Reviewed: December 9, 2008
Type: Gaming Headset
What's in the box
Digital Audio Connection
Analog Audio Output
I've had my share of so-called “gaming” headsets over the years. For the most part they were long on promises and short on delivery. The majority cost too much and were no better than a $10 pair of earbuds. At last, a company called Tritton has brought the answer to every gamers problem with their new Tritton AX Pro 5.1 Gaming Headset.
How many of us have heard the spine chilling scream from our loved ones: “TURN THAT DOWN!”? Now we can have our games, movies, and music in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound without disturbing the entire neighborhood! The Tritton AX Pro 5.1 Gaming Headset features:
The Tritton AX Pro headset comes with everything you need to enjoy surround sound on your Xbox 360, PS3, PC, or home theater system. You can even use it for online chat on Xbox Live and PlayStation Home. The only tricky aspect of the Tritton AX Pro Headset is the installation procedure.
The AX Pro is a wired system which uses two power supplies; one for the headset control box, and one for the input box. I wasn't too thrilled about two power supplies taking up space on my power strip and adding even more cables to my gaming rig, but I realized very quickly that it was worth the hassle. So look at the bright side, you'll never have to worry about charging or constant cost of batteries.
The kit comes with illustrated detailed instructions for just about any application. The easiest hookups are using an optical cable for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Once you plug that one cable into the connection box, it's easy sailing from there.
The most complicated connections come if you are using analog 5.1 outputs. It's really not that complicated, there are just more cables to hook up and they are also included in the kit.
Once you have all the cables connected and the mic plugged into the headset, just use the 12-foot cable to sit down across the room and you are ready to power up and quietly kill some bad guys on your favorite shooter!
Aesthetics - 9
The AX Pro comes with a slick silver on black design. The earphones have an illuminated orange Tritton logo. The head rail padding and ear cups are interchangeable with included pads. The lighted exterior ear cup covers are also interchangeable for those of you industrious enough to make your own. Yes, it's a bit of an eyesore with black cables running across the floor, but your neighbors will enjoy the peace and quiet it brings to their lives.
Performance - 9
The Tritton AX Pro headset just flat out rocks. Each over-the-ear headphone has 4 speakers (total of 8 speakers). In each ear you have three speakers for center, front, and rear channels, and one speaker is the subwoofer. I've used quite a few supposed “surround sound” headsets before and none of them delivered. They all provided lots of sound but there just wasn't any localization in the field – i.e. the voices and effects were not directional and didn't sound anything close to a normal home theater system.
The Tritton AX Pro is so good it really gave me goose bumps when I tried playing Dead Space and BioShock. The subtle background noise of people screaming, footsteps, and everything else that makes these games so good, comes out in skin crawling detail. Sports games like NCAA Basketball have great crowd effects. You feel like you are actually in the stadium.
Using the AX Pro for movies and music also brings equal pleasure. The battle scenes in Lord of the Rings are hard on any subwoofer and the AX Pro was up to the challenge. The sounds were accurate and localized in their correct position. Now, I won't be crazy and tell you the subwoofer in these headphones compares to a 15” house-shaking sub. But short of duct taping a big sub to your head, the AX Pro does enough to bring games, music and movies to life.
If the sound mix doesn't sound quite right to you, the AX Pro has a great little control box where you can pick the channel and turn the volume up or down. For dialog, pick the center channel and turn it up. For ear rattling bass, crank up the sub. The only one who will hear it is you due to the closed over-the-ear design of the AX Pro.
Overall – 9.2
The Tritton AX Pro is by far the best headset I have used. It may be a little pricey ($179.99 MSRP) for the average gamer, but for anyone who lives in an apartment, dorm, or home with sound sensitive occupants, the Tritton AX Pro headset is a must buy.