Before I start this review I want to give you some background on myself as far as my audio experience goes. I started my professional career at an early age back in 1991 working at a local stereo shop. I then spent the next 9 years of my life selling stereos and Tv’s at a variety of different companies; increasing my knowledge base as I went. I was exposed to many different products and technology and even continued to follow the industry for several years afterwards. My ability to assess quality levels in audio and video product stays with me to this day.
Having said that I also am cursed with being a picky consumer when it comes to things like video displays and audio equipment and now extending into my purchase of gaming gear ; so when my trusty Turtle Beach X12’s malfunctioned on me I was forced to march into the local vendor of all things gaming and replace them.
Enter the Tritton Detonators.
I’ll start by sating that this headset is very sexy. The entire design is a smooth and clean design with a minimal but effective use of color. A matt black band is used to secure two Glossy finished ear cups. The interior fabric of the enclosures are ” Tritton Orange” and the exterior of the cups are embossed with the Tritton logo in silver. The entire package is very eye-catching. This headset is also officially endorsed by Microsoft themselves even to the point of them slapping an official branding label on the box and engraving it into the Tritton’s headband for all to see . While doing nothing for the quality of the headset overall , knowing that MS approves it gives you a little feeling of comfort that you havent wasted your hard-earned dollar on a second-rate product.
Setting up the Tritton Detonator’s are a snap as well and if your like me you wont even look at the manual ( who in the heck reads a book on how to plug-in a set of headphones!?!??!). After diving in and selecting the appropriate cables to use I had them installed and ready to use.
They come with a few two different ways to install depending on your configuration of TV/Monitor and audio system. The standard way of hooking them up is to plug the two audio cables directly into the back of your television set’s audio outputs ( the red and white plugs on the back of your TV).
Depending on your configuration you may need the included adaptor that allows you to plug the Tritton’s into your Xbox directly for sound. This is especially welcome if like me you use HDMI out of your XBOX into a display that does not have the aforementioned audio outputs. In my case I use a HD monitor with only a 3.5mm audio output so the included adaptor was a welcome addition.Brownie points for Tritton!
The connection cable itself is 14 feet long so no one should have any problem hooking them up regardless of your distance from your equipment.
Next was the comfort test. The biggest concern I had was the change in cup fabric from the Turtle beach series. I had grown used to the cloth mesh used in most of the newer designs from Turtle Beach and was curious to see how my ears would react to the vinyl material Tritton used for the Detonators.
As it turns out the material serves to keep your ears enclosed which enables the 50mm drivers inside the cup to deliver crisp clean bass frequencies; something that the X12’s struggled with. It also creates a barrier for outside noises when you are gaming ( both good and bad if you have people trying to talk to you while you are in the middle of a game)
The headset was comfortable over the course of a 2 hour gaming session and became transparent as they thundered away on my head.
Now here comes the real reason you are reading this review. How do these babies sound? I did not tread lightly here I can tell you that. I will say this…You will not be disappointed in any way!
The Detonators produce a clear sound through all frequency ranges all the way from the thunderous booms of an A-1 Abrams tank pounding shells into your cover in Battlefield 3 right up to the all to familiar sounds of transforming robots and whirring servo parts in Transformers: War for Cybertron; these babies handle it all!
At the core of this technology are some very well designed speakers that are capable of handling anything a game throws at it. I was very pleased with the fact that I didn’t need to fiddle with a bass adjuster to have a tuned sound quality. The Trittons settings have been internally tested and fine tuned to a happy level. High volume levels result in an overwhelming experience without cracking under pressure and giving off minor speaker clipping that other low-level models are prone to do ( I do not recommend listening to games at maximum volume for long periods as it will probably result in brain damage )
Voice quality is solid and no one in my party complained that they couldn’t hear me or that my voice wasnt coming through in a crisp manner. Rather than a standard permanently attached mic boom the Trittons have a detachable boom that allows for better placement and less distraction in front of your face.
I did have to take some time fine tuning the chat volume in comparison to the game volume because at times the in-game effects and soundtrack overpowered my team mates talking . With a little experimenting you will find the sweet spot and this no longer becomes a problem. Just remember that the sound quality on these headsets are very robust and the game effect will come alive so well that your friends bickering will take a back seat to it.
The coolest feature of the Detonators is that it is equipped with a ” control dongle” that allows for some minor customization of your experience. This dongle has buttons for ” Audio Mute” , ” Chat Mute” and ” Selectable Voice Monitoring”
I found the ” complete audio mute” button came in handy when you needed to quickly turn the volume down of off because someone was trying to talk to you out of game rather than fumbling with your wires trying to turn one of 2 sliders down to acceptable levels.Likewise handy is the “Chat Mute” button.
Of particular note is the ” SVM” button. This is something that I thought was genius! Essentially it allows you to hear your own voice with a touch of a button so that you can monitor how loud you are speaking once the bullets and sound effects start flying inside your head. This saves you some embarrassment from onlookers while your screaming your head off because you can’t tell how loud your voice is. The fact that this is accomplished through an on device button is outstanding. The turtle beach headsets tackle this issue by using a fabric that allows the wearer to hear outside the enclosure but this design also compromises the headsets ability to deliver a solid bass frequency( hence the inclusion of a Bass Boost slider on the X12’s).
The Tritton Detonator headset retails for $89.99 at most retailers and while not delivering the EPIC level of sound that a $200 gaming headset pumps out it is far from an entry-level product . In a world where opinions of gaming gear reigns supreme you are bound to get some naysayers out there all of which are telling you to endorse their chosen headset because “it’s the best” ; stand firm in your choice and know that you will not go wrong with the Tritton Detonators strapped to your head.
Dwayne “EVO Knight” Morash