Thrustmaster T.Racing Scuderia Ferrari Edition Headset Review
It’s time for another Bsimracing review. No, not a big ass racing rig, shiny pedals or a wrist braking steering wheel, but nothing less than a humble headset which might not interest you. Or does it?
Back in November, Thrustmaster added a new product to their officially licensed Ferrari racing peripherals collection. The Thrustmaster T.Racing Scuderia Ferrari Edition Headset. Now try to say that four times in a row.
Admiditly, just about any common headset would do just fine for your sim racing needs, just as any wheel or pedal set clamped to a desk would enable you to practice your favorite hobby. But when we are honest, we all know that it’s not that simple. For many modern Sim Racers, young and old, the passion takes over and turns the little hobby into a semi-lifestyle. Before you know it the otherwise boring room turns into a flashy mancave, and the humble desktop wheel transforms into a fully equipped racing rig, the walls get plastered with racing posters, and the shelved are decorated with your favorite diecast models. If this rings a bell, the following review might just be up your alley.
You might think that the Thrustmaster T.Racing Scuderia Ferrari Edition Headset is nothing more than a run of the mill headset, but nothing is further from the truth.
Starting with the packaging. Any real or virtual racing enthusiast, petrolhead, or car culture fanatic cannot walk past this box without noticing it. The well-known Rosso Corsa color screams Ferrari, although it might be helped by the shiny yellow prancing horse emblem. F1 fans will immediately notice the resemblance with the official Scuderia Ferrari paddock headphones.
At this point, I want it. Who cares if it’s good or bad? It will sit beautifully on my wall, or in my glass trophy cabinet. I would never have guessed I would say this about a headset, but this one is just beautiful to look at. And let’s face it, when it comes to great looking racing themed headsets, the market isn’t exactly flooded.
Unboxing was a simple matter of tearing open the carton, ripping off the plastic, and admire the newly acquired sim racing item. At this point, I am pretty pleased with myself.
Is it any good?
While this headset is good enough to just sit there and be beautiful, we have to find out if it will also serve a purpose. At a first glance, the headset has everything we would expect. The headset features soft cushioned and sizable ear cups. It comes with a microphone. It has a volume and mute controller on its cable, and its headband is easily adjustable. That is about all we need to get going, but there is more.
After examining the headset for the first time it becomes immediately apparent that Thrustmaster has put a lot of effort into the build quality and ergonomics of the product. The ear cups are made out of memory foam nicely trimmed in synthetic leather, and the body shells seem light but durable with a high luster finish in Ferrari Rosso Corsa. The cups and foam do a nice job dampening outside noise.
The first thing you might notice on the outer body of the headset is the on-ear volume knob which does not only adds to the immersion but will also be very useful for users of a VR head-mounted display. We are pretty sure, it will be a lot easier to find this big volume knob on the side of the earcup, instead of having to wreck during a race while trying to locate the volume controller on the cable.
That brings us to the microphone. First of all, it is detachable and features a flexible arm to enable you to adjust its position or move it out of the way entirely. The microphone arm is connected to the headset body via a conventional 25mm/1-inch phone jack. Ow boy! Under normal circumstances, it means that it would come loose, or drop out at the least convenient moment. But no… do not fear.
Thrustmaster must have realized that sim racers can easily mistreat the headset, and might throw it around after a third or fourth wreck of the night. To make sure the microphone is as robust as possible, Thrustmaster opted for a push & turn locking system that will ensure your microphone stays attached whiles been launched across the room in a fit of rage.
Also, interesting to know, the unidirectional mic does a good job filtering out many of the environmental sounds not intended for public broadcast.
Strap it on
The full metal over-head strap is adjustable enough to suit just about everyone not wearing a helmet. Again, Thrustmaster has put some thought in it and used two aluminum thumbscrews to securely lock the headband sliders into place, so you don’t have to adjust the fit time and time again. Furthermore, the head strap is lined with soft padding resulting in a comfortable fit. Nothing more to say here.
Let’s connect it
Let’s talk cables. If there is one annoying thing about your average headset, it is the length of the cables. In a sim racing environment, the PC is not always set up close to the racing rig, or racing space. Therefore little or no headsets come with a long enough connection cable out of the box. The T.Racing headset comes with up to 3 meters ( 9ft 10″) of cable consisting out of a cable with a more recent combined 3.5″ jack and the classic twin 3.5mm mic/phone connectors. This enables you to utilize the headset on just about any sound source out there.
