The Tritton Switchblade for the PlayStation 3 is a durable and extremely reliable option for gamers out there looking for something solid to use while playing online. With a sleek design and small footprint, the Switchblade doesn’t feel like you’re talking to someone through a string can as the quality on both the audio and mic side of things is handled well. Outside of having to come to grips with making the Switchblade comfortable, the ear clip can’t be adjusted and isn’t too flexible, the device is certainly worth investing the money in for those looking for a completely wireless and affordable audio solution.
+ The design is simple yet incredibly effective.
+ Not everything may sound like it’s coming from a perfect source, but the audio quality in general is good and is almost comparable to high-end headsets.
+ Charge time is rather short and a full charge doesn’t drain too quickly.
+ Having a docking station is nice and makes charging the device a breeze.
- Ear clip would’ve benefitted from some padding or alternate clip sizes.
Advances in technology can be great and this generation we’ve become more acclimated with certain things which have become a part of our lives in one way or another. In video games we’re used to playing online multiplayer modes, perhaps more often than standard single-player experiences since having some competition against another person is more engaging and there’s always the added bonus of trash talking being thrown in as well. Said trash talking or mere communication amongst teammates whilst playing online can be done in a variety of ways these days, some better than others.
Some folks merely use their PlayStation Eye as a microphone while others use comfy and slightly bulky headsets to get their gaming on. But for others there’s always the slightly more advanced, if now normal, route of using a Bluetooth headset while playing online. Being a leading provider of headsets for gaming consoles and the PC, peripheral maker Tritton has released the Switchblade, a new PS3 Bluetooth headset that gamers will likely swoon over since it’s one of the better offerings we’ve had recently.
As a gamer I’ve always enjoyed playing games online but I’ve been somewhat iffy if not simply particular about what sort of headsets I use. When playing a game for a long length of time I want to be comfortable so having half a dozen cords lay on the ground between my sitting position and console or having a headset that’s a bit too snug on my head can be a turn-off for me and I presume some other gamers out there as well. Even some Bluetooth headsets bothered me as well since they were either too small or they immediately made me feel like I was one of those annoying business people you sometimes see on the streets or on your train, minus a high priced coffee and questionable suit quality. But with the Tritton Switchblade I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the headset and the always important comfort factor.
Now the name of the Tritton Switchblade isn’t one of those superfluous things done to drum up some interest or seem “edgy” to gamers. In fact, the name is rather fitting given the extremely sleek design of the headset and how the upper portion of it, where the microphone is located, can bend and fold, thus immediately halving the overall length of the device. Besides serving as a nifty way to make the device smaller, the flip out mic on the Switchblade also serves as an easy way to turn if on. So if you have your PS3 powered up and are ready to jump into a match or have a chat with a friend then all you need to do is pick up the Switchblade, flip the mic up, put it in your ear and voila – you’re good to go. Now such a thing does require the headset to be switched on initially, but that aside the Switchblade can be a completely ready and go device. Such a design element is appreciated; more so since the actual On/Off switch on the Switchblade is extremely small and in my case was a bother to move seeing as how it’s a slider with no real groves to make it stick out. Eventually I was able to “break” the On/Off switch in a bit but right off the bat it does require a bit of force to actually move, barring of course you have giant fingernails.
The core design sensibilities of the Tritton Switchblade are rather to the point and maintain the trademark style that Tritton is known for: there’s the big double T logo and the thing is simply well made. Done up with a polished white paint scheme accentuated with a bit of black, the Switchblade isn’t too fancy but it’s just classy and thankfully doesn’t look like a dull piece of plastic or something that can be misconstrued as a toy. Even better, the Tritton Switchblade is made out of a durable but lightweight plastic that doesn’t feel too heavy whilst wearing but isn’t fragile to the point where a heavy sneeze may shatter the device.
The big draw to the Tritton Switchblade is obviously how well it performs while playing PS3 games. As some of my fellow PS3 gamers know, some headsets don’t work too well on the PSN, either because of the low quality of the device being utilized or simply because of less than stellar netcode design on the part of the developers. While your mileage may vary game to game, I found the Switchblade to be a rather reliable device when playing online, whether it was when I was having a chat in Starhawk or going into slightly annoyed mode while playing Gotham City Impostors.
Quality wise the Switchblade is extremely solid. Now I don’t want to oversell the device as it doesn’t provide simply crystal sound that is devoid of any background noise, occasional static or other imperfections, but for such a tiny device it does offer sound that is crisp along with providing an equally good representation of whatever madness I was saying while playing online. Most of the times I would have a slight disconnect when using a wireless headset since I wouldn’t know how loud or soft to be due to not having a mic near my mouth but the Switchblade was able to pick up whatever I said without me having to yell like a madman. It also helps that the Switchblade has some of that fancy noise-filtering tech to differentiate between your actual voice and background noise, whether it’s a meowing cat or your girlfriend watching loud YouTube videos.
I’ll admit that upon putting the Switchblade on I did have to get used to a few things. Generally being a chap that prefers bulky headsets to teeny tiny earpieces I did have to acclimate myself with trying to jam the headset, albeit ever so gently, into my ear. While I wasn’t trying to become deaf, I did want the Switchblade to be in my ear and thankfully I achieved such a thing. One minor gripe I did have with the Switchlade is that it does take a while to get used too from a comfort perspective, or at least that was my experience. Aside from getting used to not having a big mic near my mouth, I found myself having to get comfortable with the plastic ear wrap of the Switchblade, which sadly is without any sort of padding. I wasn’t expecting something along the lines of what a pair of proper headphones provides, but having a soft lining of some sort on the ear clip would’ve been a nice bonus as opposed to rigid plastic that can’t be expanded or bent.
For those in the market for a wireless audio solution for the PS3 the Tritton Switchblade is a device that definitely deserves some attention. As someone that never really caught on with the whole Bluetooth headset craze I’ll admit that the Switchblade did make me turn the cheek ever so slightly as I will probably end up using the device as much as I do my traditional gaming headset. With a design that makes sense and the added bonus of being able to use the Switchblade with your phone as well, the device has a nice dual purpose and general bang for your buck feel to it which makes it hard not to pass it up.
This review is based on a unit that was provided by the manufacturer.
The Tritton Switchblade for the PS3 is available now and retails for $49.99.