CES: Creative Lab’s Sound Blaster Tactic 3D

jmaltz@pnosker.com January 8, 2011 0

Creative Labs had a whole lot going on at this year’s CES, but what I came to see was the headsets, and they certainly did not disappoint.  The general purpose tech company was showing off three different models from its Sound Blaster Tactic 3D line.  They’re called 3D because the company has added a technology that is able to replicate sounds above, below, and 360 degrees around the user.  After listening to all three options, I left very impressed with what the tech’s potential.

The first two models in the line: the alpha and sigma are already available to gamers.  The Sound Alpha is the entry level model and performs excellently at the lower frequencies, giving you the full effect of gunshots and explosions.  Although the sound isn’t quite as crisp at the higher frequencies, the headset makes up for it with excellent surround sound. The middle child, the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma, makes up for some of these deficiencies, while maintaining the superb 3D effects.  Unfortunately for console gamers, both models are only available on the PC.

The last of Creative Labs’ offering, the Omega, is really the jewel of the crown.  Featuring a wireless design, the top-of-the-line headset is the total package.  It delivers excellent sound, is lightweight, and it’s comfortable.  Best of all, unlike the less expensive models, the top of the  line can be used on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.  The Omega isn’t available right now, but it will be released in February 2011.


The Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Omega

The THX ProStudio is what ties all three models together.  Each headset will ship with the ability to control a number of different aspects of sound ranging from how much 3D is present to the level of crystallization or “pop” you hear.  Each of these features can be adjusted through an easy to use interface and then saved for later use.

Taken together, the headsets at Creative Labs showcased something a little bit different than other companies on the show floor.  At the lower end the sound isn’t crystal clear, but they certainly pack an incredible wallop when you hear a gunshot.  Although they might not be specifically for you, the Omega, Sigma, and Alpha are certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for a new headset.

[Sound Blaster Tactic 3D]-$55.96 (Alpha), $82.01(Sigma), $199.99(Omega)

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