Customer Ratings & Reviews
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Customer ratings & reviews
Alienware – Impressive wireless gaming experiencePosted
From the packaging to the first immersion in your choice of gaming experiences, it’s clear Alienware put the time and effort in to engineering a wireless headset that feels, looks and acts premium. This would be the minimal bar to surpass with the purchase point over $200. Let’s dig in to that. The packaging was slick, a very solid cardstock case with a magnetized lid and a clear plastic window that allows you a peek at the headset while showcasing the attributes on the inside panel, outside panel and spine. A quick pull on the plastic window and removing the Velcro straps gets your headset out, and the additional accessories are in a thin box at the bottom. Very sleek and well presented on the whole. The headset feels premium, and the build materials are well selected. I like the rubberized black matte headband sporting the Alienware logo, with wrapped cushioning on the underside of the band. This connected to the pivotable earcups by dark brushed aluminum extension arms that recess into the headband- they extended well for flexibility, and the ratcheting felt really solid, I don’t see the band or connection areas being a failure on this headset, which has been the case in the past. The experience is lightweight but solid, long hours of gameplay provided neither discomfort or hot ears, which was a surprise for over-ear earcups. I would love to have seen the cups in leatherette for the costs, but these were comfortable and noise-cancelling enough to merit leaving as-is. The headset comes with a USB power cord, a USB dongle that both installs the software/drivers and connects it wirelessly, which can also be stored in the earcup itself (a nice feature). It also comes with a flatstock plastic 3.5mm cable if you want a wired connection. While the software install had a few burps with driver conflicts, the second attempt went fine, and after a reboot I was able to access the Alienware Headset Command Command Center, critical for really getting the mileage out of the unit itself. The software suite has some really impressive controls to manipulate and fine-tune the sound experience with tabs for Audio, Mic, HD Audio recorder (samples for streaming software, like OBS), Audio Recon (haven’t attempted this, but it seems to be an interesting software provide visual indications localizing particular sounds, for FPS type gameplay) and the lighting suite. The headset has a great LED experience built into the outer face of the earcaps, with the logo as well as a chevron below each logo, you can use any of the preset lighting profiles provided, or select your own color from the RGB spectrum, set a tempo to it and run. The logo on the earcap with the fold-down mic is the power button. The fold down mic conveniently mutes upon raising, and an audio cue tells you when you mute or unmute the mic. The left earcap also has volume controls, as well as a toggle on the bottom of the cap that allows you to switch the sound profile. Alienware includes five gaming profiles that are specific to gaming types, as well as a profile for music or movies. All dial in the bass, treble and reverb a bit differently, while I don’t particularly feel that each gave a real deep difference in sound, the idea of having them is a pretty premium experience, and you also have the opportunity to customize any of the profiles. I don’t see an ability to save a new custom profile, that would be a great add. All in all, the software suite unlocks a lot of what you are paying the premium price for, and can turn a middling sound experience into a good one. My few thoughts on areas they can improve the headset: Bluetooth is a must. Not sure how that wasn’t incorporated, but you lost a whole array of devices this could be used with. I’m not getting the 40’ wireless range, more like 25’. Not a dealkiller for me, I game on PC with them, and won’t need a 40’ tether, but still. The sound is also not quite up to the pricepoint. It is good, and the software suite really allows you to tailor it to a custom feel, but it is a bit thin and tinny. I don’t need a heavy base, but for both gaming and watching movies on the PC, it feels a bit lacking. I am completely willing to admit I may not have tweaked the tuning in the software suite to the perfect pitch, but I haven’t hit a sweet spot of balance and depth that I’ve gotten from my trusty older wired Astro a40s. I know wired and wireless experiences will not be the same, and forgive the slight lack of depth, but the headsets both sport very similar drivers, ranges and impedence, I have to believe the Alienware can touch that type of depth. I will say this, it is an extremely well delivered wireless experience, I have not thrown my Astros back on, and love the freedom these new Alienware cans provide, I believe with some small tweaks in hardware or software AW can really bury all the competition, wired or not. You definitely receive your moneys worth with these- give them a fair wearing no matter what brand you may be coming from, they will not disappoint you on the whole.
I would recommend this to a friend
RGB Gaming BlissPosted
Alienware is well known for making exceptional products and seeing this was available I jumped at the chance to get me this new RGB Wireless headset. I have a great mid range gaming pc with plenty of bells and whistles and all that I was missing was a premium headset. Using this headset has been nothing short of amazing. I am using Windows 10 and it was plug and play I inserted the USB dongle and the software was downloaded in less than 10 seconds. The power button is on the left side the alien icon is a button and something as small as that I appreciate int he overall design of the product. The headset was immediately recognized. --------------- Build Quality Build quality is superb a mix of soft touch plastic , leather and plastic. There is plenty of flexibility and it will conform to a wide variety of consumers whether you have a small head or a massive noggin this will fit you. THE 40 MM drivers are more than enough for whatever you intended to use this for whether it be media or gaming purposes. The built in mic folds down when you want to use it and it will pick even a soft spoken voice like mine. It does a great job of eliminating most background noise so that is a plus in my book. And when you aren't using the mic is conveniently folds back up right into the headset so there is no worry about losing an external mic attachment, or the risk of breaking the mic itself. The mic itself is small and doesn't reach out and touch your lips like some others on the market. All the buttons are located on the left ear. You have your volume and your mic mute and the option for game audio or chat audio. The battery light indicator is also on the left side on the bottom of the headset. You also have the option of using this as a wired headset if you chose. It uses a regular 3.5 mm cable. On the right side of the headset there is a small slot to insert the usb dongle for safe storage for when it isn't in use. --------------- Sound is great it uses virtual 7.1 surround sound. There is plenty of Bass and Treble on these cans. I have tested them out on a couple of PC games like Battle Field V beta and jeez I am just head over heels for this headset. I especially loved watching Netflix because I do not have surround sound at home I only have a 2.0 sound bar. These are wireless earphones so I was expecting some kind of wireless audio interference but that was not the case. I live in a high rise that is saturated with Wi-Fi. I am not an expert or an audiophile but I did not notice any sort of audio latency. --------------- Battery life Battery life is great I used the headset right out of the box and did not even need to charge it was charged. I was really surprised by that. I have used it for a few days and have yet to even give my headset its first charge. I have actually gotten better battery life than the advertised 14hrs. Charging the headset is pretty simple it uses a micro usb a type. I don't know why Alienware did not opt to use USB type C. --------------- Alienware software The software is very user friendly so there is really no way anyone can get confused using it. You open the app and it searches for the headset and it connects instantaneously. This headset has RGB lighting and it offers a color palette to choose literally any color to match your gaming PC. Other settings are available to tweak the reverb, bass, treble and the pitch in your voice on the mic. Alienware has custom presets for the headset for different kind of games like for shooters, sims, rpg, movies, music and etc. I use the shooter setting often and the movie presets. I have yet to test the other presets but overall it is pretty much what you would expect for the shooter preset it is emphasis on bass so loud scenes are loud like explosions, Movie preset is similar. --------------- Overall thoughts This is a phenomenal headset that is comfortable and can be used in combination wired or wireless even if the battery runs out in extended gaming sessions you are good to go. It is designed very well with a lot to like. I can't find anything to nit pick about this headset. I recommend this headset for anyone looking for an immersive headset. Some of my buddies came over and were amazed by it they tried it out and wanted to take it home with them but of course I told them to get their own.
