As of its January 2008 firmware update (version 3.90), the slim Sony PSP includes built-in support for Skype, the popular VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) service that allows cheap-to-free calls worldwide. (Due to its less capacious memory, the Skype feature isn't available on the original version of the PSP.) The only problem with the addition of this new feature is finding a PSP-compatible headphone-and-microphone combination.
While Sony had released the PSP Headset, it did not work with Skype unless you also had the original remote control. Thankfully, the £20 PSP Headset with Remote Control bundles the necessary accessories together in one package.
In terms of design, we first noticed that the headset did not have a headband. Instead, a single wire connects the two earpieces. While this is more of a preference issue, we feel the wire approach is actually quite comfortable -- almost to the point where we didn't even notice we were wearing the headset.
Additionally, the ear pieces are covered in a soft foam accompanied by a retractable ear clamp, which added to overall comfort. The left earpiece is somewhat cluttered, with the headphone jack, the connecting right earpiece wire and the microphone all protruding from it.
The microphone extends about 89mm out from the earpiece and is completely adjustable. We found that having the microphone about 13mm from your face resulted in the best overall voice quality. That said, anyone used to in-ear earphones may find that the open design of the PSP headset lets in too much noise from the outside world.
The PSP Headset with Remote Control actually performs very well. We successfully held numerous Skype sessions and were told our voice quality was excellent. To be extra sure, we used the built-in Skype Test Call to hear for ourselves -- and voice quality was very clear. Headphone sound quality was good, performing noticeably better than the bundled PSP-branded ear buds that come with the Remote Control accessory. This was the case for Skype calls in addition to video and game playback.
The PSP Headset with Remote Control works just as we had hoped. Available in black or white for around £20, it's all you need to begin chatting using Skype with your PSP.
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday