I’m finally getting round to doing my first hardware review and it’s the Tritton Kunai headset for Wii U & 3DS. Doing headset reviews can prove to be a problem because everyone has a different opinion when it comes to style, comfort and sound quality. I’m not an audiophile by any means but at the same time I’m smart enough to know it’s not wise to pay that much for a pair of Dr Dre Beats headsets when there are cheaper alternatives that sound equally as good.
MadCatz is a name I used to fear as a child, I had them down as one of those awful 3rd party hardware manufacturers and during multi-player sessions no one wanted to get stuck with the MadCatz one. Times have changed however and MadCatz are no longer the company they used to it, MadCatz now represents quality products with their Street Fighter arcade stick range proving to be a hit with consumers known to be ultra picky about their arcade sticks.
The quality continues with the Tritton Kunai headset which is being marketed to the Wii U and 3DS crowd but is more than capable of being a headset that can be recommended for general everyday use. The headset is designed by Tritton who in 2010 were acquired by MadCatz and now serve as their gaming audio brand and it appears the purchase was well worth it as the Kunai headset falls in nicely with the other solid products MadCatz currently offer.
The Kunai headset features 40mm Neodymium drivers designed to offer clear audio with smooth bass and yes it sounds like fancy words but it really does work. Way too many headsets on the market do not sound good, the sound quality is often not clear and drowned out by the unnecessary high bass volumes but that simply isn’t the case with the Kunai. There’s no bass control for you to screw around with but you won’t need it because the Kunai headset is perfectly configured out of the box.
Often in the past I’ve tried a range of headsets and usually it takes me a while to adjust but the Kunai headset felt like the most natural one I’ve heard in years, music sounds exactly how it should sound providing a nice mix between the clarity of smaller headphones and the more powerful bass of larger headsets. It’s a stereo headset so those looking for surround sound will have to look elsewhere but the Kunai never tries to be something it’s not, it’s a stereo headset and it does what it does very well.
In terms of comfort the Kunai once again does not fail to please with padded earpads with an on-ear compact design that help ensure comfort at all times. The earcups also rotate to allow the headset to rest around the neck when not in use, the top is also nicely padded so whether it’s in use or around your neck the Kunai is never bothersome. Obviously everyone has slightly differently shaped ears so you’re never going to please everyone but personally speaking the Kunai fit around my ears nicely, I even wear earrings and didn’t experience any discomfort after extended use.
Style is an area where some headsets fail upon, you can have a nice headset but if it looks rubbish no one is going to buy it to wear in public. This particular Kunai headset features a small Wii U logo on either side but it’s nothing that hurts the product, in fact it does looks pretty cool. The two basic styles that headsets can go for it a more rounded off approach or a square shaped designs and there’s no winner between the two, it’s purely down to which kind of style you prefer so it’s meaningless to praise or complain about such things. Long story short the Kunai headset is a sleek piece of kit and I can’t imagine anyone being hesitant to wear these in public.
Sometimes that I’ve not mentioned so far is the microphone that the Kunai headset features, yes this actually a fully working microphone and headset combo designed to be used with the Wii U or 3DS. The headset is so good that it’s easy to overlook it and simply review it as a general headset. The microphone is a small attachment that is connected to the headset via a 3.5mm connector and a simple twist & pull motion makes it easy to connect or disconnect. Since it’s connected to the headset using a 3.5mm connector you could use it on it’s own as a mini microphone if you really wanted to.
Cable length for the Kunai headset is one meter long or 3.3 ff, everyone has their own preferred cable length but I found it to be the perfect length. It’s not too short and it’s not so long that you’ll find yourself rolling up the cable inside your shirt or however you like to flaunt yourself. Attached to the cable is a small a volume control and microphone switch, it does exactly what you think it does but just remember to keep that microphone mute switched on even if the microphone isn’t attached to the headset as failing to mute the microphone has an affect on sound quality.
Stereo headset, it says it right on the box so this isn’t some crazy ultimate surround sound pair headset. Being that it’s a simply an easy to use stereo headset means you can plug it in to any device that accepts a 3.5mm connector. For handheld device the Kunai is easy to recommend, it’s going to make your Vita, 3DS or even iPhone sound MUCH better and easily makes for a more immersive experience. You can also plug it in to your Wii U gamepad and by default most games naturally route the audio to it but that’s on a per game bases so if you don’t hear anything you’ll want to double check the game before turning your attention to the headset.
Though it’s marketing as a Wii U and 3DS headset with microphone I can’t see it being used for those purposes all that much. The 3DS only currently has one game that supports chat and the Wii U supports chat on a per game bases so it’s best not to rely on the Kunai for microphone purposes. The best use comes in the form of using it as a sound headset for the Wii U gamepad, most games allow you play the game entirely from the gamepad so you could happily play something like Batman Arkham City in the next room. Of course the speakers on the gamepad could never compare to a headset so this is where the Kunai headset comes in, it’s pretty awesome when you think about it.
So there you have it, the Tritton Kunai headset succeeds in at everything it sets out to do making an for easy recommendation. Considering that the Wii U just launched it’s easy to assume that some 3rd party manufacturers will offer up some badly designed cheap products until something better comes along but that’s not the case here. It’s a sturdy solid headset that looks the part and performs better than anything else within it’s price range. Don’t buy the Kunai headset purely based on it’s microphone but instead as good headset that happens to support chat and plays nice with your Wii U gamepad.
The Tritton Kunai headset was kindly provided to us by MadCatz, if you would like to purchase one then you’ll want to visit their website over at Tritton Audio. Don’t worry the Kunai headset is currently selling for a mere £39.99, I was expecting something within the £50-60 range. Yes they ship Canada and the US too. They also sell 7.1 headsets amongst other audio related products to those interested.