Setup, Design & Observations
The headset is a modular design so you use whichever cable you require, if you need to use the microphone, plug that in too. Using the USB will result in proprietary Plug 'n Play drivers installing, alternatively you can download the drivers from the Creative website. Other than the issues we mentioned previously on the software page, the GUI is simple to use and includes various saved profiles used by various pro gamers.
The headset itself has a moderate squeeze strength and those on the larger side may find issue with it, however I found it light and confortable with an ideal grip strength. This allowed for hours of use without issue, though those who wear spectacles may find that the padding isn't so forgiving when it presses the frames into the side of your head. Overall comfort is good, but this may not be true for everyone.
The build quality seems good, with quality plastic and finish making for an attractive aesthetic. The headband is said to have a 'SpringSteel...TM' core, whether or not this actually means it is using 'real' spring steel or not (a mid to high carbon steel alloy with trace silica and/or nickel and/or tungsten which creates a 'positional memory' that it springs back to when bent or deformed to extreme levels) is a different matter. Regardless this should add robustness and strength to the product. Though it is a shame that this robustness isn't transferred to the thin plastic on the earcup to which the headband connects to, seems like a weakpoint in construction. The volume dial and mute button are easy to access on the left earcup and respond well.
I spent a while listening through to some favourite music tracks as well as listening through to the latest album by Sabrepulse, Blood Eagle. The Tactic3D Rage handles bass very well and gets the mids clear too, however the highs seem to dip off a little. This was a trend that many gaming headsets adhered to for a while though this could be due to the lack of software features functioning as the crystalizer in the SBX tends to sharpen the highs, also I couldn't test how well equalisation could balanced the audio signature. Overall it made listening to bassy music enjoyable, though the lack of definition in the highs was noticeable. Running a full frequency sweep from 10Hz to 21KHz, the audio seemed to start dropping at around 6-8KHz, and significantly by 12-16KHz (higher than this is negligable as it is, fortunately, beyond the hearing of most)
In gaming I was unable to test the SBX Surround feature, though this didn't stop the Tactic3D Rage from giving some enjoyable booming impressive audio, showing signs of strength in COD:Advanced Warfare and in DOTA2.
In conversation I was told that my voice sounded a little quiet at first, once maxing out the sensitivity I was told it sounded clear, though a little low in tone. There was little background noise reported too which is good, maybe the DSP was working afterall?