The Kunai gaming headset is the latest product to fall under the Mad Catz TRITTON brand. Priced at around £49.99, it’s pitched at gamers looking for a good quality entry-level headset and comes equipped with an inline controller that allows you to tweak the sound level of game audio and voice chat.
First impressions are good as the Kunai that we received sports a clean, black and white styling with a black stripe that runs from the top of the white cans across the middle of the band up to the centre point where the words ‘TRITTON’ are emblazoned in silver. The exterior of the cups are also branded in silver with the familiar TRITTON logo.
The black inner ear section and padding underneath the band provide a stylish contrast to the glossy white of the plastic bands, while the white-tipped microphone complements the aesthetic design nicely. Though the lack of co-branding or any PlayStation colours makes it look more like a lifestyle product than a dedicated gaming headset, the Kunai’s simple styling is certainly eye-catching.
In the box you get the stereo headset with 40mm speakers, a removable microphone and a 14ft wire which houses an inline controller. Connecting to this small plastic box are wires leading to a USB connector and two stereo audio cables. There’s always a lot of cable to deal with in many gaming headsets priced around this mark, so if that bothers you then you may want to look for a wireless solution. However, the long length of the cable does mean you can comfortably sit back quite far from your monitor without it becoming taut.
Set-up is simple with help provided via the picture-based manual which indicates that the headset connects to the Vita directly via the audio jack. It also shows clearly how the Kunai connects to the PS3 via the USB slot on the front of the console and requires you to plug the right channel Audio out and left channel Audio out (white and red jacks) to the TV, or monitor.
There’s a little bit of fiddling around to do before the headset works with the PS3, but the manual makes it clear that you need to enter the Audio Device Settings panel on the XMB and ensure you change the input and output so it can detect the Kunai. So, after no more than three minutes, we were up and running.
The headset feels light, yet rugged enough that it won’t break easily, and comfortable to wear thanks to the soft-padded cups that swivel around to ensure maximum comfort. The flexibility of the detachable microphone means you can bend it around to practically any angle, or move it totally out of the way if you don’t plan on doing any talking.
If you’re used to high quality and more expensive headsets then you’ll notice a difference in sound as the Kunai doesn’t have directional audio, which allows you to pick up exactly where a sniper may be shooting from, or 5.1 surround sound. But the 40mm stereo drivers provide a rounded audio experience at low, mid and high tones with an impressive bass sound that delivers the revving of an engine or the impact of a big explosions reverberating around your ear-drums.
The chat function works well too and we were able to tone down the sounds in-game and ramp up chat audio with a simple turn of the volume controls to ensure that fellow gamers can hear our calls for help or general chin-wagging clearly without being drowned out by the music. We could also hear other players with the clarity that we’d expect from a good headset.
As an entry-level headset, the TRITTON Kunai does everything you’d expect of it with good quality audio, an inline controller that does what it says on the tin (allowing you to communicate efficiently with teammate) and an aesthetic that is stylish and pleasing on the eye. The cups don’t drown out exterior sounds too well, and there’s no real indication in the design that you’ve just bought a headset that is marketed toward PS3 and Vita gamers, but its comfort and impressive audio quality makes it a reliable purchase if you’re looking for an affordable headset that delivers a well-rounded sound.
Note: The Kunai is available in a variety of colours. Visit the official Mad Catz site for more information.