Creative Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma review
Creative claims its Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigmas to be the last word in gaming headsets, and they certainly look the part. An impressive-looking selection of logos and certifications litter the packaging, and once you’ve extracted them from the box, the brooding black plastic and chunky, purposeful profile make a good first impression.
They’re practical too. With a well-padded black headband they’re comfortable to wear, and a long flat ribbon-style cable means they’ll reach even the most out-of-the-way audio jacks. An inline remote unit, complete with clothing clip, takes care of volume adjustment and lets you switch the microphone on and off. And you can use the Sigmas either in analogue mode by simply plugging in via the two 3.5mm plugs, or in digital mode, via a bundled USB dongle.
Use the dongle and you’ll be able to unlock a few extra features, such as a PC-based sound control and equaliser. Here you can alter aspects including “Crystallisation” and bass levels, but options are limited and don’t seem to make much difference in sound quality. There’s also a novelty voice transformer that offers a number of choices: you can make yourself sound like an alien if you like, or more dubiously someone from “up north”. It’s a throwaway but entertaining addition.
In gaming, surround sound was surprisingly good given the limited options. We tested the Sigmas on Left For Dead and Half Life 2, and the sound was sharp, immersive and loud. Some of the clarity gets lost as gaming becomes increasingly fraught, but it isn’t a huge problem.
The headphones perform at their best, however, when handling in-game speech and it’s here the TruStudio Pro Surround Audio really comes into its element. Sound dimension and perspective is emulated excellently, and sound feels like it’s coming from all directions. Microphone quality is similarly impressive, and it picks up audio with good clarity. The sigmas will be as at home with voice calls using Windows Live Messenger or Skype as they are with in-game chat.
These aren’t headphones for audiophiles, however: while listening to music we found the bass lacked the clarity and depth we’d expect at this price, and it was plagued by a general muddiness too. To make matters worse, noise leak on the headphones isn’t great either, and at moderate volumes a significant amount of the audio escaped.
They’re not good at playing music and the price is a little high, but the main success of the Sigmas is their ability to offer great in-game sound. They’re well-made, comfortable, offer a few nifty extras and are well up to the task of producing immersive sound.
|Headphone connector type||3.5mm|
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