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November 5th 2009 9:52 pm

Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 vs. Astro Gaming A40 vs. Tritton AX Pro

With MW2 coming up I'm thinking of doing a surround headset shootout. Anyone used all three? What do you think? I've been hearing the X41 build quality is a little cheap and the audio isn't the most impressive; the Astro appears to be simulated surround only (which I'm not about to go for) but I hear it's a much better built device; the Tritton seems a little on the lower-end side and I haven't heard a ton on these guys.

gdgt.com­/tritton­/ax­-pro/ (or possibly gdgt.com­/tritton­/ax900­-pro/ )

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i am not enough of an audio nut to have compared simulated surround to surround, but i know from fit testing the turtle beach and astro, i love the fit of the a40. i wore an a40 while playing some borderlands and they sounded great. as for build quality, i did not examine the x41 that closely because i was so interested in the a40, but the a40 is solid, solid, solid. no creaking or squeaking so commonly found in headsets. there are little features on the a40 that i love that puts it over the top for me, the removable cord, the boom options- right, left, none and the speaker tags. i love the idea, customize them, or i can always paint my own like i have on so many cans before, the removable tags just makes it easier and less messy.
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I concur with what aaronaut says. I don't care enough about the surround effects, simulated or not, for it to matter, but the build of the Astro A40s is exceedingly good. Solid as a rock, the size adjustment stays where you put it, and the included cables are heavy-duty.

I can, as a musician, say that the stereo audio quality is better than any set of cans I've ever had, for both studio monitoring and general music listening.

I heartily endorse the Astro A40s.
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I picked up the turtle beach X1's today. I really can't tell the difference between a "surround" headset and regular stereo headphones. I think its because the speakers are too close together for your head to hear a difference. that said, I do use the dolby headphone option on my reciever so it's down mixing 5.1 to 2 channels in a way that it sounds more surround than "surround" headphones. anyways, I hear the astro a40's are the best but $250 is too steep. I'll stick to the X1's for now. I am interested in your review though.

also Ryan, if need an extra player, send me an invite.
XBL = b squad leader
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The astro uses Doubly Headphone surround technology, as does the Logitech g35.

From the reviews I have been reading on the g35 the simulated surround is not that bad.

Razer use a proprietary tech on their Megalodon, Creative has CMSS-3D.

From what i have read i would get the astro (if i had the money for it), but i am going to end up getting the g35.

I've also read good feedback about the tritton on forums.
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The comparison is useful, but we need more data. Go edit those specs, people!

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The problem with these 'virtual 5.1 / 7.1 surround' systems is that although they actually do work in terms of delivering a discrete sense of surround (i.e. you can actually tell discrete speakers if you run a surround test), it's still all inside your head. Behind actually works to a real level in most of these systems, but projecting the forward sound field is the most difficult for headphones - and really, only happens with the *really* serious surround processors.

The practical consequence of the 'still in head surround' is that the directional cues provided aren't enough to make gaming that much better. The best you can hope for with both 'real' 5.1 (i.e. phones with different drivers for front and rear) - and simulated is to be able to nebulously distinguish a rear-originating sound. As for front aiming cues - forget it.

Personally, I'm sticking with the MMX 300.

The Logitech G35 has an issue BTW: a whine from the right-hand side earcup. Gets worse if you mute the mic. It's faint, but for me it's an annoyance.

I haven't tried the Astro - maybe I should.
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I bought the ASTRO a40 with the mix amp at PAX 08 and have beening loving them from the first time I put them on. The sound quality matches the excellent build quality on this set along with all the little tweeks/set-ups you can do with them. I use them with my Xbox 360 & PS3, ASTRO also has great tech support. Any time I had a question or an issue I had email from support with-in 24-48 hours with great results. I do have to agree with Scottish that they are a little pricey but it is worth it! I am no audiophile but I am really picky about my sound quality...wait that does make me an audio geek, but these cans are the best I have owned.
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Theres a local company in my city that's created a pair of non simulated acoustical surround sound headphones. And they've taken a new approach to surround sound headphones by placing the speakers in the bridge of the headphone instead of in the ear caps so sound is delivered in a natural way to both ears (left, right, front, back)

In their office they have every other competitor product for people to compare against and they challenge people to find a better pair. They have all the headphones in this thread (and more) and I've did their comparison test and their headphones are on a whole different level. Once i tried their Psyko 5.1's the audio quality & directionality on the simulated surround sound headphones were just so bad in comparison.

Their website dosen't quite do the product any justice, but check them out.

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The Astro A40 looks amazing, but the X41 is wireless, and and that's a much better fit for my gaming room.
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Yeah, the cabling is the part that's the major deal breaker for me. I don't mind all of the cabling behind the scenes such as power and toslink, but from the console to my head is just unacceptable. In the case of the A40's, cables from the volume dial to the headset, and a cable from the controller to the volume dial. Despite the better build quality of the A40's, I hate dealing with cables, so I guess I have to go with the inferior X41's, which really dissapoints me.
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10 users following this discussion:

  • ryan
  • aaronaut
  • Novettam
  • Scottish
  • bsquadleader
  • darkwalt
  • ArmpitOfDeath
  • Plasticmonster
  • richerd
  • briaooon9

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