Gameskulls GS-1 Tactical Gaming Helmet
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-08-2009
Provided by: Gameskulls
Usage / Testing

Here are some pictures from the Gameskulls website of the GS-1 in action at a recent Quake Live event.

My initial impression of the GS-1 was that it presented somewhat of a squeeze to get over my ears when putting it on or removing it, because the exterior shape of the helmet covers inhibits how wide the ear cups can be spread apart. Once it was in place however the helmet fit comfortably and at just under three pounds did not feel overly heavy. The internal strap suspension system does a good job of distributing the weight evenly over the top of the head so there are no pressure points common to most other single-band style of headsets. I only had to remove the helmet twice for strap adjustments before I was satisfied with the fit.

Another thing I noticed before even plugging it in is that the helmet picks up and amplifies ambient sound. I call this the "seashell" effect. Other than the foam padding surrounding the ear cups, there is no noise dampening or suppression material lining the interior of the helmet. Ambient sounds such as people talking or the television playing in the next room had an annoying habit of finding their way into the helmet and echoing around inside. Even when no other moderate level noise was present, just the relatively quiet sounds like my system case fans or the slight creaking my chair makes were audible when nothing else was coming from the speakers.

I connected the GS-1 to my onboard Realtek ALC888 and set the sound output for 2-channel headset. I played through some Half-Life 2 first, just to test out the headphones, and then switched to some Team Fortress 2 to give the microphone a workout. Sound clarity is decent with good separation although low frequency sounds can become a bit muddied. Microphone pickup was also good, input level was set to +10dB with boost enabled in-game. This yielded a good balance between sensitivity and noise. The inline volume control and on/off switch for the microphone is not labeled, but easily determined once in use.

Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts.

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