While not everyone needs a wireless headset, many appreciate the versatility and freedom of a cordless gaming experience. That tethering cord might be less of an issue for the intimacy of a PC game, but when you want to relax on a couch with some console action, they become an annoyance.
The quite over-extensively named Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Omega Wireless gaming headset is not the cheapest we've seen, but it's a long way from being the most expensive, and there's plenty of features that make it good value for money.
There are essentially two parts to what you get in the box: the Recon3D USB sound card and the Tactic3D Omega wireless headphones.
The Recon3D has a quad-core sound processor, but it's energy efficient enough to be powered entirely by USB. A wireless card slides in to a slot on the top, and it syncs to the headphones with a single button press.
Along the sides are switches for changing modes depending on whether you're using PC, Xbox or PS3 and mic control. The top has volume and two big switches for either THX or Scout Mode (we'll get to that later).
The headphones themselves have a built-in battery that also charges via USB. They're quite light, and ear cups are quite comfortable; we found no discomfort, even when worn for extensive gaming sessions. The material on the cups does scratch reasonably easily, however.
The software is the third component — the Recon3D control panel with THX TruSTudio Pro effects, which allows you to adjust pretty much any aspect of the voice and audio settings. You can even save profiles for various games, if that's your sort of thing.
Once the headphones are charged up, installing the software is the longest part of set-up. In fact, given the quality of the product, this is about as close to plug and play as we can imagine.
Sound quality is great — sharp, clear, with solid bass that doesn't overwhelm. When multiplaying, the Scout Mode comes into its own: once turned on, it enhances the sounds your opponents make, rather than your own or environmental noises. At times, it felt like we had super hearing, and it was great.
When we tested on the Xbox, we initially had a few crackles and pops from the wireless signal, but this happened only once, and it wasn't noticeable in later gaming sessions. As with all wireless headsets, interference may be an issue, but it will all come down to your environment.
Voice chat was clear on both sides, with our own voice and those of other players easy to hear and not too loud or too quiet compared to the other gaming sounds.
There's actually very little to complain about with the Recon3D Omega, but there are a few points worth noting. While the headphones hold around an eight-hour battery charge, because it's an internal battery, you can't quickly swap a couple of AAs when the power fails, unlike, say, the Turtle Beach XP500.
As with all headphones, the controls on the ear cups can be tricky to find — which is not a problem when the USB sound card is nearby, but if it's sitting over near a gaming console some distance away, it can be fiddly.
The mic boom can be removed, but it can't be swung up to auto mute like some other headsets, and you'll still need a cable connecting the headphones to the Xbox controller if you want to chat in game on Xbox Live.
The headphones also had a little bit of sound leakage, but nothing too bad.
For the mid-level price, these are a top set of headphones, whether you're a PC or console gamer. Great sound quality combines with a comfortable design in the Sound Blaster Recon3D Omega Wireless, and we can happily recommend this headset for gamers of all stripes.