- Brand: Tt eSports
- Model: Cronos Gaming Headset
- Price: £50-60 (at time of review)
Having had the pleasure to review some of the latest gaming peripherals from Tt eSPORTS, it was only a matter of time before another landed on my desk for review. Tt eSPORTS have been around for just over 3 years now but already have a hefty catalogue of gaming peripherals to their name; they are considered one of the most well-known brands in e-sports and gaming alike.
Having taken a look at the Shock Gaming Headset previously which won our value award, how would a headset on the upper end of the price spectrum perform in comparison? Today for review I have the Tt eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset which has a number of features including the stylish red dragon logo which lights up on the ear cups, bendable microphone and is mobile device ready. Is it a notable improvement over the Shock which actually surprised me in terms of bang for buck? Let’s find out, starting with a little bit about Tt eSPORTS themselves…
About Tt eSPORTS:
“Challenge is the Game” highlights the philosophy to bring out healthy addictions in gaming and the ambition of reaching the pinnacle of success. Tt eSPORTS, a gaming obsessed division from Thermaltake, is uniting gamers from all over the world in a unique & fascinating eSPORTS culture. Inheriting the spirits of Thermaltake, Tt eSPORTS is an energetic, powerful, bold and intelligent challenger whom never says “no” to extreme competition. We do not only provide gamers the ultimate gaming gear but also fulfil the passion to achieve their ultimate ambitions.
|DRIVER UNIT (MM)||40MM NEODYMIUM MAGNET|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20HZ ~ 20 KHZ|
|SENSITIVITY||117 ± 3DB|
|CABLE LENGTH||1.8 METERS|
|3.5 MM GOLD PLUG||YES|
|EXTERNAL IN-LINE CONTROLLER||YES|
|MIC DIRECTIVITY||OMNI -DIRECTIONAL|
|MIC NOISE CANCELLING||NO|
|MIC SENSITIVITY||-54 ± 3DB|
|MIC FREQUENCY||100HZ ~ 10 KHZ|
|MIC IMPEDANCE||2.2K OHM|
Starting with the front of the box, Tt eSPORTS have gone with an all-black design which features red text and has the usual red dragon logo which is found on most Tt eSPORTS products. There is also a large and clear illustration of the headset with an audio like image as the background which gives me the impression that the headset means business. At the bottom, there are thumbnails of certain features which include the following:
– Mobile device ready
– Bendable mic boom
– LED dragon logo
– Stylish control box
– Removable headset cable
On the rear, we have a more detailed listing of the features and technical specifications. Also on the left hand side, is a closer inspection of the different parts on the Cronos which does go into detail which is a pleasure to see; It’s always nice to see manufacturers detailing specs and features on the packaging as in retail, it gives them a more informed choice in my opinion.
The Tt eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset comes with the following accessories:
1 x Fabric travel pouch
1 x Instruction manual
1 x 3.5mm cable for PC
1 x 3.5mm cable for mobile products
Pretty much what I would expect in the box is here and I really like the inclusion of the carry pouch; good for safely transporting your headset with a bit of class.
Here is the cable for connecting the headset to portable devices such as tablets, MP3 players and mobile phones. It is made of a soft plastic and is different to the one provided for connecting to a PC.
The PC cable is braided with a red and black design; this fits in with the colour scheme of the headset perfectly and I really do like it when companies braid their cables as it adds that extra little bit of quality. There is a USB connection to provide power, 2 x 3.5mm jacks for the mic and audio and it has a control box for muting the mic/controlling the volume on the fly.
Taking a closer look at the Tt eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset, we can see the favourable red and black colour scheme that they have gone with. This is also popular with companies such as MSI and ASUS and if you are looking to colour match your peripherals with custom builds, this particular headset should be pretty popular. We have the Tt eSPORTS red dragon inside of the ear cups and a 3 piece padded headband which I will take a closer look at further on in the review.
Here I have illustrated the illumination of the Cronos headset which features red LEDs on the exterior of the ear cups and on the microphone. In my opinion this is very stylish and one of the strong points of the aesthetics. It isn’t adjustable so if you don’t want it turned on, you have no choice which would have been nice; always nice to give consumers the choice but I still really like it.
