Cross Platform 5.1 sound from Mad Catz

Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2012 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, Mad Catz, TRITTON Pro 5.1, surround, 5.1 headset

Perhaps the most compelling reason to pick up Mad Catz's TRITTON Pro+ 5.1 headset is because it will provide you with 5.1 surround sound on both PC and consoles as they use multiple speakers as opposed to emulation software.  Along with the headset comes a physical audio decoder that allows you far more control than just changing the volume, there are delay settings, dynamic range controls and other options.  Just having all of these choices doesn't make this a great headset which is why Mad Shrimps unpackaged them for testing so head on over and see if the actual product is as good as the features imply.

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"The new, revised TRITTON Pro+ 5.1 Surround Headset from Mad Catz comes with a redesigned decoder box which features multiple options, one in-line remote for adjusting volumes on each channel, SVM, voice or Master Volume, but also a removable microphone. The shape of the headset has been also tweaked so now it is more comfortable and the cups can be rotated 90 degrees."

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Source: Mad Shrimps

Audio-Technica offers you the sweet sound of silence

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: audio, audio-technica, ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint, noise cancellation

Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint headphones are definitely priced for audiophiles, most casual listeners are not willing to spend ~$300 on headphones whether they have active noise cancellation or not.  40mm drivers and a frequency response range of 10 - 25,000Hz give a hint towards the audio quality and there are three different noise cancellation settings for those who might sometimes want to be able to hear environmental sounds.  When [H]ard|OCP first looked at the headphones they were not sure as to how comfortable they would be after extended periods of time wearing them and were quite surprised that they were not bothered by extended usage at all.  Audio quality was superb, though [H] does point out that this might not be the best gaming headset, for that use you might be better looking to a headset which provides surround sound.  Those looking to enjoy audio without interruption from the outside world will like this product, if they are willing to pay the price.

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"Noise-cancelling headphones are very popular with frequent travelers and those who live or work in noisy environments. Audio-Technica's new ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint headphones supply you with three modes of operation that have impressed us to say the least. Now you can get on with grinding in peace."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

You aren't really stylin' unless your earbuds are made of wood

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2012 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: audio, rosewill, RHTS-11002, in-ear, rosewood

Rosewill's RHTS-11002 in-ear headphones are definitely designed for the high end market as the body of the earbuds is made of rosewood, with aluminium highlights and replaceable silicon tips.  TechPowerUp thought the sound quality to be similar to Sennheiser's CX300, good for casual listening while you are on the go but not as powerful or rich as you can get with full headphones or speakers.  They are currently $20 on NewEgg which makes them a rather sweet deal for anyone shopping for this style of headphones.

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"Rosewill's impressive product line-up also includes some very interesting headphones and in-ears. We will be taking a look at the RHTS-11002 Rosewood in-ears which features 10 mm dynamic drivers, and real rosewood ear cups!"

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Source: TechPowerUp

Play with ASUS' Vulcan ANC headset and you'll never hear the neighbours complain

Subject: General Tech | September 18, 2012 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, noise cancellation, asus, Vulcan ANC

No matter how loud you have the ASUS Vulcan ANC headset you will never hear anyone around you complain thanks to the active noise cancellation feature.  While it does mean you will occasionally need to feed the headset some batteries as well as keep them plugged into the 3.5mm audio out on your computer.  However doing so will mean you can game in peace without worrying about background noise disturbing your concentration.  At $120 they are not inexpensive, however Neoseeker found the sound quality more than acceptable and were even happier with the noise cancellation performance.

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"As you may have already guessed, the ANC stands for Active Noise Cancelling. That's correct, the ASUS Vulcan ANC is the first active noise cancelling headphones made specifically for gamers. If you've got a loud computer, or a roommate that won't stop talking, simply put on your Vulcan ANC headset and turn the noise cancelling on! The removable mic adds versatility and does let the pro gamer headset come across as a headphone more geared toward audiophiles."

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Source: Neoseeker

It's not a tempest in a teacup; it is a Storm in your earcup

Subject: General Tech | September 10, 2012 - 05:52 PM |
Tagged: audio, coolermaster, CM Storm, gaming headset, CoolerMaster Storm Sirus, Storm Ceres, Storm Sonuz

Cooler Master's Storm series of headsets have only been around for a few short years but in that time they have greatly expanded their product lineup.  Hi Tech Legion is talking a look at at few of the current models, including the $40 Ceres 400, the $70 Storm Sonuz and the $88 Storm Sirus 5.1.  Each headset has its own characteristics, with different sized drivers, impedance and sensitivities in each of the models which is good for those who know what they are looking for, from the surround of the Sirius to the large bass loving drivers of the Sonuz. See which one took top spot in HTL's ears here.

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"The CM Storm Ceres 400 is a stereo gaming headset carrying an MSRP of $39.99. The Ceres 400 is equipped with 40mm drivers for competitive performance and an integrated noise-canceling microphone for clear chat communication over heavy online firefights. The CM Storm Sonuz on the other hand has a pair of massive 53mm drivers for pulse pounding, bass heavy action and a detachable microphone for ergonomic flexibility retailing for $69.99. Representing the top tier in CM Storm's lineup is the Sirus headset which features true 5.1 surround capability through four independent drivers for the front, center, rear and sub as well as a bundled USB external audio processor which Cooler Master dubs the tactical mixing console, processing independent channels and provides desktop control functions at users' disposal mid-game. All three CM Storm headsets come with a two year warranty and are available worldwide."

