The Playstation Vita is ripe for a nice stereo headset. That’s not to discredit the built-in speakers or microphone because the stock hardware works great. But I’m sure it’s common knowledge that a proper headset, even just stereo, increases the level of immersion – not to mention cuts out all of the background noise. Though with that in mind, Tritton releases the Kunai headset upon the masses.
Advertised as being compatible with the Vita, Playstation 3, and even smart phones and music devices, it has a variety of platforms it can be used with for only $60 USD. Unfortunately it only excels on one of those platforms, but thankfully it’s the one it needed to the most.
The Kunai headset looks similar to Tritton’s current lineup of headsets on the market, the 720+ (our review here) and the Pro+, only smaller. Quite a bit smaller, actually. It’s easy to understand why, as wearing one of those bulky headsets out and about in public would be a tad obnoxious. Even smaller, though, the Kunai stands out a bit more than most other bulky headphones.
In my 720+ review, I raved about how comfortable the headset was. Seeing that this looked similar, I had high hopes that the Kunai would be equally comfortable. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. The ear cups didn’t fit comfortably around my ears. It wasn’t an entirely uncomfortable experience, as I had a long Skype call session and some lengthy game sittings using them, but had the cups been a little bigger, comfort would have been improved ten-fold. That said, my wife used them for a few nights while watching Netflix on her Vita and she said they were more comfortable than the nice headphones she uses regularly, and sounded better, too. So i’m sure if you aren’t big-headed like me, it won’t be an issue at all.
Sound quality from the Vita turns from “okay” to “superb” when listening through the Kunai headset. It was nice being able to cut out the outside world as me and a friend discussed games on Skype or while dungeon-crawling in Silent Hill: Book of Memories. On that note, hearing that game in stereo amplified the mood and it was nice to hear one of the TVs turn on and switch ears as it told its story while I moved around the room.
The mic is detachable, so if you decide to just play a game in stereo or listen to your music out and about you have no worries about looking like an air traffic control man (or woman). There’s also a few different colors to pick from; black, white, or red. I was using the white one, but if I had planned to use it in public often, I would have chosen the more-discreet black.
One shortcoming of this headset is the fact that is very clearly advertises being iPod capable. It’s true, it is, and it sounds great. Anything with a 3.5mm (the standard size) jack can take advantage of the lovely stereo sound the Kunai produces. However, unless you are sitting still and have your iPod/phone/whatever close, you may wind up disappointed. I put the headset on, plugged it into my iPod at work and as I went to put it in my pocket, realized the cord just a few inches too short. Granted, I am 6’1″, but not being able to walk around with my iPod in my pocket and listen to it made the headset less desirable to use in that instance.
There’s also an attachment that allows you to use the headset with your PS3. Anyone that already has a headset won’t find this cross-compatibility useful, but if you own both systems, it is a perk. The sound quality is still better than coming through the TV, and if you need a way to communicate with people while playing online you have that option as well.
The Tritton Kunai headset is an interesting case, as it tries to fill multiple roles and in doing so, fails to truly realize it’s potential as a Vita headset. It still is a viable option for anyone on a budget, and certainly anyone that wants an extra boost of quality from their Vita handheld system.