Over the past year we have reviewed many of the different Afterglow headsets, from the highly adequate AGU1.s headset to some of their later offerings like the Kral and Karga headsets. Needless to say, we are very big fans. Affordable price points and exceptional quality while being a bit more on the flashy side, the Afterglow gear is designed with the flashier gamer in mind, as the gear contains signature lighting and an exposed-circuitry appeal. With the release of the Nur, PDP's newest offering for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, their signature looks are still there, but with a more refined design in an attempt to appeal to the aging gaming crowds. Does it work?
Aesthetically the Nur is my absolute favorite PDP headset; a sleek black band supports two over-sized cups that each have a clear window showing the circuitry that powers the 50mm neodymium drivers. The leatherette cups are refined, durable, and breathe quite well allowing for gamers to spend more time in what is a slightly larger headset (as most wireless headsets are). Eschewing the ever popular piano-black appearance that the less mature crowd may be looking for, the Nur sports a rich matte surface which eliminates any potential fingerprints resulting from late-night snacking (I hate fingerprints...).
With some of the previous Afterglow headsets that is one of their signatures, is extremely bright. The AGU1.s headset's lighting is nearly bright enough to read by. Fortunately the Nur is far more understated and not nearly as bright. Even better you now have the option to turn it off, set it to manual setting, which allows you to set the color of the lighting, or it can go into this automatic rotation that will slowly 'breathe' through the color spectrum. It is actually a very nice touch. The stand acts as both the transmitter/receiver for the headset as well as the charging station and is clean, well made and even has the ability to be wall mounted. The one nitpick I have with the stand is that the neck that supports the receiver/charge stand has a small hole in which you route your power and 3.5mm or Optical cables through.
While the opening is large enough for the various cables, the issue lies with its proximity to the plugs on the receiver. Cables have a bend gate and of most cables, the Optical cable (aka Toslink) has a very large bend gate. This means that you cannot bend the cable very much before the inner parts to the cable start to split and crack. Using any sort of quality optical cable will require you to not use the pilot hole that PDP provides you, lest you surpass the bend gate of your cable (which will break down the cable resulting in loss of quality, or worse, a busted cable). Placing the pilot hole farther down the neck would be more than acceptable without ruining the very mature lines of the Nur hardware.
While the Nur is a very attractive headset, the primary responsibility of the headset is to provide high-quality audio and, on a gaming console, the ability to reproduce your voice via a microphone. While the 50mm neodymium drivers are excellent, the real kicker comes when you turn on the Bass Boost. In previous models the bass boost could eventually stress the speakers causing warbling and static. Not so with the Nur. The amplifiers in the headset are perfectly tunes to the quality of the drivers and the result is astounding.
I am something of a bass-freak and love a good rumble and the Nur is easily one of the most impressive headsets that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. There are essentially two modes for the audio that you can choose from; the Pure Audio option, which is a fairly clean, if simple audio setting which faithfully recreates what your system is outputting. The real winner though, is the enhanced bass mode which livens up the audio significantly. I would personally be absolutely fine with them removing the "Pure Audio" setting and leaving the Enhanced Audio setting as the standard; it is truly a joy to listen to. As an added bonus? While you are changing the various modes on the headset an attractive-sounding female greets you, notifies you of the changing modes, or simply says "Goodbye, Player." It is a nice touch.
On top of the excellent audio reproduction, the microphone is clean, avoids picking up a lot of background noise, and broadcasts the gamers' voice. One thing I did notice is that as the battery for the headset gets dangerously low, some of the others that I was playing Ghost Recon: Future Soldier with reported that the audio cut out a few times while I was speaking. Not entirely troublesome but enough to have me mention it. On the other hand the issue may have been to issues related to my having problems connecting to the PSN this weekend.
With each new release by PDP, their headsets seem to 'grow up' and they mature quite well. The Nur is no exception. With new lines, a cleaner design, rich audio and some stellar base reproduction, the Nur is by far and away the best Afterglow headset by PDP to date. While slightly more expensive than its Kral and Karga brethren, the latest offering by PDP is by far and away, the headset to buy.
Review by Robert