The world of headsets designed to ‘heighten your experience’ or ‘blow you away’ or generally any other PR hyperbole that is associated to any high end product, is vast and dense. You can’t go into a games specialist store without falling over a dump-stack or two of them, or having them thrust in your face when you visit an online shop, indeed it seems in the last few years that the headset market is on fire. Turtle Beach headsets seem to be the consumer choice at the moment, with people clambering for their products like an apocalypse was coming, but Mad Catz have joined in on the party, and personally it looks like they are ready to blow that beach full of turtles completely out of the water.
Everybody says that appearances aren’t everything, or that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know most people do at some point, and from first glance at the Tritton Primer headset you know you can expect something slick and wonderful. First off you’ll notice that it’s an officially licensed product, the packaging is exactly like something you’d expect from a firstparty Xbox 360 product. It comes in those sexy white boxes, with that cheeky splash of green in the corner, and a lovely wide window for your eyes to ogle the headset within, and my what a headset. Its sleek black curves and minimalist styling make it a very attractive piece of plastic, much more-so than the horrendously bulky X32s or upcoming xp300s (which is the primers main competition). The flash of orange on the headphone speakers, as well as on the Tritton logo, make it even more tasteful. It definitely looks the part of a serious headset, and thankfully it also sounds like one.
Keeping up with its first appearances, the headset is glorious to wear. Not only is it incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time, thanks to very soft and squishy ear pads and a pad on the headband to make sure it doesn’t rub and become uncomfortable. It’s devastatingly loud and crisp for a stereo headset, so much so you’ll actually think its surround sound thanks to its ability to cleanly and quickly switch between highs and lows. This high level of sound quality comes thanks to its 40mm speaker drivers that really push out the deep basses needed to really transport you to a battlefield, it also made the Halo: Combat Evolved music feel incredibly awesome alongside it’s powerful weapon arsenal, and it made playing Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 feel like you were in the middle of a rave.
For those who are really anal about their headsets, and thus worry that going wireless will create sound lag, we didn’t notice a single bit of slowdown nor did the sound drop at any point at all. This is thanks to the 5.8GHz wireless connection that pushes the crisp sound and means that interference from other devices doesn’t bother these headsets, indeed we got a phone call on our mobile and it didn’t even come through on the headset. Nicely the wireless chat is handled excellently too, with speech never dropping and, from what our online compatriots have told us, delivering a clean sound through the microphone. Indeed even the sound of someones incredibly annoying voice sounds all the sweeter when heard through one of these bad-boys. If however you’d rather not talk, or have to endure someones voice, then you can handily turn the chat volume down independently from the game volume, via controls on the headset itself, and you can easily mute the mic and fold it right out of the way.
The Primer also comes with everything you’ll need to get it up and running right out of the box for any Xbox 360 console. If you’ve got an Xbox 360 running off HDMI – instead of composite like us – then you get the audio cable you’ll need to get the most out of your consoles sound. It also comes with some batteries to get you going, and a cable to plug the mic into the controller. Set-up is incredibly easy too, literally requiring you to plug the base station into the xbox (for power) and then the sound into the TV and Xbox 360, after that it’ll automatically sync up with the headset and you can just sit back and enjoy all the sound your ears can handle. Nicely enough Mad Catz have also included their 2 year warranty with the headsets, although unless you do some crazy stuff with your headsets, it seems incredibly rugged and able to withstand practically anything.
It isn’t all sunshine and green grass when you’re on the Tritton side of the headset world though. Actually, we only really found one fault with the headset, and even then it was only marginal. When powered up you’ll hear the low hiss of the speakers whilst they warm up. It mostly goes away when a game is being played, partly because you’ll be so engrossed in the gameplay and the superb sound quality, but it will always be there hissing away in the background. Its presence only becomes an annoyance when the game becomes silent itself, or if you’re in a soundless environment like the Xbox 360 menu. Understandably the hissing breaks immersion during a particularly somber scene, or in a horror game where silence builds tension, and arguably its moments like this a headset should be perfect for immersing yourself in.
Overall though the Tritton Primer Wireless Stereo Headset is a forced to be reckoned with. It’s understandable that it’s a licensed product as it’s absolutely top-notch in terms of comfort and sound, as well as its aesthetics and ease of use. Thanks to having all the sound controls in an easy to find position on the headset itself, the design is alluringly sleek and so makes it feel like a professional headset, as opposed to the bulky and rather tasteless Turtle Beach range of headsets. It may not be absolute perfection, but for a stereo headset that’s wireless and built to last, and incredibly affordable for a licensed headset ($99.99/£89.99), you’d be hard pressed to find anything better, especially as this one even has the Microsoft official seal of approval.
Final Score: 4.5/5