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Tritton Warhead: Wireless 7.1 Dolby Headset

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:02 — BCKinetic

2old2play gets an early look at Tritton's new flagship gaming cans: The Tritton Warhead, their new wireless 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound Headset. Read on for our take.

 

The neverending quest for the ultimate gaming headset continues with the latest edition from Tritton / MadCatz. It’s no secret that many of us have used Tritton Headsets in the past, and the AX 360 was the standard for myself and those whom I played Halo with on a regular basis. At that point, Tritton sound quality was the bar by which all other gaming headsets were judged.

The AX Pro was again another remarkable peripheral. It came with its annoyances though (stiff mic boom, 2 AC adapters), but still, it was the best true surround sound gaming headset on the market.

Astro Gaming upped the ante when they introduced their wireless mixamp that allowed parents to worry less about their 3-year-old crashing through the living room, tripping on a 10’ long TOS link cable and sending their console careening through the air to its unfortunate demise. Yet, we still longed for a completely wireless solution. The new Warhead fulfills that requirement. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Appearance and Setup


As with anything you pay good money for, you want to be wow’ed when you open it. The Warhead does just that. Call me a consumer, but I love great packaging (insert Apple fanboy joke here).  

The Warhead looks right at home with the rest of your gaming attire: glossy black finish, which matches my 42” Samsung TV and the original Xbox 360 slim. On the plus side, there are no cheesy glowing T’s on the earcups, just black and silver with the trademark orange on the inside of the ear cups. When not in use, the headset rests on wings that protrude from the bottom of the base station, giving it a floating appearance in line with its high end personna.

Setup was a breeze. Plug the base station into the Xbox via optical cable, plug in the AC power and away you go. A quick sync between the headset and the console was all it took to get things running. As easy as pairing the official Xbox wireless headset.

Performance

Let’s get to the important stuff. First - Sound quality. Having used Tritton cans in the past, there was a level of expectation that came with these. I was concerned about the simulated surround sound as opposed to their previous true surround sound. These do not disappoint. I’ve had the opportunity to use the Astro A40s and the Warhead performs just as well, if not better, but in a completely wireless package. The base station provides three different EQ settings to match the media: Games, Movies, Music. The differences are minute, but add to the sound quality of each mode.The headset also uses 5.8ghz wireless - what this means: no interference or sound degradation from other wireless interference. *cough* Turtle Beach *cough*

Let’s not forget completely separate volume controls for in-game volume and chat volume. The volume controls are easy to use via dials on the top/back of each ear cup. Chat on the left (same as the Mic, so easy to remember) and Game on the right (same as the EQ button). Two features I’m loving with the dials is the ability to simply press down on them: For game volume it’s an instant MUTE, and on the Chat side it enables Tritton’s SVM (Selectable Voice Monitoring). This allows you hear your own voice through the headset. No more accidental yelling into the mic from not being able to hear yourself. I also really like this in that it picks up a little bit of background noise, so I know if my dogs are fooling around or perhaps my wife is asking me a question. In asking those I play with, they don’t seem to hear anything more than my voice, so Bonus!

So how is that mic? Those with previous iterations know that Tritton has had some issues with Mic performance in the past. Their customer service has been awesome enough to replace mics without question, but no one wants to lose time waiting for a replacement mic to show up. I can say that I’ve had great feedback regarding voice communication with this set. The Mic mute button is found on the side of the flexible boom up near the earcup. While Mute is activated, a red LED light comes on at the tip of the mic - no more wondering if you are muted or not. That red light will also flash if you are out of range of the base station. Thus far I’ve found the range of the headsets to be about the same as the controller. Getting up and walking to the fridge for a beer while trash talking between games will not suffer.

 

Batteries

There were two issues I was concerned about in considering a wireless headset: Battery life and weight. My assumption was that a wireless headset would be extremely weighted down by a heavy battery pack. Not.The.Case. This headset weighs about the same as my AX Pros. What this translates to is a comfortable fit for extended periods of gaming. Four-hour gaming sessions have been no problem.

Battery life has been phenomenal. I’ve used this battery for about four hours each night for three nights straight (that’s 12 hours of gaming) and the battery life meter shows half full. Tritton claims 12 hours of battery life, but I got 18 hours on my first charge.  Even more is possible if you mute the mic the whole time (which turns off the transmission side of the wireless which is what eats up a good percentage of the juice). The great thing is you get two batteries: one in the headset, the other in the base station charging. So when one runs out, you simply make a quick swap between games and you are good to go for another 18 hours of gaming. This easily makes up for the fact that yet another peripheral’s AC plug is taking up space on my surge protector.

