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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Tech Talk

Ozone's 7HX can virtually surround your ears

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2013 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, ozone, rage 7Hx 7.1, surround sound

The Ozone Rage 7HX has two 40mm drivers with a frequency response range of  20 to 20kHz and offers virtual 7.1 surround as opposed to covering your head in multiple speakers.  That certainly helps with the weight but some purists are not satisfied with virtual surround on headsets while many gamers just want to hear someone sneaking up behind them.  Funky Kit did like the virtual surround when gaming but also took advantage of the ability to turn off the virtual surround when listening to music or videos.  Check out their review here.

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"First I want to thank Ozone Gaming Gear for sending me this awesome Rage 7Hx 7.1 Surround headset. Its a 7.1 surround headset with a volume control module, it has a detachable microphone what i find very nice, sometimes the mic is just sitting in your way if you are not talking to anyone. And like the title said this is the White version of the Rage 7HX, there is also a Black one available."

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Audio Corner

Source: Funky Kit

Corsair Launches New Vengeance and Raptor Series Gaming Headsets at Pax Prime

Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2013 - 02:00 AM |
Tagged: vengeance 1500 v2, vengeance 1400 vengeance 2100, vengeance, gaming headset, dolby 7.1, corsair

Corsair launched five new gaming headsets at PAX Prime this week in Seattle. The new headset lineup includes three Vengeance and two Raptor series headsets. Specifically, Corsair is launching the Vengeance 2100, Vengeance 1500 v2 (updated model), Vengeance 1400, Raptor HS40, and Raptor HS30. All of the new Corsair gaming cans will be available in September.

The new Vengeance series headsets are updates to the existing 2000, 1500, and 1300. The new Vengeance 2100 is the top-end model with wireless connectivity on the 2.4GHz band, Dolby 7.1 surround sound over new 50mm drivers, a noise cancelling microphone, microfiber covered memory foam over-the-ear padded ear cups and a padded headband. It has a rated battery life of 10 hours and wireless range of 40 feet.

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The Corsair Vengeance 2100 Headset, the new series flagship.

The Vengeance 2100 will be available in September for $149.99.

Similarly, the Corsair Vengeance 1500 v2 is an updated model of the existing Vengeance 1500 that I reviewed extensively back in July of last year. This new headset is essentially the wired version of the Vengeance 2100. It includes padded headband and circumaural ear cups, 50mm drives, Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound support, and connects over USB using a braided cloth-wrapped cable with inline remote.

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The update to the Vengeance 1500: The Vengeance 1500 v2.

The wired USB Vengeance 1500 v2 has an MSRP of $99.99 and will be available in September.

The final addition to the Vengeance lineup is the Vengeance 1400. The successor to the Vengeance 1300, the 1400 gaming headset is an analog model with 50mm drivers, padded headband and microfiber covered around-the-ear ear cups, a noise cancelling microphone, and a long cloth-covered braided cable with inline remote. The Vengeance 1400 is stated to be an improvement over the 1300, and if so that should mean that the Vengeance 1400 delivers good stereo sound for the price when paired with a dedicated sound card.

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The new, and only, analog Vengeance series headset from the new lineup.

Like the other upcoming headsets, it will be available in September with an MSRP of $89.99. (The price difference between the 1500 v2 and 1400 is interesting as it is much tighter than the previous generation had.)

In addition to the Vengeance series, Corsair also has its Raptor gaming series and it is launching two new headsets under that brand. The Raptor HS40 delivers 7.1 virtual surround sound via two 40mm Neodynmium drivers inside padded closed circumaural ear cups. It features a wired USB connection and noise cancelling microphone.

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The new Raptor HS40 gaming headset.

You miss out on some of the extra features and materials of the Vengeance series, but it is cheaper as a result at $59.99 MSRP in September.

The Raptor HS30 is the analog, well, analog to the digital HS40 and similar in spec differences to the Vengeance 1400/1500. The gaming headset has two 40mm Neodymium drivers for stereo sound. Padded circumaural ear cups block out outside noise and deliver strong sound. The headset comes with a microphone, and the headset and mic connect via two standard 3.5mm analog audio connectors.

