Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital ReviewIndybird - August 31, 2010
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After just over a week of use, I have to say I have mixed feelings about the Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital. It performed great in some tests, but not so well in others.
Where it shines is in its build quality and features. These headphones feel solid, and I’m sure would survive years of use. Despite its size, it also looks great, with the all-black body with chrome accents and LED lighting. It is not lacking in the feature department, either. You get a control unit with Dolby processing and great input and output functions, a detachable microphone for versatility and portability, individual speaker adjustment via inline an control pod, and of course eight speaker surround sound audio.
Make no mistake - the main feature of the X-Tatic Digital is its 5.1 speaker setup and I have to say, it works a lot better than most 5.1 headsets I’ve used. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but nothing that a few gaming sessions wouldn’t sort out. During online play the surround sound was a distinct advantage, and other players had no problem with my voice quality.
Now, I did encounter a fair few issues with the X-Tatic Digital, with some major and some minor. The minor issues I encountered were with the inline control pod and the power connections. During use I found the digital volume control on the control pod to be slightly clunky. The power connections simply got in the way and I was limited by the distance between the SCU and the headphones, because both were run from the same power adapter. A better solution would have been to run the power through the multi-pin headphone connector, allowing for the use of the full length of the headphone cable. Also, it would’ve been nice if the whole system could have been run via USB power, but that’s more of a wish than anything.
The major issues I encountered were with wiring and audio quality. Once hooked up, you have a lot of wires running all over the place, and it becomes very hard to manage. This is paired with the power connections issue, but it involves more than just the power connections. The SCU should have been more of a 'wire hub' than a control unit, so the unit itself and all of the wires connected to it, could be put out of the way, with all adjustments moved to the inline controller.
The next issue was sound quality. the headphones just didn’t produce the low and high frequencies very well at all. Though this was primarily noticed during the playback of music, a full range of sound is needed for games as well.
All in all, the headset was pretty decent. It will give you an edge in multiplayer gaming and you’ll look good while doing it, but poor design choices and poor audio quality keep this $160 headset from being the perfect addition to every gamer’s setup.
- Good build quality
- Very comfortable
- Sleek appearance
- Great connectivity
- Good microphone quality
- Dolby sound processing
- Decent surround sound
- Wiring (power and otherwise)
- Sound quality is below-par
- Clunky controls