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Sharkoon X-Tatic SP Review

The Sharkoon X-Tatic SP is a headset system which allows you to have crisp stereo sound, as loud as you want it, without waking up anyone also living in your house/dorm room/apartment.  The X-Tatic SP is a wired solution, so you don’t have to worry about any sort of wireless interference, but you will have to worry about someone tripping over the cord if you happen to be using it with a console.  There are other higher-end (read: much more expensive) Sharkoon headsets out there, but we’re just going to stick to the X-Tatic SP for this review.


Packaging:
I have to preface this by saying that I’m not a huge lover of packaging.  As long as the product is covered in some way, and it’s not impossible to remove it from said packaging, I usually view it as successful.  Having said that, I can tell you that the packaging on the X-Tatic SP got the job done.  There was nothing flashy, but it gave you a nice view of the headset, and I didn’t need a jackhammer to break any seals.  Additionally, you could see that the product is being geared toward console players because it proudly bears the “compatible with…” stickers right on the front.

Installation: Before I get into the installation, let me give you a quick break-down of what the X-Tatic SP does.  It’s basically a splitter which intercepts the audio from your game console of choice, and gives you the option of either hearing the sound only through your current audio set-up, hearing it only through the headset, or a combination or both.  It accomplishes this task by having you install a tap cable at the end of the L/R audio cables coming out of your console so you can feed the audio to your new headset at electrically the same point as sound is fed to your current tuner/TV.  In my case, this resulted in there being a trip made to the back of my goodie cabinet (that’s what I call it, don’t judge me).  Second, you have to plug the USB cable into your console (for the PS3, any one of the USB ports will work — for the Xbox 360, you’ll want to use the USB port in the back).  If all you want is to be able to hear the game you’re playing, you’re all done at this point.  If you want to be able to talk trash to your opponents, you’ll have to plug the mic into the left headphone, and select it from your PS3 accessories menu.  If you have an Xbox 360, you’ll have to plug in an additional cable from the X-Tatic SP volume control switch to the Xbox 360 controller.



Usability:
Once the unit is all cabled and ready, using it is as simple as selecting PS3, Xbox, or PC on the volume control switch, and you’re ready to go.  There are separate dials for speaker volume, and microphone volume, and you’re also given a mute button, which is really a must nowadays.  One downside is that the volume dials are exactly the same size, so you might have to break your eyes away from your screen if you need to make an adjustment to make sure you’re adjusting the right thing.  Initially, the headset may seem big, but it’s extremely comfortable, and you forget it’s there after a few minutes.

Audio Quality: This is really where the X-Tatic SP shines.  When I initially used the headset, I would have sworn I was getting 5.1 surround sound rather than the regular stereo that it provides.  The bass level was ridiculously good, and I started hearing things in games that I had never heard before.  Rustling bushes, wind blowing, quiet footsteps…it was like I was playing Red Dead for the first time.  I may have looked like an old-school DJ, but the level of immersion the X-Tatic SP gave me was amazing.

The Demitrius Determination: For what it is, the X-Tatic SP is an amazing headset with unbeatable audio quality for your dollar.  The downside comes with the wires which really started to drive me crazy after a while.  If my cat wasn’t playing with them, someone was tripping over them.  This may not be as big of a concern if the user is living in a dorm or a smaller apartment, but my couch is far enough away from my TV that it stretched the cord to it’s limit when I was playing — definitely something to keep in mind if you’re planning to buy these.  If you’re a dorm-dweller, or if you have babies you don’t want to wake, I can’t recommend these high enough.  However, if your TV is further than 9 feet from your couch, I’d have to recommend finding a wireless solution.

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  • Great review Demitrius!

  • Great review man. Would there be any way to extend the wire, like through a USB extender?

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      Sure are a lot of Stevens in the Nation tonight 🙂

      A USB extender would definitely be an option, but you wouldn’t be able to get up and make a sandwich while you’re playing a slow-paced game with your old-married-guy gaming group.

      Or, so I’ve been told 😉

  • How is the actual audio quality on this headset, and can your friends hear you fine when talking online?

  • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

    The audio quality is awesome; this thing has a really good mic.

  • i’m wondering because i am a fanatic black ops player can i hear if an enemy is behind left or right of me can i make a differents to know where he is ? that’s what i want to know because the sharkoon x-tatic 5.1 had that but i don’t have the money to buy the dolby control with it

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      Not really; this is just a stereo headset, so you’ll have a hard time telling if someone is behind you.

  • How can I hook these things up when I’m using an HDMI from my PS3?

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      The short answer is “you can’t.”
      This headset requires the use of the classic red and white audio cables.

  • can you still use a hdmi cable, and plug in the red and white cables just for audio and use these

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      I just tried that with my set, and it didn’t work.

