Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Review

Waco - 2013-09-22 13:19:13 in Speakers/Headphones
Category: Speakers/Headphones
Reviewed by: Waco   
Reviewed on: October 31, 2013
Price: $59.99

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Introduction:

It isn't often that I get to play with new peripherals that sport the Tt eSPORTS "battle dragon," but when I do it is never a boring experience. Today I'm taking a look at a new source of audio nirvana from the makers of gaming accessories known the world over — Thermaltake. The new Tt eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset is designed for both the hardcore gamer as well as the on-the-go gamer with its specially designed swappable cables tailored to both environments.

The CRONOS sports the usual array of features you'd expect in a high-end gaming headset: large 40mm drivers, a swing-away boom microphone, and a comfortable Lycra headband. In addition to the blazing red and black color scheme, Thermaltake has outfitted the CRONOS with earcups that fold flat for easy transportation to the next LAN party of choice, USB-powered red accent lighting, and a carrying bag to keep it free of whatever lies in the bottom of your backpack. The CRONOS surely looks like it has the mettle to stand up to the challenge!

 

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Closer Look:

Right off the bat you can't miss the red and black color scheme that tends to dominate Thermaltake products. I can't say I dislike this since red and black is usually my go-to color combination but it really is a matter of personal preference. The front of the package clearly shows the CRONOS headset in all its glory along with a large list of features along the bottom edge of the box. It is pretty obvious that Thermaltake really wants this product to feel LOUD before you even open the top!

The back of the box again sports the same black and red color palette and lists various specifications and features in English and a small section in various languages directing readers to the Thermaltake eSPORTS website for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popping open the box reveals a boatload of goodies in addition to the headset itself. A small manual is included (of course) along with a carrying bag, a red and black braided USB/audio cable, and a red mobile audio cable. The latter is designed for on-the-go use and allows the headset and microphone to be used with a phone or tablet with only a single connection. The bag is actually quite nice in terms of quality and easily holds the headset and all accessories without feeling bulky or oversized.

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Closer Look:

You didn't think I'd break out the headset right away did you? Before taking a closer look at the CRONOS itself we'll take a look at the included cables that really give it its utility. First off we have the red and black braided cable that comes with a nice Velcro cable tie to keep things tidy when not in use. The braiding feels extremely nice and will definitely keep the cable from tangling itself into an anger-inducing knot from hell. Inline on this cable is a small volume control and microphone switch. While I tend to control my audio volume via the Windows control it is nice to be able to adjust the output without resorting to keyboard shortcuts. The microphone cut is nice as well for the times when you really don't want your teammates to hear you yelling at your significant other (or getting yelled at!). At the input end of the cable you have the usual headphone and microphone jacks along with the addition of a USB plug. The USB plug is purely for the red lighting on the earcups and microphone; this is not a USB headset. At the opposite end of the cable is the micro-USB plug that attaches to the headset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switching gears to the "mobile ready" red cable things are a bit more simple. On one end of the cable there is a single combination headphone/microphone jack that is compatible with most mobile devices. At the other end is another micro-USB connector for the connection to the CRONOS headset. These plugs fit extremely tightly (almost annoyingly so) but you can be sure they'll never come loose in the middle of a gaming session.

 

At last, the CRONUS is revealed. The red and black color scheme really screams "gamer gear" and is quite aggressive in appearance. The flexible boom microphone can be swung up and out of the way and will hold itself in whatever position you desire. While a bit surprising, the microphone does not automatically mute when swung up and out of the way, so make sure you use the inline control to mute the microphone should you decide to do something other than talk to your friends.

 

 

 

The first time I swung the earcups flat I had the panic-inducing thought that I'd just broken the CRONUS. Most headsets are done for if you spin the earcups off-axis, but the mechanism built into the CRONUS is actually quite strong and doesn't feel the least bit flimsy. Folding the headset flat makes them far more portable as they will easily fit inside a regular backpack or laptop bag. The red Lycra headband is extremely comfortable even for long-term gaming sessions deep into the night and the band has enough adjustability to fit anywhere from tiny heads to massive melons like mine.