The connection cable also houses a conveniently placed in-line Mic volume and Mute control. So if you start swearing whilst missing that apex, it will be easy to spare your fellow racers from any verbal outburst. A more than welcome sim racing feature. The front of the cable near the headset features a coiled section, making it nearly impossible to damage the cable while jumping around in fury after a racing wreck.
The technical Mumbo-Jumbo
Apparently, Thrustmaster fitted the T.Racing headset with true 50mm/2” analytic drivers which deliver about 116±3dB SPL output for elite distortion control (≤1%) and precision. In all fairness, I don’t know, and many of you won’t care what that is. In all seriousness, tech addicts should check the official Thrustmaster webpage.
Bring on the Noise
In essence, I am just here to tell you how it sounds. So I fired up iRacing and turned that volume knob up. The sound is crisp and clean and delivers a defined bass for a rich sound experience. During the race, I yelled, ” MIC CHECK” and my fellow racers replied with a clear and solid “A-OK” So for me, this means that the microphone is doing a great job. Let’s be fair. We don’t want Thrustmaster to invent the wheel all over again.
That brings us to test number two. Let’s push that play button and listen to some Jean Michel Jarre. After a few minutes of Équinoxe and Oxygene, it was time to switch to some more demanding music. Let’s hit that Pearl Jam link and make this headset come ALIVE. So far so good. For a final test, I called the wife using Skype and asked here how I sounded. Silly as ever was the answer, but I am sure she was not talking sound quality.
In all seriousness. I tried the headset with a number of audio sources, and could not fault it. It sounds pretty good to me, and the mic seems to handle al its tasks to expectation. It would be very hard to describe the audio quality in a written format. Therefore I will simply state that I found the sound quality to be very high and having a pleasing frequency range and clarity. On a day to day basis, I use a Bayer DT 770 Pro for all my audio needs, while for my sim racing sessions I now use the Thrustmaster T.Racing headset. That should say it all.
How much is the fish?
The Thrustmaster T.Racing Scuderia Ferrari edition headset is available at a suggested retail price of 99.99€/ £89.99. / USD $99.99. While this is certainly not a budget price, I find the pricing to be quite competitive considering the features, build quality and Ferarri licensing.
All in all, this is a quality headset that can be used for just about every audio occasion. It is very comfortable to wear and sports great sound quality. It comes with a number of features only found on slightly more expensive units. Furthermore, the looks and the extras cater to the sim racing enthusiast. When using VR, the side mounted volume button has now become indispensable to me.
You can either love or hate the Ferrari themed esthetics, but I am pretty convinced most petrolheads will like it. All in all, Thrustmaster produced a straight-forward no-nonsense headset which looks and sounds amazing. I now use it on a daily basis for over two months and it does what it says on the box. What more do we want?
Universal headset for full compatibility (3.5mm/1/8” jack connector)
- Optimized for full compatibility with PlayStation4, Xbox One*, Nintendo Switch™**, PC and Mac
- Also compatible with Nintendo 3DS™, PlayStation®Vita, tablets, and smartphones
- Unidirectional microphone, designed to target only your voice for the most effective communication with your teammates
- Detachable and adjustable microphone in order to adapt to every player’s head size and shape
- True 50mm/2” analytic drivers provide crystal-clear audio without any saturation
- Provides audio feedback designed exactly as game developers intended, thanks to the stable frequency response curve that has been optimized for gaming sessions, with a perfect balance between bass, mids, and treble
- 116±3dBSPL output for elite distortion control (≤1%) and precision
- The best of our audio expertise, taking gaming performance to the next level
Designed for comfort and flexibility
- Outstanding comfort inspired by real-life paddock headsets: 25mm/1-inch thick over-ear memory foam ear cushions with gel layer for utmost comfort during hours of play
- Effective passive isolation
- Up to 3 meters / 9ft10in of cable to adapt to any type of gaming configuration
- On-ear volume knob, allowing the player to adjust the audio level of the game
- Mic volume and mute controls on the in-line controller for easy access
- Headset with in-line controller
- Protective cap for microphone connector
- User manual and warranty information
Official Webpage – www.thrustmaster.com