If you’re looking for a decent headset to go with your console, it’s not always easy to find a good option. You can’t just go for any regular pair of headphones, as you will need adapters, and these differ depending on your console of choice. Ideally, you’ll also want volume controls and great bass response for those meaty gunshots and explosions. All this is what Sharkoon aims to deliver with its latest stereo headset, the Xtatic SP. Compatible with both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 - as well as your PC of course - is this really the best pair of cans for your console?
Let’s start off with the overall package. The Xtatic SPs come in a fancy box with a transparent front plastic section to let you see what you’re buying, and unlike the blister packaging that the company used for past products, opening both box and plastic shell is very easy. Inside you’ll find a full colour contents and setup guide, which makes it child’s play to hook everything up for those not too technically minded.
A smaller box contains all the accessories and adapters, which include an Xbox 360 joypad connector, 3.5mm-to-phono adapter, and a removable microphone. Many will prefer an integrated mic to this latter option, but the advantages of having it separate are that you can use it with anything that has a microphone input, and that it doesn’t get in the way when you don’t want or need it. The only thing we’re missing here is a carrying pouch or case, as found with the Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Headset for example.
The headset uses an over-ear design with a permanently attached cable, volume control module and both USB and 3.5mm plugs at its end. Design-wise the Sharkoon Xtatic SP is a tasty black affair with some subtle chrome and blue highlights, and should fit well with any black consoles you might have. It definitely has a sleek look, and though a few elements come across as a tad cheap and it’s a small step back from Sharkoon’s previous XTatic Digital V3 5.1 surround set, overall it’s still attractive.