Sharkoon XTATIC Headset Review
After A/B testing both the SP and SX over a day or so it was clear that both pairs sound identical when plugged into either a 360, or in a more standard and less cable-happy way into a PC. Obviously the SX cannot be tested with a PS3 so it was important to establish that if they sounded the same on both PC and Xbox then any conclusions can be taken as a whole rather than having to individually mention whichever headset is being referred to on this page.
Connectivity is, similarly to the SteelSeries 5XB, the main problem with the XTATIC. As neither console has a dedicated headphone port it does require a rather untidy amount of cables to plug them in to the consoles, although of course the PC has no such issues.
Once we're setup looking like we're on life support it was time to get down to some hardcore gaming sessions. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.
The XTATIC performs very well indeed. Considering that you have a lot of different connection options and any extra cables will only degrade the sound quality, the reproduction was very good. Bass isn't quite as punchy as we like, despite the closed-back nature of the XTATIC. It's not harsh or under-represented. But not so amazing that it will run down your spine. It's very close indeed, just not quite there.
Mid-range sound is, understandably, the place where the XTATIC shines. No matter what genre we were playing everything was reproduced with clarity from the cut-scenes to the heat of battle. Because the XTATIC is so focussed as a gaming headset we'd have expected the FMV or in-game music to be somewhat lacking. Whilst it isn't the greatest headset we've had come through our offices it was nonetheless very composed with nothing be very harsh nor overbearing. All the audio had a smooth quality which is helped by the great seal the earpieces make, ensuring nothing leaks out anywhere but to your ears. The only issue we had was no matter what source the XTATICs were plugged into there was a small amount of audible hiss when they were idle.
Although of course there aren't many occasions in which you haven't got audio running through them, it's nonetheless something to be aware of if you fancy playing Catan, Uno or similar.
At £40 for the SX and £45 for the SP, the Sharkoon is a well-rounded headset at a good price. It gives great audio across the board, tied up in an attractive, comfortable package. For the money, and if the compatibility is high on your list, you definitely should take a good long look at the XTATIC, hence it's worthy of our OC3D Silver Award.