I would recommend this to a friend
My first Alienware accessory ...Posted
This headset is truly amazing. The are solidly constructed with comfortable mesh ear cups, a fairly balanced amount of tension on the head (YMMV) and easy setup. I was surprised to find that immediately upon plugging in the wireless adapter, Windows 10 Pro made quick work of recognizing the new hardware and promptly installing the Alienware Headset Center software. I wasn't expecting any type of simulated surround mode with this model but low-and-behold, the 'stereo' in the name is deceiving. Within the app there is a ton of custom configuration options including the lighting features and surround mode. Kudos to Dell Alienware team for constructing such a well organized control panel. I've seen other companies completely FAIL on the software side of things and it thoroughly ruins the user experience. The integrated power button underneath the Alien logo on the left ear piece is centered and easy to activate. Wireless performance with my X470 Hero II motherboard is generally solid although I did notice some dropped sound packets early on. I'm not going to ding this review for what I expect to experience with most 'dedicated' wireless headsets that don't simply use Bluetooth. I've not noticed any appreciable hit to battery life while using the lighting compared to other products in the same segment. Pretty typical performance on that front. My only real gripes about this headset is the lack of comfort for very 'extended' periods of use and the limited gain with respect to the overall sound level. They don't breathe as well as my Steelcase wired headphones, even with their mesh cups. And the crown area of my skull does become a tad bit sore after 2+ hours of wear. But nuanced comfort attributes is an area that I feel is highly subjective and dependent upon a person's geometry ... so I'm not going to levy any demerits on the overall rating. This wireless headset pretty much caps out at a moderate listening level - bordering almost loud enough - equal to most other wireless gaming headsets I've tried. Sound fidelity and low-end (bass) performance is solid. I've not experienced any rattles or distortions across many games and a wide variety of music types. I'd prefer a maximum level roughly about 20% higher but again, this is another subjective area and I won't count it against the overall rating. I'm also certain that governed SpL (sound pressure levels) is something more and more companies are paying close attention to for hearing preservation reasons. All said - I still think this headset is built & performs to the expected level for an Alienware product at this price point. I can confidently recommend these to others! - The design style & lines are very unique... and cool looking. - The lighting bits are 'in line' with the design and not over-the-top. - The integrated controls are easy to find and use without looking. - The Alienware Headset Center app is solid all the way around ! - Battery performance on-par with the segment - near as I can tell. Check them out for yourself and see what you think !
I would recommend this to a friend
Better as Wired HeadphonesPosted
I dunno, maybe I'm just spoiled because I use higher end "traditional" headphones for gaming and prefer open back. To me these headphones are just OK, nothing spectacular really stands out except the fact you can use these wired and wirelessly. So if the battery runs out you can still game minus the tweaks the software offers. I've got a wide head but these headphones didn't put too much of pinch on me. Some headphones put quite a bit of pressure on my jaw and limit my game time. These have been going strong for 2.5hrs without any discomfort. Another plus is that instead of pleather, the AW988 uses a breathable microfiber cup to I haven't had any sweaty ears yet. On the headset are a few sets of buttons and knobs. First there's a master volume control that works separately from the windows volume control. This will allow you to fine tune your levels if you wanna try and get it just right. There's also a focus scroller that gives focus to chat or game. Since I'm on strict NAT I stick with the Game. Then there's a mic mute button... this one is a mystery why it was even included since you could just as easily lift the mic to mute and IMO faster. But maybe someone will find it useful. The last button allows you to scroll through the EQ, while it's kinda a nice idea having to push it up to 8 times to get to your desired preset is more of a pain than just alt-tabbing and manually selecting the preset. Plus that voice is just so freaking loud. Turn on, connect, mic off/on, switch presets there this loud annoying voice telling you what's going on. I HATE IT! This "feature" alone makes me want to never use these again. A small beep, a whisper... anything but this loud voice would have been better. Sound quality is pretty good but it just doesn't hit the volumes I get with my other headphones, All my traditional wired headsets blow this one away (along with my eardrums!). That said, the AW988 gets loud enough for most cases - all cases for me, I have a sensitive left ear that can still hear sounds only teens are supposed to hear, the right got damaged from a bad ear infection. The bass does get pretty deep with tweaking and the EQ does allow some impressive sounds, but I don't like too deep bass since it muffles other sounds. Just to make a fair comparison I tested these wired to my soundcard - this is where they really shined. Volume levels on par with the other sets, wide sound stage given these are closed headsets. Incredible bass and treble. It shows how much you have to sacrifice going wireless. As a wired headset I'd be hard pressed to go back to my open backs. I'm really impressed here. I honestly didn't think of trying them wired until I started writing the review and now DAAAANG! These sound good! Just bumped them up a star and changed my title because of this. I don't like the lights since I don't see my head while playing, plus wirelessly they reduce your time about 5hrs. Man, these sound awesome wired! I wish they came with a longer cord... The software allows some tweaks and... Forget that software, when you're wired it won't have any benefits, but WOW the sound is just amazing wired! OK, no more about using them wired (but they sound so good!). The software allows you to control the lights, which I stated earlier is a battery killer. It matches my laptop (r3 17in) but I mainly game on my desktop. It also has Recon which puts an arrow to show you where a sound is coming from. While it sounds neat I'd rather not have an overlay distracting me from the game. I'm more into immersion than worrying about competition and those arrows will kill it. Positional audio is pretty good using the software, but I found turning off the Virtual Surround allowed me to pinpoint sounds better than having it on. Must just be how my ears work though. I'm on strict NAT so nix anything about the mic - downside of living in a rural area, not many options for internet. I just gotta say it one last time, these headphones are amazing if you plan on using them wired. I love them now. Wirelessly they were nothing to get excited over. So in my opinion, ditch the Alienware software, buy a longer 3.5mm male-male cable and enjoy these bad boys!