This is also the only truly wireless headset on the market. That means no wire from the headset to the controller. Because Tritton has partnered with Microsoft to make this an official Xbox 360 headset, they were able to score exclusive usage of the proprietary hardware for the original Xbox wireless headset. A bonus of that is the battery meter built into your xbox dashboard. Open the dashboard and to the left of your controller battery meter is the battery meter for your headset. Everyone likes knowing how much juice they’ve got left.

Price

As with any high end peripheral these days, you are going to pay out the A$$ for them. Not only does this mean you have to come up with the $299 price tag, you’ll also need to present this item to your significant other in hopes that they don’t Veto it on the spot. Do yourself a favor, don’t tell your wife right away. Start stashing some cigarette/Starbucks/beer money now. If you are a heavy drinker like me, sacrificing a bottle or two of Macallan 12 year could get you $100 closer to your mark. A quick look through Ebay also tells me that the going rate for used, but in “near perfect” shape, Astro A40s and Tritton AX Pros is about $150. Just like that, BAM! $250 raised. Kick your Starbucks habit for a month as well, and you’re there.

Or, you could present the idea to your significant other right now, planting the seed that will eventually grow into a Christmas present. Somehow, we always find a way.

Summing Up


Thus far, I’ve been impressed. I’ve got the same awesome surround sound and chat abilities I’ve come accustomed to using previous gaming headsets, but completely wireless. And though I don’t have kids, I’ve got two 70lb dogs that are under two years old - not a good combo for stringing 10’ of cords from my tv to my couch.

Are they worth $300? Any wireless option at this point is going to cost that much. I’m sure Turtle Beach makes a cheaper model, but I’ve heard nothing but bad reviews about Turtle Beach’s fully wireless solutions. I’m not ok with an interference buzzing in the background. If you are like me, this isn’t your first set of gaming cans, so selling your old ones is a viable solution to offsetting some of that big price tag.
 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion, these are the things that put the Warhead above the competition:

  1. Battery life 3x longer than the competition
  2. Two batteries included, and one always charging = Hot-swap and you’re gaming again
  3. Integrated voice chat = no wires. Period.
  4. Tritton’s well known customer service. (I’m hoping that hasn’t been compromised with the integration under MadCatz.)

 

Verdict

There you have it, go out and conquer while running circles in your living room, free from any restraints.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional pictures:

 

Comments
loki619's picture

Great review. I must add that MadCatz/Tritton customer support has changed and that they really took care of me a few months ago - I had written them off a couple of years ago when my pair of Trittons broke and I never got a response from their customer service. I gave them another chance when I bought a pair of AX Pros at SD Comic-Con last year. This time, I had issues with the in-line volume controller and I contacted them. The change in customer service was night and day. This time, I got a response back and within a week, I got a replacement cable! They really stepped up their game as far as after purchase support is concerned.

BCKinetic's picture

That's great to hear Loki. Good customer service is always a concern when you are dropping this kind of cash.

Prof_Rockwell's picture

So reading this review last week got me thinking about upgrading from my Turtle Beach X3s that I've had for almost 4 years now. I've narrowed it down to either the Warheads you talked about here or the Astro A50s. Anyone have any thoughts on these two?

Gunny's picture

You're a lucky lucky dog BC! Can't wait to pick these up. Great review!
DSmooth's picture

Well written and informative BC. Nice work!

Lbsutke's picture

I noticed you removed my contribution to your article. I m disappoint.

Doodi's picture

Like your spelling.

Zero7159's picture

Excellent review.  I received my Warhead headset yesterday.  My wife asked "why did you get another headset?"  I told her that my current headset, the Turtle Beach PX-5, does not work correctly with my Xbox because of my CSR Elite wheel.  She bought the explanation and so the Warhead is staying.  Anyway, I only got to use them for less than an hour, but I already have had many of the same experiences as you.  Set up was cake, although the pairing instructions are a little confusing.  The packaging is great, and made me feel comfortable spending $300 for a headset.  The headset feels solid, nothing feels cheap here.  The sound quality is superb, it seems like the bass is deeper than the bass in my PX-5 headset.  The cars in Forza 4 sound awesome, I really hear the roar of the engine.  The chat seems to work well, I can clearly hear other guys and I love the option to adjust the chat volume independent of the game volume.  I have yet to test how others can hear me, but if the sound of others is any indication, it will be fine.  I am so glad that I now can play Forza 4 online using my Fanatec CSR Elite wheel!!!

BCKinetic's picture

Awesome, it's nice to get a first hand comparison to a set of Turtle Beach cans. 

