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About the product
- 5.1 channel headset; 8 speakers (4 in each earpiece); Digital, in-line volume control; High end amplifier; Independent, illuminated volume adjustment for each channel and master volume; Detachable microphone with QuickOn connection
- X-Tatic Sound Control Unit (SCU); Supports Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Pro Logic; Supports the chat function of PS3, Xbox and Xbox 360; Dynamic Range Control. Includes detachable in-line volume control for easy breakaway and installation
- Center speaker: 2 x 27 mm; Front speaker: 2 x 30 mm; Rear speaker: 2 x 30 mm; Subwoofer: 2 x 40 mm; Impedance: 32 Ohm; Microphone: 6 x 5 mm (L x W) / unidirectional; Cable Length: 360 cm; Connection: 1 x 9-pin analogue plug
- Digital optical input (S/PDIF) 2 analogue audio outputs for the X-Tatic headset 3 analogue 3.5 mm audio outputs (front, rear, center / subwoofer) 1 microphone connector for PS3 (USB A > USB B) 1 power connector
- Compatibilty: X-Tatic Digital; PC / MAC / other sources: analogue input (via cable adapter); X-Tatic SCU; Xbox / Xbox 360: optical input ;PS2 / PS3: optical input / USB microphone connection PC / MAC: optical input / analogue
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Award wining X-Tatic Gaming Headset: the Dolby certified X-Tatic Digital. This high-quality headset features four speakers per earpiece a total of eight speakers and volume controls built into the cable. Through the included Sound Control Unit, the X-Tatic Digital can connect to the optical output of a game console (PS2, PS3, Xbox or Xbox 360), a PC, DVD player or other HiFi device and immediately delivers high-quality sound to listeners. The Sound Control Unit outputs analog Dolby Digital and Dolby ProLogic signals, and supports a second X-Tatic headset. With the newly developed microphone, the chat functions of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 are also supported. The ergonomic construction of the headset includes soft ear pieces and a plush headband, making the headset comfortable to wear even for long sessions. Sharkoon’s X-Tatic digital gaming headsets promises a high-quality sound that won't break the bank and will propel gamers into an immersive depth of Dolby Digital environment. Includes detachable in-line volume control cable for easy breakaway and installation. Allows two X-Tatic headsets and/or any headset with a standard G9 connection plug, so two can enjoy excellent sound.
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Along with the headset itself, it includes
- optical cable
- "sound control unit" (your little magic black box where all cables run to)
- adapters for PC (comes with 5.1 analog for those w/o pc optical), 360, ps3
- detachable boom mic (it does flex to your preference)
- power supply (single cord which splits off to power your SCU and headset separately) Ex.) you can still disconnect the power to the SCU and still have power running to the headset by itself. The power supply comes with swappable heads. I guess this is if you go out of the country and want to use their foreign outlets.
It took me a little bit of time to figure out all these adapters, settings, and wires (there are a lot of wires.)
The Sound Control Unit (SCU) is where your optical, power supply and 9-pin headset connector come together. You can also adjust the general volume here, but I usually just use the volume adjust attached the the headset cord. There is a 5.1 analog output as another option for those PC users without an optical option. With two 9-pin headset jacks, a second person with the same headset may also listen in. Two Dolby options include Dolby Digital and Pro Logic. There are two included settings called Time-Delay and Dynamic Range Control located on the SCU.
Both of these passages taken directly from the manual. Either setting can be turned on or off.
"Time-Delay - The Time-Delay function allows to define a time delay for the sound reproduction for each speaker. Thus a spacious playback of the audio signal can be achieved. Note that increasing the delay too much may cause unnatural results."
"Dynamic Range Control - Dynamic Range control limits the dynamic, decreasing the level differences between loud and quiet passages in the Dolby Digital 5.1 signal thus balancing the effect of loudness."
