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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Steelseries gives your ears the Flux

Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2012 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: audio, steelseries, Flux Luxury Edition, gaming headset

SteelSeries offers two types of its Flux headset, the original which comes with SND Sound Block earpads and the Luxury Edition with pleather earcups, a bright orange cable and a set of fancy earcup covers.  Apart from that both are powered by 40mm drivers and sport and omnidirectional microphone.  A foldable body and cords which can be completely disconnected make these headsets easily portable but don't sacrifice comfort according to Custom PC Review, though your ears will get warm quite quickly.  They were impressed with the quality of audio and only had some small complaints about the performance in certain situations, which is a good thing considering the non-Luxury Edition is selling for $120 on NewEgg.

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"The word “Flux” is derived from the Latin word “Fluxus”, which means “to flow”. So when SteelSeries sent us a box with the phrase “Flux yourself” printed on the front, we weren’t sure if it’s a compliment or an insult. Luckily, the box contained more than just random words – inside we found SteelSeries newest addition to their ever-growing audio line-up, the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition, for our review...."

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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

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

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

Trimming the price but not the quality from their KNS series of headsets

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: audio, headset, gaming headset, KRK Systems, KNS 6400

If you are looking for a decent pair of circumaural headphones that simply offer great performance and do not delve into simulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound and have a budget of around $100 then check out KRK Systems' KNS 6400.  One of the best features of both this headset and its more expensive brother are the cords, which are not integral but can be replaced if they become damaged or if KRK Systems follows TechPowerUp's suggestion of selling custom cables for those with specific needs.  The audio quality is not top notch when compared to more expensive headphones but for $100 KRK Systems seems to have done very well.

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"KRK Systems is well on their way to becoming a big name in the headphone business. Today we will be taking a look at yet another interesting set of closed back headphones, namely the KNS 6400s which feature the same mechanical design as the KNS 8400."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Put a Kaiburr crystal in your mouse and the Force will be with you

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, SWTOR, gaming headset, razer

We saw a BF3 branded gaming peripheral kit not long after the arrival of the game and you can get your hands on a Diablo 3 branded kit already, even though we are still awaiting the release of that game.  Now Razer offers some love to fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic with a new mousepad, mouse and headset kit all bearing a familiar logo.  The mouse is based on the Naga and has a 5600dpi sensor, 17 programmable buttons and both wired and wireless capabilities.  Most important the LEDs can switch between red or blue (well, 16 million colours total) as well as changing the logo to properly advertise the side you have chosen.  The headset uses 50mm drivers and also sports changeable logos and LED colours, though the mousepad lacks that ability.  Along with the pack, Hardware Heaven points out that you get a colour change crystal for use in game to change the colour of your blaster bolts and lightsaber blade.

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"Every big game release can be enhanced by a set of quality devices which tie in with the overall feel of the franchise and that is exactly what Razer aim to deliver with their The Old Republic gaming gear. We have the mouse, headset and mouse mat on our test bench today for a detailed look at what they offer for The Old Republic gamer."

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