Tritton AX 180 Headset Review

Review: Tritton AX 180 Headset
Release: 09/01/09
Developer: Tritton
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, Mac
MSRP: $69.00
Website: Tritton Ax 180

I’m not going to lie to you; I was really excited to get my hands on the Tritton AX 180.  As a college student living in a crowded apartment near one of the largest universities in the nation, I’ve come to understand that silence is golden.  At two o’clock in the morning, I don’t want to hear my neighbors listening to Miley Cyrus… I plan to offer them the same common courtesy when it comes to my video games.  That’s where Tritton Technologies comes in– over the years, the company has come out with some amazing new gaming headsets for all of the current-gen consoles.  The AX 180 is a budget stereo gaming headset for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii that are exclusively available at Best Buy.

My first impression of the AX 180s was that they are really solid, especially considering the affordable price tag.  Setup was simple enough: the headphones use a special connector to plug straight into your console’s RCA audio output cables and USB connector.  Another special cable connects the volume control module to your Xbox controller’s headset jack.  On the PS3, this extra cable is not needed.  When playing, game audio can be controlled independently of voice audio.  My friends report that the microphone quality was indistinguishable from my normal 360 headset.  Thankfully, the AX 180 proved to be relatively comfortable, even after eight straight hours of gaming.  The padded earcups do begin to get a little hot after a while, and you may find yourself having to adjust things every now and again.  However, they feel fine in the long run.

As far as audio is concerned, the AX 180 is fair.  If you currently run a high quality surround sound setup, then you may feel a little boxed in when you put on a pair of stereo headphones.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the AX 180 isn’t exactly aimed at hardcore gamers.  That distinction is reserved for the mid-market AX 720 or the top-of-the-line AX Pro.  The stereo sound in the AX 180 make it  hard to identify where certain sounds are coming from in first person shooters like Halo and Modern Warfare 2.  This was to be expected… you get what you pay for, after all.  While the game audio quality is acceptable for a stereo headset, the addition of voice communication adds an uncomfortable background “whine” that can get a little annoying over time.   It’s not loud, but it’s definitely there.  On the 360, occasional crackling of the voice audio also manages to slip through every now and again– it seems to be associated with the wired connection to the controller.

The AX 180 headset has quite a few good qualities, but there are some potential problem spots that can make certain gamers second-guess whether they should pick up a pair.  Perhaps the biggest issue is the mess of wires you have to deal with every time you want to play a game.  Multiple console owners will have to unplug and reconnect their component cables every time they want to swap the headset from one system to another.  I suppose this could be mitigated with some sort of RCA source switcher.  Gamers using digital output audio signals may find that they have to change certain settings every time the connect or disconnect the headset.  It depends on the type of setup and cables that you use.  My guess is that gamers with large home theater setups or multiple consoles will want to explore other options besides the AX 180.

The Final Say: If you feel like you’re on the fence about whether or not to buy an over-the-ear gaming headset, the Tritton AX 180 would be a good place to start.  With a normal Xbox or bluetooth headset, one ear is typically blocked from clearly hearing game audio.  That’s not the case with the AX 180; everything comes through unimpeded.  Overall, the Tritton AX 180 is a good product at an affordable price.  If you have a spouse or roommate who values silence, then this headset is a great solution for you.

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  • lewis collins

    is the ax 180 better tha the turtle beach x1s and if so is it as good as x3

  • Silverthorne

    The AX 180 headset is very similar to the turtle beach X1 (in fact, I think Tritton copied Turtle Beach when they designed the 180.) Both headsets have their benefits. If you own multiple consoles, then the Trittons are the way to go… however, if you only own an Xbox 360, then the X1s may be a better choice; they’ve been around long enough that you can find them for a low price, and they have a more robust connector for the Xbox Live chat function.

    The X3s are hard to compare to because they’re a wireless headset (although you do still have to plug a cable into your controller for voice chat.) Since the X3 is still a stereo headset, I would say to avoid it in favor of the Tritton AX 720 or AX Pro…. they can be had for about the same price, and they both work with the PS3 as well.

    Hope that answers your question.

    • Felix

      kannst du mir helfen, die Köpfhörer sind klasse echt gut, aber das Mikro geht nicht, nicht im Spiel und auch nicht im Menü der Ps3. Hab das gerade neu und glaube nicht das es kaput ist.. hab es über USB laufen und den den grünen kleinen Stecker

  • lewis collins

    so what would you advise me to buy im just going to buy my fist gaming headphones for 360 i play lots of call of duty and am in a resonabley good clan. what headphones would you recommend?

    • gsgdsgds

      shut up

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  • Silverthorne

    Depends on your budget. Best Buy has the AX 180 on sale for $50 right now, but since you like Call of Duty I would recommend a 5.1 surround sound headset. The Tritton AX Pro actually uses multiple speakers mounted within each earcup to provide true 5.1 surround sound… and if you shop around, you can find them for about $150. If money isn’t an issue, then go with Astro A40s ($250)

  • lewis collins


  • lewis collins

    my friends are gettin x31s but i dont no what to get because im british and the x31s are £89.99 and trittons were £75

  • Borat

    Would you recommend these headsets or the Turtle Beach P21?

