Gioteck’s Throat Microphone can easily be mistaken for some piece of CIA or FBI hardware that made its way into the Xbox peripheral list by mistake, but it is a cleverly designed piece of equipment that will make for communicating online a bit easier and remove the obtrusive microphone.
While it works pretty well, there are a number of small issues that might hinder its use as a professional gaming add-on. The little in-ear speaker that gamers will have to place in their right ear does not offer the best sound quality.
The voices on the other end of the online conversation will often seem muffled and distorted, but users will get better clarity if they push the audio through the speakers (or headphones). Using headphones as a means to hear voice will actually be a better option, as it will automatically be in stereo, instead of the mono in one ear from the tiny speaker.
It is a bit weird to be wearing a device around ones neck when playing games and, as the tension on the device is a bit high, some user might feel like they are wearing a dog collar of sorts.
The ends of the mic can be adjusted, but that will only increase the length of the ends and not the tightness of how snug it fits.
Users will only have to speak normally, as the device picks up the vibrations in the throat, but that can also lead to some unintentional consequences. Although there is a mute button (be it a bit flimsy), users can sometimes forget to mute it before coughing or sneezing, which will give the other players a bit of a nasty surprise in audio sensation.
When using a conventional microphone to communicate online, gamers will often cover the mic with their hand or move it away from their mouth if an undesired sound or noise will be made. With the throat mic, there is no such luxury. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as users will just need to have the mute button ready for such instances.
But other than the small issues, it works surprisingly well. When using speakers or a headset to push through the sound, it is clearer than one would think and the voice quality is pretty good. IT News Africa tested Gioteck’s TX-2 Throat Microphone while communicating with another gamer that was using the same throat microphone and the result was satisfactory.
It is a great alternative to the native headset and microphone combination from Xbox and it is a lot cheaper as well, plus it looks pretty cool. On that subject, the device does have a bit of a Special Ops feel to it (it even has a military design pattern), and has been manufactured using tough materials. So users will be sure that, under normal using conditions, it has been built to last a while.
Our score: 7/10
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor