Hardware Review: Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset

Hardware Review: Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset

For full 5.1 surround sound in a handy headset package, the Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 lives up to its promise.

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I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

LoopyDood:
I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

There's no such thing as a "good" sub-$100 Surround headset (yes, this is sad). You can get a good communication headset for $20-30 (I like the Logitech PS2/3 USB headsets) , and a decent stereo headset for $50-100 (Logitech G330 on the low end, Steel 5H on the high).

They look exactly like my Speedlink Medusa 5.1s and the Tritton AX360s I had before them (colour schemes not-with-standing). If the picture is accurate they should be adjustable. The Medusa set cost circa 50 and the AX360s circa 80 three years ago. $160 seems steep. Shop around. I rarely use speakers anymore and I have some nice (I'm told) Eltax ones.

Edit: Picture not accurate. Although they do seem to share the input box with the Trittons.

Nice pick Greg, but I think I am going to stick to my Turtle Beach x41's.

But in the (far) future, I may think about trying these puppies, or possibly Astros.

I'd love 5.1 headphones but I've yet to try any that rival my Fatal1ty gaming cans for comfort. You really wouldn't think they'd be good but they are.

To add to the review - I've got them hooked up at the moment to my PC via Coax, and my PS3 via Optical. Audio quality is fantastic.

Only issue is the generally poor quality of the volume control system. For instance, if you turn the volume down on the hardware amp, when it switches modes, the volume will pop back up. Annoying if a BluRay menu is in Prologic, but the disc itself is in Digital/Digital Master HD.

Still, great set of headphones, a really good mic, excellent sound quality.

Had a pair of Medusa 5.1's before this, but like these because of the multiple digital inputs.

RvLeshrac:

LoopyDood:
I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

There's no such thing as a "good" sub-$100 Surround headset (yes, this is sad). You can get a good communication headset for $20-30, and a quality stereo headset for $50-100.

Good surround sound headsets are a myth, a pair of Audiophile stereo headphones will utterly destroy them. Thing of it in terms of quality vs quantity, $160 on 8 speakers is $20 a speaker. If you get a nice pair of stereo headphones you are better off, the standard for good headphones are Audio Technica AD700. They only cost like $80 currently, down from the $250 they released at a few years back. A good pair of stereo headphones gives just as much information about location of a sound and they will sound incredible when listening to music as well.

RvLeshrac:

LoopyDood:
I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

There's no such thing as a "good" sub-$100 Surround headset (yes, this is sad). You can get a good communication headset for $20-30 (I like the Logitech PS2/3 USB headsets) , and a decent stereo headset for $50-100 (Logitech G330 on the low end, Steel 5H on the high).

Or you could just buy a soundcard like this at $60, and a cheap pair of headphones and you'll have the same effect.

This headset costs nearly 300 US Dollars where I live (Northern Europe)
To even suggest any form of recommendation for this particular headset is ridiculous - borderline insulting.

Yeah I'm sorry. That is a well written review Tito but that price is a killer at least on Gogamer's website. I do need a strong USB headset(or with adapter) since breaking my USB adapter to my plantronics .770 headset and can't get that replaced. Worst yet I tried the new plantronics Gamecon 777 and the bloody headset's USB dongle doesn't work with my audio hardware on my motherboard or Vista 64-bit systems no matter how many different realtek or microsoft audio drivers I try because plantronics stopped making drivers.

Also, yes you can get good headsets under 100 dollars the problem is that most consumers that are young do not normally wait for sales or browse around for the best deal possible. I got the plantronics gamecon 777 for seventy bucks and the .770 was fifty bucks when I got that two years ago(out of warranty so I can't get the usb dongle replaced).

LoopyDood:
I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/gaming-headsets/gamecom-777

I own it, take my word for it. It's fucking awesome.

I dont see a point for these $160 head sets i am using $10 ones and they seem fine to me

I'm quite happy with my Plantronics GameCom HeadSet thank you very much.It's cheaper,and it looks much cooler.

They look good, but with the price tag and what else is out there...seems a bit much

Wait... We get hardware reviews?

Anyway, I'll be sticking with my Razer Pirhana, even if it looks silly when you wear it.

Hmm I'd rather have good 5.1 gaming speakers.

I wish someone would make good ones...