I would recommend this to a friend
Good headphones, but not great for the asking pricPosted
Ok.. these are pretty good headphones for gamers overall, but overpriced for the sound quality you are getting, either wired, or wireless. The absolute best thing about these headphones are the way they were physically designed. BULID QUALITY IS GREAT. Microphone tucks away, volume control on a slider, game vs. chat mixer on slider, battery charge level indicator, all built in to the left side ear cup. The right side ear cup has a little magnetic holder to hold the wireless USB adapter you will be using to use this as a wireless headset. This a great idea, as I can see people losing this thing so easily. You need to install alienware software to get this thing going on PC. The software is fairly intuitive, and has different presets for movies, gaming (and sub gaming genres like shooters, etc..). You can also change lighting on the RGB lights on the side of the headphones. The interface is pretty nice. Now here is the deal with sound quality. This is where I feel, for the money, you could do much better. The bass on these headphones is pretty wimpy. Whether wireless or wired, it just doesn’t create a whole lot of bass. That might be ok if you are not a bass head, but Alienware is marketing this thing for gamers, and for me, it just doesn’t provide enough bass. Also, wirelessly, it can get fairly loud, but not nearly as loud as other headphones, and specifically gaming headphones. This might have been a conscious decision to save on the wireless battery life, as the louder it goes, the faster the battery would drain. If you want louder sound, and in my opinion much better sound while gaming on your PC, plug it in. I am able to eek out a little more bass, though not much more, and, all the fake surround options are just that, fake sounding if you ask me. Stereo will always provide a better experience, provided you tune the gaming you a turning to headphones. Don’t get me wrong, the audio quality on these headphones is not bad, it just is not up to par with the asking price. I have headphones half the cost that sound better, and provide much more bass. They may not have the RGB lighting on the side, but they sound better. That being said, those headphones are not wireless, they are wired. These Alienware AW988 even connected to a great audio source wired, with a good amp, just don’t get as loud as other headphones I have. Case in point, connected to my LG v30 with a HiFi Quad DAC (digital analog converter), they just don’t get very loud at all. Now, this headset will also work with a PS4 wireless with the USB adapter plugged into the PlayStation 4. It will also worked wired direct into the PS4 controller itself. This is great. Until you realize the volume is even LESS than when you are on a PC. I even checked the audio mixer on the side of the headphones for mixing between chat and game volume, and while I did get the game volume up a bit by sliding it the full way, it was just way too quiet, even compared to the PC wireless and wired volume. So I would overall say, these are decent wireless headphones if you are not necessarily into bass. The build quality itself is really great. I just wish there was more bass, and they could get louder overall, especially considering the price point these sell for.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
We're sorry to hear that you're not more satisfied with your headphone purchase. If you have additional questions about your headset you can always visit our Product Support Page: https://dell.to/2wNJ9H0.
Headphones built for the Win! Excellent for Music.Posted
Have tested several high-end gaming headphones before and after using the Alienware for a couple weeks find that none of the previous headsets are of the caliper of this new Alienware Gaming Headset. The Headphones are striking in their design, have never looked at a headphone set before and thought, wow they look cool, these do. Most comfortable headset I have ever had on my head with unique designed ear-pads, kudos on ear-pad design! One seemingly small item which I “really” like is that within the ear-pads the letters “L” and “R” are imprinted in large font type. Have many times spent too long looking for a tiny little raised letter designating which ear it should be worn over. Additionally, they are extremely light. These headphones deliver a rich 7.1 surround sound experience great for gaming and listening to music. Our “professional in-home gamer” was convinced that the wireless connection would lag, he was incorrect in this matter. He never uses the wire and tells me there is absolutely no noticeable latency lag. My recommendation on this is that he does not go for slow stuff, and as they say the proof is in the pudding. In addition to the Wi-Fi connection your options included USB and audio jack cables. With up to 18 hours of playtime you can game wirelessly without limits. Downloading the free Alienware Headset Center allows you to tune everything exactly the way you want for a customized gaming experience. The RGB is fully customizable within the software and allows you to get markers on your screen depending on where the most noise is coming from. Basically, wall hacks. The Alienware Gaming Headset has received a resounding FIVE STAR Rating from the in-house gamer. Now if he would just let me use them occasionally! Overall the Alienware Gaming Headphones provide an Amazing Gaming and Music listening experience and I easily give it a Five Star Rating and highly recommend them Game on.
