Archive for June, 2010
So listening to Pandora today while hacking away on some code it started to become obvious the speakers in my trusty Sony MDR-NC50 headset are starting to go dead. My Sony headset has been with me for years now and has thousands of hours of use and abuse which can be seen by the worn out head band, flaking ear covers and chips in the paint. While they are still working and in fair condition considering their age and use I believe our weeks of constant Bad Company 2 sessions have finally killed them with all the bass heavy sound effects.
Now that my old headset has been retired to my drawer of computer parts I’ll probably never use again but still hold onto anyways I started searching reviews, top 10 lists, Youtube videos, friends and just about anything else I could find. Â I narrowed my search down between the Logitech G35, Tritton AX 720 and the Tritton AX Pro. After much deliberation it looked like the AX 720 was the best bang for the buck and I couldn’t be happier with them. Despite their massive size they are surprisingly light weight, the white/black color scheme stands out without being obnoxious and the quick disconnect microphone is just icing on the cake. Other features include a wall powered amplifier which allows for quick switching between 5.1 and stereo sound and also provides an additional method of turning the headset off and increasing/decreasing the volume.
As with anything the set does have some minor annoyances. First, the microphone, while it does pick up clearly, its not very easy to adjust to a position of your choosing. You can really only rotate it left and right so alignment to your mouth may be a little tough to accomplish for some people. Â Next, I was really surprised to see that many of the headsets for sale on the market have the traditional permanent style wire into the headset. My Sony set had a completely removable cord which saved it from being destroyed on a few occasions because the cord can be easily yanked out of the set without risking damage. It would have been a much welcome feature however its likely not there on this headset because of the inline mic and volume control which brings me to my next complaint. The inline control is large and heavy. This would have been okay if it had a clip so I could maybe pin it to my shirt or if the distance between the headset and the inline control was longer that would have been acceptable too however now when gaming its essentially always hanging and can be semi annoying and a distraction. Lastly, the only real legitimate complaint I have against the headset is for the price I think the amplifier kinda sucks. You can demonstrate this yourself by flipping the headset between amp mode and pc powered mode. In amp mode you can audibly hear a light electrical hum, the same kind you would expect if you don’t properly ground your audio system in your vehicle. When sound are playing the noise is notÂ noticeableÂ but during ‘blank’ noise periods you can definitely hear it. Normally I would consider that my power may be to blame but I tried plugging the amp into my UPS which provides power conditioning and there was no change which leads me to believe its just a cheap amp and its ridiculously light weight backs my theory of possible low quality components.
The good fortunately out weighs the bad for this headset and its of course always easier to focus on what you don’t like about something. The sound quality overall is very good in my opinion. Bass heavy noises do not bottom out and high pitch noises such as snares keep a nice sound as well so the set feels veryÂ comfortableÂ for all sound ranges. The 5.1 surround also works quite well and I have now on severalÂ occasionsÂ caught someone trying to sneak up for a knife kill in Bad Company 2 so that alone was worth the price.
Price : $129 at most retailers
Comfort : Very comfortable and people with large heads should find they fit well without clamping down tight like other headsets tend to do.
Sound : Excellent sound and the 5.1 Dolby Digital sounds great, much better than I expected from a pair of head phones