Afterglow: Fener – Style You Can Hear
The Afterglow Fener, by PDP, is a stylish and comfortable addition to your gaming setup. There are 3 critical areas to assess the quality of headphones: comfort, audio quality, and ease of use. The Fener has been designed to support the PS3, PS4 and PC. It does, however, technically work with other systems such as the Xbox One and 360. My test cases revolved around the Sony systems and my cell phone. I tested in noisy and quiet conditions, and participated in both solo play (Dragon Age: Origins, Far Cry 4) and team-oriented chat (Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2). Overall I spent more than 20 hours using the Fener and recommend it to gamers.
- Designed for acoustic depth, richness and clarity of sound
- Boom-less, noise-cancelling microphone
- Slim wireless transmitter which allows up to a 100 foot range
- Newly designed split headband that reduces pressure from the apex of your head
- A voice cue interface which indicates audio mode, and battery life
- Prismattic Color Select LED Lighting to let you select your favorite color lighting
Most headsets are heavy and bulky. They’re not convenient for long play sessions or travel. The Fener breaks the mold in a few keys ways. The first thing I noticed was how light they are, relative to other headsets, such as the Turtle Beach Ear Force K12. This allows for long gaming and music sessions. Secondly, as it relates to comfort, the microphone for chat does not protrude. It’s actually difficult to spot unless you’re scanning every centimeter of the Fener’s body (hint: it’s near the left channel ear cup). The ear cups are to your ears what leather is to your rear (normally I’d write “butt” but then the sentence wouldn’t rhyme). I can’t stress how important this is. Not only did my ears not hurt after long sessions, but neither did my head. With the Sony Gold Wireless Headset, I found my head would hurt over time. Now I can’t go back to it.
I’m not an audiophile, but I do get irritated with noise and feedback while listening to games or music. To me, a “good” headset will have very little noise and ensure crisp, clear audio is transferred to me in a balanced fashion. The Fener does have a quiet “hum” in the background when using the 3.5″ cable on the wireless dongle. I’ve reached out to PDP and learned it is expected on PC with the 3.5″ cable. When I switched to the optical cable on both PS4 and PC, the hum was only noticeable in silence and with the volume turned up high.
In all of my use cases: music, games, movies; the Fener performed well. Something I love is the range of the wireless dongle. I am able to cook while watching a movie – each of which occurs at least 30 feet from my PC. The Fener is rated for up to 100 feet but I didn’t see the need to test it that far since I wouldn’t ever need that range.
Ease of Use
It doesn’t simpler than “just plug it in.” With the Fener all you need to do is plug in the USB dongle and then the headset just works. It’s quite simple. The headset itself has a few buttons and dials: line-in for direct access to sound (such as connecting to a cell phone), volume dial, lighting control, and a charging port. I’m going to refer to battery life in this section because the strong battery life actually makes this easier to use. In my test cases the Fener achieved a battery life of just over 9 hours against the rated 10 hours.
After several hours with the Fener, both on my PC and PS4, I couldn’t be happier with their performance. At $139.99 MSRP, the Fener may appear expensive, but compared to other similarly priced headsets the Fener provides more satisfying sound quality and comfort, along with a cool lighting effect to help you rock a LAN party or just your bedroom. Furthermore, the Fener feels premium. It’s effectively the BMW of gaming headsets: stylish, cool, and feature rich.