During gamescom 2015 in Cologne the manufacturer PDP presented their first wireless headset the Afterglow AG9.
The AG9 is avaiable in two different models. One is compatible with the Playstation 4, which we used for our review, the other is compatible with the Xbox One. Both models are also running without any problems on a PC.
As characteristics of the Afterglow AG9 PDP describes the freedom of movement of the user due to bluetooth connection in combination with high battery power, high comfort and good sound quality.
The box the Afterglow AG9 contains a 3.5mm cable jack to connect to smartphones, a USB-to-microUSB-cable and a manual. Furthermore, there is a customer support paper inside, which asks you to contact the manufacturer instead of the retailer in case of possible problems.
Outside Appearance and Ergonomics
The Afterglow AG9 is fully manufactured of synthetic material and kept in a black color for the most part. On the outside of the ear pads there is a circled glass window which contains the controller for the audio-membrane as well as the bluetooth module. While connected via bluetooth the ear pads shine in a blue neon color (the Xbox model has a green lightning). The AG9 is processed very well and makes a stable impression.
The head bow has two cushions which are very soft. In addition with the soft ear pads the manufacturer guarantees a strong but not pressuring hold and provides a pleasant wearing comfort. In long gaming sessions of several hours we could not feel any pressure on our ears. The Afterglow AG9 keeps its promises made by PDP in this area.
On the left ear pad PDP put the microphone-mute-button in the middle of it. If you keep pushing the button for a while, it will activate or deactivate the bluetooth connection. At the front of the left side there is a mode-button, which lets you choose between two premade audio profiles „Pure Audio“ and „Bass Boost“ in the wireless use of the AG9.
In the frame of the left ear pad there is also the connection-jack for the micro-USB and the 3.5mm jack, the microphone jack as well as a wheel to regulate the volume. The cables you can connect to the Afterglow AG9 made a very strong impression and are easy to connect. Only the microphone has a little bit of negative aspects, such as positioning.
The connection is very simple. If you use the AG9 with a cable you just need to connect it. To use the wireless feature of the Afterglow AG9 you just have to stick the USB-device into your PC or Playstation 4 and start the headset with the button on the left ear pad. If the headset and USB-Drive are not synchronized, simply press on the „Pair“-Button on the USB-device and a connection will be established again. To recharge the Afterglow AG9 you just do the same as with your smartphone, you plug in the microUSB-to-USB-cable. The cable itself has a range of 2 meters and gives you freedom to charge the headset while playing. In our test the battery provided 17 hours of performance while the highest recharge time was about one and a half hours. 30 minutes before the Afterglow AG9 is discharged, you get a warning for low battery via audio signals.
PDP provides two preset audio profiles. The first one is called “Pure-Audio”-Mode, which gives the sound a balanced level. Next you have the “Bass Boost”-Mode, which emphasis basses to a stronger tension. The difference between those modes is not very huge, since the bass is also strong in the „Pure-Audio“-Mode, but does not impact too strong in the „Bass Boost“-Mode.
The spectrum is very balanced, bass as well as depths as midtones are given strongly. Even on full volume there was no interference in any kind of the sound which led to a pleasant experience of sound.
In our gaming test we recognized that the „Bass Boost“-Mode strengthens the shooting noises a lot and overtones other noise. Steps are easier to recognize and it helps you a lot to localize enemies. In the „Pure-Audio“-Mode we could also localize enemies fairly well or through other sound effects than steps. For example we heard the radar pulse of an enemy player in Titanfall from the exact direction when it was activated.
At least we want to mention the microphone. You can unplug it and has a good positioning to begin with, but it is very quiet and can lead to communication problems. If you try to counterwork against that with bending the microphone towards the mouth we could hear the user breath and the communication became an unpleasant pitch. With the noise-cancelling PDP might have exaggerated a little bit as well in the flexibility of the microphone which does not let you adjust the position in a good way. Since the microphone is connected through a 2.5mm-jack the possibilities of using a different microphone are very hard to find.
Results for the Afterglow AG9
With the AG9 from PDP the consumer gets a very nice headset for PS4 or Xbox One, which costs around 99 US-Dollar. It is well processed and comfortable to wear. Due to its connections you can use the AG9 in many ways, whereas the bluetooth connection is very stable. We are only unsatisfied with the microphone which has not the best quality and is not flexible enough.
+ very good sound
+ long battery life
+ well manufactured
+ box contents
– bad microphone