Published on October 25th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor1
Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset Review
Platform: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Oct. 10, 2012
Tritton Kunai official website
Reviewer’s Note: Sample hardware was sent to GAMINGtruth for review.
Kunai- A basic Japanese tool used to gauge holes in walls. In the hands of martial art experts, the kunai is a multi-functional weapon.
With the launch of some of gaming’s biggest franchises, a gaming headset is essential for any gamer to get that competitive advantage over their online opponents. With so many headsets on the market at prices ranging among $20 to more than $200, finding the right headset becomes a difficult task. For those looking for an entry-level headset for their PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the Mad Catz Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset may be just what you are looking for.
What’s in the box?
Upon opening the box you will find the headset, a 14-foot headset connector cable, detachable microphone, and setup instructions for hooking the headset up to the PlayStation 3. The headset itself has a 3.5 mm stereo jack that could plug directly into the PlayStation Vita or any other audio device as this is the standard auxiliary input size. The headset connector cable has an in-line audio controller to adjust the game and voice volumes in the headset on one end and the left and right audio channels (RCA) adapter (with open ends to connect another audio system) with a USB power plug on the other.
The Look and Feel
Looking at the headset from the peek-a-boo window in the package, you will notice it does not have a similar design or indication that the headset is specifically made for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. With a glossy white coat and smaller ear cups, the headset stands out against the black matte finish of the PS3 Slim. The Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset stands apart from other gaming headsets with an everyday lifestyle design. Just like the Japanese tool it is named after, the headset is designed for its functionality in going from gaming to listening to music.
The headset is surprisingly light, but still feels durable. Equipped with noise-cancelling ear cushions and a rubberized pad on top of the head rail, it is built for comfort. The cushions are soft and comfortable making the headset ideal for long gaming sessions. The pad on top of the head rail sits comfortably on the head, allowing the headset to not slip while shifting positions. The ear cups swivel up to 90 degrees to allow the headset to sit comfortably on your shoulders when it is around your neck.
Features and Functions
The Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset is not feature-rich compared to other traditional gaming headsets. Other headsets around the price range are often equipped with game and voice volume control, a Selectable Voice Monitoring (SVM) switch that allows gamers to hear themselves through the headset, and backlight buttons just to name a few common features. The Tritton Kunai’s only features is an in-line control for gaming, voice volume control and self-mute switch. The in-line controls are attached to the Headset Connector Cable, so the use of it is only available with the PlayStation 3.
To set up the Tritton Kunai to the PlayStation 3, you need to have the original composite cable (RCA) that came with your system for the left and right audio channels. Some set up is required in the Audio and Accessories settings on the XMB to get the headset and microphone working properly. Instructions are included in the box and setup will not take you more than 5 minutes.
When not attached to the connector cable, the headset only has a 3-foot cord for the traditional 3.5 mm stereo jack. The length of the cord is good for audio devices with clips or playing your PlayStation Vita at a comfortable arm’s length. With such a short cord length it is not practical for phones or any other devices you may want to throw in your pants pocket and keep connected. The jack will frequently disconnect from your device music disruptions. However, the ability to quickly disconnect the device from the cable and use the headset with other audio devices such as laptops or smartphones for movies, music, or even more gaming is a great feature.
To accommodate the everyday use of the headset, Mad Catz made the microphone removable. The microphone is attached with a 3mm jack. Simple plug in the microphone into the left side of the earcup and turn it clockwise to lock it into place. To remove the microphone, simply turn it counter clockwise and pull straight out. The microphone is made from a hard, durable and flexible ribbed plastic often seen on high-end HDMI cords. Even with its durability, there is still the flexibility to move the microphone. It is easy to quickly move the microphone into any position during a fast paced gaming.
The Sound Quality
The sound quality is one of the most important features in any gaming headset. The quality can determine if you have an advantage over your opponent by hearing them come from specific locations, movements and or shots. The Kunai is advertised to “amplify” the sound and it does just that beautifully. While playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, I was bombarded with sound immersing me into the game. Equipped with standard 40 mm speakers, I was pleasantly surprised of the sound quality and bass the small headset can output. Little distortion could be heard during multiple explosions giving a true immersible experience while playing any game. The headset does have its limits.
While playing Nazi Zombies on Call of Duty: World at War, I would often found myself being attacked from behind due to the headset having a lack of mid-range sounds. The sound of zombies shuffling stayed as background noise until they were already attacking. Sounds would be either background noise or exploding right into your eardrum. The headset was able to differentiate left and right directional movements–but it is unable to provide a true surround sound experience that could be found in other 5.1 or 7.1 stereo surround sound headsets available.
The sound quality is clear and precious when it comes to Blu-ray movies. Every explosion and shot in the opening war scene in Saving Private Ryan was clear without any distortion. The mid-range sounds was not as noticeable during movies because majority of the sound is separated to background or foreground noises.
For music, the bass seemed to be too high causing leading to distortion. However, this could be easily fixed by adjusting the audio settings/equalizer on the audio device itself. After adjusting the settings on the devices, the headset performed well for everyday use.
For $59.99, the Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset is a great entry-level headset, as well as a good gaming microphone and decent pair of headphones for everyday use. If you are looking for a dedicated gaming headset to give you that tactical advantage, it would be wise to spend the extra money on a wireless headset with more features. Styled and designed for easy transitioning from gaming to on-the-go headphones is a great feature that lives up to its “Kunai” name. The headset might not have superior sound quality compared to other headsets currently available, but it does offer great stereo sound and functionality for the price. This headset is great for casual gamers looking for a better, immersive experience for games, and a new set of headphones for their PC, MAC or any other audio devices.
+ Style for everyday use
+ Sound and bass quality
– Short headphone cord
– Lack of common gaming headset features