|Dolby Pro Logic||Yes|
|Digital Audio Inputs||Optical/Digital|
|Analog 5.1 Output||Front, Rear, Sub output|
|DRC Selection||Dynamic Range Control|
|TD Selection||Time Delay Control for Center and Rear Channels|
|AX Pro Headset|
|Center Speaker||2 x 23mm Driver 120dB +- 3dB at 1mW, 1KHz; 130-2.5KHz(from 1KHz down 10dB)|
|Front Speaker||2 x 30mm Driver 120dB +- 3dB at 1mW, 1KHz; 20-20KHz(from 1KHz down 10dB)|
|Rear Speaker||2 x 30mm Driver 120dB +- 3dB at 1mW, 1KHz; 20-20KHz(from 1KHz down 10dB)|
|Subwoofer||2 x 40mm Driver 118dB +- 3dB at 1mW, 1KHz; 20-30KHz(from 1KHz down 10dB)|
|Cable Length||12.5 feet|
If we all had our way, we’d probably play our games on a huge screen with an awesome surround sound system cranked up all the way. Unfortunately, it’s rare that we find ourselves in such a situation where this is possible. From monetary limitations to having a shared wall or children in the house, there always seems to be something that holds us back. This is where headsets come into play. To get the best experience, you need on that’s comfortable, produces clear surround sound, and hopefully works with more than one gaming system. The Tritton AX Pro claims to posses all of these traits. Today we’re going to see just how well it actually performs.
The Tritton AX Pros have a nice silver exterior, with rubber accents and a double T on each ear that lights up nicely. Just looking at these gives you the impression that they are solid, and could probably withstand a bit of abuse. The inside consists almost entirely of a hard rubber, with the exception being the ear cups and a cushion for the top of your head. These have soft velvety fabric, which is typical of such headphones. You can also swap out the ear cups and cushion for a faux leather set.
Something that you will notice immediately is that there are a lot of cables for this headset. First, you have a control box, which takes care of the finer tuning of the audio. There is a power cable which runs to this, and to the headset. There is another cable that runs to the headset and connects to the box. You’ll also need to run an optical cable to the device you’re listening to, and a separate cable for your mic. It can look a little overwhelming.
As you would imagine from the amount of cables, hooking up this headset isn’t as simple as plugging in a stereo jack. That said, it isn’t necessarily a difficult task, just a laborious one. I’m the kind of person that hates having cables all over the place, so I had to take my time to make sure everything was routed neatly. The biggest trouble with doing this is that if you want to switch from a PC to your 360 or PS3, that is likely going to involve unplugging everything and dragging it to another room.
While I admit that such cabling is annoying, it isn’t unnecessarily so. If you want the extra power for your amp, you’re going to need to plug it into a wall. Then you need the control box (also doubles as the amp) to handle the mic and optical cables. Essentially, it boils down to whether having a more powerful sound and the ability to use optical audio is worth more than the hassle of the wires.
The AX Pros have four speakers in each ear, and are Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic Certified. That alone should tell you that they are going to provide at least a decent audio experience. However, after spending a couple of weeks with these, I’d say that the quality is anything but “decent.” It might take a bit of fine-tuning to get the perfect sound, but once you do, you’ll notice a huge difference between your regular PC or TV speakers and this headset.
The cups of the AX Pros sit around your ear, which helps to prevent sound from leaking out. This mean those little details you might have missed, are heard loud and clear. The surround functionality is great, helping you to pinpoint where enemy fire is coming from, which increases your reaction time. Overall, the sound quality helps provide that immersive feeling that we hope to achieve when gaming.
As for the mic, it performs perfectly well. Friends could hear me clearly, with no evidence of background noise. I was a little disappointed that the detachable mic wasn’t a bit more flexible, but the positioning of it didn’t seem to adversely affect the sound quality.
I consider comfort to be just as essential as sound quality when it comes to a headset. It really doesn’t matter how good the audio is if you can’t stand to wear them for more than an hour. First thing I should mention is that the headphones are actually lighter than they look. This is good, because having something weighing down on your head can become a nuisance. It should be noted that the light weight of the headset doesn’t give them a cheap feel, they still seem rather durable, as I mentioned earlier in the review.
Ear cups that actually sit around the ear are definitely my favorite, as they don’t put constant pressure directly on the ears. The cups are plenty deep enough to accommodate your ear, without putting any pressure on them. I’ve ran into a number of headsets in the past that weren’t deep enough and still caused discomfort. I like the fabric used on the cups, however, they have included a faux leather set, which others might find to be more to their liking.
The Tritton AX Pro headset is definitely in my list of favorite gaming headsets. The overall comfort and sound quality are unmatched by most others on the market. The biggest downside is dealing with all of the cables. However, the hassle of the setup is only temporary, while the quality of the headset will last for years.