Solid construction; good all-around sound quality; comfortable leatherette earcups
Leatherette cups hamper sound quality, set may be too large for some
It seems like these days it’s just not enough to master the Case-Heatsink-Power supply trifecta of PC parts. In the past couple years we’ve seen Corsair, Cooler Master, and now Thermaltake diversifying their hardware portfolios with gaming mice, keyboards, and headsets. The Thermaltake Shock One is the flagship of the new Tt eSports line of gaming headsets, and we got a chance to take it for a spin.
The Shock One is, first and foremost, a well-built headset. None of the materials—from the plastic mesh on the earcups to the cushy faux-leather padding to the metal-reinforced headband—feel cheap, and the whole set has a substantial heft to it. It looks nice, too, with glowing insignias on the sides, and slick black and red plastic across the front and top. Heavy-duty hinges above each earcup allow the entire set to fold up, for easy storage.
The Shock One are better suited to those with bigger noggins.
The set doesn’t fall short in comfort, either. The earcups are sort of an unusual trapezoid shape, but they’re big and well-padded and comfortable for long gaming sessions. The whole thing is a bit on the large side—great for those of us gifted with ample craniums, but maybe not the right pick for people on the lower end of the head-size spectrum.
The Shock One is a USB headset, and offers simulated 5.1 DTS surround sound. It’s ready to plug-and-play out of the box, but installing the included software gives you control over the headset’s simulated environments, equalizer and surround sound settings. In terms of directionality, the DTS Virtual 5.1 beats the pants off of any analogue headset, but falls a bit short of the Corsair HS1, which is comparable in price and uses Dolby Digital technology.
The set’s 40mm drivers are, in a word, capable. The sound isn’t going to blow you away, but the bass response, mids and highs are all perfectly serviceable, and you won’t be left wanting while play games, listening to music, or watching a movie. One gaffe: The Shock One’s leatherette ear cushions absorb some of the sound, leaving the set sounding a bit muddy. Replacement fabric cushions are included in the box, and sound substantially better, but leave us in the unfortunate position of choosing between good sound and superior comfort.
www.thermaltake.com , $95