Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Tritton AX Pro Headset - Elite Gaming Headset

The Tritton AX Pro is an elite gaming headset from global accessories giant MadCatz. The technology behind the product is simple, smack four speakers into each of your ears for a total of eight and hope the gamer doesn’t go deaf. The speakers make for an authentic surround experience as each represents a section, front, left, right and back speaker for a complete surrounding experience. Does the experience live up to the hype or does it leave a faint whisper in your ear?

Tritton AX Pro Headset

Mic Check
The Tritton AX Pro headset is a big mother. It comes in a neatly packaged box that when you take it all out really requires you to go through it to make sure you don’t end up throwing anything away. Below the review is a list of what is included out of the box. The great thing about Tritton is that they know that stuff just happens sometimes or maybe a piece is missing. You can either call or just simply go online to their official website and order replacement parts from there. It is rather hassle free and easy compared to other headsets that you buy and break easily for the PS3 or the Xbox 360. I myself have gone through two different headsets on the PS3 alone. They break, they wear or simply you have bad luck and maybe your daughter chews on it and gnaws a hunk off or the piece that hooks around your ear breaks off and you create a makeshift one out of a metal hanger, yep I did that.  The headset comes with a detachable microphone piece for easy storage and multiple attachments to hook up to your 360, PS3, PC, directly to your TV or even, your iPod. I was simply amazed when I hooked it into my iTouch and listened to the smoothest music I have ever heard. The AX Pro is not your ordinary ‘headset’ it also doubles as what I would call a hub for audio nuts or connoisseurs. The included decoder box allows you to customize your sound in a few ways for the technical out there, it allows you to compensate for audio lag, manage Dynamic Range Control and choose between Pro Logic or Dolby 5.1 surround. What makes the AX Pro amazing is that in the speakers there are four sets of speakers, two for Front, Rear, Subwoofers and Center speakers which creates a full surround experience for the user unlike anything I have seen in any headset.
Tritton AX Pro Headset
Gaming HardcoreThe primary use that a lot of people will purchase this headset for is for gaming. The microphone is a bendable plastic material and on several forums there is mention of it dying six months to a year into its life out of box. I have only had the headset for roughly two weeks so I cannot account for what may or may not happen. Maybe that is why they decided to make the microphone detachable and replaceable online. Once everything is hooked up to your PS3 or Xbox 360 (requires newer models for game audio due to lack of an optical port in the back) or PC and you have changed your settings to account for the new sound system you are ready to play. I tried this title out on a few games Marvel VS Capcom 3 was the first. It had great sound on the low setting for the headset and the microphone was great, but there will always be connection issues in a game like MVC3. For ambiance the second title I tested it out on was MLB 11: The Show. The sound in the ballparks echoed and while up at bat you could hear every subtle sound of the stadium from the crows to faint conversations and as I stood there in awe as a pitch blew by me, I could hear the whoosh of the pitch into the catcher’s mitt. The game itself is very detailed but the headset just made everything ‘pop’. The final title I tested the headset on was none other than Call of Duty: Black Ops. I couldn’t think of a better way to test out the game audio and the microphone audio at the same time. The microphones were clear as expected but the thing that caught me was the subtleties of sounds you would hear. If you played on the map ‘Dust’ or stood still long enough you could hear the wind blowing, something that is just relaxing to hear in game sometimes. One major thing that really blew my mind was on ‘Nuketown’ next to one of the houses is a sprinkler an inaccessible side of the fence. If you stand by the fence you will hear the sprinkler in front of you and as you rotate your character the sprinkler will rotate around you as well and combined with the surround sound headset it truly shows the capabilities of the true 5.1 surround sound in the headphones. You can hear the sprinkler behind you. The headset is equipped with independent game and voice volume controls, what this mean is when you are in game you can turn up either one or the other or completely drown one out. There are also buttons on the In-Line Controller that allow you to raise each of the four speaker sets separately on five different levels and around four to five sub levels in between each main level ranging from minimum, low, medium, high or max.

Tritton AX Pro Headset

Entertainment Headphones
Earlier I mentioned that I loved the ability to hook up my iPod Touch to the headset and it was a great experience. I also experimented with various other mediums like Netflix streaming which came out quite well with the sound at MAX I could easily sit the headset on the coffee table and watch Netflix with everyone in the room being able to hear. The quality of sound is impeccable, especially when it comes to Blu-Rays. I watched Resident Evil: Apocalypse and scenes from Beauty & The Beast on Blu-Ray and the sound was quite good, the only problem I had was that I had to into the options and set the audio to PCM, but it is only a minor annoyance as the headsets pick up the most minuet sound such as characters walking or even bullet shells hitting the ground. These are headsets so if you live alone or live with anyone who doesn’t want to watch TV or play games or listen to them this is perfect for that situation, it is also good if you simply just want to listen to music. There is a slight amount of leaking of sound from the headphones especially if you use the default ears that are included, I recommend switching them off with the leather ones that are also packed in to reduce the sound leak as well as trap in the sound for your own pleasure.

Tritton AX Pro Headset

Can You Hear Me Now?
Yes, with this headset you can hear just about anyone. It is the most versatile headset I have ever had the pleasure of using. The ability to hook it into many devices and deliver the most amazing sound that I have simply ever heard is great. If you love sound, love gaming, love hearing the best audio in games or even if you just want to hear that guy coming at you in Call of Duty from a mile away  (you can hear someone planting a claymore from quite a significant distance) than this is for you. Just as long as you don’t mind a little clutter around your gaming/entertainment area as it has a lot of cords connected to it sadly. However it is understandable as wireless doesn’t always give the best quality and the plug is to power not only the headset but the decoder box as well. Everything that is offered is worth significantly more than what the price of the headset is going for considering other headsets by other companies are more than twice the price of the AX Pro. The proof is in the sound, simply pure, amazing sound. If you buy one headset for your gaming needs the AX Pro is the one to get.
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