Product Review: Creative Labs HS-980 Fatal1ty Professional Series MKII Gaming Headset

fatal1ty_headsetI first got to take a look at this headset at E3 2009, and I was pretty impressed with what I saw. So when I saw it for sale in my favorite local computer/gaming store for half the price it was originally supposed to sell for I had to grab a pair. To give an overview of the headset, here's a list of the features listed on the Fatal1ty website:

  • Activate Silencer feature for intelligent noise suppression when paired with a SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium series or X-Fi Go! sound card
  • Morph your voice into different characters with the VoiceFX feature to amuse your friends and taunt your enemies
  • Contoured, ergonomic ear cups and steel-core headband provide precision-fit comfort for gaming over extended sessions.
  • 40mm Full-spectrum Neodymium drivers professionally tuned for gaming; every sound that the human ears can hear, these drivers produce
  • Lightweight design for extreme mobility, extreme gaming.
  • Audiophile grade oxygen-free copper cable for extreme clarity
  • Reversible ear cups for compact storage.

When I tried this headset out at E3, they weren't hooked up to anything, so all I really got to check out was how they felt. And I gotta say, there's some serious levels of comfort going on. The ear cups are soft and they don't suction or pinch against your ears. They just fit really well. Back home, I spent a day wearing the headset and listening to music while working on projects, and I was excited to find that the comfort never went away. With most headphones, I have to take them off every hour or so because my ears are in a lot of pain. But this headset never hurt my ears at all.

The next thing I noticed about these was the sound. I put them on and 90% of the noise around me is gone. E3 is a very noisy place, but with the headset on it was a world of difference. I could still tell when someone was talking, just not what they were saying. At home, where it's a lot quieter and I had the ability to listen to something while wearing them, I could hear everything on my computer clearly without turning the volume up to block outside noise. This is especially nice for when we're podcasting via skype so I don't have to listen to Josh talk over himself because of the delay.

I don't have the SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium series or X-Fi Go! sound card to fully test out the noise suppression capabilities, but I think they work great even without it. This is an awesome headset. If you need a good headset for your computer gaming or listening to music or whatever else, go buy this headset. You won't regret it. Don't need the mic? It still makes an awesome set of headphones, and the mic is detachable so you don't have to worry about it getting in your way.

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