If you get a sense of déjà vu when looking at the Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000, check out Microsoft's Xbox 360 headset. Add a splash of black and, voila! The Xbox branding may have gone, but when you plug in the receiver it still thinks it's found an Xbox peripheral.

The Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000 operates seamlessly with Windows Live Messenger. It is simple to set up - just pair the headset and receiver, and then you are wirelessly free of your PC.

We liked the Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000's four LEDs that indicate range, battery life, charging and connection status – although our vision isn't quite so reptilian as to be able to see these during use.

The Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000's eight-hour battery life meant we actually ran out of things to say, and we can't fault Microsoft on its 30ft range. If you use the ZX-6000 in place of music headphones – which we don't recommend – a set of volume and pause buttons come in useful, too.

Build quality isn't bad, but we felt silly wearing a piece twice the size of standard headsets. The Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000 delivers a strange experience: its adjustable band squashes the ear, while the device is so lightweight it almost floats.

When making a VoIP call we found the digital sound quality on our end to be acceptable. The person we were calling complained of some background noise, however. Well, as long as your end's fine...

Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000: Specs

  • System requirements: 550MHz Pentium III processor
  • Windows Vista/XP SP2
  • 60MB hard disk space
  • wireless technology 30ft range
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • CD-ROM
  • broadband
  • System requirements: 550MHz Pentium III processor
  • Windows Vista/XP SP2
  • 60MB hard disk space
  • wireless technology 30ft range
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • CD-ROM
  • broadband

OUR VERDICT

If you use VoIP (voice over IP), you might as well make yourself comfortable and lose the wires. For such a reasonable price tag, the Microsoft LifeChat ZX-6000 is ideal for occasional and home VoIP users.

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