Creative knows a thing or two about sound cards, but does its audio expertise extend to headphones? Creative has done it tough over the last few years, as on-board audio took over from discrete sound solutions, crushing the company's main form of income. It has staged a comeback in the last year, with a range of new products. Chief among them is high-end gaming headphones.
The Tactic3D Omega headphones are the most versatile of the bunch, ready for your PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming needs. Setting up for PC is the easiest; simply plug in the USB base, which contains the digital sound processor (DSP), and you're good to go. Once again, the inclusion of a DSP makes any existing sound cards in your PC redundant.
Console users will find the set-up process a bit more complex than PC, using a range of pass-through cables. Unlike PC users, they'll also have to make do with basic stereo audio, as the DSP doesn't support virtual surround when set to console mode. A great feature for owners of multiple gaming platforms is the ability to have both console and PC connected at the same time, with a slider on the USB unit selecting either PC or console mode.
The wireless headset sits atop a recharging cradle, but you'll need to plug in a mini USB cable to get the juices flowing. An eight-hour charge should deliver around 10 hours of gaming. The headphones use a circumaural design, but the cups are much smaller than other headphones. This results in a firm fit that is reassuringly snug, rather than uncomfortably tight. The steel core in the headband ensures that they'll handle a battering, and it's adjustable for the perfect fit. The ears' vinyl covering can get a little sticky after lengthy frag-fests, while the microphone's bendable boom sits perfectly in front of your lips. Like most of the headsets, the mic uses noise cancelling to improve voice quality. Creative also includes voice-changing software, which is the best we've heard; there's nothing like gloating over your victims using the voice of an elderly man.