Detachable mic much improved, 5.1 surround in a headphone set.
USB bypasses soundcard; EAX 2.0 doesn't quite cut it. Annoying "rumble" effect.
We reviewed Tritton’s Audio Xtreme 360 headset in our July issue. As you can tell by its model name, that device is aimed as much at console gamers as it is movie watchers and PC gamers. The AXPC is a little simpler, better suited to PC users, and nearly $50 cheaper. But it sounds just as mediocre.
The AXPC shares its stablemate’s 5.1-channel surround-sound speaker design—four 30mm drivers in each earpiece—but it doesn’t have a Dolby Digital decoder module. It also doesn’t have the Xtreme 360’s ability to host a second set of phones, but neither of these factors are shortcomings for PC cans. The fact that this headset relies on your PC’s USB port, on the other hand, is a negative for anyone with a dedicated soundcard. The AXPC offers only EAX 2.0 support—not very impressive when you consider that Creative has taken EAX to version 5.0.
Tritton, however, did improve the detachable microphone in every respect: The flexible stalk attaches via a threaded mount (as opposed to the thin wire and plug on the 360), it delivers superior voice quality, and it’s far better at rejecting extraneous background noise (an important advantage if your PC has noisy fans).
While testing with the included helicopter demo (as a crudely rendered helicopter circles your head, the sound of its engine is supposed to follow), the AXPC was very effective at fooling our brains into believing that the helicopter was actually behind our heads. The effect was marred, however, by severely abrupt transitions from the front to the side and from the side to the back—the sound just cuts out from one speaker and resumes in the other.
he AXPC’s “rumble” effect drove us nuts, and there’s no way to defeat it other than to switch the phones to 2.1-channel mode. The rumble isn’t force feedback, in which specific events in the game cause physical effect; the earcups simply vibrate in response to low frequencies. Bleh!