AV Peripherals and Systems Guide
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Creative's Gaming Headgear
Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega Wireless
This gaming headset is a cross-platform model which means it can be used on both the PC and Mac, as well as gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. According to Creative, the Tactic3D Omega Wireless allows you to enjoy your gaming experience untethered from your gaming rig with its "uncompressed wireless technology" which promises to deliver static-free gaming audio without lag. The headset comes with a hefty build, possibly due to its steel core headband which Creative has implemented to improve its durability. When tried, the synthetic leather ear and crown pads provided a comfortable fit, while the cups were also large enough to offer decent noise isolation. Paired with the Recon3D, we managed to put this headset through its paces with 'Battlefield 3' on the PlayStation 3. What we experienced was a fantastic soundstage delivery, accompanied by punchy bass levels and refined treble quality during gameplay.
One of our concerns with this gaming headset is the manner in which its battery life status is highlighted to the user. According to Ms. Isabella Teo, Manager of Product Marketing for Creative's Audio/Video Products, a low-battery status is conveyed by a distinct audio cue to alert the user to charge the headset via its mini-USB port. Only with the use of the THX TruStudio Pro software suite installed on a PC or Mac is the user then able to view the battery life status via a small battery icon tucked away at the bottom of the GUI. Ms. Teo added that the Creative engineering team is working to improve on this aspect such that gamers won't be caught off guard when the headset's power is running low. The platform-agnostic Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega Wireless is priced at S$269.
Sound Blaster Tactic360 Sigma
The Sound Blaster Tactic360 Sigma will make a perfect gift for Xbox 360 purists. Armed with large 50mm neodymium drivers, this pair of headset features the same steel core headband as the Tactic3D Omega for improved durability and has similarly placed synthetic leather pads for a snug fit on your cranium. This wired headset also comes with a powered amplifier with separate voice and game audio controls to configure the volume of your Xbox LIVE communication and gaming audio separately. The boom microphone is detachable from the left ear cup if you wish to use the Sigma purely as a headset without voice communication. The Tactic360 Sigma retails for S$99 and its sweet price point may just seal the deal with an Xbox owner scouting for a gaming audio update.
Sound Blaster Tactic3D Wrath Wireless Gaming Headset
PC gamers can be classified under a unique subculture in the gaming arena, and Creative's Tactic3D Wrath wireless headset is made to complement the needs of these gamers, especially with its striking red logo and components. Its durable steel core and its snug fit, courtesy of its leather pads, makes it an ideal headset for PC gaming without the constraints of wires. You can also relish THX TruStudio Pro sound technologies through its client TacticControl software which is compatible with both PC and Mac platforms. We are quick to note that there is an absence of a battery indicator from the GUI of the software, thus reducing keeping track of its battery life status to guesswork. This headset is priced at S$199 and we are pleased to note that it comes in an environmental-friendly cardboard box for its retail packaging.
As we mentioned earlier, Creative's current offerings are obviously targeted at the audio needs of console gamers. During the media presentation conducted by Mr. Paul Seow, Sales Manager of Creative's Advanced Multimedia Group, he showed us a slide which highlighted the tremendous growth in sales of console gaming headsets versus that of PC gaming. That said, we believe Creative's forte will remain in the field of audio engineering. However, Creative Technology needs (to borrow an ice hockey analogy) "to skate to where the puck is" in order to remain relevant in this competitive business. And this practically means targeting the big bucks of the gaming console market whilst it's still booming.
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