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Tritton Technologies AX 720 Headset
There are a lucky few, myself included, who game on a PC as well as on one or more current-generation consoles. While the headset selection for PC gamers has always been robust, Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers have very little from which to choose. Tritton is looking to change that with the new AX 720 headset. This Dolby Digital-certified headset is compatible with PC, Mac, the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3.
The AX 720 looks nearly aerodynamic, completely wrapped in white plastic with black accents. Only the large orange Tritton logo stands out on the outside of each earcup. The detachable microphone connects underneath the left earcup, and comes flush to the mouth without much adjustment. The one drawback with the headset itself is its size. After two or three hours of use, the headband and earcups can cause some soreness on larger noggins like my own. If you’ve got an average-sized cranium, however, you should feel comfortable for a while longer than I did.
More than a mere headset, the AX 720 controls all audio connecting the headset to your PC and consoles. In the box, you’ll find the headset, a control box, AC adapter, USB cable, optical cable, Xbox 360 controller connector, and analog PC dongle. For gaming on the PC, you have two options. If your gaming rig already has a great sound card or acceptable onboard audio, the PC dongle attaches directly to the headset and offers the standard green and pink audio and mic connectors that gamers know and love. If your onboard sound isn’t up to the job or you want to experiment and see which option sounds better, then the control box can connect to the PC via the USB and optical cables (note: connect both cables at once, not one or the other). Since most motherboards come with an optical audio-out these days, you should be in the clear. If not, the analog option still sounds great.
To use the AX 720 with the 360 and PS3, the control box is necessary. The control box attaches to the PS3 via the optical and USB cables, just like the PC. The 360 requires the optical cable, followed by another included cable that runs from the volume fob on the headset cord to the audio/mic connection on the bottom of any standard 360 controller. Sounds confusing? A little, perhaps, but the manual does an excellent job of breaking down the how-to for each system. When using the 720 with a console, you can connect two 720 headsets at once, so you and a friend can both take advantage of the exceptional sound and great mic quality the control box allows.
Once you’re set up on the PC or console of your choice, you’ll find that the audio from the AX 720 is fantastic. The positional audio is second to none, so all the Quake and Counter-Strike fans out there will be more than satisfied. Non-gaming audio for music, movies, and Podcasts is clear and sharp. There could be more bass, but gaming headsets usually come up a little short in this category. Surround sound in a headset rarely sounds this good.
The AX 720 audio system retails for $130 and is available exclusively at Best Buy. A retail price of $130 might normally be above your budget for a PC gaming headset, but assuming you game on a PC as well as the 360 and/or PS3, the multitasking AX 720 is a sound investment.--Devin Connors