SteelSeries Siberia V3 Headsets Launch

Subject: General Tech | October 1, 2014 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: steelseries, siberia, siberia v3, prism, headphones, headset, gaming headset

My last headset was a SteelSeries Siberia V2 and it served me well. The headband was snug, in a good way, against my head and the ear cups were comfortable. Both the headphones and the microphone sounded great from my subjective listening. It died after about a year and a half, though (specifically its right speaker). Still, again, it served me well, especially considering how much usage they saw on any given day.

Now they announced a new family with four siblings, ranging from $60 up to $200 (USD).

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Starting with the cheapest, the Siberia Raw Prism, we have a USB headset with a colorful glow. It has a microphone built into the left ear cup. Unlike the rest of the Siberia line (and the Siberia V2), the mic is not retractable. You cannot extend and position it in front of your mouth. It is USB-only for Windows, Mac, and PlayStation. This USB powers and controls the aforementioned "colorful glow" through their drivers, customizable to 16.8 million colors. It has a $59.99 MSRP.

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The next level up is the true successor to the V2, the Siberia V3. The price jumps quite a bit, to $99.99 MSRP. Like the V2, it has a retractable microphone and a snug-fitting internal headband. Also like the V2, it has two 3.5mm plugs when used with the included three-ring 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm (one headphone, one mic) plug adapter. No USB support though, at least not without an external sound card.

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Which brings us to the SteelSeries V3 Prism, with an MSRP of $139.99. Instead of 3.5mm, it uses USB. I mean, how else will you control the 16.8 million colors, like the Raw. Unlike the Raw, it is a series of dots rather than a thin, circular strip. It also has a better microphone than the regular V3 (more sensitive and a wider range in frequency response - although those metrics are pretty useless when they are not charted in a graph). Again, instead of 3.5mm jacks, it uses USB. Like the Raw, you cannot connect this to a 3.5mm device. For that, you need to go up to...

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... The SteelSeries Siberia V4 Elite ($199.99 MSRP). Surprisingly, the microphone has a lower frequency response and sensitivity than the V3 Prism but, again, that does not mean that it is worse. Its speakers have a very high sensitivity, 120 dB, which likely means that they can get loud. The connector is detachable and comes with three ends: dual-3.5mm, three-ring 3.5mm, and a USB sound card. Also included, a 6-foot USB extension cable.

The headphones are now available at the SteelSeries store.

Source: SteelSeries

Turtle Beach goes long with the Ear Force Z SEVEN Gaming Headset

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2014 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: turtle beach, gaming headset, Ear Force Z SEVEN, audio

At some time in the very near future, if this naming trend does not reverse itself, the wraparound portion of headphones will have to be enlarged to be able to display the entire brand name legibly.  The latest lengthy moniker is the Turtle Beach Ear Force Z SEVEN Gaming Headset with removable unidirectional microphone and Audio Control Unit.  The mic is self explanatory but the ACU is an external sound card with voice morphing and headphone equalizer presets and has outputs for PC, Mac and Xbox; it is not a booster amp.  Overall Legit Reviews found this headset to be a great generalist but not as good for specific usage such as taking advantage of positional in a game.  Read on to see if they peak your interest.

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"Turtle Beach is perhaps a name better known amongst console gamers since you can easily find their Ear Force lineup of headsets somewhere close to where the boxed console games are in certain stores. Most Turtle Beach Ear Force headsets are compatible with computers or any electronic device with a 3.5 mm jack nonetheless because most gamers or even most people make due with one set of headphones for all their devices. The Turtle Beach Z SEVEN we have for review is actually part of a much larger family of SEVEN headsets. Read on to find out more about it!"

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Audio Corner

Attitude One's colourful Alamz headsets

Subject: General Tech | July 4, 2014 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, Almaz, Attitude One

Attitude One joins the crowded headset market with their new foldable Almaz headset with a detachable microphone which is designed to be lightweight enough to carry with you everywhere.  The bundled cables are compatible with both Android and Apple devices as well as one you can plug into your PC and simply leave for when you arrive home.  The price of €110 quoted by TechPowerUp seems a bit high but the two year warranty somewhat alleviates that investment.  If you need a portable lightweight headset with earcups this might be worth investigating as an option.

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"Attitude One is a new player on the gaming scene, and today, we take a close look at their first headset, the Almaz. The Almaz can be configured to act as either a headphone or headset because of its detachable microphone and multiple cables."

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Audio Corner

Source: techPowerUp

Titanfall Ear Force Atlas! Titanfall Ear Force Atlas! Titanfall Ear Force Atlas!

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2014 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, turtle beach, Titanfall Ear Force Atlas, branding gone wild, forehead

If your obsession over Titanfall, regardless of platform, has taken over your mind and you need a way to physically display that fact, then Turtle Beach has the headset for you!  Titanfall Ear Force Atlas! Apply directly to the forehead!

Branding aside these headphones are quite stiff, which may become uncomfortable after time but presented an unexpected benefit for the Kitguru tester who happens to have an Occulus Rift; they do not shift or creak as your head quickly moves in reaction to an in game event.  The bass is a bit strong for some purposes but will make your Titan sound even more impressive; the sound is perhaps a bit muddy but not enough to ruin your experience while gaming or watching movies.  Check out the full review here.

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"If you find yourself jumping from rooftop to rooftop, wallrunning your way between kills and blasting away at 30ft tall metal behemoths on a regular basis you are either playing Titanfall or need to reduce your meds. Either way though, you will probably appreciate the style of Turtle Beach’s latest headset, the Titanfall Ear Force Atlas headset. It’s compatible with the Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC, with adapters, cables and connectors galore – but does it sound good? That’s what’s important and that’s what we are here to find out."

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Audio Corner

Source: KitGuru

Is the X2 Saturn 5.1 Gaming Headset for you?

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2014 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: X2 Saturn, gaming headset, audio, 5.1 headset

The X2 Saturn headset has multiple drivers in each earcup to try for real 5.1 surround sound as opposed to virtualizing it as many gaming headsets do.  The front, rear and sub speakers each have different frequency responses which Legit Reviews were kind enough to list in their review.  The omni-directional microphone can be muted via the inline controls and you can actually set the volume of each speaker separately.  Overall the headset was judged to fall in the middle of the pack with good features and some design choices which could perhaps be improved.  As well, if you love LEDs then the red lights on this headset might just interest you enough to pick up a pair.

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"X2 has sent us a true 5.1 USB gaming headset to try out and it’s not relying on virtual surround sound to get the job done. Each earcup on the Saturn headset has multiple drivers which outputs different surround channels for better positional audio compared to two channel stereo headphones and headsets. Read on to see how it performs!"

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Audio Corner

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

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2014 - 12:36 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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Audio Corner

SteelSeries Siberia Elite headset, pricey but respectable

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 10:20 AM |
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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Audio Corner

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

Subject: General Tech | January 2, 2014 - 12:30 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 - 12:00 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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Source: Funky Kit

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

Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2013 - 11:00 PM |
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