Alienware TACTX Review
An entry-level set for shooters, the TACTX is a fair starting item in an action gamer's inventory.
If you're familiar with Alienware PCs, you know that they're typically a bit costly for a gaming computers. However, their TACTX headphones are anything but. They fall within a reasonable price of $59.99, but they only perform well for action/shooter fans—they fall short for every other type of game, not to mention music.
Design & Features
Novice headset, basic features
When you first get a good look at the TACTX, you'll notice right away that there really isn't much in the way of obvious features or flashy design. Most everything is either subdued or fades into the features around it, as the headset is almost entirely matte black, and rounded where there are typically hard edges on other headphones.
Honestly, it's a design that should please many, as the lack of ostentatious branding is a big plus to some. Additionally, because the profile is quite a bit smaller, you should have no trouble stowing or taking the TACTX with you to a LAN party. If you worry about the microphone getting broken, don't—it can actually be hidden inside the ear cup when you don't need it.
The TACTX is PC-only, but it's a blessing not to have to deal with a litany of adapters for specific consoles. We've seen headsets try to do it all in the past, but keeping all those dongles and connectors straight is an enormous pain. Still, console gamers will have to keep looking if they like this headset.
Avoid the TACTX if you want to use your headset for music
If you've ever been frustrated by a gaming headset's audio quality in the past, you've probably figured out that gamers have unique requirements of a headset. Why is this the case? Well, if you're playing a game with a lot of explosions and loud noises, you may want to get a leg up on your competition by reducing the volume of said loud noises so you can hear people sneaking up on you.
To this end, I find that the TACTX is probably best used in action RPGs or shooters: They deaden lower frequency sounds like explosions, boost the first, second, and third harmonics of human voices, and even make footsteps louder while softening some gunfire. For a shooter, this is helpful.
Teammates will find some faults with your microphone, but this can be minimized if you follow a few pointers. Be sure to bring the black tip in so it's almost touching your mouth. Additionally, be sure to max your volume and speak with authority, because sometimes it has some trouble bringing your voice to an acceptable volume.
Decent for shooters, and not much else.
So you've bought the Alienware TACTX and you've fired up your favorite MMO shooter, but you don't know what to expect; Let me paint you a word picture in lieu of actually plopping them on your head.
From the first moments you put them on, you'll notice that they're on your head. It's not a painful experience, just not a very plush one. If you wear glasses, you'll notice a bit of noise when you move your head as the pads will rub against your specs. Overall though, the TACTX vents heat fairly well, and won't become uncomfortable even after a few hours in front of the screen.
You'll notice that footsteps are easier to notice, and that really high-pitched sounds become very prominent. Music will definitely sound weird, but once you're used to the difference in sound you'll be able to use these idiosyncrasies to your advantage in the right situations. It isn't for everyone, however, as fantasy games will definitely sound strange.
Avid gamers who like shooters (or friends buying for one) may want to give this headset a look. It's definitely not suited well for all games, but it'll give you a leg up in shooters and action RPGs due to the tailored sound performance of the unit.
There are significant shortcomings, but that's to be expected—it's an entry-level headset, after all. If you wear glasses while gaming, this may be a less-than-ideal purchase due to the added noise. However, this can either be a minor issue at best, or a legitimate concern—it's all up to your tastes.
Entry-level buyers should give the Alienware TACTX a look, but gamers who like to spend more time in a fantasy world might want to give these a pass. Their unusual audio performance makes them fairly terrible for music and fantasy RPGs, so don't rush out to get these if you intend on buying an all-purpose headset—because these aren't.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!