It’s crucial to understand what to look for in a headset if you’re going to get serious about game audio. You’ll want comfortable cups that don’t wear on the ears after five-hour sessions, an intuitive way to adjust volume on the fly and, most importantly, high-quality audio that allows for a more complete experience. Luckily for the Tritton 720+ surround headset, the $150 asking price is backed up by a product that passes all the above tests and even goes a bit further. The 3D sound and superb bass place you into whatever fantastical world your console’s spitting out at the time, and while the actual hardware may be a bit unwieldy, the acoustic results will make you forget everything but the bullets whizzing by your head.
It may only be compatible with two consoles (PC functionality is available in Europe), but there’s plenty of gadgets and dongles to deal with after you’ve opened the 720+’s box. Here’s the full list of what you’ll have at your disposal.
- The 7.1 Surround Headset with a 12 foot-long cable
- In-Line Audio Controller for separate game and voice controls
- Detachable Microphone
- Decoder Box
- Optical Cable
- First party Xbox Live Communication Cable
- Third Party Xbox Live Communication Cable
- Digital Audio
- PC Analogue Adapter
- USB Cable
It sounds daunting from a distance, but a simple, clear guide on how to connect the headset to ether the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 provided in the box alleviates any confusion. All you’ll really need is physical space for the compact Decoder Box and an understanding of where your console’s USB and optical ports are located. After simply plugging in the necessary cables – as well as adjusting a few audio settings if you’re using a PlayStation 3 – the sweet melody of gaming will begin flowing through the performance-balanced 50mm speakers. It’s easy to hook up, even with so many pieces included.
But just how good does it sound? If, like me, you’ve been listening to your games through the standard speakers found in your television, prepare to be blown away. The thunderous bass and 3D surround sound add a new weight to each bullet that escapes your barrel. Punches thrown in UFC Undisputed 3 echo between your ears, and the sweet sound of a headshot may actually cause your heart to skip a few beats.
Having never appreciated console games through a high-quality headset, I was honestly startled as I first pulled the trigger of a semi-automatic shotgun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The convenient game and voice volume controlled allowed me to adjust the audio to a reasonable level after almost falling out of my chair, but the sheer intensity of sounds I’ve essentially ignored in the past was remarkable. The 720+ will impress serious gamers who’ve already been listening to this generation’s greatest titles through competent auditory equipment, and that’s an impressive feat. Yet, those who’ve never placed noise-canceling cups over their ears will not just hear games differently with Tritton’s headset, but experience them in a whole new way.
Even if you’re fully immersed in the 7.1 virtual surround sound, it’ll be difficult to not realize the sizable object sitting atop your head. There’s a certain heft to the gear that makes it both durable and heavy, and the in-line audio controller attached to the 12 foot-long cable rarely finds a comfortable spot to rest. It’s nice to have the luxury of volume control without actually standing up, but I found the cable dangling close to my body no matter where I tried to place it. That’s not to say this isn’t a mostly comfortable headset, as an adjustable headrail and pliant earcups that encapsulate your ears allow for hours of gaming bliss. Yet, there’s still a semi-thick wire attached to the weighty headset, and you’ll realize it’s there more often then you like.
Yelling back at all the angry online voices bursting through the speakers is an option, too. A detachable, flexible mic comes right in the box, and it’s guaranteed to clearly carry your voice over both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. All your taunting and profanity will be picked up, and if you decide that a solitary life is one you’d rather lead, then simply removing the thing is still an option. It’s a durable attachment, and one that’s not overly sensitive to the other activity going on in the room.
You won’t be receptive to whatever else is going on around you, either. The Tritton 720+ surround headset is a fantastic piece of tech that sucks you into the on-screen activities and transforms your gaming experience. Footsteps, nearby shots and oncoming enemies may be easier to pick up, but even non-competitive games are greatly enhanced by the home-theater quality sound. The long cable and weight of the gear may remind you that you’re not actually stepping into the Octagon with the heavyweight champion of the world, but there are few competitors that can match the quality Madcatz and Tritton bring. If you’re serious about the games you play, it’s time to upgrade.
The Tritton 720+ was created by Tritton and Mad Catz. A headset was provided by the company for the purposes of review.