I’ve finally gotten back into my let’s builds for the adventure series....
Having worked in a gaming lounge where one of our selling points were having Tritton headsets at every VIP station, this writer had a preconceived opinion of the brand. In our experience the mic was always a pain and they seemed to lack stability – ergo breaking easily, and these weren’t cheap headsets to replace. So, when a Ghost Recon Future Soldier 7.1 Surround Headset was handed over to this writer, expectations weren’t very high.
Seeing all the cords and wires first gave us a feeling of utter dread. In a world where gaming accessories are heading the direction of wireless, this just felt a bit bulky overall. The pieces included: 1) Dolby Surround Sound Gaming Headset, 2) In-line Volume Control with Breakaway cable, 3) Removable, Flexible Microphone, 4) Dolby Digital Decoder Box, 5) Xbox LIVE Communication Cable, 6) Digital Audio Adapter (Xbox 360 only; don’t panic, the headset’s still PS3 compatible), 7) Optical Cable, 8) Decoder Stand, and finally 9) USB Cable. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it was. Then again, the MSRP for this headset is $179.99 so you definitely don’t wonder where all that money went — it’s sitting in front of you in nine separate pieces. Fortunately, however, this headset is powered by USB instead of an adapter.
Overall though it wasn’t difficult to put together. The cord is 14’ so you can sit a comfortable distance away from the screen, and like most wired headsets nowadays there is volume control on the cord. The in-line controller isn’t a rotating wheel, but rather something that you simply sort of flick to make adjustments. You can adjust both game volume and voice volume separately. There’s an option for Selectable Voice Monitoring, which enables you to hear yourself over the in-game sounds. Personally this has always felt rather distracting, but some gamers prefer the sound of their own voice over others. For both PS3 and Xbox 360, however, you’ll have to use the included digital optical cable to connect the decoder box to the optical outport.
The decoder box isn’t an eyesore. It’s very sleek and stylish with electric blue LEDs on the front. As for the headset itself, it’s impressive to look at, for certain. It’s also branded with the Future Soldier ‘logo’, as is the in-line controller and the headset itself. The headset has the masked skull on both earcups. When you power it up white LEDs flood the earcups with light and the skulls positively glow and look pretty awesome, to say the least. Visually, their presentation is incredible.
Each ear has prefitted padded cushions. They themselves are comfortable and the headset isn’t too heavy. It did feel that they were a bit wide, however this is more down to individual preference. While the earpieces could be tilted the headset felt loose and moving around also moved the headset. The headband is adjustable, however that didn’t remedy the looseness. So long as you get into a comfortable position where you don’t have to look around a lot, they should be great to wear. You can put them around your neck instead of wearing them, and the ear pieces have a huge swivel range to enable you to do so comfortably without jeopardizing breaking the headset.
But in the end the purpose of the headset is the sound quality. Each earcup has a 40mm speaker, and the first thing that stood out was the bass, which can really drive the emotions of games. The bass was spectacular. It was robust and heavy while not entirely overpowering. The treble aspect could have been given a little more body to even it out, but it wasn’t a bad balance – particularly, as mentioned, most games are fueled by the bass. While all of the branding was undeniably Ghost Recon Future Soldier, it did justice to every game I put in the Xbox – from Future Soldier to Skyrim to Dead Space.
Especially Dead Space.
Now’s a good time to add that there’s an equalizer on the decoder box, so no matter what you’re listening to will be experienced in the manner it was meant to be.
The microphones on the Tritton headsets that this writer has previous experience with all had a fatal flaw; they were were loose. This meant that moving or leaning your head would send the microphone toward or away from your face on a whim, if it didn’t fall out entirely – and this is with ‘clicking’ it in. However, pleasingly, no such issues were encountered with the Ghost Recon headset’s mic. It can be detached from the left ear, so it won’t necessarily be in the way. But, as said, the Tritton headsets used in the past were all prone to their detachable microphone’s getting loose, and am unsure how long it may take for this to experience the same.
As mentioned, the Ghost Recon Future Soldier headset is $179.99 USD. Die hard Ghost Recon fans will definitely feel like they are getting their money’s worth, especially with all the branding done to the headset. No matter what angle you look at the setup from, you know what game it’s for – particularly with the glowing ear pieces. So long as you aren’t planning on taking this headset with you wherever you go, it’s a good investment. But due to all the pieces and the decoder box, it’s not exactly portable. As a headset, however, it’s definitely a high quality audio experience. There’s no doubt that it’s surround sound, and Tritton has earned a few points back.
Final Score: 4/5