Reviewed: December 8, 2007
Type: Gaming Headset
What's in the box
If I asked the men and women that keep our country safe if they have ever heard of OTTO Engineering, the answer would probably be yes. If I asked the same question to the general public or to gamers, the positive answer would probably be slim to none. Well Iím here to enlighten you a little bit with my review of the OTTO OT-8 Digital Gaming Headset for PC.
When it comes to gaming, sound is one of the most underappreciated categories when someone is looking to pick up a new game. All most gamers care about is how pretty the picture looks or how it plays. As both an avid gamer and music lover, I say that looks arenít everything.
Take games like Halo 2, Call of Duty 3, and F.E.A.R. for instance. All of these titles are top-notch games and awesome looking to boot. However the one thing that all these titles have in common is that they all have killer music and sound effects. With less than adequate equipment you just are not getting the true experience.
Aesthetics - 8
When I received the OTTO OT-8 to review they looked pretty heavy duty and quite honestly rather cool. Once out of the package and a closer inspection later I found the unit to be made mostly out of plastic. But thatís no big deal since most headsets are anyway. The casing is painted a cool industrial looking tan color that looks like it belongs on a jet.
The OT-8 looks a lot like the OT-4 model that was released not all that long ago, with a few obvious upgrades that is. The main difference that you will notice is that the OT-8 has a high grade bendable noise-cancelling boom for optimal voice recognition. This is good since youíll probably be using the boom for online games like WoW and Call of Duty 3 a lot.
I used this headset on pretty much every voice supported or online game that I own and I can safely way that boom works amazingly well and I had no issues with my friends not being able to hear me. Coming from a company that pretty much made a name for itself in the commercial sector; I wouldnít expect anything less then.
The other main difference is that this headset unlike the OT-4 is USB powered, no 3.5mm plugs to deal with. This also means that the headsetís internal Surround Sound (SRS) is not run by a single AAA battery like the OT-4. You can simply plug these babies into your nearest USB port on your rig or laptop and be in Surround Sound heaven with the flip of a switch on the right earpiece. Itís not 5.1 but itís still pretty sweet.
The final upgrade to the OT-8 is the addition of volume controls placed on the left earpiece under the boomís pivot point. Since this headset is USB powered, the volume buttons will allow you to adjust your systemís master volume level with ease.
Durability - 8
In the time that Iíve had the OTTO OT-8 Digital Gaming Headset, I am quite impressed with how theyíve stood up to their daily use. Iím not joking when I say that I use these things all the time. Once you find the right position to wear them you can easily play for hours. Most headsets that Iíve used just arenít that comfortable in the long run.
I tend to play games in the dead of night and into the wee hours of the morning and to me comfort is everything. The headset is adjustable so that just about anyone can wear them and nicely padded up top. The only thing that is a minor inconvenience is the fact that the padding on the cans will slip off at times. They are pretty easy to slip back on though. The cool thing is that OTTO has replacements that you can buy via their website if you happen to lose them.
Performance - 9
Every once in a while you will see a company that specializes in commercial grade equipment try and branch off into the public sector and make a name for themselves. Unfortunately it doesnít always pan out and the products are nowhere as good as the products that they are based off of.
OTTO Engineering has nothing to fear in this category. I was surprised by the level of quality performance that the OT-8 produces. The best part is that the OT-8 takes mere seconds to install on your machine. There is no software to download, no drivers to install, just plug and go.
Value - 9
The OTTO OT-8 Digital Gaming Headset delivers amazing sound quality without hindering the boomís performance. As Iíve said before, I wouldnít expect anything less from a company that made its name by providing gear for the people that that protects our country daily. The OT-8 retails for $50 dollars at most retail and internet stores.
Overall Ė 8.5
Overall, I think the OT-8 is an impressive piece of equipment. It is much improved over the OT-4 and more suited for the conventional gamer. The noise-cancelling boom is perfect for online games and even just basic VoIP conversations. The headset is fairly comfortably, while still being pretty sturdy. I highly recommend the OT-8 Digital Gaming Headset for any gamer looking for an affordable high quality headset.