Over the past few years I have reviewed a wide variety of gaming headsets. On our trip to Million Man Lan a few weeks ago I saw something that really caught my eye. A couple people where wearing helmets with built in headsets. Apparently a company called GameSkulls was showing off a couple of their first product. After trying them out myself and talking with Gus from GameSkulls my interest was definitely peaked. Before we left Gus dropped one off at my desk for me to checkout, Now I don't have to worry about being attacked by my wife while playing my games.
Product Name: Gameskulls GS-1 Tactical Helmet
Review Sample Provided by: Gameskulls
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Keeping it fairly simple GameSkulls packed their GS-1 Tactical Helmet into a black box with their dead Viking logo on the front. On the back there is a diagram of the helmet with lines pointing out its features. Inside, the helmet is packed inside of a soft reusable bag to protect the helmet during shipping and while transporting to lans. The bag includes GameSkulls logo on a packet. I did have a small issue with this, mine was starting to come off (you can see this in the pictures below). Even if it came off it wouldn't affect the level of protection it will give the helmet in the future, because of that this is only a small issue. Inside the bag GameSkulls packed the helmet in plastic to protect it from water and scratches before you get your grubby little hands on it. Along with the helmet inside the box there is also a short user manual that includes a very amusing drawing on the back of a man getting poked in the eye.
The two issues I have run into with headsets as far as comfort are discomfort after time at the headband and ear cups. I was very curious to see how the helmet form factor would effect this. Getting everything adjust to fit me required adjusting the straps in the top of the helmet to adjust the height and adjusting the band to fit. The goal is to have the helmet position the ear cups around your ear without your ears having to hold them up at all. I noticed right away that having everything adjusted this way prevented any discomfort from the ear cups even after long gaming sessions. Of course with the sealed ear cup design my ears did heat up, this is a double edged sword, if you get more air to this area you will hear everything from the room around you.
I did find the straps inside the helmet to be a little uncomfortable after long periods of time. Taking the helmet off for a short break seemed to take care of this issue. I would really like to see a round pad be added in the strap area to make everything more comfortable for longer periods of time. Overall I found the helmet to be comfortable but in need of a few small tweaks.
Just to be sure I let my wife try out the helmet to see what she thought about it. With her smaller head size the ear cups didn’t touch her ears at all, because of this she did have a little harder time hearing things. She experienced the same discomfort over time from the adjustment straps, but overall she enjoyed the experience.
After getting everything setup and ready to go, I wasted no time to jump into a couple of matches of TF2. Not only did I feel like I was going into war, the sound quality was up to par while playing. To really put the directionality to the test I had to play some Call of Duty 4. The helmet lacked the directionality I have seen with some of the 5.1 headsets, but does an admirable job for a 2 channel setup. Of course most gamers use their computers for more than gaming. Music, TV shows, and Movies are other reasons to put your headset to use. I found the headset to have clear highs and deep hard hitting bass. The mid’s were powerful, too powerful. I ended up turning them down slightly through my sound card and everything sounded great.
So after spending time with GameSkulls GS-1 Tactical Helmet I can tell you one thing, there is nothing else like it. The idea of wearing a helmet while you are playing your games is amusing and a little strange. It would definitely get you a lot of attention at LAN parties and when you have friends over. Of course being a new product there are still some issues I would like to see fixed in future models. There should be a pad of some sort in the top to make it more comfortable. The headphones had amazing Bass and Highs, the mids needed adjustment to get them to a point where I was happy with them. Overall the GS-1 Tactical Helmet isn't for everyone, but if you are looking to out geek your friends this is a must buy!