I would recommend this to a friend
For the Gamer - these are worth your considerationPosted
I want to set the ground rules for this review, specifically that this review is how these headphones perform for the Gamer. As an audiophile I am not going to review these as Music 'cans', as that is not fair. These work to play any audio material but they are not meant to be the the best in all categories. I have audio headphones that cost 4x what these cost, and they sound amazing for music - but sound bland for gaming. So those are the rules, these are designed for gaming use - and that's what I use them for. I've owned these for more than a month, and I'm now ready to give them a review. The Good These look great! They are stylish, without being silly looking (like some gaming headphones). Plus if you have an Alienware system, these will match! The LED displays on the headphones are cool! But they are for your neighbors delight not your own. The sound separation and placement is outstanding! Best I've heard! These give me an edge when playing and being able to discern where in the environment things are happening. Very, very comfortable to wear for many hours on end. Alienware did a great job bolstering the ear pads, with a lightweight conforming material that doesn't hold heat and remains sweat free even after a full evening of game play. Top quality build, no cheap materials. Soft touch plastics, strong joints, I have every expectation these will last a long time without falling apart. Upfront cost is steep, but when you consider their longevity the economy of them makes sense. Good solid connection strength with no drop outs. I experienced no dropped connections ever, just a solid performer. Bluetooth connection setup was fast an simple. The earpads are easily replaceable. This is a huge benefit! I imagine I'll wear through a set of earpads in 6 months of use. Hopefully the replacements will be easy to buy and replace. Thoughtful storage port on the bottom of the headset to keep the USB adapter. Buttons are easily accessible on the side of the headset itself. This is extremely helpful and makes it so much easier than opening the app. Amazing battery life (over 12 hours no problem), and fast recharge. I'm happy to see that they stayed with a USB 2.0 connector too. Long warranty-but I doubt you'll need to use it. Excellent sound pickup on the mic, with sound cancellation. Voice quality was quite good, and no drops. Lots of audio (and visual) tweaks though the application. The Bad I had difficulty installing the application software on 3 different machines. On one system the installation seemed to destabilize the system. The system froze and I had to hard reboot. This was on a hand built PC, and there wasn't anything I could do other than uninstall the software. Unfortunately I can only use these headphones on that system using the included mini-plug cable (which negates all of the bells and whistles). I really dislike the audio prompts telling me the "Mic is on', and other settings. I don't need to hear that blast in my ears. I haven't figured out a way to disable this feature, if there is then this dislike goes away. For now, it's annoying to me. But personal preference... Beautiful packaging, but what a pain to remove! I don't quite understand why people get all excited about how cool something is packaged. It's not the package I'm buying or care about - it's the item itself. Anyhow I found them unusually difficult to remove from the package. But that's but me. Fingerprint magnets - the soft touch plastics pick up fingerprints. Not a big deal, and they wipe off. But be careful not to use chemicals that will damage the plastic and stain them forever. The application software is fine, but it's got a few bugs that need to be fixed. I certainly hope that Alienware will be pushing updates to solve these. No Bluetooth - this is not a huge deal, because I didn't buy these for music. However... Bluetooth is standard on everything now, and now that Apple has ditched having a headphone jack on their cell phones - I cannot use these at all on my iPhones. I can use an adapter, I know - but honestly for this price point Bluetooth would have been nice. The Power button is on the left side of the headphone. I packed these headphones away in my checked luggage recently. When I arrived at my destination I found the headphones had turned on after closing up my luggage. The battery was depleted by half. Is there a way to disable this? I really am disappointed that they turn on so easily while in luggage or a backpack. The power button is way to easy to accidentally turn on. Battery not user replaceable. I can't see if there is a way for the user to replace the battery. I expect to use headphones for many years. If the battery starts wearing out I'd like to be able to put in a new battery. Conclusion These are keepers! I would buy them again, and can tell you they are worth your consideration if you are looking for a pair of gaming headphones that sound good, have long battery life, have a great performing headphone, and are super comfy. They are pricey, but like all things in life - you get what you pay for. These are akin to buying BOSE headphones, you're paying a premium, and not everyone can afford them. However you will have a great performing pair of headphones that not everyone else will have - and they'll bring a smile to your face every time you use them. And they'll 'up' your game!
I would recommend this to a friend
Cool Design, Fun Features, Ok Sound and ComfortPosted
The Alienware AW988 is a mid-tier gaming headset with some top-tier features. Let's dig into the points. First, presentation. The AW988 comes in a slick package and lends itself to a pleasing unboxing experience. From the start, you get the feel that you're dealing with something premium. The hexagonal like headphones look pretty cool, with cups that completely enclose your ears. Due to the shape, the headphones can be placed standing on their own on a flat surface. The headphone cups also rotate so you can wear it around your neck and not have the headphones choking you. This is a subtle design feature that makes products feel a lot more well thought out. Sound points were earned with a few caveats. Sound response is decent (middle of the line) and customizable profiles are available. There's also a virtual surround sound feature which can be nice but can also be a bit gimmicky. Yes, there are certain compositions where the virtual 7.1 surround sound actually feels immersive. However, for most things (music, movies, and games), one doesn't get much over stereo and sometimes, you lose some audio clarity. The microphone is a fold out boom type microphone that's noise cancelling. It's pretty nice that it essentially can disappear when not in use. Noise cancelling works decently well. There's a 3.5mm cable that can be used with the headset in addition to a 2.5Ghz usb dongle. The headset actually has storage for th dongle which itself is pretty small, so you're not going to lose it while heading out to a gaming convention. The audio cable is a convenient alternative, but one loses the ability to use audio prsets if you use it. The software needs a digital connection to the headset to make this work. Software points were judged based on usability and configuration. You get an alienware themed configurator with multimedia and gaming presets. It was pretty intuitive to use with sliders to adjust different parameters and prominent reset button to clear things out and restart. You can also hover over settings for a tooltip with more information. For the lights on the headset, you get two controllable zones, the alienware logo and lights below it. You can customize the color using a typical RGB color picker (or just type a color name) and what they do - like pulsing, "breathing" and a few others. There's also some timing settings for this. A bit surprising to me, maybe I don't game hard enough, is how much the design of the AE988 is geared towards dealing with moisture and sweat. The earcups are padded with a moisture wicking material. It's also soft mesh, combining form with function. The headband however is not the same. While a nice size and quite adjustable, it will just absorb or bead sweat. So, use it for an intense brow sweat inducing gaming session, but stay away from a treadmill. Aside from the sound configuration, one can also configure lighting using the supplied software. This is kind of cool and I can see the appeal. This would certainly have been a wish-list feature a decade or so ago. Now, I'm not so sure. It was cool to play around for a couple days, then this became boring and not used. The battery life scores major points. From a full charge over the course of a couple days, I logged twelve hours of use with some battery remaining. That said, in the process of determining this, it loses points as well. While the headset is initially comfortable, it can get a bit painful over long periods. This has been an issue I've had with a wide variety of headsets and earphones (over ears and in-ears) so I think it may have more to do with my bone structure than the design. That said, I've noticed I tend to have the same issues with products from a given company so if you have experienced this kind of discomfort in the past, that can guide your choice. Overall, I think this is a decent gaming headset. It's got cool features and hits all the standard must-haves. I'm a lot more of a casual gamer so would normally only wear this for a couple hours once or twice a week. That works for my comfort level. If you're more serious, I would strongly suggest making sure you conduct a trial whose duration matches one of your longer sessions to get a good idea of the fit.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
We're happy that these Alienware Headphones are meeting your needs. If you do have questions about the headset performance you can check our Product Support Page here: https://dell.to/2wNJ9H0.
