The Sharkoon Xtatic SP headset’s build
quality is good, with no creak or weaknesses in the plastics. Everything from
the headband to the cups, control module and cable feel like they will survive
many extended gaming sessions, and adjustments to the headband or cups feel
secure. Switches, buttons and dials offer solid, nicely-controlled action.
Comfort is good. The length-adjustable headband is thickly padded with a
leatherette finish, while the cups, which can swivel 90 degrees to fold flat
for easier transport, are big enough to fit all the way around – rather than
partially on – your ears. These too are thickly padded, and sport a breathable
cloth finish that will keep your ears slightly cooler than a leatherette finish
they’re comfortable even for long sessions, if not on a level with a set such
as the Q701 – but those do cost seven times as much. For its price class, the Xtatic
SP holds up well.
noting that this headset doesn’t isolate noise much. You’ll still be able to
hear everything that’s going on around you, which could be exactly what you
want or a major disadvantage. They also leak a little into your environment,
though nowhere near as much as an open-backed set of cans like the delectable
the included adapters, hooking up Sharkoon’s Xtatic SP is simple whether
connecting to a PS3, Xbox 360 or PC. It’s worth pointing out that the SP
requires power from its USB cable, so if you want to hook up a Wii or
other device without its own USB ports, you’ll need a charging adapter or
extension cable from a nearby device. This can be quite annoying as most
headsets will at least work through just their 3.5mm connector, but the SP
needs to power its control module and extra rumble effect, which we’ll cover later.
On a PC,
you can choose to use the SP just as a USB headset without connecting the 3.5mm
plug at all, but again you’ll miss out on that rumble effect. The simply huge
control module offers volume wheels for both the cans and microphone, a
microphone mute switch, an Xbox 360 pad audio input and a switch that selects
Xbox or PS3/PC mode. The feedback on both switches and wheels is solid. Our
only niggle is that there’s no option to turn the rumble on or off except by
removing the 3.5mm jack (though if you turn it off you’re missing a large part
of what makes this headset worth using).