There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
TekNmotion Pulsar SX
- Comfortable, great bass and vibration effects, decent sound quality, well built
- Bulky cable and in-line control unit, slightly blurry sound
A gaming headset with incredible amounts of bass, a decent microphone and decent sound quality, the TekNmotion Pulsar SX performs admirably.
Not yet released in the Australian market, the TekNmotion Pulsar SX is a 7.1 surround sound gaming headset that stands up well to the competition. These headphones offer plenty of connectivity options and deliver surprisingly good sound quality in a cheap package. They're also comfortable enough to wear for gaming marathons and have a cool vibration effect; the only real downside is a bulky cable setup.
Out of the box, these headphones look impressive, if slightly gaudy. The headband is made of strong plastic and surrounded in black leatherette — pretty standard for mid-level headphones. The ear-cups are a glossy black and are sturdy, although they are a little heavier than usual. The unit's microphone is attached to the left ear-cup, but can be removed if it's not being used. It's more than acceptable for voice chat and gaming chat, despite being a little muffled and low-fidelity.
Instead of only controlling the volume, the in-line control for the Pulsar SX handles everything — microphone on/off, volume level, switching between analog and USB connection modes, and vibration settings. Thankfully there's enough cord between it and the headphones for the control to be clipped to a belt or shirt hem, because it's quite large and heavy.
Both 3.5mm and USB connectors are available. The unit has a little breakout box to switch between the two and all necessary cables are supplied. In addition to this, there's the option of connecting a 4xAA battery pack, for powering the headphones' party piece — two in-built vibration motors that simulate the sound and feel of subwoofers within the ear-cups. The plastic cut-outs in the ear-cups house a series of LED lights wired to the vibration motors and report the strength that they're spinning at — blue is low strength, green is mid-strength and red is full power. It's possible to get quite a light show going with the Pulsar SX. When set at mid-strength, the lights flash between green and red while the headphones buzz and whir.
This may seem like a gimmick — to some extent it is — but we felt that it added to the music listening and gaming experience. Let's face it; you don't buy gaming headphones for perfectly balanced audio reproduction. PC gaming headphones are meant to sound lively and fun and this is something that this pair does exceptionally well. With the vibration enabled, in-game explosions and bass kicks in rock music sound fantastically strong and punchy. The sound is bloated and slow — not so great for listening to classical music, perhaps, but this is to be expected from a budget model.
With the vibration effects turned off, we were able to establish how the headphones actually sounded. The clarity of the treble was acceptable, although at high volumes it became very harsh and distracting. These headphones aren't particularly detailed — you won't be able to pick individual instruments out of an orchestral recording — but they're more than capable for PC games and the occasional movie. Mid-range was very prevalent and emphasised, lending a very smooth sound to music and games.
Bass is of course completely handled by the vibration motors. They do a surprisingly good job of recreating lower frequencies and shaking the headphones hilariously, but what's equally surprising is that the headphones don't rattle and hum — there's no unwanted vibration of internal parts, indicating exemplary build quality.
If you're looking for a headset that adds another dimension to gameplay, then the Pulsar SX is a solid contender. Decent sound quality, easy connectivity and the novelty of vibrating ear-cups combine to create fun, useful gaming headphones. TekNmotion are still looking for distributors in Australia, but once the Pulsar SX hits the market it should be a great competitor to gaming models from companies like Creative and Razer.
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