Premium Audio Gaming ExperiencePosted
I’m a sucker for nice product packaging so I expected something special from Alienware. I wasn’t disappointed with the quality AW988s sweet looking box. Within you’ll find the headphones, a usb wireless transmitter dongle, a usb charging cable, a 3.5mm mini phone cable, a basic manual, and the warranty. Removing the headphones from the box I got an immediate sense of design and quality throughout. They’re not too heavy to make them uncomfortable but still definitely have a substantial feel to them. I was anxious to test them so I downloaded the drivers from the Dell website. I slip the usb 2.4ghz transmitter into a usb port and install the drivers. Installation was quick and painless but does require a reboot. In the meantime I figure out that the power button is the Alienware logo which lights up once your power them on. Nice touch! After reboot I was connected and ready to play. I quickly note that lowering the mic turns it on and raising it turns it off. That makes things simple. I open the AW988 software to discover a multitude of options. I’m initially a bit overwhelmed but I explore settings to familiarize myself with all the options. You’ll find audio settings which adjust sound quality through bass, treble, reverb, and voice clarity enhancements. Here you can additionally select preset audio enhancements based on the type of game you’re playing. These include shooter, strategy, role play, and racing. There is also one named Alienware. There are also presets for multimedia sources such as music, movie, or communication uses. The next settings tab controls microphone settings and here you can adjust voice shaper, voice leveler, and noise suppression. On to the HD audio recorder There you’ll find a bunch of audio samples which you can trigger in game with your keyboard or game pad. Doubt I’d use this much but I’m certain many users will. The audio recon tab is where you can adjust the 7.1 surround sound settings to focus on desired attributes of an Audio Recon enabled game. I really look forward to playing with these settings and I can imagine how they would enhance my gaming skills. Next is the lighting tab where you can configure headphone lighting LEDs to your personal taste. All this added up to a mighty impressive list of features but I was anxious to finally hear the AW988 headphones in action so I fired up Wolfenstein The New Colossus with them set to shooter. Wow! I own what I would consider a very decent headset that cost over $150 but I was shocked by the total immersive sound experience of this Alienware headset. I was playing Wolfenstein challenges that I had played dozens of times and yet now the experience seemed new again and much more fun. It was like this heightened sound experience finally matched the stunning visuals. I was sold. For being marginally more expensive than my old headset the AW988 blew them away. I next played some multiplayer action. After hours of gameplay I felt no discomfort which is a true testament to the thoughtful design of the AW988s. I am not sure I love the physical button control placement for volume, audio presets, etc. I found myself fumbling for them but I suspect over time I will better learn their location. This is a minor concern in light of the overall positive Alienware AW988 premium audio gaming experience.
I would recommend this to a friend
Excellent Gaming Headphones for the EnthusiastPosted
I build my own PCs and Alienware/Dell have always carried a bit of a negative reputation among the DIY crowd, but I have always respected the level of engineering and design that goes into AW products so that the person who doesn't want to DIY can have an excellent PC enthusiast product. The AW988 Alienware gaming headsets are no different. I'm going to mainly compare against Alienware's main competitors, Logitech and Corsair when it comes to my review since I have owned both headsets in the past. Starting with Positives: +The headsets look and feel great. They don't have as much RGB Bling as some of their competitors especially the Logitech G933. There are some LEDs but they are limited to some side accents and don't have the breathing effects G933 has out of the box. +Build quality is excellent. The headrest is more like an inflatable piece of rubber bladder instead of memory foam. Overall they are comfortable over extended gaming sessiosn and while the headsets sweat less than the G933 and Corsair Void, there is still some ear cup sweat. +Noise cancelling is excellent. This may be a pro or con for folks who want sound passthrough if you have kids or an environment you still want to hear ambient sounds, but the over ear closed nature of these headsets cancel sound even more than other headsets like Void and G933. +Everything just works without having to download the software. The sound may sound better with the software but I mainly use my headsets for gaming and overall the sound is very good +Sound, voice, and noise-cancelling properties are better than the G933 and Corsair Void. Not everything is positive, so here's my negatives: -No USB-C charger connection. C'mon seriously these came out late last year and USB-C makes it a lot easier to connect to the charging port. There's no reason this headset doesn't have USB-C. -Initial Mic and Sound set-up was a pain. There's a few different wheels on the headset that make this confusing. Also, the Alien logo on the side is for power and the headsets dont' auto-power on with usage like the G933 and Void do. -Range. Not great, about the same as my G933 after a few firmware updates. 40ft is accurate after that sound drops in and out. -Price. While better than the competition, I am not sure these are worth nearly 2x the cost I paid for my G933 over 2 years ago. They are definitely nicer than my G933 and Void headsets but the cost difference is significant. -Voice for connect/disconnect is super annoying. G933 just did a beep but the voice for any status for the AW988 is very annoying like the school teacher that annoyed the most in life.. Overall an awesome set of headphones, need some updates mostly USB-C charging, toggle off the voice connection prompts and improve range.