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The Raptor HS30, the new entry-level, analog, gaming headset option from Corsair.

The Raptor HS30 is a mere $49.99 and will be available for purchase in September.

You can find more information on all of these new headsets on the Corsair website by navigating to Products > Gaming > Gaming Headsets from the top nav bar (or the link above) and selecting the respective series (Vengeance or Raptor) and specific model you are interested in.

(My personal thoughts and opinions below:)

Granted, I have not tested these headsets personally, but in all it looks like Corsair has a nice lineup of updated audio products to show off at PAX Prime this year. If you are in the area, you should try to check them out at the Corsair booth (booth #1246). If the Vengeance 1500 and 1300 of last year are any indication, the new headsets should be solidly built and offer decent sound quality for the money--I look forward to seeing reviews and discovering what tweaks the company has made to improve upon last year’s models.

Also, from the photos, I find it aesthetically interesting that Corsair eschewed the brushed aluminum look of the old 1500 in favor of making the 1500 v2 look more like the all black plastic 1400 and 1300 headsets. On the other hand, the blue colored ear cups are a welcome tweak!

Source: Corsair

Turtle Beach goes all out on the Ear Force XP Seven Tournament Grade Gaming Headset

Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2013 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, turtle beach, Ear Force XP Seven

Turtle Beach's Ear Force XP Seven Tournament Grade Gaming Headset will function with your PC through USB and also comes with an adapter to allow use on both consoles and your TV.  It also comes with an Audio Control Unit that is rather impressive looking and offers an impressive amount of control over the headset.  Along with mute and main volume controls you can actually control the volume level of the individual surround speakers, toggle between a variety of surround sound types and also functions as an equalizer with several presets along with manual changes.  If you are in the market for high end surround sound headphones then you should check out the full review at eTeknix.

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"I feel a little privileged if I'm honest, this is our first Turtle Beach review here at eTeknix and while I'm personally more than familiar with the products Turtle Beach produce, having used a few of them myself in the past, not to mention selling them when I used to work in retail, I was stunned when I realised I was getting to review their brand new MLG grade gaming headset. Premium grade headsets are few and far between in the gaming world, each year you might see a small handful being released, more often than not they are revisions to a current model."

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Audio Corner

Source: eTeknix

Caution, this headset might blow your head off

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2013 - 02:57 PM |
Tagged: Tunguska 2.0, Attitude 1, gaming headset, audio

Attitude's latest headset is named after a certain explosive event in a remote location in Russia, but in theory this does not imply danger to your skull while wearing them.  R&B Mods tried out these brightly coloured headsets, with 40mm drivers and a respectable 20-20kHz frequency range and found them to be quite functional if perhaps not made of the best materials they've seen on gaming headsets.  If comfort and audio performance is more important to you than the construction these headsets make a decent choice, though you will have to wait a while if you want the USB model.

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"Today we take a look at something brand new, I have never tested anything from Attitude one but today is the day! We are going to review several of their products but the first thing we are going to test is their Tunguska 2.0 gaming headset. This headset seems to be fairly lightweight and have some cool colors and also a braided cable….lets get on with the review."

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Audio Corner

Source: R&B Mods

Corsair Adds Dolby Support to Vengeance 2000 Gaming Headset with Free Software Driver

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2013 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: vengeance 2000, corsair, gaming headset, dolby, audio

Corsair is offering a way to add even more to their Vengeance 2000 wireless gaming headset.  They have a brushed aluminum headband, 50mm drivers and microfiber earcups, plus have the benefit of being completely wireless but now they can also support two new Dolby features thanks to a driver update.  Get more from your headset for free from Corsair, or pick up a pair for $100 if you are in the market for new headphones.

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Fremont, California — March 27, 2013 — Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced the release of a free software driver update which adds Dolby Headphone 2.0 and Dolby Pro Logic IIx to the Vengeance 2000 wireless gaming headset. The addition of Dolby Headphone to the Vengeance 2000 improves both surround sound quality and game compatibility. The software driver is immediately available for download www.corsair.com.

Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset: Untethered gaming with amazing audio fidelity
The Vengeance 2000 7.1 Wireless gaming headset uses rock-solid 2.4GHz wireless that frees and untangles gamers with battery life up to ten hours and a range up to 40 feet. Whether it’s a 5.1 or 7.1 audio source, the headset’s optimized HRTF positional audio technology gives gamers an edge with precise information about the location of opponents. The Vengeance 2000 also features custom-engineered 50mm drivers and careful acoustic tuning for audiophile-grade sound with superior clarity and tight bass response. For immersive audio and hours-long comfort the Vengeance 2000 employs circumaural, micro-fiber memory foam earpads and a padded headband. The high-sensitivity, noise-cancelling microphone increases effective team play. The headset comes with a Micro-USB charge cable that can also provide power if the battery runs low.

Dolby Headphone 2.0 and Dolby Pro Logic IIx
Dolby Headphone is a revolutionary signal processing technology that delivers up to 7.1-channel surround sound over headphones for richer, more spacious headphone audio. Dolby Pro Logic IIx processes native stereo- and 5.1-channel material to produce 6.1 or 7.1 output channels.

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The new Vengeance 2000 software driver is available for download on the Vengeance 2000 product page on Corsair.com.

Source: Corsair

AZiO's gaming headset has an optional head-kicker mode

Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, AZiO, Levetron GH808

Gaming headsets are about more than just decent 40mm drivers which provide decent sound.  We have seen virtual and physical 5.1 headphones, a wide variety of earcup and headband materials and occasionally vibration features so that when the artillery starts falling you can feel as well as hear it.  AZiO's new Levetron GH808 sports that latter feature with a 30mm vibration driver which will indeed rattle your brains.  HiTech Legion liked the volume control wheel integral to the headset but they would have liked one to control the vibration as well instead of it being all or nothing.  At an MSRP of $55 they are not a major investment if you are curious about how this headset would feel.

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"AZiO’s Levetron GH808 is a USB headset designed for gaming. The Levetron GH808 headset is plug-and-play, only requiring USB port on a Windows or Mac OS X system to use. Optional software can be downloaded from AZiO’s website, providing control of the GH808’s features from the desktop. Equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers and an additional 30mm “vibration” driver, the AZiO Levetron GH808 brings pulse-pounding excitement straight to gamers’ ears. Should you need to chat with your online buddies while playing, a unidirectional microphone can be pulled out from the left ear cup. The AZiO GH808 also includes a volume control knob as well as a toggle switch for enabling or disabling the bass enhancement feature."

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Audio Corner

Steelseries wants you to "Flux Yourself"

Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2013 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: audio, steelseries, Flux Luxury Edition, gaming headset

Apart from the questionable slogan and unique cord colour, the Flux does have quite a few positive features, such as 40mm drivers which have a frequency range of 18 – 28000 Hz.  The FluidFIT headband is also well designed, MadShrimps found them comfortable even after long usage while wearing glasses, something not all headsets can claim and while you will get warm under the leather ear cups they are not going to pinch or become uncomfortable.  One drawback was the inline microphone, if they did not place it carefully the rubbing of the microphone over clothing is transmitted and can muffle your voice.

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"The new Flux Luxury Edition Gaming Headset from SteelSeries was built for mobility in mind, comes with two separate connectivity cables, a carry pouch and interchangeable covers. The Flux is easy to adjust thanks to the FluidFIT headband and produces a high quality sound even in movies or games, even if it is marketed mainly for gaming purposes."

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Audio Corner

Source: MadShrimps

ASUS' new gaming headset tries to impress with both features and asking price

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 04:11 PM |
Tagged: audio, asus, Orion Pro, gaming headset

ASUS makes a lot of promises with their new Orion Pro gaming headset, not only do they claim to provide 7.1 surround sound but the suggested price is below $120.  The specifications look good, 50mm drivers and a 50Hz-50KHz response range but the surround sound is virtualized with the included Spitfire USB Audio Processor.  You can choose between three modes of sound but do not have the ability to really customize your experience which could be a problem if you are playing a game which only supports 5.1 surround.  Hardware Canucks put the headset on for a test drive and were suitably impressed by the performance, perhaps these might be a worthy addition for gamers who prefer headsets to speakers.

