Here at Ten Ton Hammer, we're all about the gamer. In our interviews,
we ask the questions gamers would want to hear and our reviews are
written in a way that is not only enjoyable to read, but gets to the
heart of what a gamer really cares about. Being avid MMO gamers
ourselves, we strive to look at any products that come across our desks
with the critical eye of any href="http://www.plognark.com/Art/Sketches/Blogsketches/2008/keyboardcommando.jpg"
target="_blank">hardcore gaming geek. Our favorite
things are fun, explosions, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/42809" target="_blank">sex,
rock and roll, and caffeine, and if
those standards aren't met, it's bad news for our review products.
headphones help things go BOOM!
But what can really hamper a gaming experience - or even destroy it
altogether - is a lack of an audible BOOM when surrounded by various
explosions. Playing a game without any sound is like turning
on an episode of href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imdb.com%2Ftitle%2Ftt0200276%2F&ei=S4wbSfOROaiSesHqrLkG&usg=AFQjCNHKdPt6ucCOjaCe-mWiv3lrxvu9tA&sig2=mWxa8eXe3CzJ7FD9-pbaAw"
Wing and pressing the "mute" button. Without the
witty banter - or in the case of games, the variety of sound effects
and music - makes for one sad, somber gamer. However, with high quality
5.1 speaker systems available from a variety of different companies,
this isn't as large of an issue as it used to be for the average gamer.
That said, the audio pitfalls are far worse for the online gamer. The
online marketplace is rapidly becoming an area where in-game voice
communication is a must, and speaker systems often cause a variety of
echoes and feedback pitfalls for anyone using an href="http://www.promusicaustralia.com/other/On-Stage/OS-Products/mic/DS7200B_ADJ_Desk_Stand.jpg"
target="_blank">on-the-desk style of microphone.
Therefore, many gamers are forced to go find a pair of gaming
headphones, and the options at the local href="http://www.radioshack.com/home/index.jsp" target="_blank">Radio
Shack are far from stellar. Believe me, I played with a pair
of those headphones, and it almost brought me to tears every time I
needed to go into an instance where communication was a must.
Eventually I found a better pair of headphones, but that period of time
in my gaming career was a dark one.
in World of Warcraft were sharp and crisp.
When the folks at Creative offered Ten Ton Hammer a chance to try out
the latest edition of their href="http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=437&subcategory=442&product=16337"
target="_blank">Fatal1ty Gaming Headphones, we
knew we couldn't pass it by. As you can expect from a "pro gaming
series" type of product, the packaging and overall look of the product
is sleeker than a panther on the prowl. I had a small bit of difficulty
extracting the headphone from their hard plastic packaging, but a few
man-grunts later and the the headset was free!
Immediately, I noticed that the cord for the headphones was longer than
from that bad B-movie that was released back in the 90s. As
the standard non-USB version of the headset, I reached into the back of
my computer and pushed the two prongs into the corresponding holes on
my sound card. Unraveling the cord, I sat back in my Staples leather
chair and waited for my first game - href="http://wow.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
- to boot up.
The minute I stepped into the gaming world, I noticed that the overall
volume of my headphones was much, much louder than what I expected, and
all of those target="_blank">mouth-breathers were huffing and puffing,
trying to blow down my ears. Using the volume control (which also
houses a "mute" toggle for the microphone), I turned the headphones
down. Although I expect that the high volume was due to cranking up my
onboard sound so I could hear my old headset, it was nice to have a
quick headset volume minimizer that took one quick twist to turn down.
looking for a nicely priced set of new headphones, the Fatal1ty Gaming
Headset will certainly make all of your games sound like new.
After turning the sound down to a bearable level, I found the sound
quality of the Fatal1ty headphones to be decent, even though 5.1
surround sound wasn't supported in this particular version of the
Fatal1ty headsets. The sounds never broke up, even at the eardrum
shattering levels that we gamers enjoy, and I appreciate hearing every
twinkle and drop even when my href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1ASl0FNXFo"
target="_blank">Undead Mage is burning his enemies to a crisp.
Concerning comfort, the Creative headphones ranked right up there among
the top headsets I have ever worn. The plush, velvety ear wraps and
head cushion were like enjoying the comforts of a href="http://www.vegas.com/spas/" target="_blank">Las
Vegas spa. The compression for the headphones was just about
right, and the inclusion of the travel bag was a nice addition for
those gamers that are constantly on the go and don't want to ruin the
Despite all of the comforts, I was slightly disappointed in a few
things on the headphones, but they were only small niggling concerns.
First, the microphone can only be plugged into the left side of the
headphones. The mute toggle on the headphones doesn't have an indicator
light, so if you're gaming in the dark, make sure you haven't muted the
microphone. Finally, the cord is so long that it actually causes some
problems if you don't keep it out of your rolling chair's way. Some way
to keep the cord wrapped would be very much appreciated.
However, at just $50 a piece, these gaming-style headphones are a great
entry product for anyone who's strapped on cash but still wants to have
a target="_blank">fiery-sounding fireballs. The
Fatal1ty headphones are well-constructed, hefty, and nice-looking
enough for anyone interested in a pair of gaming headphones should
check this bad boy out.