The ear cups on the Cronos are very well padded and I will go into the comfort of the headset during the performance section of the review. They sure do look comfortable though!
On the side of the ear cups, we have the Tt eSPORTS logo which illuminates red when powered on. The cup is made of plastic and it is slightly adjustable but not by much. Overall the ear cup does feel a little cheap but that can sometimes be the case with plastic products.
Pictured here, we have the microphone which is bendable but just like the ear cup, not by much. It is attached to the ear cup on a swivel arm and when pointed down, it sits at a 45 degree angle but when pointed upwards, it sits at a 180 degree angle. It sits securely in the chosen position and I feel the build quality of the microphone is reasonable.
As previously mentioned, the Cronos headset has a 3 piece padded headband which does feel comfortable and is made from a honeycombed fabric. It doesn’t feel very soft and springs back very quickly but as mentioned regarding the ear cups, I will test the comfort in the performance section.
On the left ear cup, we have the connection which is required to connect to whichever device you need to. Having a detachable cable is a plus point for wanting to pack up and transport to locations such as friends, LAN events or even gaming events but other than that, I see no other purpose for it.
Here we what looks like a metal hinge but in fact it serves no purpose whatsoever in my opinion and I am really disappointed with this part of the headset. It really does look like metal and has a really nice look to it but it is in fact made from hard plastic and has no actual use. Some people might disagree with me but I would have like to have seen the ear cups be adjustable in terms of folding inwards for storage purposes and with this part looking the way it does, I feel it gives a false look of being able to do so.
To test the capability and overall sound quality of the Tt eSports Cronos Gaming Headset, I decided to test the audio with gaming and music, the comfort during a heavy gaming session and the microphone via Skype/voice communication software. I feel this will give a better range of results as not everyone is one dimensional when selecting a headset and this will determine if the Cronos is up to the task or not.
Since the Cronus is dubbed a “gaming” headset I thought it would be fitting to test the gaming capabilities of the Cronos first. To add something a little different I decided to try them out on the current Battlefield 4 Beta which is very popular and when the full game is released, will surely be one of the primary test points with the majority of reviewers.
Although the headset isn’t surround sound by default, it did sound fantastic in my opinion on Battlefield 4; tank fire, gun shots and explosions sounded great and well defined although if I was to nit-pick a little, I would say the bass reproduction could be a little punchier as I felt the explosions did drown quite a bit of the highs out. General running around sounded good also, sprinting, footsteps and even enemies trying to run past were easily picked up on the Cronos and I felt overall during BF4, it performed very well.
The next game and final game I thought I would test it with, was DOTA 2. Although this is not considered one of the pinnacle games that are usually tested, I feel that given the amount of time I actually spend on the game, that it would be worth testing as MOBA games are somewhat very popular and their sounds are so diverse between the lows, mids and highs. While stomping the other team, I was a character called Phantom Assassin which is very well known for being a robust carry. With the abilities being fast with a blade, the sound was quite tingy on the hits and I felt they sounded just how they should do. The ambient music also sounded good in my opinion, which made the game a better overall experience; in game music can sometimes be the difference between a good experience and a bad one depending on the type of person playing at the time.
Overall, the sound was good with different genres of gaming and although the bass could have been a little bit better, this was of no concern to me and I actually enjoyed listening to the audio while playing the chosen games.
To test the music reproduction qualities of Shock, I picked 3 songs from 3 different genres.
Rock: INME – Crushed like a fruit
Dance: Tony De Vit – The Dawn (Dark by Design remix)
RnB: Rihanna – SOS
Going in order, the first test of the musical capabilities of the Cronos headset is one of my favourite tracks of all time, Crushed like a fruit by InMe. The opening lick is a good indication whether I am going to enjoy listening to the song or not as it has that defining sound. It sounded quite good through the Cronos but I have to say it was a little muddy in my honest opinion. I feel the strong point of the Cronos is a good mid-range but the highs and lows during the song were slightly underpowered.
Moving onto a legendary dance track, The Dawn by the late Tony De Vit, I had very high expectations for the Cronos given that overall so far, it’s been a good experience. The highs actually sounded pretty neat in this song and the bass wasn’t over powering so for dance tracks, I feel the Cronos is pretty much suited to. Obviously those studio headphones which are twice the price are going to have a more definitive sound but that shouldn’t take anything away from the Cronos; it’s been a good performer so far!
