Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Thrustmaster Y-250CPX Review

I may be wrong about this, but I think the number of gamers who own more than one gaming system is growing with each console generation. At least that's my personal experience in regards to myself, friends and some acquaintances. All the major manufacturers in the gaming industry also seem to support this theory, at least judging by the fact that more and more gaming peripherals are being designed to be compatible with most modern consoles, PCs and mobile devices.
With the aforementioned theory in mind, today we will be taking a look at the Thrustmaster Y-250CPX, a versatile gaming headset that seems to further back up my previous claims.
For the people out there who may not know them, Thrustmaster has been around for quite some time now (1992 according to their website), designing and manufacturing all sorts of gaming accessories and peripherals. Personally, I know them mainly due to their high-quality and high-performance flight sticks and steering wheels.

The Y-250CPX comes packaged in a good looking medium-sized box that does a pretty good job in listing most of the main features of the headset, it also shows a few pictures of the actual product in order for buyers to know exactly what they're getting. On top of that it also seems to be sturdy enough to withstand a bit of abuse, a very important factor if you're planning on shipping the headset to you, we all know the horror stories after all.
Inside, and bundled with the actual headset, you will find a couple of interesting items such as a removable microphone, a few different manuals that cover the installation process for most systems and finally all the necessary cables in order to hook up the Y-250CPX to your favorite console or PC.
In a time where companies try to cut costs in every little thing, it's great to see that Thrustmaster decided to include different manuals for all the systems that are compatible with the headset. This shows great attention to detail and it helps younger or inexperienced users who may need a hand in setting everything up.

Thanks to an interesting combination of black with a few details in silver, this headset from Thrustmaster looks very elegant indeed. It's definitely not the best looking headset out there for sure, but it's also far far far from the worst.
I think the designers tried to lend an extra bit of class and charm to the Y-250CPX by moving away from your typical gaming headset design with bright lights and aggressive colors. The simple design certainly seems to have been the right choice, at least in my opinion.

Comfort-wise the headset itself performs extremely well, above average I would say. The only real issue in this department comes from the bulky in-line controller and the absurd amount of cable that Thrustmaster forces you to carry around with it.
I understand that the Y-250CPX was designed with several systems in mind and because of that, a longer cable might be helpful in some situations. But please, give us an extension instead, otherwise the excessive length of cable gets annoying really fast, trust me. The "generous" size of the in-line controller also does not help.
Moving back to the actual headset and having used it for long periods of time in games such as Alien Isolation and The Banner Saga, I noticed a slight increase in comfort after a brief break-in period. The headband protection in particular is very tough out of the box, because of this, if you're planning on buying the Y-250CPX be sure to give it some time for it to properly adapt to your head.
The ear cushions on the other hand felt great right from the get go, no problems there at all.

Like I mentioned in a previous paragraph, the Y-250CPX was mostly tested with two titles, Alien Isolation and The Banner Saga. The Alien game in particular practically demands to be played with a high quality audio solution in order for you to survive more than a couple of minutes. The Banner Saga on the other hand has a varied and very pleasant soundtrack.
In both cases the peripheral from Thrustmaster performed well.
Listening to music with the Y-250CPX on the hand felt a bit underwhelming, heavy bass tracks in particular suffered quite a bit, even after adjusting the bass nod that is present on the in-line volume controller.
Finally the microphone, it sounds decent enough and the in-line controller allows you to easily adjust its volume on the fly. A cool feature especially for console users.

Final Thoughts
Let me start out by saying that the competition is ferocious in the gaming headset world, we got a ton of big and small companies releasing new products and innovating with each new model almost on a daily basis. With that said, and taking into account a somewhat hefty price tag ($70-$90), it's hard to recommend the Y-250CPX if you're planning on using it exclusively with your PC. Thanks to the fierce competition I previously mentioned, there are a lot of other options out there that probably won't cost you as much and you give you a similar performance.
On the other hand, if you regularly use more than one platform for gaming, especially more than one console, then I can see the Y-250CPX being a very valid option.

The Good
+Elegant design
+Very versatile

The Bad
-Bulky cable and in-line volume controller
-Lots of competition

Thanks to Thrustmaster for providing the review sample