As if we weren’t punishing our ears enough with iPods (or 3-year-old boring black-and-white-non-photo-or-video Zens, as the case may be), Tritton Technologies has released some fancy headphones that play 5.1 surround sound from the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and DVDs.
I’ve been trying the headphones out, and they work pretty well for the 360. I don’t know if our brains can actually process full surround sound when projected that close, but Lost Planet sounded crisp and nicely surround-y. Oh, and it was LOUD. There are multiple volume controls on the headphone cord within easy reach, and at only 2 or 3 (10 being the loudest) they were blasting.
I tried them on a Red Hot Chili Peppers DVD, also played on the Xbox 360, and they weren’t as good for that. The sound was much muddier and Flea’s bass wasn’t as prominent as I would have liked. But that might just be the concert recording quality. I imagine it would sound better with a movie. (It also might have to do with the lack of guidance as to how to configure the settings.)
Also you have to plug the headphones into a little base, which in turn plugs into an electrical socket and connects to the machine. So if your gaming/entertainment area is already cluttered with way too many cords and wires and machines like mine is, this might not be the best idea space-wise. (Then again, if it’s already so cluttered, what’s one more wire?)
But if you like to play games at night and have a child or spouse or roommate who likes to actually sleep — and you have $130 to spare — these are a pretty good solution. Just be careful with the volume. I bet it’s really easy to blow your ears out with these.
– January 21, 2007