Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
For twenty years, Creative Labs has been manufacturing sound cards and related peripherals for the PC. Sound cards were once the company's sole focus, but Creative eventually decided to broaden its product offerings. It began manufacturing speakers, mp3 players, headphones, and gaming headsets as well.
Last April, we had the opportunity to review Creative's World of Warcraft wireless headset. We were quite surprised at how comfortable the headset was and how well it performed. This product was not only a headset, it also performed as a standalone sound card. The headset looked quite unusual with its World of Warcraft franchise branding and USB interface. Those two traits discouraged a lot of people from considering the headset for purchase, regardless of its performance or versatility.
Here in our HardOCP forums, Creative's product marketing manager, Ryan Schlieper, came in to answer reader questions after our review. He commented repeatedly that a surprise was coming. Eventually, he said a non-branded set of the headphones might appear in the future. Eight months later, Creative has released two new headsets with no third party branding whatsoever. Creative has released the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Sigma gaming headset and a smaller, more economical set, the Tactic3D Alpha. These headsets are not simply generic versions of the World of Warcraft headsets. Both the Sigma and the Alpha can function in either USB or analog modes. Today we will put the Tactic3D Sigma through its paces and see if its dual nature is worth more than just a casual look.
As anyone can see from the product pictures below, Creative's choice of clear plastic packaging lets potential buyers see right away exactly what they would be getting. The back of the box lets PC and Mac users know the headset is compatible with both platforms. There are also two appearances of THX branding as well. The dual nature of the headset's analog and USB connectivity is highlighted and should be printed much larger than it already is.
Inside the box, a buyer of this headset will find the headset itself, detachable microphone, THX USB module, instruction guide, and safety manual.