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Does every rapper need a headset now? Ludacris' new Soul line of gaming headsets

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2012 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: ludacris, gaming headset, soul sl150, soul sl300, audio

While Dr. Dre partnered with Monster to create his Beats line, Ludacris went to a company called Signeo to design his headsets.  While priced similarly to Dr. Dre's offerings, [H]ard|OCP starts the review by pointing out that there are already many counterfeit models on the market and Signeo does not offer serial number verification like Monster does to ensure that you did get what you paid for.  Aesthetically [H] found the headsets to be very similar to the Beats line but preferred the audio quality of the Soul headsets.  They do warn the SL150's do let ambient noise in, so if you want noise cancellation you should pay the extra for the SL300 model.

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"Rapper Ludacris is the latest celebrity to endorse a line of trendy headphones and ear buds. Will his name and manufacturer Signeo's product design come to signify quality audio products with cutting edge looks or are these just two more pairs of glossy plastic headphones with exaggerated bass beats?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Buzz bugging you buddy? Hack your speakers and get rid of it for good

Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2012 - 05:42 PM |
Tagged: audio, corsair, corsair sp2200, DIY, hack

Some people you know might refer to your favourite music as noise, but you know better; what is worse than that is when you can hear noise in your music.  The annoying intermittent buzz/crackle coming out of your speakers is something a lot of us have experienced and it has a wide variety of sources, from bad cables to electronic noise effecting the signal sent from your onboard audio to defects in your speakers ... and many more reasons.  At Hack a Day is a good solution to rid yourself of noise that is caused by the speakers, this guide is specifically aimed at the Corsair SP2200s but could be applied to a wide range of speakers.  Follow along with this step by step process to use the headset amp as a pre-amp and clean up your music.

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"[Michael Chen] liked the sound he was getting out of these Corsair SP2200 computer speakers, with one big exception. They were giving off some unpleasant crackling sounds. He figured this might be as easy as replacing a faulty potentiometer, but soon found out the fix was going to be more complicated than that. All said and done he ended up reworking the design of the speakers’ amplifier board."

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Source: Hack a Day

Attention audiophiles, ASUS has heard your pleas and answered with three sound cards

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: audio, asus, DGX, DSX, xonar, ROG Phoebus, pcie

While many of us are perfectly content with the quality of the audio output from the motherboards onboard audio codec there are others who because of incompatibilities (looking at you PunkBuster) or who are gifted with good ears who are still in the market for a discrete sound card.  A forum member recently pointed out that the sound card on the Hardware Leaderboard was so old it didn't ship with Win7 drivers so ASUS's timing on releasing three new sound cards couldn't have come at a better time.  The ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 is the lowest cost of the three cards at $40, though currently on NewEgg the Xonar DSX 7.1 card is only $37 after MIR.  Finally is the Republic of Gamers Xonar Phoebus at $200, with a long list of features for those who want the best.  Drop by [H]ard|OCP to see how these three cards do when put to the test.

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"Asus recently released it's new flagship gaming sound card, the ROG Xonar Phoebus, as well as updated PCI-Express versions of its popular DG and DS sound cards. All three of these cards feature quality components for products in their respective price ranges. Today, we will tell you exactly what each card may bring to your PC audio experience."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

A little something for the budding musician, the Behringer Guitar Link

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2012 - 07:22 PM |
Tagged: audio, recording, guitar

If you have musical aspirations and are looking for a way to record your guitar, bass or vocals then the Behringer Guitar Link.  This $65 device allows you to plug in an instrument as well as a pair of headphones in one end of the device, with the USB end going directly into your PC for recording and manipulation.  The headphones ensure that you can hear what is being recorded as you are taking your amp out of the loop.  Techware Labs takes you through the software, which includes an amp simulator from Native Instruments called AC Box Combo a freeware multi-track DAW tool called EnergyXT2.  Check out the full review here.

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"The Behringer Guitar Link is positioned to be an inexpensive recording solution for guitar, but can be used for bass and microphone as well."

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Try Virtual 7.1 sound without denting your wallet

Subject: General Tech | June 15, 2012 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: gaming headset, audio, 7.1 headset, TekRepublic TH Pro 7.1

At only $40 the TekRepublic TH Pro 7.1 gaming headset is an inexpensive way to try out virtual 7.1 audio.  The software it comes with allows a nice amount of control over the DSP Mode and Output Mod as well as letting you move the perceived positioning of the virtual speakers.  It also allows you control of an equalizer and a range of effects you can apply to your audio.  Modders Inc also reported the microphone to be of decent quality for the investment.  Check their full review if you are in need of a reasonably priced USB headset.

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"Tek-Republic, being somewhat of the new kid on the block, is a company based out of Pasadena, CA that is at the moment primarily focusing on gaming headsets and mice. We have the good fortune to take a look at the Tek-Republic TH Pro Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound USB 2.0 gaming headset."

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Source: Modders Inc