Gaming is big business, in fact it is safe to say that gaming is bigger business right now than it has ever been. The PC industry may have seen steady decline in the retail sector, but the gaming market for PC is thriving beyond all expectations. This is party due to the rise in popularity of eSports, LAN gaming events and online gaming. This boom has led to huge advances in the range of gaming peripherals and what better way to take a look at that side of the market than with the brand new headset from TteSports, the Cronos.
TteSports are instrumental in the gaming scene, playing their part at LAN gaming events, sponsoring pro gaming teams of their own and creating some of the best performing yet most affordable gaming peripherals on the market at this time, something that has put them in good favour with the gaming community. Their Cronos headset that we have here today looks set to continue their affordable motto with a price tag of around £40. Of course an affordable price tag means nothing if it is not backed up by things such as build quality and performance, so let’s get right to the good stuff and see what else the Cronos has to offer.
As you can see from the spec below, we have a stereo headset, with 40mm neodymium drivers and connectivity is provided by both 3.5mm and USB.
The front of the box bears the black and red style we see on my TteSports products as well as a great image of the headset.
Around the back of the box we have a nice break down of all the major features, but we will of course take a closer look at those in a moment.
Included in the box are some extra connectivity cables, a small warranty policy booklet and a handy protective carry bag.
The wires are all completely removable from the headset. The red one features a 3.5mm jack to micro USB connection, while the white one features a longer cable, in-line controller, two 3.5mm jacks and a full size USB connection.
A Closer Look
The in-line controller isn’t overly fancy, but it does feel well made. It features a simple volume wheel and a master mute switch for the microphone.
The headset is finished in a stunning powder white and the plastics feel really nice all over. The white finish is complimented nicely by some soft grey, bold reds and a tiny touch of chrome on the ear piece joins.
The are cups are covered in a thick and soft foam / cloth padding, with a grey texture, It’s super soft and should provide a really smooth fit over your ear. The back of the driver is covered in a super soft white material with the Tt Dragon in red.
The back of the ear cup features a translucent panel with the Tt dragon on it, this allows for a back lighting effect but we’ll take a better look at that in a moment. On the left ear cup base you can see a small port, this is where you hook up the audio cables to the headset.
The ear cups can be rotated round 90 degrees, perfect for when you’ve got the headset hanging around your neck between games. It also make cleaning and maintaining the headset easier.
When not in use the microphone can be folded up out of the way (but not removed), it features a semi-flexible boom and feels pretty durable, so not much chance of it being broken off if you’re a little careless.
The side adjustments feel durable too and will go a long way to ensuring a snug fit on your head.
The headband features three thick and soft padding areas that match the ear cup padding.
With the headset hooked up to the computer we get a stunning light show from the ear cups and the tip of the microphone boom. A bold red light shines through even in a bright room. Setup was super simple and while you can run these off a standard 3.5mm port like any set of headphone, hooking up the USB cable for extra power is what brings them to life, as well as use of the lighting and microphone features.
The first thing I noticed about this headset was the bass response, I was expecting this to be another bass heavy headset and it just isn’t, this is a very good thing indeed! Many people wrongly assume that heavy bass = good headset, but that is often far from the truth (although naturally everyone is entitled to their own preference of sound balance). The drivers here give an incredibly flat response and I absolutely love it. You can listen to old school metal and progressive rock (if that is your thing, it sure mine) the way it was mixed, without the bass drum thumping through, hearing all the lovely detail of the high and mid tones.
This carries over to gaming incredibly well and while it may not have that “thump” and “wow” that people typically steer toward for single player gaming, this is a competitive gaming headset at heart. Having the balance on the EQ means you can hear more detail, the tip tap of footsteps around you in game, what do you want more, the thunder of every gun shot shaking your teeth out or the ability to hear exactly where your enemies are coming from? Because the Cronos will only give you the latter.
Microphone performance is decent, nothing remarkable but nothing bad either and it is where I would expect it to be for a headset in this price range.
The drivers have another trick up their sleeve too, they handle EQ very well and while I only ran the EQ on Winamp for this test, I often find most headsets crumble in terms of sound quality at the slightest touch of EQ. I can get around -/+ 6db on most of the range here and that means you can still get the extra bass you may desire without loosing any sound quality. The drivers are distortion free all the way up to their maximum volume and the EQ still remains reliable even at low volumes.
Movie performance is decent too, dialogue is crystal clear and musical scores benefit from a wide stereo image.
At time of writing there was no UK stock available for the Cronos, but we have it on good authority that the headset will hit the market for around £40, which for this level of quality is fantastic, putting it along side headsets from brands such as Plantronics, Ozone and the lower end models of Turtle Beach, many of which it out shines in terms of quality and performance.
I’m starting to think TteSports know something that the rest of the gaming peripherals industry do not. Time and time again we test their products and they have simply blown us away time and time again. Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself and say “OMG this is the best headset ever” because it isn’t, it’s only £40 and it’s pretty limited on features. Yet for £40 I struggle to think of much else out there that even comes close to this thing in terms of performance.
The sound quality is crystal clear and while many may miss that thumping bass that is common place in this price range, you really will reap the benefits of the detailed sound scape these driver provide when your playing competitively.
The fit of the headset is really snug, the headband feels durable and does a great job of keeping the drivers close to your ears without crushing your head. The padding is tough and durable, but very forgiving at the same time, so even after long evenings of gaming I didn’t have any issues with comfort.
The included cables are of a high quality, braided and nicely finished. As too is the headset in the matte powder white plastics, with every seam and join feeling well put together. In fact they’re exceptionally well made given the price range and when you compare them to other sets in this range they look better than most as well.
Great all round audio performance, impeccable design and build quality, a superb value for money price tag, what is not to love about that!
- Consistent audio performance that is distortion free
- Robust build quality
- Premium looking design
- Comfortable and adjustable fit
- Microphone cannot be removed
There are better headsets on the market that pack plenty of extra features, but in this price range there is nothing that comes close in terms of overall quality. If your on a tight budget and want a great sounding headset for competitive gaming, this should be your first choice.
Thank you TteSports for providing us with this sample