  • Silverthorne

    These. I love using them on my PS3. Setup is a little trickier than on the Xbox, but they’re great for multiplayer games like Uncharted 2

    • matt

      hey i dont now how to hook up my 180 headset to the ps3 any advice. i know how to for 360 just not for ps3 really cud use your help

  • Borat

    Whoa… I really appreciate the fast reply.

    So these overall is better than P21 right? Better sounds and people will hear me much more clear?

  • Silverthorne

    I have yet to hear a good thing about the P21s. The price is higher, and everone I know who’s used them has hated the audio quality. I’ve also hear the headset is a bit flimsy. The Trittons, however, are extremely solid.

  • Silverthorne

    On that note (if it wasn’t obvious) I have not personally used the P21s… I’ve just had friends who have. I’m sure there are reviews for them floating about the Internet that can aide you in your comparison.

  • Borat

    Thanks Silverthorne, I appreciate it. :]

  • ryan

    people cant hear me when i talk into the mic for my xbox on my ax 180,s whats the problem?

  • Jordan Silverthorne (Silverthorne)

    4 things to check:
    1. Make sure the jack connecting the controller to the headset is all the way in.

    2. Make sure the switch on the side of the headset unit is turned to “Xbox 360”

    3. Make sure the mute switch isn’t turned on.

    4. Try using a different controller. I know it sounds unusual, but one of my controllers doesn’t work with the AX180.

    There may be something else that I’m not thinking of, but those would be the first things I would try. The folks at Tritton may be able to help you out further.

    • Chad

      Hey, my mic is very tempremental. One day it would work and the next it dosent, I have stopped using them for about a week and now they are completley useless as a communicator to other players. I have recently had them repaired under the trittion 2 year warranty ( standard with all products) And that took a little over 4 months. I DONT want to send them in again. U have recently switched to a Microsoft headset and cramming that into an earcup to talk and hear, but now even that dosent work with the controllers I have . What should I do?

  • Taylor

    When i plug my ax 180 in the sound works but it only pics my mic up for like 2 seconds and then it says no mic is pluged in. ive returned it twice and the stupid thing does the same thing.. what should i do

  • camel crushed

    My headphones work but my mic doesnt work and ive done everything but try a different controller…Does anyone think that my brand new controller could be the problem

  • nathaniel noble

    the problem is the jack that the plug goes in it’s touching onto something that it isn’t suppose to and causes it to short and not work. it seems to only happen when it is in as far as it can go

  • Silverthorne

    Taylor, make sure the notch on the Mic is lined up with the notch on the headphones; Nathan and Camel, I would contact Tritton about your problem to see if they can cover the headset under warranty.

    • johansen

      no u put in da mic lining up the notches and do a 180 degrees turn so the notches are on opposite sides that way they lock inside and u cant pull it out unless u line up da notches again

  • Josh graham

    Hey what cable do u need for iPhone hook up??

    • You would need power (USB) and then just plug up the headphone jack.

  • Silverthorne

    I don’t have the slightest clue. I’m sure there’s some sort of PC to IPhone converter cable that you can buy. The AX180 uses standard headphone and Mic connectors.

  • Gabe

    I purchased the ax 180’s and they were broken when I opened them, I am a xbox 360 gamer and I have to say I am very disappointed with the quality. I returned them to best buy and they gave me a new pair, which I plugged in but again the set had the same problem. The wire the goes from my controller to the headset controls once plugged in does nothing…I have done everything the right way and still nothing. Contacted geek squad and still nothing, I have attempted to reach tritton and after three tries still havent reached them. I was able to plug it in just barely and speak but people complained that the output sound was of poor quality and litered with static, I am not even sure if I want to try and get a new ax 180 replacement and try again…also my brother got some ax 180’s for christmas and they do not work properly either, his sound control piece on the headset is broken as well. My advice to you guys is do not get the ax 180’s stick to turtle beach, I at least know that when I purchase their product it will work once I get it home.

    • johansen

      i bought a pair of turlte beahc p21’s and they were awfull. i turned up da bass a lil bit and they started and they sounded awfull and the left speaker was rattleing inside i was very disapointed i took em back to best buy and bought the trittons and i absoulutly love em the only things i would add to the trittons are the voice monitor so i can hear myself talkin so i dont scream when i playin late nite and i would of liked a bass control and thats it

  • Josh graham

    Did u plug the USB end in to ur xbox?

  • johansen

    i have the tritton ax180 but im having a little trouble hearing. i play mw2 on ps3 and i cant hear people unless they are really close to me. my tv has a eadphone jack so i can use them with the rca or without but if i use them directly on da jack i can play around with the treblle and bass in da tv i can also put da option for sorround i need help on how should i out it for optimal performance so i can hear everthing please help!

  • Cows Have Claws

    I bought a pair, Mic didnt work. returned them for the same pair. Same issue. I swapped out controllers and it seemed to take care of the issue. Looks like some 360 controllers dont work with this headset. The Xbox i have is the black one that came with batman and pure. Second controller i bought seperate.