Rating: ★★★★½

So you need a new gaming headset for your new tricked out rig, but you don’t have the capital to drop on a pair of Psyko Carbons, and you don’t want to settle for a cheap pair that sounds like garbage, so what do you do?  Well continuing with their eSPORTS line, Thermaltake has a few different options.  From the ISURUS (their ear buds), to the three different SHOCK models, Thermaltake thinks they have something for just about everyone.  They sent me their flagship model, the SHOCK One, to put through my testing – and just like with the Challenger Ultimate keyboard, I was more than happy to oblige.

At first glance, the Te eSPORTS SHOCK One Gaming Headset looks remarkably similar to the other Tt eSPORTS offerings – it’s primarily black, with the blood red that Thermaltake is known for showing up as highlights, and in the logo.  Also, much like the Challenger Ultimate keyboard, the logo on each of the ear cups lights up to make it glow that deep blood red color.  The lights are quite bright, so there’s really no threat of ever losing them.  Even though their bright from the sides, you won’t notice them when you’re playing (I played some games in a room with no lights other than from my tower and my monitor), so they won’t be a distraction.

The SHOCK One headset is quite comfortable on the head, and only after having it on for close to three hours did it start to fatigue my ears in the slightest.  When that happened though, I just changed out the ear cups for a different feel, and no more fatigue.  The SHOCK One comes with two different sets of interchangeable ear cups to accomplish this – one is protein leather that works great for keeping outside sounds away from your ears, and the other is velvet that allows your ears to breathe a bit better.  Regardless of the reasons you choose one over the other, you’ll be glad to have both when your ears start to feel numb from having one pair on for too long.  If you’ve worn a pair of headphones for an extended period of time before, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

You’ll definitely want to keep these on your head at all times when you’re gaming as well – they’re DTS 5.1 Certified, which means that it’ll feel like you’re being bombarded with sound from every direction.  Even though it’s only virtual 5.1, it sounds a lot better than most other virtual 5.1 headsets I’ve used, and almost as good as the Psyko Carbons.  I was playing through the Witcher 2 again with these, and I noticed things happening around me that I had no clue about during my last play through.

The awesome level of sound that these beauties put out if accomplished by their dynamic 40mm speaker driver.  The drivers have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20KHz – the impedance is 32 Ohm with their sensitivity rater at 114 dB (with a +/- 3 dB variance).   It’s big, it thumps (due to increased bass responsiveness), and it’s loud as hell.  I literally can’t turn the audio on my PC past 11% or it’s too loud to put on my head.  Even with the loudness of the normal sounds you’ll hear, voice chat still comes through loud and clear.  The inclusion of a nice noise cancelling mic ensures that other people will be able to hear you good as well.  The boom mic folds up when not in use, so it’s not in the way if you’re playing a single player game, but even when you’re playing something multiplayer, you’re still not likely to notice it.

Now all that good sound isn’t hardware based – you see the SHOCK One is a USB headset.  If you have a real good sound card, you’re going to be missing out on everything that sound card offers.  Being a USB headset, that means that pretty much everything is software driven – and just like the Challenger Ultimate, the user interface software is top of the line here.  There’s nothing super confusing, so even a novice user can set these up and have them sounding great in no time.  The one thing that you need to do however, is make sure you turn on the “DTS Sensation”.  Without it, the sound is nothing like I described earlier.  Forget to turn that one option on, and you’ll know almost instantly because the sound comes out flat and boring.

The last little feature I’d like to hit on is the in-line remote control.  Now I don’t know if I had something set up wrong or what, but the volume up and down controls on the remote didn’t do anything on my system – the mic mute button and the speaker mute buttons both did what they were supposed to however.

In short, the Tt eSPORTS SHOCK One Gaming Headset is a great headset if you’re looking for a USB headset.  Even better is that the price is right at $100 which is the normal price point for “average” headsets – and the SHOCK One is well above average.  If you have a nice sound card with 5.1 or optical hook ups, you may want to look somewhere else however as USB 2.0 will never sound as good as either of those options.  Apart from that however, I have to give the SHOCK One Gaming Headset by Thermaltake’s “Tt eSPORTS” division a final score of four and a half stars out of five.

Pros:

  • Easy to fold up and store in the included travel pouch
  • Nice and light while on your head which leads to low fatigue
  • The sound is great as long as you have DTS Sensation turned on

Cons:

  • If you forget to turn the DTS Sensation on however, the sound is very flat
  • USB headsets are limited by the amount of information they can process
  • There could have been a better choice for a ear cups besides the protein leather

You can pick up a one of the Tt eSPORTS SHOCK One Gaming Headsets from Amazon for $106.04










Staff