I would recommend this to a friend
I absolutely love these headphones! They look sharp, sound great and are very easy to use. Right out of the box you know you're getting a pretty amazing product--the package looks incredible. Everything is packed in tight and looks very sharp. The headphones themselves are comfortable and--in a cool twist--are big enough for my head! I'm a big guy, with a big head, and most of the time headphones fall just a little short of completely covering the bottom of my ears. It's not too big a deal usually, but it can lead to my ears getting sore kind of quick. These fit well, and seemed to have room left for people who somehow have a head bigger than mine. The "manual" is, like most electronics these days, just a pamphlet explaining where on the web to go for more instructions. There are also some very simple but somewhat helpful pictures. I did have a little difficulty with set-up--my computer wouldn't recognize the headphones for installation unless the wireless usb dongle was plugged in. I was assuming using the charging port would work the same way as wired headphones but it appears that's not the case. I went to the website and downloaded the drivers--once I had the dongle plugged in everything went smooth. It is a little annoying to think that I'll have to take up two USB ports if I'm playing and the headphones need to be charged, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it---so far they seem to hold a charge well, and I've been plugging them in when I'm done playing. The sound on these headphones is amazing! I tried them out with Diablo 3 and Overwatch so far, and the directional noises are genuinely incredible. I have actually been confused more than once that a sound is actually coming from somewhere in my room (to the point where I looked behind me like an idiot). The sound is rich, sharp and detailed. Music sounds terrific as well, but these babies were made for gaming and that's where they really shine. I was a little skeptical that the mic would actually pick up my voice well, since it's not very big, but it seemed to do a great job--so much so that the people I was playing with online asked me to turn it down a bit haha. They were picking up my keyboard sounds with my group in Diablo (using Discord). With Overwatch the headphones picked up my mic as soon as it was keyed. No one had any issues understanding me--everyone I asked said it was nice and clear. The headphones are a little heavy--you'll want to take a break every now and then to give your head a rest. The pads are nice and comfortable though, and pretty much noise-cancelling as I didn't hear anything but the games (this can be good and bad--so be careful with it!). They seem very sturdy, and have some really cool looking alienware logo'd lights on the sides (because you have to look awesome when gaming!). They are sleek and high-tech looking, which you would expect for this level of headphone. The only minor issue with design that I had was the placement of the mic on/off button. It's located on the back of the left-hand ear piece--which would be fine since the rest of the controls are there, but it's a button not a "slider" and I found myself accidentally hitting it on more than one occasion when I tried to adjust something else. A slider type on/off switch would easily remedy this. The headset alerts you with an audible "mic is off" when you turn the mic off so it's very easy to correct, but still a little annoying when it happens. Overall this is the best set of headphones I've ever used for gaming! If you're a serious gamer these are what you're looking for.
I would recommend this to a friend
Awesome with a Wired Connection!Posted
Once you download the software on your computer, you can make fine adjustments to get a great sound. It took sometime to download and install, but it really is nice. I also liked that the headphones out of the box have great sound. So these are perfect for those that are looking to “plug-in and go” or get near studio quality sound. I really enjoyed having full control of the bass, treble, reverb and clarity. After about 10 minutes of making my adjustments the sound was crisp. These headphones can be either wireless or a wired connection. Although the wired connection produced a slightly better sound, I was surprised with the quality of a wireless connection. The average user won’t notice to significant of a decrease in quality. The mic is different than what I’m use to, but it wasn’t too bad. The quality of the mic is better than most gaming headsets out there. A huge success is that it didn’t get in the way of my gaming experience. Also, my gaming team had no issues hearing me. The mic operates by flipping it up or down. Flip it down to turn it out and flip it up to turn it off. I might not be the only one to think this, but I found it very annoying when turning it on and off. My reason is because a VERY loud voice would say “mic on” or “mic off” pending my action. It’s nice to have the reassurance when it’s on or off, but I’m surprised there’s not a better way to communicate that. I have a big head and these headphones felt great for about 20 minutes. Around 30 minutes it felt a little heavy and my ears were getting warm, so I had to take a bit of a break. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but can be frustrating given the $200 price tag. Overall, I think these headphones are one of the best I’ve ever used. I highly recommend you use the wired connection. As I said, the wireless sound isn’t too bad, but everyday gamers or music enthusiasts will notice the difference. There’re some minor issues I have with it (price tag), but it’s not a game changer. I recommend these headphones, for someone able to spend over $200 on an excellent pair of headphones.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great Wireless Sound with Class!Posted
These are some of the sexiest cans I've ever seen. Upon receiving the product, I was reminded that Alienware never ceases to impress with their packaging and presentation. Right away you get the feeling that you're getting something of quality. And rest assured that you are with this headset. Thank you Alienware for always taking the time to give us a great presentation. I put this up against the most expensive wireless headset on the market right now which retails for three hundred and thirty dollars. And for the price of these Alienware headsets, you're getting very close sound quality (to the point where I couldnt discern the difference in games and movies sometimes). These are also some of the most (if not the most) comfortable headsets I've ever worn. They're definitely more comfortable than my three hundred dollar pair and is the reason I've been using these non stop. They have a soft nylon fabric with memory foam padding. The headband also uses memory foam type of material and it feels great! Pillows on your ears!! I love that the USB transmitter neatly tucks into one of the earcups.Setup was a breeze. Simply plug in the USB dongle into a USB port and you're ready to go. A BIG note here is that when you plug in the USB dongle, the transmitter automatically installs software - Alienware Headset Center. One thing to consider though, is that you need to be running Windows 10 in order for the Alienware audio software to be installed (at least from my experience). The application would not install/launch on my windows 7 rig. As soon as I would connect the dongle to an available USB port on one of my Windows 10 rigs, it would immediately and properly install the software . Just something to note for some of those gaming purists out there who are still running windows 7. I can't stress enough how great the software is. It's easy to use, very streamlined, gives you EQ settings, and the ability to change RGB lighting. These have to be the best looking headphones Ive ever seen. The mic has an audible alert to let you know when it's on or off and it is crystal clear. In terms of the sound, the default preset has a bit of a neutral/flat sound which I love. Very crisp mids and highs and tight punchy bass that doesn't over saturate your highs or mids. The only small gripe I would have about these headphones is that I get the feeling that because of the matte finish of the product, it will easily attract fingerprints. Not a big deal though. Lastly, I wish it was just a tiny bit louder . Sometimes find myself having to turn the volume all the way up, but to be honest, I dont think I would want to go much louder than that anyway but it would be nice to have. Definitely try these out, you will not be disappointed!!!
