After we had already tested several controllers from the American manufacturer PowerA, for the Xbox Series X|S and also the Xbox One, another model now follows. The PowerA Spectra Infinity Enhanced Wired Controller is an officially licensed and wired controller with additional features.
These features include two rumble motors and two additional buttons that can be freely assigned, as we already know from the Enhanced Wired Controller. Also new are the three-way trigger locks, which PowerA also offers on the high-priced FUSION Pro 2. From a purely visual standpoint, the Spectra Infinity looks like a simple black Xbox controller, but it offers RGB lighting with many color variations.
Whether PowerA can convince primarily with RGB or also with the additional features and thus offers a good alternative to the Microsoft controller, we clarify in the following test.
|Size||109 x 160 x 65 mm (H x W x D)|
|cables||3 m Micro-USB to USB-A|
|Compatibility||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC|
|Features||2 additional buttons, 2 rumble motors, three-way trigger locks, volume control, RGB lighting|
|Scope of delivery||Controller, micro USB cable|
Scope of delivery
The Spectra Infinity Enhanced Wired Controller ships in a compact, black cardboard box. With shiny effects and plenty of pictures, PowerA points out the RGB lighting. Inside the box, in addition to the controller, is a black, braided micro-USB cable and a quick start guide. The scope of delivery is thus minimalistic, but offers everything that is needed and expected in this price range.
Design and workmanship
PowerA relies on the familiar design and layout of the Microsoft controller. The size is almost identical to the original. The weight is also very similar, at 287 g and thus only 10 g more. Apart from the connection via cable instead of wireless, Xbox gamers or Xbox controller connoisseurs do not need to get used to the new controller.
The top of the controller is somewhat soft and velvety, but untextured. The sides have a diamond texture, which makes the controller feel good and secure in the hand. On the other hand, PowerA does without this structure on the triggers. The control pad and buttons made a good impression in the test. The triggers and shoulder buttons are a bit louder than on the Microsoft controller, but we like them much better than on the PowerA Xbox Series X|S Enhanced Wired Controller. Nothing rattles, workmanship and material quality are consistently good to very good.
The black 3-meter-long micro-USB cable is braided, and a Velcro strap for shortening it to the desired length is also attached. In addition, the cable has two small hooks on the plug that prevent unintentional removal from the controller. If you want to remove the cable, you have to press lightly on the connector from both sides to release it.
Connection and compatibility
The Spectra Infinity Enhanced Wired Controller is compatible with Xbox Series X|S, its predecessor, the Xbox One, and the PC. Use went smoothly on both the console and PC. On the Xbox, the controller was recognized within a few seconds and was immediately ready for use. This process took much longer on the PC, but the setup was also completed after a few seconds. A manual driver or subsequent software installation is not necessary.
Since the weight is only minimally different from the Microsoft controller and the size is almost identical, there is no need to play in with the controller. Everything remains the same. Those who like the Xbox controller can always switch to the PowerA Spectra Infinity and continue playing with it. This is also true for us. We like the original design, which also makes the Spectra Infinity fit perfectly in the hand. If you’re not a fan of the Microsoft controller, you’ll of course be just as unhappy with it.
The control via sticks, directional pad and buttons is very precise. They feel good, don’t rattle and we also like the pressure point very much. The two rumble motors are powerful and also pleasing. The volume control also worked reliably at all times.
The two additional buttons on the underside and the three-way trigger locks left a very good impression in the test and represented a clear added value in some games. In addition, the programming of the two buttons is also very simple. You press the Program button for 2 seconds, then the button whose function you want to reassign and then the additional button you want to assign. In the end, the additional button is only a duplication of the assignment, but in some games it is an advantage. For example, in RPGs or other games where you need a lot of buttons, you can reassign A, B, X and Y, which saves having to reach around in practice. The three-way trigger locks allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the triggers in three steps. Thanks to this setting, you can accelerate or brake less in racing games, for example. In shooters, on the other hand, a high sensitivity is advantageous, since the fastest possible reaction is desired here.
The combination of additional buttons and trigger settings also proved to be very practical. For example, you can place a somewhat sluggish but more precise control on the trigger button and the direct action without delay on one of the additional buttons. This gives you two different options within the game and saves you from having to make adjustments, which is something you naturally want to avoid in the game.
All in all, we see the expansion of the range of functions very positively, because these new possibilities seem well thought-out and also work well and reliably. Whether they are an advantage, however, depends heavily on the game. For example, the buttons will probably be ignored in a jump ‘n’ run, but used very often in a complex RPG.
As already mentioned at the beginning, the PowerA Spectra Infinity offers extensive RGB lighting. If you activate this, there are two options to choose from, Breathing and Solid, which are breathing and static lighting. The lighting can be adjusted independently for three zones. Zone 1 is a narrow strip that goes around the controller, Zone 2 includes the left stick and the A, B, X and Y buttons, Zone 3 includes the D-pad and right stick.
Color-wise, PowerA offers a total of 20 different color options. These consist of five shades of green, five shades of red, five shades of blue and five shades of yellow. The lighting is activated via the LED button, which is located in the center of the back, then the zone is selected via the D-pad and finally the color and hue are selected via the A, B, X or Y buttons. The exact and detailed explanation can be found in the enclosed manual. At first, the system seems a bit tedious due to the sequence of several button presses and the zones, but after a bit of trial and error, it’s quickly kar.
To deactivate the RGB illumination, press the LED button briefly. If this is deactivated, the controller looks like any other black Xbox controller.
The PowerA Spectra Infinity left a good impression in the test. Design and layout are familiar to every Xbox gamer, material quality and workmanship are on a good level, even if the trigger and shoulder buttons could be a bit quieter. Compared to the Microsoft controller, the two additional buttons and the three-way trigger locks offer added value, and RGB fans also get their money’s worth.
In terms of price, the Spectra Infinity is only slightly below the Microsoft controller, so you have to decide mainly between the additional features including RGB and the possibility to play wirelessly.