REVIEW: Creative Labs Fatal1ty Gaming Headset

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REVIEW: Creative Labs Fatal1ty Gaming Headset

Post by Kenny on Tue May 12, 2009 9:09 pm

Innovate not Imitate.



We all had a time, when one or more of your family members shouted at you from down stairs to turn down your *expletive inserted here* computer speakers. I usually have to use the little earphones that came with my MP3 player or go and nick the headset from the downstairs PC, which doesn’t help when my step brothers need them back to play on that PC. So this is the reason why I needed something to resolve this matter.

I don’t really care about Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, to me he’s some 26 year old, (it’s his birthday tomorrow, 27 then), pro gamer who plays Quake 4 a lot.

But it has to be said that the products that bear his name are pretty good. With partnerships with Universal Abit, Zalman, Creative Labs and XFX in creating motherboards, coolers, sound cards, video cards, mouses, computer cases, headphones, and even clothes bearing his moniker.

You could build half a rig using the products that he has endorsed and you would only need to worry about getting a CPU, RAM, PSU, HDD, DVD Drive and keyboard. There’s an interesting challenge for someone to do! I wonder if a rig like that be any good?

One of the more recently products in the line is the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset from Creative Labs and what a great set they are. If you're an optimist that means this hardware will enable you to play somewhat like the man himself; if you're a pessimist, it just means that a dump truck full of Creative's money was driven up to his house.

The red and black styling may be not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s the sound quality and comfort that are the really important things for this headset and this is where the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset comes out on top. For £30 the headset is not going to burn a big hole in your pocket and the sound quality is of a high standard. The bass is very punchy and the there’s crisp tones in voice communications.

The Fatal1ty Gaming Headset features a large 40mm dynamic driver that utilises Neodymium magnets for what Creative claims are capable of rapidly responding to any audio cues - bearing in mind that these are intended as gaming headphones. The cable utilises Oxygen-Free Copper wires that terminate in gold-plated audio jacks (for the headphones and microphones respectively).

The microphone features noise-cancelling technology, designed to make in-game communications as clear as possible. Creative also claims that the microphone is "Military Grade", although it's unclear what they're getting at here – will this mean you could take these into the battlefield in Afghanistan? Or be better at certain games like COD 4? Only time will tell.

Upon delivery, I remove the oversized outer brown box from DHL, (bubble wrap with bubbles as big as your fist!) to found the headset nicely package. The colours on the box are the same as the product with a brushed steel look. This says that this is a headset that means serious business. The package contains the headset, with removable microphone. It also comes with a velveteen carrying case, with a separate pocket inside for the microphone and a limited warranty. The carrying case shows that these headsets have been design with LAN gaming in mind.

The headset does look flimsy at first but you soon realises that it's got a very sturdy construction that should see it survive more than its fair share of LAN parties and the like, not to mention being thrown at the wall when you're sniped unexpectedly or an encounter with a younger sister in the house who’s heavy handed with other peoples things!

The headset has a slight swivel on each earpiece with velvet padding with more padding on the head bar/band of the set. You have the autograph of Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel over the left earpiece and his logo is shown on both cans of the headset. Hopefully this will strike fear into all whoever cross your path. The stylized Fatal1ty insignia and signature is a sure-fire sign that you mean business and shows your foes no mercy.

The earpieces are very large and wrapped in extremely soft velvet, so they should fit very comfortably on anyone's head. I usually wear glasses at home, and the soft foam worked comfortably within frames. You can extend the head bar/band by about an inch on each side of the ear pieces.

The microphone is something that makes this headset special. It can be easily attached/detached as needed. It’s something that I really like, as when I’m listening to music or DVD’s, I don’t need to worry about it or have it sticking up like on most headsets. I can just remove it if I want and use them as easily as a normal set of headphones. The microphone is also easy to position and will stay in place when I bend or move it.

Installation is very easy, just a pink and green audio jacks which are gold-plated! You can adjust the volume and turn the mic on and off from the inline switch on the 2.4 meter cable which also has a crocodile clip on the back. The cable is also just one wire rather two wires fused together that you get on so many other headsets, this single cable unlike a double cable doesn’t get twisted or distorts.

You will need to change the sound settings in Windows or on your soundcard/sound chip to get the best from the set. These headsets have been made for the Creative Fatal1ty Gaming sound cards but there still work great on my Creative Sound Blaster Audigy ZS sound card.

From a fitting perspective, the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset is extremely comfortable, although unsurprisingly you may find that your enclosed ears get a bit warm after particularly long gaming sessions.The punchy bass is brilliant with music, especially rock music. And it doesn’t drown out the higher registers, so you shouldn’t miss a stealthy footstep no matter how loads the explosions are when you are gaming.

So you may have one or two issues about it styling and physical design, but the sound quality and comfort of the headset, more than makes up for that. You're not going to find a better set for sound quality at this price and this has been made with gamers in mind. If you’re in the market for some new headphones, don’t skip over the Fatal1ty headset. I would personally recommend this product to anyone. A fine product from Creative Labs and Mr Wedel.

Pros
Long term comfort
High audio quality
Noise Cancellation for Team Speak and maybe for Skype
Useful detachable microphone
Good value for money

Cons
Iffy aesthetics and style
Looks flimsy

Verdict
9/10

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Kenny
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