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Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller for Switch Review

Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller for Switch Review

PowerA Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch

PowerA is one of the top-tier producers of third-party controller makers in the world. Their contribution to the Nintendo Switch, particularly, has been an absolute pleasure, as PowerA has pumped out more themed and specialty controllers for the hybrid console than Nintendo themselves. The new Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller is a fantastic addition to the PowerA lineup, and it not only looks and feels amazing, but it is beyond reasonably priced.

So let’s dive in and find out why the Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch is a worthy primary controller and a definite secondary.

If you have ever gotten yourself a PowerA controller, you know right off the bat that these are very comfortable and often times have some of the best ergonomics in the business. The Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller is no different, as it provides the type of comfort you expect from this company. The soft-touch finish on the front plate feels great, and the overall look of the controller is pretty standard for PowerA.

Similar to other PowerA controllers, this one lacks a couple things that help give the full experience of a Switch-based controller. First of all, there is no NFC reader, which means no amiibo scannings. The other one is a bit more damning, and that is the lack of rumble. Compared to the Pro Controller, particularly, this is a serious step down, and many other third-party controllers on the market at least provide a standard rumble. However, PowerA goes the route of eliminating rumble for the sake of lowering the price, and in this case, I am completely fine with that, as the Spectra is a truly amazing wired controller for its price.

The last issue, which actually makes more sense considering its wired nature, is the lack of gyro support. I know for many shooting fans out there, gyro on the Switch is a game-changer, especially in titles like Splatoon 2. If that is a game you play regularly and prefer the gyro controls, then this is unfortunately not a controller for you. With that said, let’s cover all of the amazing qualities, because this affordable wired controller packs a real punch.

Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller

As usual, PowerA provides solid packaging of their controllers, and the Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller is no different. This is bundled with care and comes with a nearly 10ft (3 meters) long detachable cable with a snap-lock and inline release, and it also provides a very helpful instruction manual for any questions about some of the special buttons and features of the controller.

Speaking of special features, the Spectra Enhanced boasts a couple. One is a great feature that PowerA has been building into their controllers for a while now, and that is the Advanced Gaming Buttons, which are assigned as AGL and AGR on the back of the controller. These two buttons can be programmed and assigned an action you would prefer to have back there, and for certain types of games, this can be a real life-saver as your middle fingers twitching on those back buttons can give you presses you would otherwise be a bit slow on.

The other feature, and what is truly the main attraction, is the LED lighting that is built into the controller. The beautiful colors provide such soothing and warm light that helps calm nerves as you strive for a more chilled gaming experience. There are 8 total colors, and the LED button on the back of the controller can be pressed to change the color or choose the last option which rotates the colors in a lovely way. Playing at night with only my screen’s light looks so much better with the beautiful LED colors popping from the controller which makes this one of the best-looking wired controllers on the market, almost by default.

Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller

The joysticks are a bit more raised and smaller in diameter than the Switch’s Pro Controller which honestly took me a bit of adjustment. The sticks feel even better thanks to the anti-friction rings around them, and those rings also light up, which simply looks awesome. I played quite a few titles, ranging from first-person shooters like DOOM to newer action titles like No More Heroes 3 to indie darlings like Spelunky 2 to get a feel for the joysticks, and I experienced zero problems with any of the genres that I play-tested.

The other buttons also feel great and give you the kind of response you would expect from PowerA, but I think the triggers and shoulder buttons are an interesting area. The reason is that the layout is actually very similar to the Pro Controller albeit a tad smaller. However, a major difference is how much more raised the trigger buttons are, which have better traction and pull than that of the Pro Controller. I know it is easy to point fingers at Nintendo’s own model, but they should be the ones boasting the top features on their hardware, not the third-party companies. The Spectra Enhanced is half the price of the Pro Controller, but it honestly feels like the superior model, despite its shortcomings that we already talked about.

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Finally, and one of my favorite physical features on this controller, the 3.55mm audio port. This allows for high-quality game audio and even chat if it is available. This is also on the PowerA FUSION Pro Wireless controller that I reviewed back in May, but that controller has so many bells and whistles that I did not even bother talking about it. But to my surprise, this is one of the main reasons why the Pro Controller and other third-party controllers fail in the overall, because being able to have crisp audio connected right at your fingertips is a godsend, especially for games that depend heavily on their audio. Playing the Switch portably allows for this, but if you are playing in docked mode and want to use a wired headset, PowerA has got your back. Playing some horror titles and Spelunky 2 were even better thanks to this audio jack and my ability to use my gaming headphones with ease.

When it comes to third-party controllers, you absolutely cannot go wrong with purchasing the Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch. Sure, you cannot use it while on the go or with a Switch Lite, but if you are playing in Docked Mode and want a controller that simply looks glorious in its brilliant lighting, then this is the perfect controller for you. I would say that if you already have a Pro Controller and are looking for a secondary, look no further. This one, despite its couple flaws, is top-quality and nearly half the price of a Switch Pro Controller.

It is not everyday that you come across a great gaming controller under $40 USD, but PowerA has supplied just that. This is not simply a pretty controller, but it one of the best bangs for your buck on the market.

PowerA Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller Review provided by Nintendo Link
Maker: PowerA
Release Date: Available now via PowerA
Price: $34.99

Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller

Great design and ergonomics

Beautiful LED display with 8 colors

All buttons feel and press excellently

Mappable back buttons

Can wake up Switch (Unlike many 3rd party controllers)


No NFC reader for amiibo support

No rumble or gyro

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