The Sharkoon X-Tatic headset is the first headset that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, that works not only with the XBOX 360 and XBOX Live, but also the PlayStation 3, and the PlayStation Network. It’s fairly dynamic in that aspect, as there’s really nothing special that needs to be done to switch from one system to the next. It’s as simple as just flipping one switch from Xbox, to PS3/PC.
Another really nice feature of the X-Tatic SP is it’s detachable microphone. The metal boom on it is nice and flexible to the extreme, but it’s rigid enough to not flop around while you’re using it. The headphones themselves seem small, but I’m used to cups that completely cover your ear with room to spare, while the X-Tatic SP are fairly snug around my ears. The material on the cups is nice as well, because unlike the leather “closed ear” design of other headsets, the X-Tatic SP cups allow your ears to “breathe”. After an intense six hour gaming run with them on, my ears hadn’t even started to sweat yet.
Unfortunately, the X-Tatic SP are only analog, and NOT 5.1 surround. The price might be right for those with multiple systems, as they can only have a single headset now – but if you’re used to the nice 5.1, these might be a hard sell. The cable length is a decent size at twelve feet, and unlike some of the other headsets I have tested, I haven’t noticed any problem with the cord getting tangled up.
The sound quality is really good, delivered by two 40mm speakers. I did notice an audible hiss over XBOX Live though, but not on the PSN, so I think it may have been either my controller, or maybe something happened to the connector. Some of my friends complained that I kept cutting out over Live, but again there were no such complaints over the PSN.
The X-Tatic SP can also be plugged into a PC and be used as a headset, but I really liked the detachable mic for listening to music on my laptop. I turned up my old soundtrack to Jet Grind Radio, and grooved out with them. The highs were particularly crisp, while the bass was deep and low. I noticed no distortion, and I had them cranked to the point I could keep them on my desk and still hear it perfectly.
The Sharkoon X-Tatic SP headset lists for $69.99, which is pretty comparable to other analog headsets out there, especially when you add in the value of only having to have one headset lying around rather than two. To fully test the capabilities of the X-Tatic SP on the Xbox 360 I player DJ Hero 2, Halo: Reach, and Battlefield Bad Company 2, while on the PlayStation 3 I player Medal of Honor, EA Sports MMA, and the Killzone 3 Beta. All six games sounded equally as good over the headset, with the only discrepancy being the voice over Xbox Live.
Specs are as follows:
* Diameter: 40 mm
* Impedance: 40 Ω
* Sensitivity: 118 dB +/- 3 dB bei 1 KHz
* Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
* Power output: 40 mW
* Cable length: 370 cm +/-10 cm
* Connectors: 1x 3.5 mm stereo plug (green: stereo playback), 1x USB (microphone connection + power)
* Diameter: 6 x 5 mm (L x B)
* Directivity: omni-directional
* Sensitivity: -58 dB +/- 3 dB
* Impedance: 2.2 kΩ
* Frequency response: 100 Hz – 2 kHz
* Operating voltage: 4.5 V
The audiophiles out there will understand all that, and see this is a pretty solid piece of hardware based on the numbers alone. At the end of the day, the X-Tatic SP is a headset I don’t mind wearing for an extended period to play away the weariness of the day.
I give the Sharkoon X-Tatic SP Headset 4 out of 5 Michelas rating.