Corsair's Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset and other goodies

Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2014 - 02:52 PM |
Tagged: M65 Gaming Mouse, K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Corsair Vengeance, corsair, audio, 1400 Gaming Headset

Bjorn3D looks at some new members to Corsair's Vengeance family including a mouse, mechanical keyboard and the 1400 Gaming Headset.  This headset is refreshingly plain considering the bright colours most of the competition is currently using on their headsets.  The 50mm drivers imply decent bass response but unfortunately that was not the experience that Bjorn3D had with this headset, though overall sound was pleasantly clear.  For the $80 asking price you get what you would expect, decent headphones with little in the way of accessories or extras but perfect for gamers on a budget. 

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"Today we have a chance to look at a full gaming gear set from the team at Digital storm which is now a partner with Corsair, so the gear you see here today are all available as accessories to the high-end systems offerings from the team at Digital Storm. This package consists of the Corsair Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse, the Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and the Corsair Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset."

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Source: Bjorn3D

Sounds like it is time for a roundup; headphone style

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2014 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: audio, roundup, headphones

The Inquirer has put together a list of the 14 best headphones released so far this year, including both on ear and over the ear styles.  You won't find a single Beats model in this roundup but you will hear about a wide range of best in class headphones from a wide variety of uses from the cheapest pair that still sounds good to the best ones for travelling.  Just don't buy the ones with frogs on them.

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"Long gone are the days when people felt too embarrassed to wear a hefty pair of cans on their heads in the fear that they'd be accused to trying to look like an Ibiza DJ wannabe. The hype about on-ear headphones has helped convince the masses that, "Actually, these clumsy looking music accessories are pretty cool," or, "Why shouldn't I wear them with pride on the Tube after forking out hundreds for them?""

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Source: The Inquirer

What the Func is special about the HS-260 headset?

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2014 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: audio, Func, HS-260, gaming headset

The FUNC-HS-260-1ST gaming headset features 50mm drivers, a frequency response of  20HZ to 20kHz and both the cord and the microphone are detachable which makes it a little more portable that it looks like at first glance.  Func moved the volume controls off of the cable and onto the headset its self, which along with the ability to connect the cord to either the left or right side make using these headphones that much more enjoyable. The leather pads and soft touch finish on the earcups were highly praised by Benchmark Reviews but the sound quality is also very important.  Check out their full review to find out how well Func's first headsets performed.

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"On January 27th 2014 Func will start shipping their HS-260 gaming headset, completing a first run of peripherals that started with the MS-3 gaming mouse in February of last year (and the KB-460 mechanical keyboard this past November). Sporting tuned 50mm drivers, detachable audio cables and removable microphone which can switch sides at will, Func brings their focus on functionality to the gaming headset category with their new headset, model FUNC-HS-260-1ST. Benchmark Reviews has a sample on hand, and in this review I’ll do my best to explain my experience with the Func HS-260 gaming headset."

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Finding the best wireless speakers

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2014 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: audio, bluetooth, wireless audio

Wireless speakers are being advertised everywhere, from TV commercials featuring Beats Audio shaped like a pill you really don't want to take to the floors of CES.  Such a glut of products is a good thing for consumers, assuming they are able to determine the best speaker for their usage.  The Inquirer took a look at over 10 different portable speakers, from the Q-bopz Green which uses a suction cup to attach to any glass surface to the Scosche Boombottle which claims to be able to handle any weather you might need to listen to music in.  Most use Bluetooth though NFC is utilized as well, check out which one is right for you and your travels.

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"BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS have replaced the now somewhat redundant 'i-dock', as the market has become saturated with an army of wireless boom boxes in all shapes, sizes and prices due to people prefering to use their smartphones and tablets for audio playback."