Blimey's picture

Ive been waiting for these to show up at Best Buy(I have some rewards points banked)Be nice to have a headphone set up that works properly with my steering wheel. Anybody read anything about these working with the next gen consoles? Nice review thanks.

BCKinetic's picture

I haven't heard anything specific, but as for game sound, it's all input through an optical cable, so my assumption would be that we won't have any issues there. The real question is whether the chat function will work. My guess is YES, since it's the official Xbox proprietary hardware. If it doesn't work, that would mean that Microsoft abandoned the idea of making their hardware backwards compatible with peripherals (and their own peripherals at that). So my guess is that these will be fine going on to the xbox 720, but it's all speculation at this point.

PoltegIce's picture

Does it work with the pc or PS3 as well? I don't see the link to the website.

 

I want these now. Is it true that $300 is pretty standard for all wireless headset prices?

 

***edit, 

nvm, the answer is no, it is not compatable with the pc or PS3. Not as jazzed as before.

 

here is the website link

http://www.trittonaudio.com/prod/warhead.asp

BCKinetic's picture

Well, they will work with any device that has an optical out, but the chat function will only work with the xbox. They just can't advertise that since they are partnered with Xbox. 

Zero7159's picture

You can get sound for PC, PS3, Xbox or any other device that has an optical out.  But, the chat only works with Xbox.  Its the same proprietary technology as the Microsoft Wireless headset.  The chat is relatively clear, and much louder than any other headset I have used with my Xbox.  Its a true step up from any other headset that I have tried on the Xbox, including the stock headset, the Microsoft Wireless headset, and the Turtle Beach headsets.

T3muJin's picture

finally sounds like we have a good wireless headset.  Thanks BC

TKBosss's picture

I had been wondering about these.  I currently have the Turtle Beach PX5, which work with my Xbox 360 and my PS3.  The bluetooth dongle works well to create a wireless connection, but I have some audio cutting in and out occassionally, but not to the point that it makes them crap.  Have you tried the X500 or PX5's by Turtle Beach in comparison to these???   If so how do they stack up, as they fall in about the same price range (think the TB were about $30 less).  Thanks!!!  Sorry didn't see the post of the comparison, my mistake DISREGARD.

 

Does it have the ability to create sound setups (i.e. footsteps in COD, etc.....)????

BCKinetic's picture

I haven't used the Turtle Beach sets at all, so I don't have anything except other's reviews to go on. Sorry.

As for sound setups, I'm not sure what you mean.

TKBosss's picture

Sorry my mind went blank when typing earlier (not difficult).  I mean EQ setups to adjust what is louder in game, such as footsteps, etc....

BCKinetic's picture

They don't have any elaborate EQ settings that you can tweak, just 3 presets: Music, Game, and Movie. I find that the Game setting does best with games and sounds such as footsteps and gunfire. A game like MW3 really thrives in these where as the recent Halo 3 throwback nights I've been playing don't sound bad, I just think that the game doesn't utilize the sound capabilities as well as a newer game. Going forward I would like to think that games will utilize the capacity of newer audio equipment.

SirPoonga's picture

I have Turtle Beach's X41 and I have reviewed them here before.  They are good.  They have some issues, like battery life and no indicator that they are about to die.  But sound quality is absolutely awesome.

However, one bad thing that these Trittons solve is the Xbox chat.  On the X41 the chat cable plugs into the buttom of the cans.  This makes it really easy to accidently pull them out.  I ended up hot gluing my cable to the headset.  I would love a complete wireless solution.  Though $300 is abit spendy.  I do like the fact that you can keep a battery back charged.  That almost pushes me to the selling point.

If these Trittons would work completely wireless with botht he Xbox and PS3 I would be sold.

Good article.  I ended up buying these and giving them a try.  The sound was awesome maybe even too much so...I found myself getting distracted in MW3 with cloth flapping in the wind thinking it was people moving next to me. :P  Being completely wireless is a nice benefit as well.  Still, I decided to return them because after I hit around 30min of wearing them I get an awful headache.

Zero7159's picture

The sound is amazing with these headphones.  Significantly better than my Turtle Beach PX5 headset.  I noticed much deeper, more powerful bass.  The headset itself is very well made, and it feels like a $300 headset.  The padding on the headband could be thicker, and thus I also have gotten some headaches after long use.  I have managed to live with that, however, by periodically moving the headset around.

For me at least, the biggest advantage to this headset is the true wireless chat capability, which allows me to use my Fanatec CSR Elite wheel in Forza 4, with great sound and chat via the headset.  I could not do that before with any other headset.  If I did not have that need, then the $315 price tag (with two day shipping), would probably not be worth it and I would stick with my PX-5 headset.

TKBosss's picture

Thanks zero, what I wanted to know.

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