- Brand: Tt eSports
- Model: Shock Gaming Headset
- Website: http://www.ttesports.com/productpage.aspx?p=7&g=ftr#.UjCOWMY3tig
- Price: £30-32 depending on colour (at time of review)
Tt eSports are the gaming subsidiary of Thermaltake and while only being a young brand (formed in 2010), they have gone from strength to strength in the gaming peripheral market. Being one of Thermaltake’s main brands, they have a pretty tough lineage to follow. Having previously reviewed the (insert WC here) and given how well it did, I expect a good showing from Tt eSports.
Today in particular I will be taking a look at their new Shock Gaming Headset which is available in 7 different colours, White, Orange, Yellow, Black, Blue and Green; there is something to fit literally everyone’s taste. The Shock is a stereo headset which has such features as a 3m cable, a bi-directional foldable microphone and has 2 x gold 3.5mm audio jacks. How will it perform overall and do they deserve to be called a gaming headset?
Here is a link to a short unboxing of the Tt eSports Shock Gaming Headset that I did to compliment the review – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpULo1ENyrY
|CONNECTOR||3.5MM PLUG X2|
|DRIVER UNIT (MM)||40MM|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20HZ ~ 20 KHZ|
|SENSITIVITY||114 ± 3DB|
|CABLE LENGTH||3 METERS|
|3.5 MM GOLD PLUG||YES|
|EXTERNAL IN-LINE CONTROLLER||YES|
|MIC NOISE CANCELLING||YES|
|MIC SENSITIVITY||-45 ± 3DB|
|MIC FREQUENCY||100HZ ~ 10 KHZ|
|MIC IMPEDANCE||2.2K OHM|
|OTHER FEATURES||– CHOOSEN BETWEEN WHITE OR BLACK
– FOLDABLE DESIGN
– INNOVATIVE NOISE CANCELLING MICROPHONE
– ENHANCED BASS PERFORMANCE
Taking a more detailed look at the packaging and the contents, we have the front of the box. The main colour scheme is orange and black, with white writing; this particular sample is Tt eSports Dynamite Orange colour, which I love as it fits in well with our Play3r logo. We have a viewing window on the right, which allows people to get a first-hand glimpse which is a real benefit in a retail environment. There is also an illustration of the headset and below, has a list of features that the Shock comes packed with.
On the rear, we have a much brighter overall background in the way of orange, with a detailed diagram of the Shock headset itself. We also have the Tt eSports red dragon on display in the top right corner.
Overall the packaging is very vibrant, very bright and in my opinion, would grab attention in a retail environment which is one of the main purposes of packaging. Let’s take a look at the contents…
Inside the box, we have the following contents:
1 x Shock Gaming headset
1 x Quick installation guide
1 x Fabric carry-bag
2 x Warranty policy leaflet
Pretty much what I would expect inside, the warranty leaflet is pretty much standard with all products on the market today but the carry-bag is a very nice touch, especially if you’re planning on taking your headset to LANS, round to friends house or anywhere you might take them.
Taking a first look at the Tt eSports Shock Gaming Headset, the most striking feature is colour which Tt eSports call “Dynamite Orange”; not sure dynamite is the right word but it is very nice and vibrant in my opinion. We have the foldable microphone, which is bi-directional which means the mic will pick up audio from either side of the microphone.
The ear cups are made of a very soft cloth material and are soft filled. When pressure is applied the cup re-bounds pretty well so I would think that they will be very comfortable but I will discuss that in the testing. The cups are a mixture of orange and black; the Shock headset looks good in my opinion, not just because it’s orange!
Having a closer look at the ear cup, we have Tt in printed into the cup (Thermaltake) and a black honeycomb mesh which gives it a very nice look and especially, it feels good also. At the top we can also see the hinge, which is made of plastic with steel pin which pivots the cup in as this headset is foldable; great for putting into the carry bag.
Here is a closer look at the mic, which is made of solid black plastic and folds in and out of the ear cup. It feels of good build quality, mainly due to the solid nature of the plastic and for a headset in the price range it’s at, it’s a nice thing to see on any headset, not just this one.
The extender is a mixture of plastic and steel, the main frame of the plate is steel with the middle runner which slides in and out of the headband being made out of black plastic. It would have been nice to have been all metal but as mentioned earlier, for the price range the headset is currently in, it is to be expected.
The headband is all orange with the faux leather filled like material underneath the headband, to provide comfort when gaming/listening to music and just generally wearing it. Like the ear cups, it’s soft to touch and when pressure is applied, it bounces back quickly.
Looking at the top of the headband, despite it being all orange, we have Tt eSports by Thermaltake displayed on it. It’s 100% smooth meaning it isn’t printed or engraved which in my opinion is very nice; this means the chances of it rubbing off ranges from slim to none! Also we have the Tt eSports dragon to the left of the text.
Last but not least, we have the Shock headsets in-line controls. This is also dynamite orange and fits in with the rest of the headset. The control itself has a mute mic switch which is handy if someone interrupts you while gaming and the adjustable volume controls are pretty standard nowadays.
