Every video game enthusiast will tell you that in order to attain complete game immersion, having a decent headset is essential. Take FPSs for instance: knowing exactly where a particular sound is coming from, and it’s exact distance often means the difference between either blowing somebody’s brains out, or having your own splattered all over a concrete wall. In the same vein, having a reliable, adjustable, integrated microphone in order to communicate with your team is a must these days.
The above reasons are only two of many, behind my decision to finally get a headset. I was able to compare it with some other headsets I was using over the last year or so, mostly at the office for voice comms on Skype/TS and also for some occasional gaming. The reason why I chose the Tactic3D Sigma by Creative is that it looked okay on paper (technical specs) and received pretty positive notes from computer hardware sites that tested and reviewed it.
Here are some of the tech specs:
The additional pro features for me were:
- The fact that you can plug the headset in using either two standard mini-jacks (for speakers and microphone) or using a USB connector delivered with the product, which enables you to use advanced sound effects provided by THX, (more on that later)
- It features a detachable an flexible microphone with noise cancellation condenser
- The cable has an integrated volume and mute control
I was especially looking forward to the USB connectivity since my PC rig is connected to a stereo amplifier and I wasn’t looking forward to messing around with the cables any more than I had to. All I wanted was to be able to plug it in and play. This is where the USB connector/adapter comes in really handy and enables you to connect the headset to the PC digitally via USB (the headset is also Mac ready). This is one of the main features most heavily marketed by Creative for their latest line of gaming headphones. THX TruStudio Pro Dual Mode™ – as it’s called – does not only make it possible to use USB connection but also comes with a set of interesting sound tools branded by the THX. The additional downloadable application (being part of the driver package you also have to download off Creative website) let’s you customize your audio experience with a set of advanced sound tools. You get an equalizer, crystalizer, bass and surround boost and a few other functions Creative and THX boast about in their website and marketing materials. You can choose some pre-configured settings or create your own profiles for all those different games and other activities you will be using the headset for.
Some of the THX-provided tools are pretty convenient (like the equalizer, or the Surround effect in THX TruStudio Pro that I tend to use while playing – which has had quite a positive effect!), but I have to stres it that some of them are not really doing their job, like the totally useless Voice FX function – letting you change the pitch of your voice in real time – which could as well not have been included in the package (unless you are 10 and love useless gadgets like this one…).
From a more practical angle, the Tactic3D Sigma headset is a pretty very well crafted piece of gaming equipment in a really affordable price (~50EUR). It has 50mm neodymium drivers that deliver pretty datailed (for a gaming headset, of course), juicy and powerful sound. The handband core is made of steel (not plastic) and ensures higher durability and fitting precision while the detachable microphone is attached to an end of a flexible cord allowing you to adjust its position near your mouth. And the accompanying software is something that you generally want to use and adjust the way the headphones sound to your liking. It is also pretty comfortable and separates you from the external sound sources just the right way.
The only cons I can point out are really marginal. The sponge tip on the mic tends to fall off every 15 seconds (I eventually took it off completely). The VoiceFX module of THX TruStudio Pro is somewhat useless and does not have a practical application, as least not for gaming, and this is a gaming headset right? Fans of low frequencies and powerful bass could also complain about the lack of a real bass “kick” here, but let’s not forget we are talking about a gaming headset here, balanced for playing game sounds and broadcasting our voice to other people. This is – by all and any means – not a regular headphone set designed for listening to music or for being used by DJ mixing music and cannot be viewed like one.
All things considered, the Tactic3D Sigma headset is a nice piece of equipment well worth the money, and I can recommend it to anyone who expects good quality and does not want or have to reach for the high-end gaming gear. This is just what a gamer should have, or even a bit more than something we could call standard gear quality.