Creative Labs may not be the premier audio company it once was, but that doesn't mean its products, and more specifically its headsets, aren't anything to shy away from. Today, Creative has introduced several new headsets aimed at the console and computer crowd, plus a new sound card/audio platform for PCs and Macs. The first headset is designed for the Xbox 360, and it is called the Sound Blaster Tactic360 Sigma gaming headset. It is based off the Tactic3D Sigma headset, and features a steel-core headband and 50mm drivers. It features a powered headset amplifier with voice and game audio controls to help you hear everything clearly while playing the latest Xbox 360 games. The next headset is also designed for the 360, and is called the Sound Blaster Tactic360 ION gaming headset. It is a smaller design that should be lighter in weight than the Tactic360 Sigma, and thus only features 40mm drivers. It also has a powered headset amplifier for voice and game audio controls.
Next up we have a headset designed for PC and Mac users, the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Wrath wireless gaming headset. It features 50mm, red illuminated ear cups with plush padding, a steel-core headband, detachable microphone, and a rechargeable lithium battery. It features included software called THX TruStudio Pro that features audio enhancements designed by Creative and THX engineers. That software leads me to believe this headset connects via USB, which some people do prefer. The last headset will work with PC, Macs, PS3s, and 360s, and is called the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega wireless gaming headset. It features FullSpectrum 50mm drivers and a detachable, noise-canceling microphone. Plugging it into a PC or Mac also makes use of the THX TruStudio Pro software, which means it should be another USB headset, though you can also plug it into an Aux-In port.
Lastly, Creative is showcasing a new sound card/audio platform it is calling Sound Blaster Recon3D. It makes use of something Creative is calling Sound Core3D, which is the world's first quad-core sound and voice processor. It uses Creative's patented Quartet digital signal processor (DSP) paired with four independent processor cores, making it the first processor to integrate an "array of DSP cores" with high-quality HD audio codecs of over 100dB on a single chip. It utilizes THX TruStudio Pro and CrystalVoice technologies, each of which feature various enhancements to improve the sound and voice capabilities of the Recon3D. There will be three variants at first, the Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion, Fatal1ty Professional, Core3D, and the Recon3D USB. The first three connect via PCIe while the last is a USB connection.
The Fatal1ty Champion includes an I/O drive with headset mini-jack, volume control, and audio input connectivity options. It also features a "stunning design" and glowing red Creative Sound Core3D processor. The Fatal1ty Professional includes the I/O connectivity on the card itself, and includes a high-quality beam-forming microphone so you don't need to use a headset. The Core3D is the basic version, which includes an integrated headphone amplifier, digital microphone interface, S/PDIF inputs and outputs, and general purpose inputs and outputs. Lastly, the Recon3D USB is an external USB device that features headset ports, line in/out, and S/PDIF input. The S/PDIF input allows for Dolby Digital decoding, plus there is a three step microphone booster on the side. On the opposite side from the mic booster is a switch that lets you toggle between a PC, PS3, and 360. It can be upgraded with wireless connectivty as well.
The Creative Sound Blaster headsets will be available later this year. The Sound Blaster Core3D and Fatal1ty sound cards don't have a solid release date except for an early next year for the Fatal1ty Champion, while the Recon3D USB will be out later this year for a price of $129.99.