your mouth as you like. The headphones were acceptable for casual listening to music while surfing or gaming, but if you want some serious musical fidelity, these will not cut it. There is a neat mute button for the mic on an inline module on the headset line. This maybe be an issue if you move around a lot as it is a tad bit bulky. But if you generally sit in place, it's not a big deal at all. There are also a couple of buttons for decreasing/increasing the volume on the same module.
Since, they are USB, they are completely digital. I used a set of Microsoft DSS 80 USB speakers for almost 10 years and they worked GREAT! I just recently replaced them with another 2.1 Logitech system but only because the stereo connector was starting to have problems with the connection. Therefore, I had no qualms about this aspect (USB). However(!), you will need to restart the application that you want to listen to after plugging these headsets in for it to recognize the headphones as the valid output device.
All in all, I would recommend these to anyone who needs an inexpensive solution to their gaming or chatting or internet phone needs. I didn't install the live stuff that came with the CD as I don't plan on doing chats over TCP/IP so my experience is limited to the hardware itself.