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Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 Headphones

By: James Vozar | Headsets in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Apr 17, 2009 1:45 pm
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Sharkoon



Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 Headphones

(Click the above image for the large version)


Okay then, now that I have wet your appetite for what is shaping up as a milestone product in its class, let's get into some testing.


Firstly, as mentioned a few times, these headphones come with a built-in microphone that runs via USB. Since this microphone is there for functionality first and foremost, I'm not going to critique its acoustic performance like I am the headphones themselves. Rather, I will add that it's functional, sturdy and adequate for the task at hand.


Running in full digital 5.1 mode via an optical cable from my sound card, I began to do some testing using one of my music test DVD's which I know completely inside out.


Firstly, the low-end. I found bass response to be quite firm and present in the sound stage, replicating the feel of a dedicated sub woofer with quite some emotion. I did not feel the bass was thin or lacked omni-presence (multi-directionality) and seemed to be emanating from the whole headset and not interfering with any of the other delicately placed speakers in the array.


Over-all volume from the LFE channel was quite good; not easily exaggerated but still with enough headroom to satisfy demanding bass junkies. During the most demanding parts of my test DVD it held itself together quite well and did not smother the other channels in boomy fluffy bass.


Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 Headphones

(Click the above image for the large version)


The middle frequency range also held together quite well, providing smooth percussion elements to the sound stage and quite reasonable transients throughout. I found the midrange to be adequately smooth in nature, as to not unbalance the sound in any way. And it was also thick enough to be present when important percussion sounds come into the mix.


At this point, I found the low end and the mid-range to be surprisingly smooth and controlled, especially for headphones, which more often than not actually cause fatigue to the user because of the way they exaggerate certain frequencies unevenly.


The high-end, unfortunately, does suffer a little with the lack of dedicated tweeters causing an issue with hitting higher frequencies like the ring of a crash symbol or emotion of a string section in an orchestra.


However, I personally think that this aides in the user's ability to wear the headphones for long periods of time without experiencing fatigue. So, it's a trade off like a lot of things in life.


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