Review: PDP Afterglow Kral PS4/PC Wireless Headset (Hardware)

PDP Afterglow Kral PS4/PC Wireless Headset: Official GBAtemp Review

Hardware 3,284 views 1 like 3 comments
Reviewed by Brandon Boui, posted Jul 17, 2015, last updated Jul 17, 2015
Jul 17, 2015
The Afterglow Kral is a PS4 and PC supported wireless headset featuring an acoustic design and multiple audio modes, to allow for a greater immersion in a gaming environment. The headset is priced at MSRP $99.99.
Brandon Boui

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Afterglow Kral Wireless Gaming Headset (PS4, PC, OS X)

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The PDP Afterglow Kral is a new headset designed to support the Sony Playstation 4 and PC/OS X. The headset came in a very nice and secure cardboard shell that protected the headset, and also included a USB wireless receiver that is good up to 100 ft., an auxiliary cable that can be attached to the headset and to a mobile device for passive listening, a PDP decal, and a fold out instruction booklet in several languages. For a $99 headset, I didn't quite know what to expect since the gaming headset I had been using till now was a very cheap one that cost less than $20. Unboxing the package and seeing this black headset with blue accents, and clear ear cups that reveal internal circuitry, with a posh leather interior led to very high hopes. I wasn't disappointed, to say the least. 

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The Kral's package contents

The team at PDP designed this headset to have an outstanding acoustic design, with multiple custom audio modes and an easy adjustment to volume on the fly, built straight into the headset itself. And now that I've finished reading things off of the pamphlets, design wise, PDP opted for a one size fits all type headset, with an extendable band to allow room for larger sized heads. The extendable portions are revealed with stainless steel accents, again showing that this headset design is one of higher quality. The headset fits rather comfortably around my head, and required minimal adjustment. I own a pair of reading glasses, however, and this headset will become uncomfortable for those with glasses, as the ear cups will push into the frames of the glasses and push them against the head. It is a bit heavy on the head compared to other headsets, but it's something that I quickly got used to. It's very flexible, as well. It has a very solid feel that it won't break, and it feels very solid on my head with no sliding around like some of the other headsets I've used in past. I didn't get any of my hairs stuck in the headset as well, another plus. I suppose I should knock on wood though. In addition, the left side of the headset features a flexible microphone that has noise cancellation technology to deliver the clearest and most efficient voice to other gamers. 

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Afterglow Kral design philosophy

Operating this headset is very simple. It's a plug in and play solution that works extremely well. When the headset receiver is plugged into the PC, it will start blinking blue, and when the headset is powered on by holding the left ear cup button for a couple seconds, the lights turn solid. The wireless range is very solid on the headset, as I am able to move about my room and still maintain a strong connection with the receiver. It's only when I start heading downstairs that I get disconnected, as the mouthpiece starts flashing blue and red to indicate that I'm out of range. I should also make a note on the earcups, which glow a nice deep blue and makes the headset look like something that came out of the future. There is a volume knob on the back of the left ear cup, and it can adjust the volume on the fly. There is also the micro USB charge port and the auxiliary port for the headset to connect to mobile devices. 

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Blinky mouthpiece? Check. Good quality? Jury is still deliberating here.

One quibble that I have about this headset is not exactly related to the headset itself, but is more of a quibble pertaining to Windows. With my configuration, I have my USB headset connected to the PC in addition to a surround sound speaker system. What I found kind of puzzling is that I would have to go to the sound icon in my tray, go to play back devices, and set the headset as a default device to have audio going through the headset, but when I disconnected it it didn't jump back to the speaker. I had to manually keep changing it back and forth, and it's definitely a quibble that deserves notice, because other than that this headset is fairly solid. I ended up having to find a program that allows me to change my headset configuration on the go using a hotkey. It shouldn't need to be like that, Windows. 

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The fact that I need to use a macro to change audio quality kind of hurts, Windows. We're in 2015. Come on!

One feature that may have users concerned is battery life. Battery life is advertised to be about ten hours. On a first charge, I got about 9 hours, which is fairly close to the advertised time. Playing in long binge sessions, I didn't feel much discomfort, although I did notice that my ears tended to start sweating a bit and the moisture became noticeable when I removed it. Another feature that is worth discussing is the quality of the microphone. Playing with a group of friends on Diablo III, using Skype as a means of communicating, led to some of my friends noticing that my voice sometimes dropped or sounded a bit tinny compared to my older headset. They noted as well that the noise cancelling didn't work quite as well as they were still able to hear some outside noise coming from my headset. Finally, there's the deal of the audio modes. The audio modes were negligible and I didn't notice a real difference in the quality between modes. The mode that allows for more bass has a slightly deeper booming in the background, as it should, but the other immersion related modes... I didn't really find anything different about it. It's something that, for audiophiles, may make or break the purchase. 

Overall, PDP designed a very solid product that is built to play on a multitude of systems, going from the Playstation 4 to a PC, OS X, or any device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The Kral has a nice, high quality feel, and has nice design aesthetics that make it look very high tech and futuristic. It lasts very close to the advertised ten hours, and can fit the majority of head sizes thanks to its adjusting pieces. The sound quality is crisp for the headset, with a nice booming bass effect on the bass booster mode. Unfortunately, the headset falls short with microphone quality and the fact that its integration with Windows makes using a headset and a speaker a more manual and tedious process. With these minor design quibbles put to the side, though, PDP has designed an incredibly solid headset that deserves some merit and a try for customers looking to break into video gaming and audio.

Acknowledgments

I would like to take a moment and thank my contact at Performance Designed Products for allowing me to stop by at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo and for setting myself and Sicklyboy up with review units. Thanks for being so prompt with our questions!

Verdict
Pros
+ Crisp audio quality
+ Supports a multitude of devices
+ Beautiful high quality aesthetics
+ Lights!
Cons
- Microphone is rather poor
- Sound integration with a speaker system require manual changes on Windows
- Uncomfortable with glasses
8.5
out of 10
Overall
Overall, PDP designed a very solid product that is built to play on a multitude of systems, going from the Playstation 4 to a PC, OS X, or any device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The Kral has a nice, high quality feel, and has nice design aesthetics that make it look very high tech and futuristic. It lasts very close to the advertised ten hours, and can fit the majority of head sizes thanks to its adjusting pieces. The sound quality is crisp for the headset, with a nice booming bass effect on the bass booster mode. Unfortunately, the headset falls short with microphone quality and the fact that its integration with Windows makes using a headset and a speaker a more manual and tedious process. With these minor design quibbles put to the side, though, PDP has designed an incredibly solid headset that deserves some merit and a try for customers looking to break into video gaming and audio.
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