Finally I decided to move onto one of my favourite RnB tracks of all time, the lovely Rihanna with SOS. This song has a catchy bass line with Rihanna rocking the highs with her vocals. This sound really did encompass the quality of the Cronos and I was immensely impressed overall while listening to SOS. The bass actually felt real and unlike while playing the Battlefield 4 beta, the rest of the tones weren’t drowned out.
Overall, the Tt eSPORTS Cronos performed very well during my musical tests and given that it’s a headset primarily designed for gaming, I was quite pleased with the outcome.
I use Skype on a daily basis and when I’m testing new audio equipment, I don’t usually let my colleagues or other unfortunate souls who has the pleasure of chatting to me that I have changed hardware to see if they can notice the difference. This time around, I was surprised that no-one commented on it although they did mention about the background noise (common as I have 2 kids). It was a good start but people did soon notice the difference in my voice so all in all, the microphone seemed to perform brilliantly. In terms of background noise, even with filters applied from my soundcard and in windows, the noise was still distinguishable and having changed to the mic in my Logitech HD C920 webcam, it definitely reduced it so it could either be a problem with the sample, or just that the microphone has poor noise reduction capabilities, however at the end of the day, it still performed well so I can’t take anything away from Tt eSPORTS on this occasion.
When I first took the Cronos headset from its packaging, I had high expectations given the amount of padding on the ear cups and on the headband. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the comfort overall during long gaming sessions. To elaborate further, the ear cups seemed to bite my ears a little and although I have what I would consider to be a large head, I felt the padding didn’t quite have the effect and when placed on my ears, the tips of my ears hit the inside of the ear cups which I feel shouldn’t really happen. The headband however does feel comfortable, albeit slightly stiff but it still does a good job, especially over long gaming sessions which in my opinion, is what this headset is designed and marketed for, gaming!
So now I have had the chance to test and play around with the Tt eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset, what are my final thoughts on it? Did it perform well or did certain aspects of the headset let the rest down?
Starting with the key factor when looking to buy a headset, the performance, I was generally surprised that the headset performed so well. My first impressions of the headset were rather mixed but the sound quality really did do Tt eSPORTS justice, maybe not worthy of an award but that doesn’t mean the sound quality wasn’t up to standard. The microphone quality was another strong point, although I did find the bendable mic a bit over emphasised as it made little difference to me but to some people, it could be a very handy feature albeit not one I would put high on the list of priorities.
The aesthetics of the Cronos headset were quite pleasing but as mentioned in the closer look section, the apparent hinges which are actually moulded plastic made it look and feel a little cheap and would have expected a little better. Overall the headset looks great and when illuminated, it looks even better! The black and red design would also fit in with a lot of custom build colour themes, especially those who love ASUS and their Republic of Gamers series.
I feel one aspect of the design which I feel would improve the overall experience, is instead of a bendable mic, make it detachable, which in my opinion would be great for portable products such as listening to music on the go with an iPod or even with your mobile phone/tablet. There is a cable included which allows you to do this but how many would walk around their town/city with a mic attached to their head while listening to music? I think I speak for a lot of people when I say not many!
Price wise, the Cronos is priced at around £50-60 which could be considered a good thing and a bad thing; at this price point, there is a lot of competition from lots of different manufacturers and although I feel the audio quality is consistent with the pricing, I would have liked to see a detachable microphone. The plastic silver hinge effect things look out of place and as there is no actual use for them being there, should be scrapped in my opinion as it makes them look cheaper than they actually are.
I really do believe Tt eSPORTS have done a good job with the overall presentation and packaged offered with the Cronus Gaming Headset and with a couple of tweaks, could have easily been an award winning headset, even given the amount of competition at its current price point.
I would like to thank Tt eSPORTS for the sample and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
The Tt eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset is a strong entry into the £50-60 price bracket and if it weren’t for a couple of little design aspects, it would have easily won our design award. If you are looking for a great performing headset for a reasonable price, make sure you consider the Cronos.