Published on August 24th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor1
Hardware Review: Tritton Detonator Headset
Developer: Tritton/Mad Catz
- Xbox LIVE communications port
- Speaker Diameter: 50mm
- Magnet Type: Neodymium
- Ear Coupling: Circumaural
- Xbox 360 Audio Input Type: RCA
- Sound: Stereo
- Frequency Response: 25-20000 Hz
- Cord length: 14′
Review Notes: GAMINGtruth received sample hardware for review purposes.
Shopping for a new gaming headset can have its woos and woes. Much like shopping for a pair of shoes or car, there is the possibility of being glued to your purchase for hours at a time. This is one of the times where you definitely don’t want to sacrifice comfort for style.
What’s in the box?
One of the first things that you will notice after pulling the Detonator out of the package is its weight. The set definitely has some mass to it, but does give a feeling of durability. The set chimes in at a breezy $79.99 and offers features that you can expect from most current age headsets.
Some of the equipment you will recognize. Most headsets, specifically Xbox 360 intended ones, usually come packaged with the cords needed for compatibility with the older style console. The Analog Audio Adapter comes packaged along with a Headset Connector Cable and Controller in-line wire. The Microphone must also be installed, which pops right into the left earcup. The Controller in-line is the backbone to the system. It is where the mic wire from your controller plugs in, USB power plug, and where the headset button options are located. The the cord includes regular audio left and right channel wires (RCA) and also have open back ends so that you can still keep another audio system plugged in.
Looking at the main wire of the set will indicate a few options that make this headset unique. The backlit buttons make it easy for you to switch between audio options. The top part of the switch shows the Headphone mute, then Mic Mute and lastly, the Selectable Voice Monitoring (SVM) switch. Most people understand what the other buttons are used for, but the SVM switch allows you to turn on/off your voice monitoring. In layman’s terms, that means will be able to hear your voice through the speakers in your headset, and you can turn that off or on using the switch.
Even though this might seem odd at first, and might have you thinking, “Who wants to hear their own voice when playing games?” There are however, many uses that I can see useful for a wired headset with such features.
The first of these might be for the annoyed gamer. Ever been in a squad based game and all you can hear is a crying baby in the background? What about that annoying music being blared? Well, for most sane people who don’t like to hear worldly ambient noise, this can help you monitor exactly that. That is, if you can find the switch.
There were multiple times during matches that I simply wanted to throw on the mic mute, and even with the clip that is on the controller cord, it still made a quick reach to the mute impossible. Ever get that starting jolt of high volume when you turn on your console? Get ready to throw off your headset if you have this happen to you ’cause you might not be able to find the volume down in time.
After plugging in the mic and hitting the SVM button, I was able to hear my small fan just a few feet away. I could hear it humming in the headset. This might not bother me as it circulates, but it might get to someone in my party or squad.
The headset performs well in most areas. Although regular gaming and music are two areas where it stands out most, it does however fall victim to mid-range tones with movies and strenuous sound on screen.
What better way to test the range of sound than to throw on a few movies in the Netflix app? During the action sequences of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” many of the mid-range sounds seemed to become absent from various scenes. The deeper bass was noticeable after first putting the headset on, and snapping menu pushes were crisp and clear. Even so, the hums and veering air vehicles didn’t seem as burly with mid-range noise missing from their arrivals. Without any sound options or equalizers, the Detonator simply must output whatever settings are currently on your TV or straight out of your Xbox 360 console.
The headset has a lot to offer when it comes to comfort. As stated before, the top of the headphone is a rubberized cushion material. This might seem odd, but actually performs like a champ. The material works great in providing a non-slip surface, and is common in many high-grade tech devices. It keeps the headset from moving or rubbing and coincides with the earpiece design for a stealthy fit.
The ear pieces themselves are shaped to fit a human ear and deliver an ergonomically sensitive fit. Rather than be an oblong shape to simply encompass the ear, it fits to them. They are snug and didn’t bother me much after a few hours of wear. There was no point where they began to rub, or the faux leather/rubber material around the ears didn’t feel comfortable.
Playing with a headset offers something that the standard Xbox 360 headset can’t compete with. On one hand you’ve got enhanced sound, providing a further immersive experience, and the other, an opportunity to gain an extra edge over those who don’t game with one.
Hearing someone step around a corner you just turned a few seconds ago can mean your digital life or death. This might have been the game winning kill that you cost your team, or it could have been the kill you needed to take the match. Whichever it may be, your headset can help or hinder in both areas.
The Tritton Detonator offers better sound quality than most headsets in its class, particularly due to its included 50mm speakers vs. most others with 40mm speakers. Turtle Beach is no doubt the biggest leader in the headset market, but there are others that tend to compete. I currently play with a set of Plantronics Gamescom X95s. The Tritton Detonator sound quality provides a bit more quality in deepness, but distortion can be heard with an abundance of explosion or action. This was easily seen in some areas of the multiplayer in Gears of War 3 as incendiary bombs were exploding alongside Boomshot blasts.
The set itself seems built to last. The swiveling ear pieces and sturdy head strap are made of thicker plastic and have some obvious weight to them. This is good being that the set is wired, which comes with the possibility of snagging it.
The wiring to the set seems as though it will endure your rages. The ear piece is just as tough as the rest of the device. It does bother me however the way in which the wiring does connect to both the headset and switch, as if, over time they would both fall victim to loose wiring and general wear and tear. I would have liked to see this same headset detonate in wireless form, something that the Tritton Primer does offer.
The Tritton Detonator headset is durable, flexible and comfortable. The sound quality is better than most gaming headsets, but does show its blemishes with big hearty action sequences and barrages of explosions on screen.
The wiring of the device offers some cool features, such as the Selectable Voice Monitoring which allows you to hear your own voice, and its general durability on all fronts.
If you’ve got the money, or put your pretty little expenditures on pause, go for the Tritton Primer set. You’ll be thankful that you sprung for some wireless freedom, and you will still end up with a similar design as the Detonator’s. The mic chat and mute are also featured and you won’t have silly wires to get tangled in while you are wrapped up in an online match.
For the price, it does offer an upgrade from the standard Xbox 360 chat set and offers exceptional quality with music and gaming, but only moderately performs among explosive action sequences. If you don’t want to mess with batteries or worry about recharging, this might be the set you have been searching for.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
+/- Mid range sound