- Excellent surround sound reproduction
- Good design
- Microphone seems sensitive to extraneous noise in our testing
Creative’s $90 Sound Blaster Tactic3D Sigma is one of the best headsets to use if you want to tune out the world around you. Creative claims that the headset’s earphones let you hear sounds from multiple directions, (above, below, and around), so you feel almost fully immersed in sound environments. It does a great job at doing what it promises, though it could produce better bass, and its microphone could be less powerful.
The Tactic3D Sigma comes with high-resolution 50 mm speakers that are attached to a steel-core reinforced headband. A noise-cancelling microphone and a tangle-free flat cable are affixed to the headband. The cable has a volume control device that not only adjusts the volume of the speakers, but also controls the power of the mic. I found little problem with the design of the headset, but I did find its non-adjustable headband to be a little loose on my head. Right below the volume control device on the cord is a small clip that allows you to attach the control device to your shirt for easy volume adjustment.
Overall, the Tactic3D Sigma work well. The earphones do a great job at blocking outside noises, as I was able to listen to music, play games, and do other audio-related tasks without hearing much around me. While using the headset at a medium volume setting, I couldn’t hear my immediate desk mate’s typing or talking. Unfortunately, the earphones do almost too good a job at blocking outside noises—I suffered a bit of the occlusion effect when I talked to others around me.
I was quite pleased with the Tactic3D Sigma’s sound quality. Listening to games, music, and movie trailers, the headset does make you feel like you’re hearing sound from multiple directions. If you’re playing an RPG game and someone walks behind your character, you might actually feel like someone has actually walked behind you. If something explodes above you in the game, you might actually feel like something has exploded above you.
The headset is at its best when it renders small nuance noises, like walking, water dropping, or wind blowing. I heard all such sounds in rich depth, even while listening to games and movies where explosions, loud screaming, and violent actions are prevalent. The headset doesn’t succeed as well when it tries to produce bass. The power of drums in music, and the power of explosions in games never seemed quite right to me while using the headset; bass seemed almost faded.
I was not impressed by the headset’s so called “noise-cancelling” microphone. Not only did it capture my voice, but also it captured the voice of someone several feet away from me.
Macworld’s buying advice
Overall, the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma Headset does an excellent job at making you feel fully immersed in the sound environments it renders.