Getting a headset that rivals your 2.1 external speakers' sound is tough to do without dropping $200 (or more). And yet, the Tt eSPORTS Shock manages to do just that, and at a very reasonable $80. Each sound that flows into your ears is powerful, smooth, and snappy—whether it's a fireball detonating in Dragon Age 2, a Geisha's soft advice in Total War: Shogun 2, or the background music hammering away in Mass Effect 2's Afterlife club. I never detected any audio glitches or muddied sound, even with the volume jammed to ear-bleed levels.
The magic doesn't stop there: the plush, soft ear cups fold up into themselves for easy and compact storage (via a strong metal hinge on each), and the plastic that covers them is bendable and rugged. The white coloring peppered with dashes of black and red looks fantastic, and the mic and sound cables are long enough to connect to a PC over six feet away. These headsets are helium-light as they rest on your noggin, and the microphone is surprisingly clear for in-game chat (but not quite to studio-recording quality). There aren't many extras though—you won't find THX/DTS support or 5.1 virtual surround software, for example, but that's fairly common for the sub-$100 realm. Considering that some other headsets cost three times as much and still don't sound as good, I can't recommend these enough.
$80 ◆ www.thermaltakeusa.com ◆ Category: Mid