Both the Z SEVEN and XP SEVEN come with an Audio Control Unit that acts as an external sound card while the later which we are not reviewing comes with a console adapter for Xbox 360 and PS3. No software drivers are provided in any form, but upon detecting the Audio Control Unit for the first time Windows may need to download compatible drivers which it should do automatically as outlined in the Quick Start Guide.
Advanced headset settings that normally might be found in the software control panel are placed onto the Audio Control Unit like a remote control.
Using the Audio Control Unit for the first time was a confusing and unintuitive endeavor. The big wheel actually doesn’t control master volume – that’s one of the smaller wheels on the side. The big wheel controls either microphone volume or in combination with Cycle Speaker Selection adjusts the volume of the virtual surround channels. Pressing the button in the center of the wheel will mute the microphone.
The numbers 1-8 are for either voice morphing or headphone equalizer presets which are selected by switching between CHAT and MAIN.
On the backside is a 3.5mm jack intended for connecting speakers to the Audio Control Unit.
Looking to the right side of the Audio Control Unit is a wheel for adjusting the master headphone and a Mode button that switches output between headset and speakers.
On the left side is a power button which could be useful if you want to turn off the lights on the Audio Control Unit, a microphone volume wheel labeled PGM, and volume control for audio incoming from an attached smartphone.
At one end, the Audio Control Unit can be connected to a smartphone, a SEVEN headset (or any headset), and an Xbox 360 controller though a cable for the latter is not included with the Z SEVEN.
The Audio Control Unit can use lots of cabling. It can connect to PC and Mac systems by USB and optionally with a 3.5mm analog output bypass.
There’s a big metal clip on the underside positioned and flush between three rubber feet.