The software suite is pretty standard, you get the choice of turning the virtual surround sound on and off and fiddle with lots of other settings.
The mixer is also very basic it only lets you play around with the usual stuff.
The environment compensation and equalizer work alright.
The karaoke feature is pretty useless, but that is nothing new.
The information tab has not changed since the last time I reviewed an external USB based solution.
PerformanceThe performance of a headset is always hard to judge because there are so many aspects to consider. To test this particular headset I used it both in normal mode hooked up to my Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic and with the USB mode where the USB sound card was driving the cans. To start off with I hooked them up directly to my X-Fi and it sounded OK. The midrange was alright and the bass was good, nothing spectacular, but definitely a bit beyond what you would expect from a $59.99 headset. The highs were almost non-existing and the bass is kind of muddy, but you get lots of it. Even with the perfectly flat equalizer the amount of bass can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
The general sound quality was definitely a pleasant surprise, to be honest I was not expecting much for such a cheap headset. The sound quality is good until you turn on the vibration feature it absolutely destroys everything. The vibration feature is both a pro and a con, it is quite funny and entertaining to begin with, but after awhile it just becomes a bit annoying.
If you turn off the vibration the headset is actually pretty decent, the sound quality is fair and provides you with a good enough sound quality not to ruin the game. You should not expect to be able to pin point the enemies through walls in CounterStrike: Source or anything like that.
Music playback wise they are not all that good, you really lack some midrange definition and the highs in order to get a good listening experience. For checking out clips on YouTube the Pulsar SX's sound quality is more than adequate, but for serious long listening sessions I can think of a lot of headphones around the $50 mark I would rather listen to, of course none of these come with a microphone nor USB sound card.
The USB sound card can definitely come in handy if you like to game on your laptop. The average onboard sound card on any newer motherboard will be able to run circles around the C-Media chip integrated in the Pulsar SX's control box. When using the USB sound card you could get some nasty pops and clicks depending on what type of machine you run it off and how stable its power supply is. On the box it says all the usual stuff about virtual surround sound and all that, which is right, because it's virtual - it's not there. The only difference audible between using virtual surround and not using it is some distortion and weird sounds coming from the headset.
The microphone is just as good as all the other generic ones on the market. You can clearly hear who is talking and it does not add that much noise to what is being recorded. Since the microphone boom is so bendable you can easily position it for optimal reception.
The general performance of the headset with vibration turned off is surprisingly good. I was not expecting it to perform this well. If flashing lights are your thing the TekNmotion is the headset for you. The lights go on and off depending on the intensity of the noise it produces. It is a pretty cool feature from a modding perspective, but does not add any real value to a headset. The flashing lights are easy to spot even from quite a distance. You can definitely tell whether the person playing is in an intense battle just by looking at the lights.