I would recommend this to a friend
Good surround. Headband needs firmer support.Posted
Pros: 7.1 Virtual Surround Earmuffs are comfortable Mic is clear Battery life Cons: Headband is squishy and headset slides down over time Alienware Headset Center can cause erratic issues For the most part this is a good headset. It feels sturdy and the earmuffs are roomy and comfortable to wear for a long session. They also flip sideways. The one issue I had with comfort is the headband. It’s very soft and squishy rubber so it doesn’t have enough support. Once the headset is on, it will slide down and you can feel the band pressing on your head. On the left, all the buttons are easy to access and gives you control over the mix between in game and chat audio, mute, volume, and cycle through the equalizer settings. The power button is integrated into the logo. The mic folds up and mutes itself. On the right is a slot to hold the USB receiver. The sound is very good to me. The virtual surround is handled by the Alienware Headset Center app, which if you’re using an Alienware PC will be automatically installed, otherwise you’ll need to download it. The virtual surround does a good job simulating a 7.1 system. In open world games you can really tell the direction of conversations and background noise. There’s a minor jump when sound direction is traveling from the back right to left, and sounds coming from directly behind is a bit weak, which seems to be the case with most virtual surround setups. Overall I think the audio is really good for gaming. It may not have the booming bass for movies and music, but it still does a good enough job for those. The app allows you to adjust the each of the sound profiles for FPS, strategy, music, movies, etc. You can adjust the bass and treble levels, turn on/off virtual surround and reverb, and adjust smart volume if it’s enabled. You can also adjust the RGB and mic settings. The app does seem to cause some issues. If you’re using the headset as the primary playback device, and you don’t switch back to speakers, then it’s fine. The issues is when you’re switching back to speakers, or when the app auto starts (which there is no in app option to disable) and it doesn’t detect the headset. I have instances of the game crashing, or loud audio issues or pops in my speakers. I’ve never had these issues before the app was installed. The battery life seems good. You won’t get the advertised 14 hours, but probably around 10-12 hours. I game for about 2 hours and then left it running for another 3 hours playing music and it was still at 70%. I think this is a pretty good gaming headset so far. The most annoying thing for me (and I have a wide head) is that it either slides down and press on my head a bit or I have to tighten them up more and it squeezes my sides. It’s not painful, just a bit annoying. Maybe once they're broken in it'll feel better.
I would recommend this to a friend
Best gaming headset out therePosted
These headphones are great! They are the best PC gaming headphones I have tried yet. I received the package and was impressed by the unboxing experience. The cardboard and all materials are very high quality and the item is packaged very securely. Inside you will find the headphones, simple documentation, the RF USB connector, a micro USB charging cable and a 3.5 mm headphone connector. For the best experience, go to the Dell website and download the drivers/software for these headphones as it will enable full control over the experience. Installation was a breeze with instant compatibility with my Alienware computer upon plugging in. The product itself is of very high quality with just the right amount of weight. The top part has a very soft memory foam feeling to it and the ear cups have a different amount of firmness but also appear to be memory foam. The rest of the product is high quality plastic. I tested some HD audio first. I was very impressed with the detail in the music samples I played via RF. I saw it was limited to 16-bit 96khz via RF so I plugged it into the PC via the 3.5mm jack and was able to select the full range of 24bit 196khz (this is likely to also be dependent on your PC hardware). The sound was instantly much crisper and fuller. Now, more importantly, gaming. Gaming is great as the microphone automatically turns on when you lower it. No one I played with had any complaints about the audio quality and the virtual surround sound is not overkill but just useful enough, the amount of bass is not overpowering but it provided just enough oomph to keep the games exciting. Comfort was outstanding with long gaming sessions. The foam padding all around provided didn’t create any discomfort and it never felt too hot to wear over a period of time. There was enough headroom for me on the top, so it never felt too snug, this is a problem with some gaming headsets as they are not always geared toward adult heads. This one definitely is. My kid loves the lighting effects and was demanding I change the colors all the time, so I set it to the color cycle mode when playing to entertain him. It is clearly a novelty but fun nonetheless. The button placement is intuitive, and the volume knob was in a natural position that you can easily find. Most importantly, there was never any noticeable lag when using this via RF. As I mentioned earlier, you can also use these headphones with the 3.5 mm headphone adapter if there is any concern and either way you will have a solid headset. This is the best headset I have used to date for gaming is well worth a purchase. 5 out of 5.
I would recommend this to a friend
High quality headset, but not quite 5 star.Posted
The positives outweigh the negatives with the Alienware Wireless Headset. These are a bit pricey, but come in a nicely presented box with a magnetic clasp. You get an included 3.5mm cable with inline mic (for use wired) and a USB charging cable. Mic is non-removable. First off the negatives. This headset is pretty heavy. I've been using light-weight, wired headsets lately and putting these on you could really tell the difference. The headset is fairly comfortable, but after a hour or so they just seem to get even heavier. There is a voice prompt for stuff like when you change the EQ and it's a bit too loud in comparison to the audio playing through the headset. The battery is also not user replaceable, so not sure what happens when your battery inevitably goes bad with age and use. As far as platforms go, these are really made for Alienware computers. You can download the Alienware Command Center if you have specific laptops or desktops and it gives you a host of options to customize the sound and visuals. There is also the Alienware Headset Center you can download to your PC and it gives you similar options for those who don't have these specific Alienware rigs, just not as in depth. You can change the sound of the built-in EQ options and even create different lighting on the sides of the headset. This headset really works best with a laptop or desktop, even better with the specified Alienware rigs. The headset also works wirelessly on the PS4. Just plug the dongle into the USB port of the PS4 and the headset is immediately recognized and operational. I also tried these wired into the PS4 controller and they sounded much weaker without the ability to use the EQ. On XBox One they will only work wired, which is a bummer. Overall, this is a very good headset with custom sound and lighting settings. The 40mm drivers won't blast you with bass, but they do very well in most instances. It would have been nice if these came with a carrying case or at least a bag considering the price, but no dice.