How is the 5.1 positioning of sound? If it is not clear that there is a rear and front its kinda all kinda moot.....

well you can pay $160+ for this one....or if you are feeling industrious you can make your own for <$20

All these prices, I get a skullcandy everyday. No need to talk, can grab an alternative stand-alone mic'.

My Logitech G35 is 120, and 7.1 surround and are purely amazing. I'd get those any day over these.

Straying Bullet:
All these prices, I get a skullcandy everyday. No need to talk, can grab an alternative stand-alone mic'.

All Skullcandys I've listened to sounded off somehow, to much bass, muddy highs, and most I've touched were fragile as hell. I prefer to have fairly level frequency response on headphones, extreme Vs and all those just aren't my cup of tea.

Xersues:
My Logitech G35 is 120, and 7.1 surround and are purely amazing. I'd get those any day over these.

Definitely. I love my G35's. I game on my laptop hooked up to my monitor, keyboard, and mouse, so its speakers are to the side. I can't exactly play like that, so I got a headset. My god is the G35 amazing. I can hear the helicopter blades wirring above me in Bad Company 2, and people playing the Lute at all angles in Lord of the Rings Online. I don't even care about getting regular speakers anymore; these are just fine.

I find using speakers is just inconvenient when living with other people, so I've always used headphones. I have a pair of G35s as well; got them refurbished for $90, they're fine except for a hole in the cord's braiding. The surround sound and sound quality is quite good, but I found them somewhat uncomfortable compared to my Zalmar "Theatre 6" headphones (extremely comfortable), though I seem to have gotten used to them.

I've also been impressed with what you can accomplish with stereo headphones and a sound card's simulated surround sound.

What? your 360 cable didn't have optical? Do you have the core edition or something? Different SKU?

Both of my 360s HD AV cables have optical on them.Component and RCA. I use the Component to connect to my Dell 2408WFP 24" monitor.

Xersues:
My Logitech G35 is 120, and 7.1 surround and are purely amazing. I'd get those any day over these.

ok this headset is looking better and better. u can get for $90 and its a 7.1 ... can some1 link me a comparable 7.1 headset for that price point? cause im almost ready to buy it XD

Sturmdolch:

Xersues:
My Logitech G35 is 120, and 7.1 surround and are purely amazing. I'd get those any day over these.

Definitely. I love my G35's. I game on my laptop hooked up to my monitor, keyboard, and mouse, so its speakers are to the side. I can't exactly play like that, so I got a headset. My god is the G35 amazing. I can hear the helicopter blades wirring above me in Bad Company 2, and people playing the Lute at all angles in Lord of the Rings Online. I don't even care about getting regular speakers anymore; these are just fine.

I have the G35 and 5.1 speakers for my computer, and aside from the cord its pretty much identical to my speakers in its surround sound. I love these things to death and not to mention they look a lot cooler and have great driver support since it is logitech and the mic quality on it kicks ass compared to most other mics. If you got the money i would recommend these to anyone, they sound great with any setup and if you put the right pad on you can barely feel them on your head.

If you've already got a good stereo headset, just pick up the astro mixamp and you'll have Dolby Headphone processing.

4RT1LL3RY:
A good pair of stereo headphones gives just as much information about location of a sound and they will sound incredible when listening to music as well.

That's just not true. I have a nice set of Sennheiser monitor's at the office and a Razer Barracuda at home for gaming. The Sennheiser's are unquestionably better for audio quality, comfort, and noise isolation (which they damn well should be), but they can't do 3D audio positioning. At best, the games themselves can try to interpolate 3D audio into Stereo, but it doesn't compare to the real deal. Surround headsets are a case where the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

dududf:
http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/gaming-headsets/gamecom-777 I own it, take my word for it. It's fucking awesome.

Those look nice, but they're USB. USB headphones make me sad - the audio quality is entirely reliant on software, and they're bad for performance compared to even onboard audio. If you're running on a laptop, sure, but I couldn't bring myself to use them on a real PC. I'm kind of jealous that Tito's review set can accept optical inputs - I would have jumped at that if I had seen that when I was shopping for headphones.

ZippyDSMlee:
How is the 5.1 positioning of sound? If it is not clear that there is a rear and front its kinda all kinda moot.....

I can't speak for the ones he reviewed, but I found that the positioning in the stereo sets work very well. It's not as good as having your whole room wired with a full set of speakers, but it's the next best thing.

akmarksman:
What? your 360 cable didn't have optical? Do you have the core edition or something? Different SKU?