Overall the look of the headset is brilliant, but I’m not 100% convinced of the huge padded ear cups; in long gaming sessions I can imagine that ears will start to get hot and potentially sweat which is never a nice thing! One good thing is the weight feels evenly distributed across the entire frame of the headset including the cups, this should add to the quality of the comfort with as little head sagging as possible.
I can’t fault the colour though, so with that said, let’s get on with the testing…
To test the capability and overall sound quality of the Tt eSports Shock 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 Shock is a suitable all-rounder or a one trick pony but with that being said, let’s get on with the testing…
With the primary focus of the Shock headset being on gaming, I thought it would be fitting to start here. Taking to a round of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, I thought it would be a good test of audio range and quite surprisingly, the Shock headset performed really well here! The lows were pretty well received due to explosions, gun shots and general distant bangs but the lack of surround sound did hinder me ever so slightly. The full range of tones given that this is a budget headset was very encouraging and I was really impressed with mid-range. Moving onto a more fantasy like game in the way of the renowned MMORPG World of Warcraft, the sound track is simply amazing so I figured it would be a really good test of the Shocks mid/highs. I wasn’t disappointed and for such a low cost headset, it really does deliver. From running dungeons, every sound was define, wasn’t too muddy and the highs were pretty impressive. One thing from both games I do think could have been improved on was the bass, it was decent but I felt it was lacking just a little bit of punch, which I feel would have made this so much better.
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
Starting with Crushed like a fruit, the intro which is a tasty little guitar lick/riff, sounded pretty good which is always a good indication. The bass drums sounded defined but the overall sound was a little muddy, nevertheless still a lot better than I had expected. Throughout the song, I was pleasantly surprised at how much range a headset in the £30 price bracket had so I decided to throw something different at it.
Next up was The Dawn by legendary DJ Tony De Vit and this made for some very interesting listening. The highs were fantastic for such a budget headset, with a good defined bass tone and even the mid-range was decent. The song is one of my favourite dance tracks of all time and I enjoyed listening to it via the Shock gaming headset.
Finally something different again, the lovely Rihanna with SOS, which is a classic RnB song filled with beats. The bass which was the main focus of this song for me wasn’t very punchy and in my opinion, it let the song down but everything else sounded fine. Not to detriment the Shock, the bass wasn’t bad and considering the price it sells for, I can’t really fault it but for those looking for really punchy bass, this headset might not be the best available but it still performs very well especially since it’s primarily geared for gamers anyway.
To test the microphones quality, I decided to use Skype as it is something I tend to use on most days to keep in contact with people. First impressions, well feedback from the other person was a good one, audio was clear which is always a good thing, many a time it can be hit and miss but the Shock hit it in this round.
The audio quality was good, with very clear tones and everything was clear. This was the case with TeamSpeak 3 and Ventrilo so a good overall performance in my opinion.
The Tt eSports Shock Gaming Headset was very comfortable during gaming, especially when used for long periods of time. The cups were very soft on my ears and I had no problems with any ear sweats throughout. The headband was also comfortable but I found it a little too soft at times, especially with my big head! Having an adjustable headband is always a good feature and I had no issues keeping it firmly attached to my head, although I do feel the build quality could be a little bit better. It does feel very plastic throughout and feel it could do with a bit more substance in terms of material but in saying that, it is a budget gaming headset so there has to be sacrifices somewhere.
Over the past couple of days, I have had a good chance to test the Tt eSports Shock Gaming Headset out but how exactly did it perform? Does it punch above its weight or does it fall flat on its face?
Well starting with the main aspect of the review, the audio performance, the Shock surprised me (In a good way). The audio quality is very good, with a decent bass range, good mid-range and fantastic high tones. Gaming is the Shocks real strong point, delivering great sound in all of the games I have thrown at it over the past 2 days. The headset is stereo, so for those looking to pin-point enemy movements precisely, you might have to look for another headset but overall, I had no issues in noticing enemies flying up behind me in Black Ops 2 and the stereo sound is more than adequate.
The Shock also handles music very well and having listening to a very diverse amount of music through it (more than the testing), it is very versatile but I still believe it to be better for gaming and I stick by that.
In terms of comfort, the headset really does excel although and I’m convinced the build quality will make this headset last all but accident damage like dropping/standing on it. This is due to the amount of plastic which is used to produce these headsets, although if it was any other material the price would most certainly double and would be a different kettle of fish. The padding is good, comfortable and didn’t bite my ears/head which some headsets are known to do. The adjustable headband also works really well and I was able to get a good fitting on my big head.
The best part of Shock Gaming Headset is the price, coming in at around £30 with each colour varying between £1-3 in difference; it is amazing and clearly deserves our value award without a doubt. For the price, this headset packs a serious punch for those on a budget and with the wide variety of colours available, ranging from blue to red; there is something to suit everyone’s style.
From the bang for buck performance, to the striking design, to how comfort the headset is and more astonishingly, the price, Tt eSports have done a fantastic job with the Shock Gaming Headset and I would like to thank them for the sample today, good job Tt eSports and I look forward to seeing more products from them in the near future.
The Tt eSports Shock Gaming Headset is the perfect headset for those on a tight budget, with it’s great style, to the very comfortable cups, the wide range of colours available all the way down to the great sound, if you have a budget of £30-40 then the Shock headset is the perfect one for you!