  • whats the difference between these and turtle beaches

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      I don’t have any experience with any Turtle Beach products, so I can’t answer that.

  • can you hear the game with this headset on ps3 or just people talking

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      You can hear people talking that you’d normally hear through your headset, and all game audio.

  • the turtle beach x11 has microphone monitoring, do these have anything similar ie can you hear your voice when you talk?

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      Nope, no microphone monitoring on these.

  • Yanch

    So if my ps3 is hooked up to my tv with hdmi I will only be able to chat with the headphones but not hear the game thru them..or am I missing something ??

    • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

      That is correct.

  • WWFMankind

    I just got these things… on the PS3, the mic works fantastic! I can turn the mic all the way up and it picks up the slightest whisper! But, when I plug them up to my Xbox I have to yell into the mic for them to even register.

    Did you experience anything like this when you tested them?

    Thanks!!

  • D Demitrius Smith (DDSmitty)

    I didn’t notice that during my test. Did you remember to move the selector switch from “PS3/PC” over to “XBOX”?

  • Yeah, everything was setup correctly.

    So, based on your experience (and other posts I’ve read) maybe my pair is defective.

  • Great review. Just one correction though in your comments.
    If you’re using HDMI on PS3 just go to your audio settings and turn “multi audio output” on. This will allow the sound to go through both the HDMI and the headset.

    Nearly didn’t buy them because you stated that it was not possible!

  • THESE HEADPHONES SUCK R=IN UH FEW PLACES.. I JUST GOT OFF BLACK OPS TO SEE IF THERE WAS A SOLUTION FOR THE HDMI PROBLEM. THERE IS NO SOLUTION AT ALL !! I SWITCHED OVER TO THE REGULAR CORD 4 THE 360 AND IMMEDIATELY SAW A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN PICTURE QUALITY. ANYWAY, IM SENDING THESE BACK

    PROS:
    GREAT SOUND QUALITY
    STYLISH HEADSET
    GREAT DURABILITY
    LIGHT WEIGHT
    AGAIN GREAT SOUND QUALITY !!!

    CONS:
    NON SUPPORTING IN HDMI
    MIC IS KIND OF POOR AT TIMES

    IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE
    GAMERTAG: imJUSz

  • UPDATE !!!!

    THERE IS A HDMI CAPABILITY WITH THE HEADSET
    TO SET IT UP FOR HDMI CAPABILITIES YOU HAVE TO PLUG IN THE RED AND WHITE
    PLUGS FROM THE HEADSET INTO THE TV RED AND WHITE OUTPUT SOCKET.
    IF YOUR TELEVISION IS LIKE MINE (65″ MITSUBISHI WD-65737) YOUR TV WITH RECOGNIZE THE HEADSET AND ASK IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE OUTPUT TO THE HEADSET.
    OF COURSE SWITCH TO THE HEADSET SETTING. BUT IF YOU HAVE UH BASIC TV THIS MIGHT NOT BE A PROCESS FOR YOU AND IT JUST MIGHT DO ALL THE WORK FOR YOU

    NOTE: WHEN TRYING THIS, IF YOUR TELEVISION IS LIKE MINE(65″ MITSUBISHI WD-65737)
    AFTER YOU TAKE OUT THE PLUGS TO RETURN TO NORMAL TELEVISION YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE
    “NO SOUND”. THIS MEANING YOU HAVE TO GO INTO YOUR TV SETTINGS AND CHANGE THE OUTPUT SETTINGS FROM HEADSET BACK TO THE TV SPEAKERS.

    IF I COME ACROSS ANYTHING ELSE I WILL UPDATE AGAIN.
    HOPE THIS HELPS AS ALWAYS

    GAMERTAG & PSN: imJUSz

  • Ignore what JUSZ above is saying. It’s a pain to keep changing the settings on the TV. There is a much easier way…

    If you want to use HDMI for sound (like I do), set your sound in sound settings on your PS3 to HDMI.
    (Settings) > (Sound Settings) > Select [Audio Output Settings] > HDMI.

    Then connect your AV MULTI cable (comes with PS3) from the back of your PS3 to connect your Sharkoon X-Tactic SP (you don’t have to connect them to your TV).

    Then (IMPORTANT) just go to your audio settings and turn “multi audio output” ON.

    This will allow the sound to go through both the HDMI and the headset.

    Enjoy – these headsets are GREAT.

  • I’m so confused. I have a PS3. In really simple terms that i can understand, how do I set this up?

  • Dakota Darby

    can you use these headphones for say, an MP3 player or iPod? and if yes, How?

    • Pa Kirk2

      No, you can’t.

  • Fredderf

    does this work with hdmi