Today I'm going to be having a look at the Tt eSPORTS Shock Gaming Headset. For those few people who don't know, Tt eSPORTS is a subsidiary of Thermaltake who are well known for their cases, PSU's and cooling solutions. Tt eSPORTS (in case the name didn't give it away) focus on gaming peripherals for the PC.
So let's have a quick look at the features and specs.
The Shock comes in two different colour schemes â€“ Diamond Black and a Shining White. Tt eSPORTS Australia were kind enough to send me the white edition and I must say, I found the colour scheme they used on it to be very appealing.
On the topside of the headband we find a Tt eSPORTS logo which has a nice glossy white finish around it. At the end of the head band on either side we have the adjustment mechanism which allows you to customize up to 10 different lengths. The outside of the ear cups we find a red Tt logo and a nice black mesh.
For cushioning and padding we have a short leather pad on the inside of the headband, I found that this was adequate enough to ensure the headset rests comfortably on the top of your head. Tt eSPORTS have elected to give the Shock rectangular ear cups; the padding for these is covered in velvet which offers a bit of extra comfort against your ears. I did find the padding used for the ear cups to be slightly firmer than what I'm used to.
On the left side of the headset we find the noise cancelling microphone â€“ it has a swivel point of about 130 degrees allowing you to have it sitting flush against the headset when not in use. The microphone is also quite flexible, allowing you to customize the distance between it and your mouth.
Tt eSPORTS have given the Shock a 10 ft long cable, along which we find the inline control pod. This allows users to mute their microphone and adjust the volume on the fly. At the end of the cable we find two gold plated 3.5mm jacks â€“ these aren't colour coded but include a small diagram to indicate which plug needs to go where.
I've tested the headset in a variety of different games including Battlefield Bad Company 2, Killing Floor, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dawn of War 2 and found that the audio quality is reasonably high for a headset in its current price range. Bass enhancement is definitely something I can give the headset credit for, as I immediately noticed gunfire and explosions being much more audible.
In order to test the effectiveness of the microphone I spoke to a few people on two popular VOIP programs â€“ Ventrilo and Mumble. Everyone I spoke to said that I sounded a lot clearer when compared to my regular Zalman Clip On mic.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a big head, I initially found the headset to be quite tight. After using the headset for a week or so I did notice that the amount of force did decrease a fair amount though. In order to maintain fairness in my review I let some people from work test the headset and they didn't experience the same tightness that I did. The ear padding whilst quite firm does fit comfortably around your ears.
So I'll start of by discussing the price, a quick search on Static Ice reveals that the Shock's generally sell for $50-60AUD. Factor that these are an entry level headset into the equation and you've got a headset that has a quite appealing price to performance ratio. The overall build quality is also quite fair, the only parts that I found to move when under stress are the ear cups (detachable for cleaning) and the hinges to fold the headset (obviously). I found that the colour scheme that was used for the Shining White edition was fantastic.
The only fault I can bring up with the Shock's is that I found them to be slightly tight around my (big) head to begin with, it wasn't unbearable but slightly tighter than I would have liked. After a week or two I did noticed that the level of tightness did go down a bit which made it more comfortable. So with that in mind I'll wrap up by saying that if you are in the market for an entry level headset that has great audio quality for its price range, a well performing noise cancelling microphone and fold up nice and neatly for travel/LAN's I would recommend having a look at the Shock's. If you don't like tight headsets and/or have a large head, my recommendation is to give them a test at a LAN or in a store to see how they feel for you.