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"ASUS' new Orion Pro headset combines the versatility of a USB powered virtual 7.1 surround sound environment with the high quality aspect of an analog connection. All of this is offered in a unique package that doesn't require drivers to function properly but comes in at under $120."

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Audio Corner

CES 2013: Corsair Next-Gen Vengeance Series Gaming Keyboards, Mice, Mouse Mats, and Headset Drivers

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2013 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: vengeance, mouse, MM600, M95, M65, keyboard, K95, gaming mat, gaming headset, corsair, CES

Corsair upgraded their Vengeance line of products with the Vengeance K95 Gaming Keyboard, Vengeance M95 and M65 mice, Vengeance MM600 Gaming Mat, and driver enhancements for the Vengeance 200 Wireless Gaming Headset.

Vengeance K95 Gaming Keyboard

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Vengeance K95 Gaming Keyboard is an evolutionary step in the growth of Corsair's award-winning keyboard line. Corsair used the K90 keyboard as a foundation, and added a brushed-aluminum chassis and Cherry MX key mechanical switches on all keys. Additionally, the K95 keyboard features 18 programmable macro keys and a 1ms reporting rate.

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Courtesy of Corsair

Corsair further enhanced the original K90's design by added individually back-lit keys with adjustable light intensity. The keyboard back-lighting can be macro-controlled and is adjustable to four pre-set levels.

The Vengeance K95 Gaming Keyboard will be available at a retailer near you in January at an MSRP of $149.99.

The Vengeance Gaming Mouse - Enhanced

Building on a successful design, Corsair pushed the envelope with the Vengeance M95 and M65 Gaming Mice. Both are encased in stylishly designed uni-body aluminum chassis and feature the Avago Technologies ADNS-9800 LaserStream™ gaming sensor. With this sensor, both mice boast a maximum tracking resolution of 8200 DPI more than enough to defeat any electronic foe.

Vengeance M95 Gaming Mouse

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Vengeance M95 Gaming Mouse has been fully optimized for MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) gamers with 15 intuitively placed, programmable buttons. Further, the M95's on-board memory can store up to six macro profiles.

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Courtesy of Corsair

The M95 Gaming Mouse also includes a fully back-lit mouse-wheel house area and back-lit buttons. The Vengeance M95 is available in both Gunmetal Black and Arctic White colors.

The Vengeance M95 Gaming Mouse will be available at a retailer near you in January at an MSRP of $79.99.

Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse was designed with FPS (First Person Shooter) gamers in mind with a programmable Sniper button, instantly adjustable DPI, and adjustable center of gravity. The Sniper button is the red thumb button on the left side of the mouse, placed for easy access for instant toggle action.

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Courtesy of Corsair

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Courtesy of Corsair

Similar to the M95, the M65 Gaming Mouse includes a fully back-lit mouse-wheel house area and back-lit buttons. The Vengeance M65 is available in Gunmetal Black, Military Green, and Arctic White colors.

The Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse will be available at a retailer near you in January at an MSRP of $69.99.

Vengeance MM600 Dual-sided Gaming Mat

Corsair designed the MM600 Dual-side Gaming Mat to appeal to many types of gamers. One side of the mat has a more textured design for superior mouse control, while the other side is a smooth texture for high-speed gliding. The MM600 is designed with a 3mm piece of aircraft-grade aluminum at its heart to provide a rigid surface and is encased in a specially designed polymer for superior performance and longevity. Additionally, Corsair includes non-slip rubber corners on the mat so that the surface stays in place during those critical fragging moments.

The Vengeance MM600 Dual-sided Gaming Mat will be available at a retailer near you in January at an MSRP of $39.99.

Vengeance 2000 Wireless Gaming Headset Driver Update

To further enhance you audio gaming experience, Corsair will be releasing driver support for the Dolby 2.0 Headphone spec on the Vengeance 2000 Wireless Gaming Headset series. With this updated support, the Vengeance 2000 series will fully support audio delivery in full 7.1-channel surround sound. Corsair expects to release this update sometime in February.

Press release after the break.

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