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Creative X-Fi Gaming Headset Duo Reviewed. Verdict: As Good As Simulated Surround Can Get

By Ian Chiu

Headsets come to mind when you often play late at night, or at a LAN fest with a cadre of other gamers. In the latter scenario, headsets even become a necessity as speakers aren’t allowed in the venue. Thanks to all manner of 3D APIs, you don’t really have to worry about losing out on positional audio even when you limit yourself to a pair of cans. Creative recently brought us two USB gaming headsets united by the use of X-Fi as their sound processor to create emulated surround sound.

Despite this similarity, the HS-1000 (left) and HS-1200 (right) are largely different in that the latter is wireless – relying on lossless compression to deliver richer sound than Bluetooth. The HS-1000 wired USB headset however is reminiscent of the analog original Fatal1ty analog headset endorsed by none other than Johnathan Wendel. Everything USB has taken an in-depth look into both headsets, and provided comments on aural experience during gameplay of three different games, including Call of Duty 4, Mediveal II: Total War and Battlefield 2142. They found out that both headsets perform equally well in games that rely on OpenAL, EAX X-Fi as well as X-Fi CMSS-3D emulation. But since they don’t include any Dolby processing, just don’t expect these cans to replace other surround options when listening to music or watching movies.

[Creative HS-1200 Review, HS-1000 Review @ Everything USB]