Other nice features include a volume adjuster which is attached the headset cord. The X-tatic logo on the headset AND also the attached volume adjuster light up. Looks good to me! The volume is indicated by the different colors lighted up on the volume adjuster - ranging from green (very low) to red (very high). The sound volume from each speaker can also be adjusted individually. So say you're sniping and you want to hear even more of the sounds behind you. You can "up" the volume on the rear speakers to do just that. Or you might be looking to get more "boom" from your sounds. You can increase the bass volume while keeping the other speakers at their current volume.
There is a switch to turn off your voice. You can't hear your own voice while speaking, but I prefer it that way. Voice volume from other people can also be adjusted independently from game volume. So when I hear a lobby full of annoying kids, I lower the voice volume and just "up" my awesome game volume. Bliss.
Comfort 5/5 - Took a night of gameplay to "break-in", so now it fits comfortably. Good padding so it sits well on your head. The ear cups can be tilted and also swivel to match your unique head shape (a BIG plus for me.) I can wear these 4-5 hours easy.
Sound 5/5 - Amazing! Playing MW2 and GOW2 is a whole new experience now! Sounds I never knew existed in these games gave me a whole new appreciation! Distant gunfire, rustling of bushes and grass around me, and even slight downpour can be heard. With that said, the 5.1 directionality will add a whole new dimension to your gameplay. For me, there is a clear distinction between if gunfire is coming from front, rear, front left, rear right, etc. Footsteps come in loud and clear. This keeps me more aware of my surroundings. Hurray for situational awareness!
Price 4/5 - It is quite the steep investment for me at $159.99, even with the free shipping from Amazon (love ya for that Amazon!) I did have to think twice before my purchase solely because the price. Now that I look back on it, it was the right move.
Overall, this headset definitely meets my expectations. It looks good and has some surprisingly cool features. Maybe if they could fix the amount of wires, but I guess that what it takes to work on the pc, 360, and ps3.
I've been using these headphones mainly for PC and PS3 games. For those of you with intention of using these with an xbox 360, be warned you will need to purchase a specific xbox360 adapter for the optical audio (I would have tested MW2 already if I had the xbox360 connection). The PS3 has and most newer PC motherboards even have the optical audio connection. If you're really serious about having amazing PC audio, you might consider an aftermarket sound card ... but then again, if you ARE really serious, you'd be buying an ACTUAL 5.1 system and not just headphones.
These aren't meant for stereo sound and only do a mediocre job at best when just listening to music, unless you connect the 5.1 analog adapter and use the orange (center and sub channel), then it sounds better. I haven't compared these to any other gaming headset, but I have no complaints on the sound quality. You do have the ability to adjust the volume of the front, center, rear and sub channels which is very handy for getting the sound just right. You can go further and adjust other settings, but I haven't tinkered with that.
These headphones are also very comfortable. Most of the weight is on top of your head and not on or over your ears which greatly reduces ear fatigue. I have used them for 3+ hours with little discomfort!
Take note that these are in no way noise canceling headphones. If you have the volume down low, you will be able to hear what's going on around you, and those around you might hear what you are listening to if you've got the volume up very high. That's not a big problem though.
I've used the mic over Skype and in games such as SC2 and have had people comment on the good quality of the sound of my voice. It's nice that the mic is detachable, but honestly, it's never really in the way and I never detach it.
The headphones themselves glow green, quite brightly. This is a nice feature if you're trying to impress people with cool hardware, but it's annoying to have them sitting beside my bed on my desk at night when I'm trying to sleep -- an acceptable annoyance.
The mess of cables isn't really an issue considering I already have a mess of cables on my desk where I have a PC, PS3 and Xbox360. If you are worried about the mess of cables, you might consider purchasing a longer optical cable as the supplied one is quite short (approx 2 feet). This way you can have the adapter and all the cables hidden somewhere. The cable from the headphone is very long, so don't worry about that.
One last note, this purchase was a shot in the dark. I had never heard of Sharkoon before and am quite pleased. I was debating over this and the TRITTON AXPRO and chose these. I don't regret my decision!
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