I would recommend this to a friend
Amazing gaming headsetPosted
The Alienware - Wireless Wired Stereo Gaming Headset is truly a great headset but before I get into the details regarding its performance, it first needs to be noted that this headset is primarily designed for use with PCs. It cannot be used wirelessly for console gaming (such as with the Xbox One) but it can still be used as a wired headset for console gaming meaning a wire must run from the headset to your gaming controller. The necessary wire is included in the package (it is just a standard 3.5mm audio cable) but when it comes to the Xbox One, this may not be enough for you to use this headset with your controller. If you use the original Xbox One controllers which do not have the 3.5mm jack built-in, you will also need an adapter for your controller which does not come with this headset. Now that all of that is out of the way, I will start by saying this headset is extremely comfortable which is one of the most important aspects when it comes to headphones in general because it doesn’t matter how great they sound if you can’t stand to wear them for long periods of time. I have a relatively small head so I wasn’t sure how well the headset would fit my head but I was happy to find that the headset fits snug and is very comfortable for me at its smallest setting. When it comes to the setup process, I found it to be pretty simple as most of it was done automatically by my Windows 10 PC. If you also have a Windows 10 PC, all you should have to do is plug in the USB dongle. Upon doing this, the Alienware Headset Center (AWHC) software was automatically installed. This software allows you to customize various aspects of the headset including the lighting effects which can be turned off entirely to preserve the battery, or changed to a color of your choosing. There are many other things that can be customized as well but I found the headset sounded amazing just with the default settings. Either way, there is no doubt that you will be able to find settings that give you the exact sound you’re looking for which is quite a feat for a wireless headset. Overall, this is a high quality headset in all aspects and I highly recommend it!
I would recommend this to a friend
Excellent Build, Excellent SoundPosted
These headphones are simply amazing. While not the highest end "gaming audiophile" set of cans, this headset is one of the best overall that I've ever used. The first thing that blew me away was the fit and finish. Even the package they come in is super refined and detailed. They have good weight to them, but not too heavy. You can definitely feel the quality in the build and finish here, Alienware did a great job. The ear cushions have padding for days. The ear cups are so soft and feel great, but they are not too soft or squishy, they have some density so they stay nice and firm and in place. The ear cups are also nice and large, they are truly over the ear. And while not noise cancelling, the shape and design of the earcups cuts ambient room noise down to a minimum letting you hear all the details in the sound. Even the headband has a nice soft rubber padded underside that when on, feels like the headband is not even there. Using these for long sessions felt great and i never got ear fatigue from having them on. And I even have a large head, and the phones never pinched or felt uncomfortable, they felt amazing the entire time. The audio sounds big and spacious. Details jump out at you and from deep lows to crips highs, everything was crystal clear. Setup was super easy, simply plug in the RF dongle, my Windows 10 machine recognized them right away, and Alienware's onboard software allows you to fully customize your soundscape. From EQ settings, overall and by different games, to differences between the sound profile for Gaming and Music/Entertainment, the controls were super easy to use. The 7.2 surround emulation is amazing also. During gaming sessions you can truly hear 360 degrees around you, and the low end really cuts through. Viewing movies and videos sounded amazing and gives you a deep immersive listening experience. Listening to music was pretty good, but maybe not quite as good as dedicated music headphones in this price range. The wireless charge easily outlasted me, and I never ran out of battery life, and they seem to charge super fast, even though "fast charging" is not something I saw in the spec sheet. The drop down boom mic is crystal clear and easily turns off and on when placed up or down. This pair has become my new day to day gaming and entertainment headset, hands down. Amazing.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great set of headphones!Posted
These headphones definitely lived up to my expectations in regards to the build quality and sound quality for an Alienware product. They arrived packaged very nicely and came with everything needed to get them charged up and ready for use. I had them connected to my computer within about 2 mins and then downloaded the latest application from Dell's website per the included quick setup card in the box. I have been using them on and off for about 3 weeks and have yet to drain the battery. The overall feel of them is very solid and you can tell they are very well made. Even though they have a solid feel they are not uncomfortable even after long gaming sessions or watching a movie. Sound quality was definitely impressive especially how crisp the highs are and the bass they are able to simulate. I activated the Dolby Atmos app in Windows 10 and have test with Forza Horizon and was able to hear all the various background sounds as well as the engine and different car sounds with crystal clear clarity. I was skeptical about how good these would sound and simulate 7.1 compared to my older USB Logitech 7.1 headphones...IMPRESSIVE! And they are wireless so no more cord getting in the way when gaming with my XBOX controller or when I just want to lean back and watch a movie. I also spent some time listening to music and again the sound quality was crystal clear with good mids, solid bass, and crisp hi's. One cool feature that doesn't serve a purpose other than just looking awesome is the LED feature. Within the app you can set the color and brightness as well as having it pulse almost like they are alive and breathing. They look pretty sweet with the LED's activated for sure. The ear pieces are also very comfortable and the material is much better than the fake leather on my old Logitech's that has been flaking off the past few years. They also do surprising well at cancelling outside noise to further enhance being able to hear what you are playing or watching instead of other ambient noises around you. I did receive these free as a review item and would definitely recommend them to my friends who are into gaming or watching movies on their PC.
I would recommend this to a friend
Amazing performance, comfortable and feature richPosted
I was using wired headphones for the past few years and I was due for an upgrade as my ears hurt from the stiff earcups. Not to mention, the accidental tug of the cord to rip the headphones off your head. These Alienware not only looks cool, they out performed many other gaming headphones and even my dedicated music headphones. The over-the-ear fits very snug and very comfortable and with little to no ear fatigue. Battery life is fantastic and claims to run over 8+ hours with the flashy lights turned off. I love how the boom mic flips away cleanly when not in use and that it also has a visible led light within eyesight to let you know if your mic is live. The headphones sounded flat and boring straight out of the box but comes alive when you use their software. Within the software is a ton of customizability including equalizer (enhances sound, bass, etc), LED light settings, mic settings (including hearing your own voice), and many other features. Bottom line is that these Alienware headphones not only looks great on or off my head, is that it also sounds amazing watching music vids on youtube and the 7.1 virtual surround sound will not let your opponents sneak up on you undetected in FPS. Just make sure to tweak the audio settings with the downloadable software to your liking. Comes with 3.5mm cord and wireless USB dongle. Only gripe is why can’t this be Bluetooth or at least have options to do Bluetooth?
I would recommend this to a friend