The Average Gamer

Tritton Detonator Stereo Xbox 360 Headset Review (360)

The Mad Catz Tritton Detonator headset for the Xbox 360 is (unsurprisingly) a fantastic upgrade from the horrible single-ear thing that comes with your console. But it really worth the ~£50 asking price?

Setting up the Detonators is your typical wired faff – you simply plug the cables into the audio adaptor that came with your Xbox and then find some way to elegantly trail the 14ft (4.2m) wire across your gaming room.

If you’re not using optical audio, you can replace the basic Xbox 360 adaptor with the rather less clunky version that comes with the Trittons. The headphone cables also feature audio splitter sockets to run your living room system in parallel.

With a detachable microphone and a wired remote, you can mute both sound and mic whenever you like. Having been crippled by a persistent cough over the past couple of weeks, this has become an essential feature for me. There’s little more annoying than listening to a teammate spluttering down the mic or a livestream constantly interrupted by barking noises. The SVM feature is available which lets you check what you’re transmitting – useful to track down who is committing that cardinal sin of breathing into their microphone.

You can unplug the headset from the long remote cable as well. This will give you a cable approximately 3ft long (0.9m) with a standard 3mm jack that can plug into your portable music device of choice. The earcups will rotate downwards to rest flat against your collarbones when leaving them around your neck – a nice touch for anyone who wants a dual-purpose headset.

Comfort is always crucial with those extended gaming sessions and the earcups fit well around my ears, resting snug against my glasses. The headband doesn’t have enough padding for my liking though. The air-cushioned soft rubber mold doesn’t provide a lot of padding and can yank your hair painfully. Coupled with the tight fit, I was getting headaches within half an hour of starting up Minecraft – obviously not enough time to achieve anything in that game.

Compared to my home surround system, the headphones are heavier on the bass and much more echoey. I’m not sure why this is. It’s not bad, per se; just unexpected. In-game you get a good range of sound, with footsteps (or creeper hisses) clearly audible and great stereo that makes it easy to tell where they’re coming from. The game’s audio volume control can be a bit fiddly though – in a quiet living room environment I found it was a very small range between audible and deafening. Voice chat comes through clearly over the game sound and has its own separate volume control.

The second key problem is the noise of the headset itself. While it’s handy that the cups rotate for portable use, the headset joints are very creaky. When wearing them, the Detonators will translate your slightest movement into a cacophony of squeaks and groans that bypass your ears and go directly through your skull. I was hoping this would pass after a few hours of use but this hasn’t been the case. Fortunately for your listeners, these creaks don’t seem to transmit through the microphone.

Tritton’s Detonators provide some great sound and an easy setup but for a hair under 50 quid, I simply can’t recommend them for just your Xbox. The creaking every time I move my jaw gets steadily more irritating and while it’s really good that they fit around instead of on my ears, I find the pressure far too much for extended sessions. By all means, pick these up if they’re on sale if you’re looking for something you can use for both portable devices and your console but there are plenty of alternatives available for the gamer on a budget.

The Tritton Detonator Stereo Headset for Xbox 360 is available now.

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