During my trip to E3 2012, I was introduced to the latest and greatest in tech and gaming. One thing stood out in my mind was the realization that wireless headsets were finally here. Not saying that they weren’t, it’s just that none have really been in the same ring as their wired counterparts.
So how does the Warhead 7.1 compare? Is it the ultimate in 7.1 Wireless fun?
Design / Features
The makers of Tritton understand the elements of design, from the packaging all the way down to the headset itself. It’s just damn smexy! As the Warhead is one of the more expensive headsets, it was nice to see a presentation when it came to packaging, especially with it’s ability to leave the user with a smile while opening the packaging. You knew you were getting what you paid for.
Like most of the current headsets, it’s two separate pieces: a base station and the headset itself. What I really appreciated was the fact that the Warhead’s base station served multiple purposes. Often times the base stations just sit there and take up space. Couple that with the lack of places to store your headset, and you are left with a cluttered mess and a headset on the floor. Tritton seems to understand this by adding a headset holder onto the base station. The holder sits below the base and gives it a futuristic flare. The base station now has a sort of pyramid look to it instead of a generic box head, which not only looks nice but protects your headset from being stepped on.
In terms of the base station’s other functions, it has all the oldies but goodies, such as the display for what Dolby codec you’re using, along with a display to show you how many headsets are synced to the base station. My favorite feature of all was the rechargeable battery slot. With wireless headsets requiring a battery in order to use them, it was nice to see the Warhead came packaged with 2 rechargeable batteries, allowing you to simultaneously charge and play at the same time. The battery life is supposed to be about 12 hours of continuous play. I charged one of the batteries and could have sworn I played for 12 hours. There is also an on screen display for the battery life, so you are never without warning that you need to recharge.
The headset itself features an equalizer along with a digital/analog switcher. The purpose of the equalizer is to switch between presets for Movies, Gaming, and Music. It’s easy enough to hit the buttons while gaming so that it wouldn’t take away from the experience. But be a little careful when removing or putting on your headset, when I first started using it, I hit the button accidentally and was a little confused when the game sounded a bit different. Located inside the headset is a power button and a sync, both of which aren’t accessible when gaming. Saving you that most embarrassing moment, I accidentally turned off my headset.
As for the Microphone, this brings me to the only downside to this headset. Unlike other Tritton headsets, this one is only designed and compatible with the Xbox 360. While it does feature an optical in, which could be used with other systems, the microphone uses proprietary Microsoft software to link it to the Xbox. The microphone itself sounds great and looks slick, having another futuristic flare to it definitely did not feel cheap. It can also point straight up and doesn’t bother you when not in use.
Having reviewed both the AX720 and the 720+, I was interested to see if any of the designs have changed. This headset is more than comfortable. Let’s first put something into perspective, I have a rather large noggin. So finding a headset that fits me is a bit of a challenge. The Warhead does this and so much more. As it fits comfortably on the head, it also doesn’t add unwanted pressure. Long term gameplay is a breeze wearing this headset, and it seems to muffle some of the outside noise. As a wireless headset it really added to the comfort, you could simply pick them up and start playing.
This is almost the most important question when it comes to headsets. The Warhead 7.1 of course features 7.1 surround sound. I wanted to make sure I gave it a thorough testing and played not only Borderlands and Mass Effect 3, but even broke out some dubstep. Compared to the other headsets I’ve reviewed in the past, the sound quality was top notch with a very rich sound, coupled with a bass that makes you smile. This could only be felt through using one of the space turrets in ME3. It sounded so good I even giggled. The surround sound seemed spot on as well, I could hear the creatures approach me and it also gave a nice depth of sound so you could hear the characters in the background. As for Music it was pretty decent. There was a little too much bass for my taste, although this can always be customized depending on your setup.
Now comes the tough part. While I was more then impressed with this headset, there are two things that concern me. First is the price tag. While the headset is totally worth it, you need to be a pretty hardcore Xbox 360 player to have this headset. Which brings me to my only other critique, the microphone is only compatible with the Xbox 360. While it does give you an amazing experience on the 360, I hope in the future that the Warhead 7.1 microphone can be ported over to the other systems. I totally recommend this headset to the most hardcore of Xbox 360 players. This is definitely a game changer for the headset market.