Given the option, the best way to play your games is with the sound blaring out of your TV, surrounded by a ton of speakers putting you right in to the middle of the action. Unfortunately, though, sometimes those pesky “people” who decide to live with or near you say that you are being too loud. For those occasions you have to rely on a good old pair of headphones. That’s where the Detonator Stereo Headset from Tritton comes in.
A combo of headphones and mic, the Detonator allows you to both hear what’s going on in game and what the whiny 12 year old child is saying about your sexual preference from half way around the world, (and then politely explain to him why his opinions are misguided)
First impressions are pretty good. The Detonator is an attractive piece of kit, a mixture of matte and glossy black meaning it goes perfectly with the current batch of Xbox’s colour pallet and includes a nice subtle Xbox logo across the head strap. From there it’s time to deal with all the wires; setting up the headset is a reasonably simple process with you having to plug either into the rear of your Xbox or RCA cables, then insert the USB into the front of the XBOX. Now you can also plug in the detachable mic and headset connector cable to activate the voice communication. Once all this is done you’ll see the one downside in that you now to deal with a whole heap load of wires however, but to be honest it’s a price worth paying, as the quality of the headset really mitigates the issue. (However if this really is an issue Tritton does have a range of wireless headsets available, just expect to pay a premium for the privilege of a clutter free environment)
So now it’s all set up, you should probably actually put the headset on your actual head. It feels sturdy, without being oppressive and yet light. So in that respect it ticks all the boxes. My one issue with the build is that when you are wearing it, if you have the audacity to move you head too much, the whole thing starts to make a really noticeable creak. So much so it actually drowns out quite a bit of the sound. I will say however that it does seem to be diminishing the more it’s used, so hopefully this is just a case of it needing to be worn in. The other really impressive thing is that as the mic is detachable, you can reduce the whole set-up down to a really good pair of headphones (I’m listening to my music on my phone using them right now!), which gives it a pretty big bonus over other similar headsets.
The stereo speakers in the headset are actually pretty impressive. The first game I booted up was ilomilo. Sure, that’s probably not the most obvious test of a set of speaker’s capabilities but it’s also one of my favourite soundtracks, so in my crazy head it made perfect sense. Anyway, once the game kicked in I started to notice all manner of extra bells and whistles (quite literally) that didn’t come across when playing the game through normal speakers, or even the pair of Turtle Beach X11 headphones I just to use. The overall sound is really clear and even at higher volumes retains its clarity. There is a slight background buzz when you reach higher volumes, but the game would be so deafeningly loud at this point that it’s never even a slight issue.
Voice chat is also good and clear, and seems to be a marked improvement over the standard Xbox headsets, and as an added bonus you also have the option of hearing your own voice through the speakers so you can actually hear what your voice as your Xbox live cohorts can hear it.
While going through this process, in my head I was always comparing the headset to the Turtle Beach set I already use. Now that’s a pretty good headset for the price (I paid around £35), but the Tritton Detonator just seems to beat it across the board. Sturdier setup, removable mic, can be used as simple headphones, better in line remote, distinct lack of background hum, better overall style. So in this price range/style its easy to recommend the Tritton Detonator, the only air of caution I would put to you all is just be aware that this is “only” a stereo set and the wires can quite easily become an annoyance, but if you want to control that problem you’ll be looking to pay a fair whack more on one of the wireless sets that are on the market, if you can look passed the wires you’ll have a very fine piece of kit on your hands.