Much like a high-end television can show you the true graphics of a game, a good headset exposes you to the subtle brilliance (or utter failure) of a game’s sound design. Trust me, your built-in TV speakers won’t cut it when it comes to experiencing the depths of audio offered by some of gaming’s latest and greatest entries. But the Tritton Pro+ just might.
The MadCatz Tritton Pro+ console headset is all about genuine sound and acoustic customization. It starts with the in-line audio controller. Attached to the 12-foot cable that stretches from the decoder box to the headset is a palm-sized remote with six buttons, two adjusters, and a toggle switch. The four buttons on the controller’s face are labeled, “Front, Center, Back,” and “Subs.” These buttons correlate to the four separate speakers within each earphone and allow for individual adjustment via the thumb-controllable volume knob. By pressing this knob in, you can mute the game audio and, you know, once more become aware of the surrounding world.
The other volume adjuster is on the opposite side of the remote, handling the chat audio. This lets you turn the voices of your teammates and enemies up and down, and also allows you to choose whether or not you hear your own voice by pushing in the volume selector. Lastly, above this knob is the mute-mic switch, which allows you to—believe it or not—mute your own microphone if you don’t feel like talking to your party. The controller even has a clip on the back, capable of attaching to your belt, pants, or shirt so it’s not simply a dead weight hanging at your side.
Speaking of mics, the Tritton Pro+ comes with a removable, totally flexible microphone that plugs in beneath the headset’s left earphone. Even if you don’t want to disconnect it but want it out of your way, the mic bends easily upward, becoming completely unobtrusive. More importantly, it is sensitive enough to pick up only the sounds it’s supposed to, amplifying the user’s voice to the appropriate level while cutting out background noise.
Setting up the Tritton Pro+ isn’t a breeze, but it’s not exceptionally difficult, either. There are a handful of required components, and if you’re easily frustrated with “some assembly required” situations, be sure to pull the setup guide out of the box before you begin. After that point, you’ll realize you’ve got to find some free space near your console for the Dolby Decoder Box, connect it to the optical and USB port of your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, plug the headset into the box, and you’ll be on your way. The decoder box, like the in-line controller, has a few Dolby-related buttons and light-up displays on its face, as well as a general volume knob.
If you’re starting to think, “Man, that sounds like a lot of variables…” you’re not alone. I’ll admit I was a little overwhelmed by the level of customization that came with the headset, and it didn’t help that I started playing around with it after setting it up and proceeded to mess up the speaker balance completely. By recalibrating it with a level head, I managed to get it the audio to sound as it should, and when the Tritton Pro+ is right, it is right.
Placing the Tritton Pro+ on your head is like wearing a pair of high-tech earmuffs that don’t overheat your ears. The padded earcups and headrail produce a level of comfort comparable to having a LA-Z-Boy for your cranium. If you’re in the market for a headset, you’re more than likely a fan of extended gaming sessions, and the Tritton Pro+ allows you to play to your heart’s content, experiencing fantastic audio without sacrificing comfort.
Apart from being a plush, luxurious sound crown, the sleek-looking Tritton Pro+ is one heavy-duty headset. Though fairly light, the device is substantial and feels like you could throw it against your wall in anger and it would be totally fine. I may or may not know this from experience, but either way, I wouldn’t recommend you make a habit out of this practice.
If you are serious about gaming and even more serious about audio, the Tritton Pro+ could be the headset for you. A word of note: if you don’t feel you need the expansive level of adjustment that comes with the Pro+, you may want to consider the slightly less expensive Tritton 720+. It’s on the same tier as the Pro+, but it doesn’t come jam-packed with the same number of audio-modification features.
That said, those features do add a great level of value to the $200 headset, as do the comfort, durability, and sound quality of the Tritton Pro+. While these aspects seem almost inherent to the Tritton lineup, the Pro+ adds to the excellence. With just a few hang-ups, if you’ve got the funds and are in the market for a console headset, do yourself a favor and take the MadCatz Tritton Pro+ under serious consideration.