Creative Tactic 3D Sigma ReviewManufacturer: Creative
UK price (as reviewed): £75.21
US price (as reviewed: $89.99
The Creative Tactic 3D Sigma has big boots to fill. We loved its predecessor, the Creative Sound Blaster Arena, so much that it walked away with a Premium Grade award and a Labs test victory. No pressure then.
The Sigma gets off to a good start, though, as the headset looks the business. The inner detailing on the back of the cups is a particular highlight, although the plastic that covers it has a tendency to pick up fingerprints.
Sound input is handled by a detachable microphone that attaches to the bottom of the left ear cup. The microphone boom is extremely flexible so you’ll have no problem positioning it to suit your needs.
Meanwhile, the ear cups have a closed-back, circumaural design, so they sit around your whole ear rather than on top of it. The leatherette-covered ear cup padding is also extremely soft and comfortable, and the pressure exerted by the headband is enough to keep the cups in place, but not so much as to cause headaches or make you feel as if it’s squashing your head.
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The Sigma can be hooked up to your PC via a pair of 3.5mm jacks or a USB adaptor. Using the 3.5mm jacks will reap the benefit of any dedicated sound card, while using the USB adaptor gives access to Creative’s Tactic(3D) control panel software. Using Tactic(3D), almost every aspect of the Sigma’s sound can be tweaked, including options for surround-sound emulation and dialogue optimisation.
Also present is Creative’s proprietary Crystalizer technology, which helps to boost mid-range tones and sharp percussive sounds in music and games. You’ll probably need this too, as the Sigma's out-of-the-box sound is very bass-heavy.
Even fairly neutral guitar tracks such as Death Cab’s Soul Meets Body sounded fat and flabby due to the amount of bass introduced by the Sigma. However, tweaking the audio in Tactic(3D) helped to reduce the bass level, and produced a far more detailed and elegant sound.
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This nudged the sound quality from good to great, with even Enter Shikari’s fast-paced trance metal sounding defined and sharp, although we’d prefer it if the software didn’t require quite so much tinkering. The final notable feature is the sheer amount of volume on tap; the cans reach incredible levels. While we don’t recommend that you deafen yourself, an excess of volume is better than a lack of it.
The Sigma is a somewhat schizophrenic beast. If you connect it via its 3.5mm jacks, its bass is overwhelming, and so the Razer Carcharias
beats it in terms of sound quality and clarity. However, if you don’t mind connecting the Sigma via its USB adaptor, gaining access to the Tactic(3D), it presents stiff competition to the Carcharias.
Essentially, those wishing to connect via a sound card are better off with the Carcharias, while those happy to connect via USB should opt for the Sigma; it matches the Carcharias for sound quality, but also provides oodles of volume and a removable microphone too.
- Sound Quality
Creative Tactic3D Sigma
- Cup type Circumaural
- Connection Wired, 3.5mm mini-jack, USB
- Driver(s) 50mm
- Frequency response 20Hz to 20kHz
- Impedance <2.2 ohms