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Source: The Inquirer

SteelSeries Siberia Elite headset, pricey but respectable

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: audio, steelseries, siberia elite, gaming headset

The Siberia Elite USB Gaming Headset replaces the familiar Siberia V2 but has a lot of work cut out for it considering it's $200 price tag.  It uses Dolby Pro Logic IIx to create virtual 7.1 surround sound and has a response range of 16Hz to 28 KHz and ships with a USB Soundcard V2 accessory for those who do not already possess a decent audio codec.  One unique feature that Benchmark Reviews pointed out is the 3.5mm jack present on the headphone which allows you to daisy chain headphones together so you can share music with a friend; some would choose to just use speakers but to each their own.  The headset isn't perfect but overall Benchmark Reviews left with a positive attitude and a recommendation to pick these up if you are in the market for decent quality gaming headphones.

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"SteelSeries peripherals and headsets are well known for their sleek design, high quality and excellent functionality among enthusiasts and gamers alike. Today Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at the newest line from SteelSeries; The Siberia Elite Gaming Headset (model# 51151). We will put them through their paces in a variety of scenarios including watching films, listening to music, and of course – gaming."

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CES 2014: Sennheiser Launches New PC Gaming Headsets

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2014 - 10:15 PM |
Tagged: sennheiser, headset, gaming, CES 2014, CES, audio

Hi-end PC audio manufacturer Sennheiser has announced two new PC gaming headsets aimed at enthusiasts. The new headsets are called the G4ME ZERO and G4ME ONE and feature a closed ear and open ear design, respectively.

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The G4ME ZERO is a high end model circumaural headset with a foldable design, ample padding on the headband and ear cups, and noise cancelling microphone. The analog headset is rated at 150 Ohms and the speakers at 10 Hz to 26 KHz. The G4ME ZERO has a 3 meter cable that ends with two 3.5mm jacks for the microphone and headset. Users can purchase the Sennheiser PCV 05 Combo Adapter to take the two 3.5mm jacks into a single jack for use on Mac PCs and game consoles. It is slightly heavier than the G4ME ONE at 312 grams.

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The G4ME ONE, on the other hand, weighs 300 grams and features a open circumaural design that wraps around the ears but still lets air in to reduce sweat over long gaming sessions and allow some outside sound in.  This lighter analog headset is rated at 50 Ohms and the speakers at 15 Hz to 28 KHz. Similar to the ZERO, the ONE uses two 3.5mm jacks at the end of a 3 meter long cable. It uses plush velvet pads on the ear cups and provides plenty of padding along the headband as well.

Both headsets share a design aesthetic that incorporates white, red, and silver colors on the outside of the ear cups and microphone. The headband and ear pads are black with a large Sennheiser logo along the top end of the headband. Users can control volume via controls on the right ear cup and automatically mute the microphone by lifting the boom mic upwards. Both high end G4ME headsets look nice and comfortable from the specifications and amount of padding shown in the photos.

Along with the headsets, Sennheiser has announced a partnership with IO Interactive, which is part of Square Enix to develop game audio using Sennheiser recording equipment. The company is positioning this deal as the perfect way for gamers to get the exact audio the game developers intended by using Sennheiser microphones to record the audio, headsets in the studio to test the audio, and gamers using the same headsets to play the games. It is a nice perk for sure if you are already looking to buy into one of the company's high end headsets.

The G4ME ZERO has an MSRP of $279.95 while the G4ME ONE has an MSRP of $249.95. You can find more information on their respective product pages:

Read more about PC gaming headsets at PC Perspective.

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Source: Sennheiser

Corsair's Raptor headset might still need to evolve a bit

Subject: General Tech | January 2, 2014 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: audio, corsair, raptor hs30, raptor hs40, gaming headset

Corsair's Raptor HS30 and Raptor HS40 are twins, apart from their tails, the HS30 uses 3.5mm plugs while the HS40 is connected via USB.  Neither set will cost you more than about $60 and they sport decent sized 40mm neodymium drivers with a frequency response range of 20 – 20,000Hz.  Both headsets offer inline volume and mute controls though only the HS40 comes with the Headset Control Panel to allow virtual 7.1 sound.  Unfortunately Legit Reviews encountered several issues when reviewing these headsets, not enough to stop them from functioning but certainly enough to give them pause when considering recommending them for purchase.

