Tritton brings Dolby and DTS goodness in a gorgeous form factor.
Tritton has been a big player in the professional gaming headphones scene for a long time and continues to be a darling among gamers that can shell out big for the most cutting edge technology in the world of surround sound. But that’s the spin, ‘shell out big’, because to get all the Dolby Digital and DTS goodness, one would have pay up to and above $180 for Tritton’s top of the line AX Pro headphones which have been part of many professional gaming leagues. Hence, when Tritton introduced the AX 720 for $129.99, it was immediately lapped up by gamers because although it was a bit scaled back compared to its big brother, it had the same range, quality and versatility of the AX Pro.
Unpacking the box, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It has more wires than my PSU, and looks equally intimidating as a 500 page chemistry book. The sheer size and seeming complexity of all the hardware forced me to check the manual – something I haven’t done in a long, long time. In the box, along with the gorgeous white headphones and its long tail of wire, you get an amplifier, an optical cable, a USB cable, an Xbox 360 mic connector, a G6 adapter for the PC, and the power unit.
I have only set it up with the PS3 though I am pretty sure it would be as easy with Xbox 360. I had to first setup the amp and connect it to the power unit, then connect the USB and optical cable on the respective ports on the PS3 and the amp, and finally plug in the headphones in one of the two headphones jack in front of the amp. You can skip the USB if you don’t intend to use the mic. It took me about 3 mins to have it up and running and it was a pretty hassle free experience though it did create a bit of wire-y mess.
My test games were Killzone 2, infamous and Mass Effect 2 demo. The AX 720 unlike the AX Pro does not feature ‘true’ surround sound capability, meaning it only has one driver on each cup compared to 8 individual drivers on the AX Pro. Hence, what the amp does is it converts the Dolby/DTS sources into Dolby surround sound for headphones, resulting in a much improved ‘simulation’ of 5.1 ch surround. But you will have to cut it some slack, despite the technology that powers it; it is still producing a ‘simulation’ of a surround sound setup. In my play test with Killzone 2 and infamous, I found it only slightly better than a normal gaming headphone in sound position and virtual surround immersion. That’s not to see it was mediocre, far from it. It did a good job of placing details around my head but it obviously lacked the crisp and sharp ‘pinch’ that comes with a proper 5.1 setup. That said the AX 720 is a brilliant performer. The sound was rich, loud, and packed in enough punch to deliver the booms, bullet whizzes and heart pumping immersion of a well-orchestrated sound track. In Mass Effect 2, the dialogues were meticulous fine, and listening Miranda walk and talk left my heart racing as it always does.
With great sound comes great looks as well – a ‘touche’ in an argument with your spouse/girlfriend to justify the hefty price tag. I mean, just look at them. They are absolutely gorgeous. White is a pretty rare color to be used on a pair of cans, especially when it won’t go with any of your equipment but it doesn’t matter. The AX 720 are beautiful. The white is covered in glossy plastic with a thin matte logo band running over the headrest handle. The cups are covered in what I call the ‘sofa cushion’, a soft cloth material that is always great on the ears. The headrest is covered in a similar fashion as well.