Arguably the crown jewel of the Mad Catz family of brands’ licensed accessories for the recently released Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the Tritton 7.1 Surround Sound Headset is an absolute powerhouse that delivers big sound and consumer comfort with no real setbacks. Branded with the latest entry in the popular Ghost Recon series, the universality and performance of this headset in no way limits it to this one title or even genre, improving my awareness and level of play no matter what I’ve got in the disc drive.
Setup is easy, but a surprise awaits the average consumer seeing the headset and expecting to get only that. The headset needs to first be connected to a decoder box roughly the size of your average router. Included is a stand for the box to keep it out of the way, but obviously some extra hardware is required to get these speakers to perform, and thankfully that’s all included. The decoder box is connected to the console via a USB cable and an optical cable, which are both included as well. When all’s said and done, you’ve got about 15 feet to work with arranging your headset to your entertainment center – a pleasant surprise for someone like me who likes to sit far back from his screens.
In addition, more earcups and all of the necessary parts required to connect to Xbox 360 controllers or even the models of Xbox that don’t feature an optical audio port come with the set as well, so there’s no risk of incompatibility. The considerations for comfort with the swiveling earphones and the extendable headset made for something I could hardly feel on top of my head but certainly could feel once the game audio started piping through.
With bright, stylish white LEDs lighting up the sides of the headset’s iconic blue skull logo, I already felt a little more swagger in my game. Once in game, I could hear more than I ever could from my speakers or other headsets I’ve taken with me into battle. It’s surprising and extremely pleasant how powerful and perfect the sound quality of this headset struck me, and if you prefer to do a little tweaking of the levels, game volume, voice volume, and even additional EQ settings for movies and music can be adjusted totally on the fly.
I had some problems initially with my microphone falling out (it’s easily detached when the set is not in use or for transport) but got used to securing it correctly after learning not to poke at the Tritton-style which extends straight out from the left earcup. Aside from that, the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 7.1 Surround Sound Headset proved extremely versatile without any lag in practical quality. Any gamer looking for a competitive edge or something to help them play like a professional should start with getting acquainted with Tritton’s 7.1 channel sound.
Bottom Line: The best part about the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 7.1 Surround Sound Headset is how easily it works with most current-generation consoles and platforms, or any device with optical out for that matter right out of the box. The sound is clearer than any other headset I’ve used, the set looks sleek, and my playing performance has only been helped by the clarity and quality of the speakers. Even with the larger price tag, gamers looking for a top-line headset can find a worthwhile purchase here.
- 13 foot, durable braided cable ensures that no wire stretching or damage will shorten the headset’s lifespan
- Optical cable allows for simple connection to Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or most modern PC sound cards
- Clear, defined 7.1 sound puts the player right in the action, hearing every footstep, gunshot, and teammate command with variable game and voice channel volumes
- Bulky decoder box limits portability of headset
- Microphone picks up sound from its natural extended position but can be distracting to gamers used to tucking their mics to their mouths and keeping them out of sight
- If microphone isn’t 100% secured into headset (and it doesn’t have a satisfying click or lock to let you know), it can fall out during regular use
The Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 7.1 Surround Sound Headset is available direct from Mad Catz for $179.99.
Born in the Midwest, living in the Southwest, Michael Radon grew up wanting to make video games for a living before finding his calling as a writer. Though he often heads out on spur-of-the-moment adventures with little to no preparation, he's just as sure to remember his toothbrush as he is at least two portable consoles, a laptop and five to ten games on his person at all times just for those lulls in the action where he can squeeze in a few levels of gaming.