Never thought the day would come where I could grind against Godzilla!
We’ve tested a plethora of products from MadCatz before and hopefully you read my less than favourable recent review of the S.T.R.I.K.E.7. keyboard. We’ve praised their products before for a whole host of reasons ranging from design to cost and even their rugged good looks. Recently I’ve finally managed to get my hands on some of their audio equipment, and after hearing more praise than I can muster up for even my beloved Corsair headset, I had no choice but to get in on the apparent ear caressing boom of the TRITTON sound solutions. To do this, I was supplied with the brand new multiplatform 7.1 Surround Sound TRITTON 720+ headset.
Arriving on my doorstep in due haste the TRITTON 720+ headset sat in front of me with the same gleam and gloss of any MadCatz equipment I’ve had before (the more expensive stuff anyway) and at $150 it’s not surprising. Removing the smooth outer sleeve of the box was unsurprisingly a lot easier than the maze of cardboard that followed after. It wasn’t even much of a maze than just a simple cube folded by who I can assume was the reincarnation of whatever genius of a person invented origami. It took a good ten minutes to open the box in a way that wasn’t certain to have the depressing sound of tearing screwing with my soon-to-be well padded ears.
Upon opening the mystery box there sat a pair of cans more beautiful that I could even have imagined. Logically the packaging made sense now. The glossiness of the outer sleeve was clearly there to show off the shine of the headset itself to those passing them by on a store shelf. The solid white headset was immediately high upon my list of well-crafted expensive sound emitting headbands.
Everything about the TRITTON 720+ design is sheer perfection. While some may decide against the pure white earpads with the bright red TRITTON “T” emblazoned on the side. Sure, the colour scheme may not be for everyone – and I’ll happily jump aboard that train – but the comfort and ergonomics of the set itself is everything MadCatz have stood for in the past. The earpads are well padded with very convincing psuedo-leather cushions keeping your listeners distanced away from being crushed by the drives themselves. The solid build of the headphones screams durability and the stretch is just enough to stay firm on your head without squashing your skull.
While the TRITTON 720+ seems very impressive on both first-look and first feel, they sadly don’t stand up to expectations in terms of sound quality. The headset takes pride in offering itself up to everything you could ever imagine. If you’re a multiplatform gamer, the TRITTON 720+ will be the only headset you need as its array of cables allow it to link up to your PC, Xbox 360 and even Playstation 3 whenever you decide to switch machines. It’s a better idea, but the performance never reaches the “impressive” state regardless of what console they’re used on.
I connected the headset up first hand to my PC – my gaming station of choice – where it performed less than idealy against my similarly priced, yet machine specific, 7.1 headset – the Corsair Vengeance 2000. Switching between a digital sound connection though my expensive soundcard via optical cable or even a standard stereo setup through a regular line-in connection made little difference with the TRITTON 720+ headset constantly suffering from over-stating the distance of my in-game counterpart making myself sound miles away from… myself essentially. The lack of direct driver support for the headset made the cans’ Dolby Surround Sound functions completely useless as the provided decoder box wouldn’t accept a surround sound capable piece of video or gaming for what it was. It was stuck in standard stereo. And it faired quite bad at that.
Taking it to the console front didn’t fair much better either. While the 7.1 LED of the decoder box did jolt up to indicate the function was being successfully pumped through the headsets 50mm drivers, the level of bass didn’t offer that thud, punch or rumble that you come to expect from most headsets or external subwoofers. While the overall sound quality going into my ears was crystal clear from my own standpoint, the bass reminded me of the very lackluster Corsair Vengeance 1500 - the predecessor to the bass heavy Corsair Vengeance 2000 - making me think the TRITTON Warhead headset is where the development team shoved whatever technology the TRITTON 720+ severely lacks; something confirmed in a pending review of the Warhead headset. While the TRITTON 720+ did perform better in terms of positional audio in PS3 and Xbox 360 games (probably due to the activation of surround sound) without the same levels of bass as other headsets, that much loved ability to pinpoint enemies perhaps won’t be enough for people to upgrade from another set of cans.
For the price, the TRITTON 720+ headset stands true in terms of durability and design. They feel fantastic and offer comfort that will last throughout the day – at least until the cushions lose their air. While the sound quality may be a little on the disappointing side, the microphone is easily comparable to more expensive headsets. You can even toggle between hearing just voice (and your own) or just in-game sound with no voice for those times where you need to hear your team (and quickly ignore them). If you don’t yet have a headset and have a lot of machines to use them on, the multiplatform TRITTON 720+ headset will fill all of those needs in one purchase; which is cool, but if you’re only planning to use them on one console, you’ll be better off with a set more focused on sound quality.
Sound Quality – 2/5: While the sound seemed clear enough to easily distinguish between each sound type, the bass was lacking power and the overall volume was a little below many other headsets despite being maxed out on both the audio controller and the decoder box.
Comfort – 5/5: Oddly enough, they shine where most let them down. The TRITTON 720+ can sit on your head for the entire day without feeling as if they’re squeezing brain cells from your ears.
Value – 3/5: If this $150 headset only worked on my Playstation 3, I’d be more than inclined to avoid them. But if you’re looking for a universal headset, it’s pretty good value.
Asthetics – 3/5: White, red and black are not typically the colours you see in headsets these days. Black reigns supreme with a steel look sometimes thrown in. The design is nice, and many will love the gloss finish, but the huge branding may put people off.
Final Score – 3/5