Final words and conclusion
Headsets are becoming indispensible tools for playing games, no doubt about it. I dont think Ive played a game in the last year or so that didnt have a voice chat component. It used to be you got your game, Starflight as a classic example, and youd grind away without talking to anybody for days. Not so anymore! Along with everything else, games are social events now and for that a headset is a necessity.
Theres also the convenience factor of having both headphone and microphone in a single, easy to use package. The problem that I experience now is that there are very few headsets that can perform for all things, headphones for music, games, and video, as well as microphone for chat and calls. I am somewhat of a curmudgeon, though, I still prefer to have separate headphones and microphone for the job. I still believe that its hard to be a jack-of-all trades, though these latest headsets make it a tough choice.
The Corsair HS1 is possibly the best headset weve tested. It does all jobs you would want will and doesnt suck at any of them. For music I found the balance too much towards the treble side and required some EQ to get more bass out of it. In games the HS1 was indeed superb, just as Corsair had promised me it would. We did find the microphone a little less sensitive than we were used to, but it was clear and people had no trouble hearing me in games or Skype calls.
The Sharkoon Xtatic SP is a headset aimed not just at PC gamers, but also at consoles, too. The Xtatic SP was quite nearly the polar opposite to the HS1 in balance, it was all bass, all the time, especially in music where it was just too much. If youre a bass-head, youll love these things: they really kick out some serious bass. In games the big bass didnt interfere as much as I had thought it would, but the definite lack of upper treble made immersion suffer a bit, since I knew those sounds were in there but not present with the Xtatic SP.
Both the HS1 and Xtatic SP are very well made headsets. They wont let you down in any one department, but each have their high points and low points where you would do better to have separate heaphones and microphone. If you cant swing the separate headphone and lavaliere mic route, then the Corsair HS1 is your best bet. If you want something with a lot more kick in the bottom end and work with your PS3, then look no further than the Xstatic SP.
Corsair HS1 Headset -- Recommended
Stuff that is Always at the End:
Special thanks to Sharkoon and Corsair for taking the time to send us these headsets, we really appreciate it. Extra special thanks to Santa's daddy, Hilbert for being the taskmaster and reviewmaster.
Our Moment of Zen: