Review: Tritton AX 720

This gaming headset supports virtual surround sound, and provides an upgrade from the official PS3 and Xbox 360 headsets.

NameGaming headset: Tritton AX 720
At a glance:Works with PC, Xbox 360 and PS3,Dolby Digital 3D surround sound,Complicated setup,Adjustable game and voice volumes
Summary:Comfortable and high-quality, but the cords make a bit of a mess.

For PC gamers, there is a plethora of high-quality headsets available on the New Zealand market. Sennheiser, Razer, and Logitech all have products that offer fantastic sound quality and comfort for your PC gaming needs. Console gamers, on the other hand, are not so lucky. The official headsets you can buy for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are straight-up terrible. They’re flimsy, they break easily, the sound quality is mediocre at best, and they’re far from comfortable to wear.

Fortunately, Tritton’s AX 720 headset is a much, much improved experience, and works with both the Xbox 360 and PS3. It’s a bit complicated to set up, however.

We tested the headset with the Xbox 360, as we didn’t have the right cable to use it with the PS3. The headset comes with a headphone amplifier, about the size of a hardcover novel, which has its own power supply. You hook the amp up to the power supply, then up to the Xbox using an optical cable, and the headset up to both the amp and the Xbox 360 controller. This set up process definitely takes a bit of figuring out, and once it’s all hooked up there’s a mess of cords both around you and literally on you, hanging from both the headset and your controller.

It’s not often that we have to use instructions to set up something as seemingly simple as a headset – this time we definitely made use of a diagram or two. But when you’re good to go, you’ve got Dolby Digital 3D Surround Sound. The bass is amazing, game music sounds fantastic, and frankly you’ll struggle to get a better sound experience on your console without paying thousands on a surround sound home entertainment system.

The frequency response is 25Hz-22kHz, which is a bit average for a headset that costs $250, but the headset performed well at high and low volumes and while playing high and low notes.

Both the game and voice volumes are adjustable, so if you’re struggling to hear people talking over the sounds of the many, many explosions, you can turn the voice volume up or the game volume down.

If you want to get the 3D surround sound going on your PC, too, then you’ll need to have an optical input free somewhere on it.

We tested the headset with both a desktop and a gaming laptop, and unfortunately neither had an optical output – only those with high-end sound cards or certain motherboards do – so we had to use the standard 3.5mm audio jacks. As such, 3D surround sound wasn’t working, and you’re left with regular ol’ stereo sound. Still, the sound was of a higher quality than most headphones.

The headset is also very comfortable to wear – one of our biggest gripes with headsets is that they often have great sound quality but fall down when it comes to comfort. We spent several hours gaming with them on, and practically forgot that they were there at all.

The detachable microphone’s sound quality isn’t incredible, but it’s not bad, either. For console gamers, it’s certainly an improvement on the crackly mics on your official headsets. It’s also not going to unplug itself and wander off, as you have to click it in and then turn it to lock it into place.

All in all, Tritton’s AX 720 headset is a great device that’s only marred by a difficult setup and a bit of a mess of cords. PC gamers will want to look elsewhere – there are better headsets for you. Console gamers, however, might want to consider buying a pair if their 360 or PS3 headsets just aren’t good enough anymore.

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Tags headphonesheadsetsurround sounddolby digitalmicrophone

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Siobhan Keogh

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