The optical audio port is on the cable adapters. If you connect your 360 with HDMI, you don't have the port unless you buy the HDMI Connection Kit. Most people using HDMI use it for both audio and video - only people who have complicated stereos or are just anal-retentive (or both, like me) use both HDMI and optical audio.

The_Healer:
Hmm I'd rather have good 5.1 gaming speakers. I wish someone would make good ones...

Yeah, me too. I had a set of Cambridge Soundworks speakers, from back when Creative hadn't ruined their company and quality yet. They had a digital receiver, full 5.1 sound, multiple input types (including optical), and were the perfect size to fit in/around a desk. Unfortunately, last year the receiver finally died on me, and I couldn't find anything else that I liked, or that didn't looks like it fell out of a super exxtreme Mountain Dew commercial. That's when I switched to the stereo headphones.

Sub $100.00 headset ...

Tritton AX PC Pro True 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
image

Virgil:

dududf:
http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/gaming-headsets/gamecom-777 I own it, take my word for it. It's fucking awesome.

Those look nice, but they're USB. USB headphones make me sad - the audio quality is entirely reliant on software, and they're bad for performance compared to even onboard audio. If you're running on a laptop, sure, but I couldn't bring myself to use them on a real PC. I'm kind of jealous that Tito's review set can accept optical inputs - I would have jumped at that if I had seen that when I was shopping for headphones.

I must have picked the wrong head phones, as these are not USB, they plug directly into a audio socket. It's hard to tell what the number on mine are, as it doesn't say it.

Plinglebob:

RvLeshrac:

LoopyDood:
I was getting excited about them until I saw the price, $160. I'm looking for something in the sub-$100 range, could anyone make any suggestions?

There's no such thing as a "good" sub-$100 Surround headset (yes, this is sad). You can get a good communication headset for $20-30 (I like the Logitech PS2/3 USB headsets) , and a decent stereo headset for $50-100 (Logitech G330 on the low end, Steel 5H on the high).

Or you could just buy a soundcard like this at $60, and a cheap pair of headphones and you'll have the same effect.

That's the worst, lowest-end "X-Fi" that barely qualifies as such. You'd be better off with on-board. And that's not from the "audiophile" standpoint, as some people in this thread seem to be coming from (There are no audiophiles in gaming, game audio is consistently poor quality), but from an average user.

Virgil:
[snipped]
Those look nice, but they're USB. USB headphones make me sad - the audio quality is entirely reliant on software, and they're bad for performance compared to even onboard audio. If you're running on a laptop, sure, but I couldn't bring myself to use them on a real PC. I'm kind of jealous that Tito's review set can accept optical inputs - I would have jumped at that if I had seen that when I was shopping for headphones.

I think the vast majority of us that use USB headsets are using them for comm devices, not for in-game audio. *all* USB headsets are mediocre headphones, but they work very well as headsets.

That's the point of the USB, you see. It presents them as a completely independent audio device, which means you can direct in-game audio to your $300+ speakers, and not have to dirty them up with Joe Jackass implying things about your sexuality, which can be redirected to your headset.

At least, in any modern game.

Well, any modern game that isn't from Valve. I can't play L4D2 multi with any degree of skill because the Voice code is a decade old, nearly worthless.

Virgil:

Yeah, me too. I had a set of Cambridge Soundworks speakers, from back when Creative hadn't ruined their company and quality yet. They had a digital receiver, full 5.1 sound, multiple input types (including optical), and were the perfect size to fit in/around a desk. Unfortunately, last year the receiver finally died on me, and I couldn't find anything else that I liked, or that didn't looks like it fell out of a super exxtreme Mountain Dew commercial. That's when I switched to the stereo headphones.

I donated my old 4.1 Soundworks set to a family member after picking up a Logitech X540 at an 'X'-treme (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahahahaha. ha.) discount. They're fantastic, for the price.

I just can't see spending an enormous sum on PC audio, since the actual audio is of mediocre quality. I'd rather put that money into the surround system attached to my TV, 360, and media players.

Hmm Amazon is way overpriced then.

I got this headset myself for just 65 euros. That's around $80,-
Included shipping. But that's the analog one. Which is exactly the same except you don't have a control unit. Which is fine by me coz why go optical and reencode the signal again to analog.
My soundcard can do that as good as that thing.

 

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