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"It was late-summer in 2012 when Corsair announced it had acquired Raptor Gaming, a German based maker of gaming peripherals. Corsair gained both a European based headquarter to distribute its wide range of computer hardware and Raptor Gaming’s entire portfolio of keyboards, mice, headsets, and accessories, which formed a new series of gaming products alongside Corsair’s Vengeance gaming products. Corsair has respected the Raptor name and not only continues to maintain many of the acquired products, but has integrated the name into new products. New Corsair Raptor products represent gaming products aimed at a more mainstream audience alongside the premium Corsair Vengeance peripherals. We look at the first ever Corsair Raptor headsets to be released, a pair called the HS30 and HS40 which join the rest of the 2013 Vengeance headsets for a refreshed lineup of Corsair gaming headsets."

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Upgrade your cell phone headset

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2013 - 04:08 PM |
Tagged: MP4Nation, headphones, Brainwavz HM9, audio

The MP4Nation Brainwavz HM9 are portable over the ear headphones with a mini-jack connection, perfect for laptops and mobiles without a proprietary jack.  Those using it on a cellphone will appreciate the microphone built in to the wires as well as the extra length that is provided.  TechPowerUp liked the sound and design of the headphones but caution you to pay attention to the price, at the $120 preorder price they are a good bargain; not so much at the recommended $150 price point.

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"MP4Nation is well known for their budget friendly headphone lineup. These solid over-ear headphones also come with a huge bundle and are built for a life on the go. Their pre-order price of $119 makes them a good price/performance option, too."

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Source: TechPowerUp

The SqueezeBox is dead; long live the VidaBox OpenSqueeze Solo

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2013 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: audio, VidaBox, OpenSqueeze Solo, squeezebox

LogiTech's decision to discontinue the SqueezeBox upset a lot of people, enough that the folks at VidBox designed replacement hardware for use with your MySqueezeBox account.  It comes with two USB ports and HDMI, though you may end up filling one with a USB WiFi adapter as wireless connectivity is not included.  You can use the familiar Logitech Media Server as an interface to the OpenBox and should be able to recover everything available on your previous account.  Check out more at MadShrimps.

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"The OpenSqueeze Solo streaming media player is VidaBox's solution for the discontinued Logitech Squeezebox community and fans. We compare this little box which has some unique and interesting feature to other popular solutions for getting audio sources played through your favorite speaker set."

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Source: MadShrimps

When you want to hear all of your music and nothing else

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2013 - 07:05 PM |
Tagged: audio, audiophile, v-moda, CrossFade M-100, noise cancellation

V-MODA's CrossFade M-100 is more than just a stereo noise isolating headphones,  these are for the serious audiophile that owns a headphone amp and knows what OP-AMPs are.  They will should just fine on your mobile device or plugged into a PC but to really hear the dual-diaphragm 50mm drivers at their best you need a powerful source.  Even the cabling is impressive with a built in mic and the ability to share your audio by splitting the signal into another set of headphones.  If you are looking for high end audio and are willing to pay the price you should check out the article at Benchmark Reviews.

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"To get the most out of the CrossFade M-100 Headphones you will be wise to also invest in a headphone amplifier. The sound output from today’s smartphones might be enough to crap out your average best buy $10 headphones, but it just isn’t enough to get a truly satisfactory experience on a higher quality set of headphones let alone the CrossFade M100's. A lot of attention has quite rightly been given to sound quality and performance with equal attention also given to build quality and style. Don’t get me wrong, the experience is not disappointing by any means, I just need to point out that the dual-diaphragm 50mm drivers inside the CrossFade M-100 Headphones are so much more capable than you may think."

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