We ran the Carcharias through a series of tests, first examining its performance during a chat-based gaming session. We were a bit uncomfortable with the positioning of the boom microphone to start, as the boom itself isn't as adjustable as some of the headsets we've tested in the past. Since it's only flexible in the center of the boom, it may initially feel awkward when trying to use it. That said, we had nothing but solid results in all of our gaming matches with Counter-Strike as our teammates reported loud and clear voice chat from our player. We were very pleased with the audio performance in-game, as the Carcharias was able to immerse us into the multiplayer combat action. We were able to locate other player's locations hearing gunfire and footsteps quite easily.
Next we moved to a Skype session in which our party on the other end said we sounded clear, on par with a normal cell phone call. We then tested out the noise filtering feature on the device by playing some music in the background at a low volume. It appears the Carcharias was able to filter out most of the ambient sound, however our Skype partner complained about the noise once we increased the music's volume. We also noticed that the headset did a better job of filtering out noise that was occurring in front of us rather than commotion being made behind us. This is probably because of the noise-filtering microphone's listening location.
The Carcharias is also a solid set of headphones. We were really impressed with the overall sound quality we got while listening to various music samples and movies. The headset did a great job balancing the treble and bass in tracks off of Girl Talk's "Feed the Animals" CD and performed well during a heavier rock session we threw at it with Thrice's "Illusion of Safety" record. Movies also sounded vibrant and rich when we tried out selected scenes from "Cloverfield." Keep in mind you aren't getting true 5.1 surround from the Carcharias, but they should be more than sufficient for most listening tastes.
Overall, the Carcharias PC gaming headset is by far the most comfortable and best-sounding device we've tested in a while. Priced around $80, serious PC gamers who use voice chat in-game need to look no further. If you're going to be using your headset primarily for VoIP and you'd like to go wireless, we'd recommend looking at the Creative Digital Wireless Headset or the Logitech ClearChat PC Wireless Headset.