In today’s online gaming world the use of headsets and mics have become a crucial necessity. The ability to audibly link an entire group of individuals together for seamless strategizing, smack talking or general conversation has only become possible due to the near ubiquitous prevalence of headsets in the homes of multiplayer gamers everywhere. I can’t think of gaming without one. While there are many different types of headsets with a wide range of style, utility and prices, it’s the ones that truly give a player an edge in combat or a great audio experience that deserve to be noticed. So does the Sharkoon X-Tatic serve a gamers need, or is it just another small fish trying to swim among the sharks?
The package came with more then I had originally anticipated. Unlike many other traditional gaming headsets, the X-Tatic SR isn’t designed for plug and play right out of the box. This is because, unlike those other headsets, the X-Tatic supports both the PS3 and Xbox 360 along with PCs/laptops and other media players, making it an all-in-one headset. Though this isn’t possible without the use of additional components.
Down below is a list of components that are included in the package.
- X-Tatic SR
- Sound Control Unit (SCU)
- Detachable microphone
- Optical connection cable (S/PDIF)
- Microphone connection cable for Xbox 360 (3.5 mm jack > 2.5 mm jack)
- USB2.0 cable (type A > type B)
- Stereo connection cable(3.5 mm jack > 3.5 mm jack)
- Stereo extension cable (3.5 mm plug > 3.5 mm jack)
- G6 adapter cable (G6 > USB2.0 A and 2x 3.5 mm connectors)
Comes with additional jacks to make it compatible with nearly all devices
The cords can all be a bit overwhelming, but there are detailed instruction pamphlets that include equipment set-up instructions along with specific settings that you should be using on either your PC, PS3, Xbox 360 or any other devices that are compatible. It’s not too complicated to set-up and can be done in less then five minutes.
I’ll be honest, at first glance I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this headset compared to the bigger sharks such as Turtle Beach or Astro gaming, but let me tell you; the first time I heard sound pour from the X-Tatic SR headphones, I absolutely melted in my chair.
I have tested out many headsets on my PlayStation 3 console, one of the most recent being the Siberia V2 by Steel Series. While I was extremely impressed with the overall sound quality of those headsets, I can happily say that I will never be returning back to them after using the X-Tatic SR.
The surround sound and the amplifier is what really gives this headset an advantage over the others. While there obviously isn’t a set of seven massive speakers blasting audio into your living room, the emulation that this Sharkoon produces for surround sound is astonishing. Multiple times during my play test I would remove the headset just to see whether or not the sound was being generated inside my own room and that everyone could hear it. It all came in crisp and clear, even with the volume being at full blast.
In-game voice control along with the Xbox 360 controller jack. Opposite side contains the volume dial and amp switch.
Games that require good sound quality such as Battlefield 3 have never felt better. You could easily tell where the directions of the sounds had been coming from, which gave me a better feel for the battle taking place and made me a far better player. Hearing the treads of a tank rolling in or the whip crack of a sniper rifle shot grazing over my head all sounded great and truly added a more realistic feel to the overall game. I also loved the fact that the headset comes with a control unit that adjusts the different level of sounds that can be heard. If I wanted to play Battlefield 3 or any other games, but didn’t want to hear other player voices, then I could simply adjust the voice dial all the way down. Or, like in many multiplayer games, in-game sound is often louder then other player voices. Normally, in-game options don’t always fix these issues, however with the X-Tatic I could easily adjust the game volume to be set lower (or mute). It’s these type of options that really make gaming headsets better then any standard headset.
Mic is detachable and can bend in any direction.
As for the mic, so far I haven’t had any huge complaints and I was actually impressed with how well the mic works on the SR model. As I mentioned, I also own a Siberia V2. While both mics work excellent when coming to audio chat, I have to hand it to the SR for having a mic that doesn’t pick up background noise too much. Since I enjoy video editing among other media creation, the Laptop that I am currently using has frequently been overheating. This of course means that the fans are always running and, let me tell you, it’s loud; like jet engine loud. With my Siberia V2 I would constantly be forced to mute my mic since it would pick up all sounds, including the extremely loud fan noise coming out of my laptop. With the X-Tatic SR this was not an issue. The positioning of the mic is identical to that of the Siberia V2, however, it only picked up the sound that was directly in front of the mic (players mouth). This means that during my Skype/PSN testings, sounds that were being emitted in front or behind me were effectively omitted from being hear by other chat members. For those listening, this was a much more clear and clean voice feed than they had ever heard from my previous mic. As for how loud the mic was, a little adjusting had to be done to the mic piece, but that’s normal for any headset. Otherwise it was a mid volume level; not too high nor too low.
Design and comfort:
I’ll admit, these are some sexy light-weighted headsets. For coloring, the headset consists mostly of a matted black with a small circular glossy cover in the outside center of the ear cups. Inside the cups is a thin layer of red cloth followed by a thick oval layer of cushion surrounding them. The headband is laced with a nice soft layer of padded cushion, which feels great when wearing.
Padded headband, Cushions around the ear cups, and very flexible.
Instantly after putting the headset over my head and ears I noticed a huge difference in comfort. The last pair of gaming headsets that I owned, as mentioned, were the Siberia V2 SteelSeries. While I did enjoy the feeling of the padded cushions around my ears at the time, X-Tatic has made me realize how badly designed those cushions were. Unlike the Siberia V2, the X-Tatic allows more space within the ear cups. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but my ears don’t feel like they were being rubbed and chaffed against the speakers. I have worn the headset over a long periods of time (2-4 hours) and I haven’t experienced any kind of pain or irritation. I would go as far to say that it feels that I’m not actually wearing them as they are extremely light weighted.
Despite being extremely flexible and light, the sturdiness is also quiet amazing. The headband and both the right and left ear speakers adjust to meet any head shape, and when you’re not feeling like wearing them over your ears anymore, you can simply drop them down onto your neck and adjust the ear pieces so that they lay flat over your collar. They can bend quiet a lot, but they always return back to their original shape and don’t feel like any stress has been placed on them. Based on these tests, these headsets should last you a very long time if taken care of and used for only what they are intended for.
Overall, the Sharkoon X-Tatic SR has left my ears with all the satisfaction that they deserve. Though I can’t say these are the best gaming headsets available on the market, I can say that if you do plan on buying one then you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth. As it stands, Sharkoon is a highly underrated and cost effective alternative to expensive brands such as Turtle Beach, Astro and Tritton. Flat out, these are some truly amazing headsets that do everything you expect from a quality piece of ear candy and more.
These headsets were given to us by ComputExpert for reviewing purposes. For more information on how we review games check out our criteria here.
Make sure to visit the second page for full specs and packaging details.
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