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Sharkoon Xtatic Pro 5.1 Headset Review

Posted by on February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm
The name may sound funny but this headset is no joke.

The name may sound funny but this headset is no joke.

Several weeks back, we reviewed a couple of headsets from Turtle Beach, which we were really impressed with; Specifically the Sierra and Tango headsets from the black ops series. A couple of weeks ago, I was sent the Sharkoon 5.1 Xtatic Pro gaming headset and I’ve had a lot of time to put it through the paces.

So how did it do?

Much like the review I did of the Turtle Beach headset, I’m going to spare you a lot of the gory details, mostly because the vast majority of people out there really don’t care about the ohms and the dB’s and the ratios. Of course, for the audiophiles out there, I do some really extensive testing and I’ll give you the results of those tests riiiiiiight…now.

Of course I ran a number of frequency sweeps through the headsets, from sine to sawtooth to triangle, all from 20-20,000 hz. What I noticed was a nicely balanced frequency range, with all frequencies being well represented and surprisingly close in amplitude. Across the entire range, I only saw deviations of less than 1dB. Really nice.

Now lets talk about the headphones. These are true multi-driver headphones, with each earcup sporting a whopping 4 drivers, with a 27mm driver for the center channel, 2 30mm drivers for the front and rear and a 40 mm driver for the subwoofer. That’s 127 millimeters of audio goodness for each ear!

The drivers are well tuned and very well suited for their individual jobs. Not to let you think that my only basis for review is the technical crap, I’ll tell you that I’ve listened to a wide variety of music through this unit, from Chopin to Killswitch Engage, to Skrillex and all of them sound amazing…And wait until you hear the thick, boomy, yet crisp bass come out of these things. I beat the ever living HELL out of these things and took everything I could throw at them…indeed more than my ears could have handled. In fact, I’m blaring some Nero through them right now at levels high enough to melt any mere mortal’s brain and they sound GREAT!

Tasty!

The unit also comes with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital decoder and sound control box which allows you to connect to your PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Tablet or DVD player with a 3.5mm, digital coaxial and digital optical inputs, with a number of outputs for speaker systems and multiple Xtatic Pro headsets. It also have a USB mic line for PC and PS3 and the in-line volume control unit has the connection for your 360 voice.

The sound control unit

The sound control unit

Setting up the unit is simple. Give it some power, connect it to your output device with the appropriate supplied cable, hook the headset up and let her rip. Done in 60 seconds. The only downside is that in order to get 5.1 surround, you have to have an optical output on your sound card. That’s not a HUGE deal because good sound cards with optical outputs are pretty cheap but that could have been overcome by making the SCU its own sound device, much like the control unit on the Sierra I tested.

The headset also features a quick disconnect about 18 inches down the cable from the left earcup, detachable microphone with twist-locks in place and individual volume adjustments for center, front, back and subwoofer channels for the ultimate in tuneability.

All in all, these headphones are superb. I’ve used a lot of gaming rigs in my time and these are definitely in the top 5 I’ve ever had on my head. Right up there with Turtle Beach and miles ahead of Tritton, Plantronics, Logitech or any of the other popular brands. I recommend them, without hesitation, for anyone who wants quality sound at a good price.

Features:
5.1 channel headset + Dolby® Digital Sound Control Unit (SCU)
8 speakers (4 in each earpiece)
Detachable microphone with QuickOn connection and Microphone Voice Monitoring (MVM) function*
Digital, in-line volume control for all channels and chat
Decoder supports Dolby® Digital 2.0, Dolby® Digital 5.1 and Dolby® Pro Logic® II
Supports the chat function of PS3™ and Xbox 360® (Xbox LIVE®)
*Activating the Microphone Voice Monitoring (MVM) function lets you hear your own voice, so you always get a clear feedback of your own loudness. This function may be switched off at any time.

Features (Sound Control Unit):
Dolby® Digital 2.0, Dolby® Digital 5.1 and Dolby® Pro Logic® II
Supports the chat function of PS3™ and Xbox 360® (Xbox LIVE®)
Specifications (Headset):
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
Connection: 1 x 9-pin analogue plug
Cable Length: ~410 cm
Weight: ~350 g

Specifications (Sound Control Unit):
1 Optical audio output (S/PDIF) with pass through function
1 Optical audio input (S/PDIF)
1 Coaxial audio input
1 3.5 mm analog audio input
2 analogue audio outputs for the X-Tatic headset (G9 connectors)
3 analogue 3.5 mm audio outputs (front, surround, center / subwoofer)
1 USB connector for PS3â„¢ and PC microphone (USB B)
1 ISO power connector (DC In)
Dimensions: 24 x 130 x 65 mm (H x L x W)
Weight: ~125 g

Compatibility:
Xbox 360®, PS3™, PC, Tablet PC, DVD player et al.

Package content:
X-Tatic PRO 5.1 surround headset
Breakaway cable with in-line controller (G9 connector > G9 connector)
Detachable microphone with QuickOn connection
X-Tatic SCU with Dolby®Digital decoder
Power supply incl. travel adapters (UK, US and EU)
USB microphone cable for PS3â„¢ and PC
Chat cable for Xbox 360® (3.5 mm jack > 2.5 mm jack)
Optical connection cable (S/PDIF)
Coaxial connection cable
3.5 mm analogue connection cable
Manual

9/10 FleshEatingZipper

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