TRITTON, Mad Catz’s branch of audio equipment, has released a series of Xbox 360 licensed headsets that all reference huge explosive things like the Primer, the Detonator, and now the Warhead. But what makes the Warhead, well, the Warhead? The Warhead, with its simple design, accessible controls, and amazing sound, has left an everlasting impression that changed my gaming life.
The Warhead touts itself as the only licensed Xbox 360 7.1 headset to be completely wireless. There are no wires going in and out of the headset at all, sound is channeled through a bridge that transfers to the headset with that 5.8GHz technology. All microphone input is wireless and requires no wire to attach to your 360 controller for voice chat, something that is seen in other Xbox 360 headsets. In the microphone’s case, it goes directly to the Xbox 360, effectively acting like an official Xbox 360 wireless headset.
The bridge itself has server functions. One is, of course, to bridge the audio sound to the headset from either an optical audio input or a 3.5mm jack. The range that the bridge and headset can still maintain a strong connection seems to be pretty large, with the advertised range of 33 feet. I was able to run outside, grab the mail, have the neighbor stare at me all weird, and still hear everything though with some very minor hiccups.
The other purpose of the bridge is to charge one of the two batteries that come with the Warhead. You’ll be able to swap out the batteries whenever one is about to die out on you. One fully charged battery has lasted me about 12 hours before I had to switch. There is a battery indicator to show you the progress of the battery charge, along with the ring of light that will flash at you if your headset battery is dying. This is a great alternative instead of using a charging adapter for the headset and I really love this feature.
Oh, and it also serves the function of holding your headset when not in use. The headset stand is a bit flimsy, and while it can support the headset without a problem, it can be a bit of a chore to get it lined up properly.
When opening the very nice packaged box, you’ll find everything (and I mean everything) that is needed to get your Xbox 360 connected to the Warhead. In addition to optical audio cables, stereo RCA-to-3.5mm, you also get an optical audio cable adapter for older model Xbox 360s, and a multitude of international power adapters. Does not matter where you’re from, the Warhead doesn’t discriminate I guess.
After having the Warhead attached to my head for over a week, I can definitely say the freedom to move around is quite nice. The Warhead is very comfortable and that’s the most important thing for me when it comes to having headsets on for any prolonged period of time. The headset goes over-ears rather than on-ears, and I have always found on-ears to be very uncomfortable. There is also plenty of ear space within the cuffs. This also means that the sound is properly isolated, what is in stays in and what is out stays mostly out. Thankfully, there’s a Selectable Voice Monitoring system in place that will echo your mic’s input into the speakers so you can hear what goes on outside and helps you gauge just how loud your speaking. This can also be turned off at will, in fact the mic can also be detached as well.
While this headset is meant for Xbox 360, anything with an optical audio or a 3.5mm sound jack will work. The only issue is the microphone since it uses a proprietary system that only allow it to interface with the Xbox 360′s wireless chat functions. This will not replace your Skype headset either, though it may work with the Microsoft Wireless Controller bridge that allows you to connect Xbox 360 wireless controllers to the PC. I personally have not tried this, but I figure it is the only way to use the microphone for PC use.
The style of the Warhead is black, glossy and sleek. This does attract some finger prints, but otherwise I wouldn’t be too concerned with it. Considering the Warhead needs a powered wireless bridge to even function, I really doubt you’ll be taking these headsets on the go. Despite that, I wouldn’t be adverse to wear these around people (especially if I wanted to drown them out). The bridge itself looks good on the desk, but be prepared to see the flashing “attempting to sync” ring of light if you use the headset for anything but the Xbox 360.
As for sound fidelity? It must be pointed out that this is using virtual surround sound rather having a bunch of a speakers shoved into the headset. That said, you will be pushing two 50mm speakers against your head, and this results in some amazing sound. Compared to lower-end headsets like the Turtle Beach X11 and the TRITTON AX 120, this was an experience that blew my mind. Upon receiving this headset, I busted out all the first-person shooters that I had and just immersed myself in a world of amazing sound. It was the same feeling I had going from a CRT SDTV to HDTV, and that’s quite a huge jump. Hearing things that could not be heard before, feeling explosions that would normally be limp and shallow otherwise.
Not to say that this is only restricted to first-person shooters. Though, if you are the type to go online to frag a few enemies (people are still using that term, right?), the wireless microphone functions wonderfully. Typically headsets that I’ve used tend to echo what people are saying back into the mic or the sound quality is completely garbage. For having Microsoft’s wireless microphone technology put into the Warhead, I’d say they did a great job of not driving me or my friend’s crazy. Of course, quality of the sound will depend on the quality of your friend’s mics too… but at least you know it’s not you with the Warhead.
Comfort, simplicity, functionality, and convenience can describe my experience with the TRITTON Warhead 7.1 Headset. After receiving these, the Warhead has now become my primary headset of use. While the only real complaint I have is the inability to use the microphone for anything but on an Xbox 360, the Warhead is otherwise everything I would ever want out of a headset.