 

 

 

Inside of each earcup on this shining example of the eSPORTS line shows off the Thermaltake Battle Dragon in bright red. The bottom of the left side earcup is where the micro-USB connection lies and if anything this connection could be half as strong and still be adequate. Attaching and removing the connector is a bit harrowing the first few times you do it but as I mentioned before I highly doubt it will ever come unconnected unintentionally. The microphone boom itself is not muffled but has many small holes with an internal mesh to avoid breathing noises. The reverse side of the arm has a small strip of translucent red that lights up when the USB connector is plugged in on the main at-home cable.

 

 

 

I apologize for the color in the following picture but the red on the CRONOS is rather intense and blew out my camera! While it appears rather uneven in the picture let me assure you that the blood-red lighting is extremely even and extremely red. The real question is whether or not the sound of the CRONOS matches up to the aggressive styling and writing; keep reading to find out!

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Specifications:

Connector:
3.5mm plug & USB
Platform:
PC/Mobile
Color:
Black
Driver Unit:
40mm Neodymium Magnet
DTS Certified:
No
Channel:
Stereo
Frequency Response:
20Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity:
117 +/- 3 dB
Cable Length:
1.8 Meters
Mic Directivity:
Omni-directional
Mic Noise Cancelling:
No
Mic Sensitivity:
-54 +/- 3 dB
Mic Frequency:
100Hz – 10KHz
Mic Impedance:
2.2 KOhm

 

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Features:

 

 

 

Information courtesy of: http://www.ttesports.com/productPage.aspx?p=113&g=ftr

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Testing:

While everyone has different tastes when it comes to what constitutes sound quality there is still a need to try and quantify just how "good" or "bad" various headsets sound. The Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset is billed as a high-quality gaming headset built for audio bliss. Through various situations I will push the CRONOS to the limits to find out what flaws lie below its beautiful exterior: gaming, movies, and music.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Headsets:

 

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Results:

Games:

Let me be the first to say that I like loud. The CRONOS doesn't disappoint in this category – you can crank them as loud as you like to hear those subtle footsteps creeping up on you from behind and the gunshots that follow won't distort but they will nearly blow your eardrums out. While they don't have the greatest bass presence, it also isn't lacking; it's just not as prominent as other headsets I've used in the past. "Even and flat" would be how I describe the sound of the CRONOS. That's not a bad thing by any means as they have a very neutral sound that isn't fatiguing and allows you to game at high volumes for long periods of time without feeling drained. Everything is clear and easy to hear and the microphone, well, it's a microphone. There are no real flaws here!

 

Movies:

After watching a few of my favorite scenes from various movies (Tron Legacy has been one of my test subjects of late) I only have a single complaint about the Tt eSPORTS CRONOS: the bass response. While it really isn't lacking for the most part the headset just lacks overall impact when forced to play the extremely deep bass lines typically in movie soundtracks. Aside from that there is no lacking of dynamic range thanks to the ludicrous volume levels you can push the CRONOS to without distortion. All in all not bad by any means but not my first choice for high-impact movies that have a strong LFE track.

 

Music:

What is life without music? Many gamers also use their gaming headsets for serious jamming in addition to their gaming. How does the CRONOS hang in there when asked to deliver musical bliss? I'm pleased to report that although bass-heads may be disappointed with the neutral sound of the CRONOS, they shine for almost everything else. Vocals are clear, transparent, and don't distort even when pushed as hard as my sound card can push them. Granted, everyone has their own preferences, but for listening to pretty much anything but dubstep or drum'n'bass the CRONOS delivers in spades. The super-comfortable earcups and headband combined with the smooth sound allow you to spend far more time listening to your tunes than you initially intended!

Thermaltake eSPORTS CRONOS Gaming Headset Conclusion:

If you haven't taken a look at the price of the eSPORTS CRONOS yet, go gander at page 1. That's right; that $59.99 list price isn't a typo (and Amazon has them for $54). While bass-heads may be disappointed in the bass output of the CRONOS most people will have no complaints in that department. The clear and non-fatiguing sound combined with the utility of the folding earcups and interchangeable cables mesh together into a great headset that really doesn't have any drawbacks. The styling, to be honest, is a little extreme and "loud" but other than that what we've got here is a well-built headset that hits all the real requirements for a great gaming experience. If I had to sum up the CRONOS in a few short words, they would be: comfortable earcups, comfortable headband, and comfortable sound.

Everything boils down to one thing: a great headset for gaming at home and on the go. Reasonable pricing and great utility come together at last!

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: