You must be LVL50 to equip this PDP headset

Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2019 - 03:29 PM |
Tagged: audio, PDP, LVL 50, wireless headset

PDP's LVL50 wireless headset can be used on both XBONE and PC constructed of fairly sturdy plastic with nylon mesh earcups, which keeps the cost below $80.  As that price implies, these are not for audiophiles but are more for multiplayer gaming and have the range required for you to put your feet up on the couch while gaming on the TV.  The battery offers about 16 hours of usage, 24 if sitting unattended so make sure to plug them in while you aren't using them.  The microphone quality is decent, The Tech Report describes it as loud and clear, almost as good as their Logitech G Pro.

Check out the review here.

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"PDP's LVL50 is an intriguing product: a fully-wireless headset with Xbox and PC compatibility for an unusually affordable price. Does it have what it takes to stand out in the crowd? Here's the TR take."

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Audio Corner

The Ultimate Force in audio ... perhaps

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2019 - 05:52 PM |
Tagged: virtual 7.1, TUF Gaming H5, gaming headset, audio, asus

ASUS introduce the TUF series of components to compliment their ROG series, offering more affordable products while still maintaining quality.  The ASUS H5 TUF wired gaming headset keeps some of the aesthetics and from the description at Kitguru, also kept the 'military grade' design.  Joking aside, the H5 uses a pair of 50mm neodymium magnets and is capable of virtual 7.1 audio, has both a boom mic as well as an inline one and a decent response range of 20-20000Hz.

At $80 they are not a huge investment but there are some caveats covered in the video you might want to check out before chequing out. 

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"The TUF name originally appeared on a range of motherboards, and now with the start of the TUF Gaming Alliance there has been a shift to create an entire range of more affordable TUF components."

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Audio Corner

Source: Kitguru

A USB-C Headset Powered by an ESS Quad-DAC

The ROG Delta is a gaming headset from the Republic of Gamers division of ASUS that offers a Hi-Res audio certification thanks to its ASUS Essence 50 mm drivers with a 20-40,000 Hz frequency response and implementation of a high-end ESS Quad-DAC, and offers custom lighting effects via the circular RGB lighting on each ear cup. A wired headset exclusively, it connects via USB-C or standard USB 2.0 for use with PCs as well as compatible consoles and smartphones.

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“ROG Delta is the world's first gaming headset with the industry-leading, hi-fi-grade ESS 9218 quad DAC, which delivers impeccably clear and detailed sound to give serious gamers the edge they need to win. ROG Delta features a USB-C connector and comes with a USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter to let you game on your PC, console and mobile device without changing headsets. A one-of-a-kind, circular rainbow RGB lighting effect provides a stylish look to set you apart on the battlefield.”

Features from ASUS ROG:

  • Industry-leading hi-res ESS quad-DAC for impeccably detailed and true-to-life audio
  • USB-C connector for true multiplatform support, including PCs, Mac, mobile phones and PS4
  • Customizable, multi-color circular RGB lighting lets you shine in style
  • Exclusive ASUS Essence drivers, airtight chamber and audio signal diversion technology for immersive audio experiences
  • Upgraded comfort with ergonomic D-shape and ROG Hybrid ear cushions

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Why a quad-DAC design? When ESS released the ES9218 they pointed to these “internally connected parallel quad DACs” as the key to delivering its rated 124dB DNR and -112dB THD+N, in addition to signal-to-noise of up to 130 dB, with ASUS stating that their implementation with the ROG Delta makes the headset “capable of achieving an unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio of 127 dB, a level untouchable by single-DAC gaming headsets.”

Another aspect of the ultra-low noise of the ROG Delta is a design feature that ASUS calls “Hyper-Grounding”, which is an ROG-exclusive technology with an intelligent multi-layer PCB design that prevents interference and shields the audio signals from any RGB lighting-related PWM switching noise.

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So how does this very impressively-specified hi-fi gaming headset sound? I’ll offer my impressions after we check out the design and talk about fit and comfort.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS ROG Delta gaming headset

Razer Nari Ultimate THX Wireless Chroma, like a musical boot to the head

Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2019 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: razer, nari ultimate THX wireless chroma, wireless headset, Hypersense, audio

Many moons ago several companies released headsets with what was essentially force feedback and as it turned out, not many people enjoyed it. Razer is bring that back with their Razer Nari Ultimate THX Wireless Chroma headset, that comes with a price as large as its name.  They called this feature HyperSense and as you might expect turning it on in tandem with the blinken-lighten significantly reduces the amount of time the battery lasts.  On the plus side, the headset uses 50mm neodymium magnets and a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

You can see them in use over at KitGuru, or at least take a look at the freeze frame as it is worth the click.

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"Ever wished your headset vibrated and you could feel what was happening in game? The Razer Nari headset was released back in September and in this review we take a look at the recently released Razer Nari Ultimate that has all the features of the original plus Hypersense technology."

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Audio Corner

Source: Kitguru

ASUS's ROG Delta for those who have given up on the headphone jack

Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2019 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: gaming headphones, asus, ROG, delta usb-c, RGB, ROG Armory, audio

Hopefully the ASUS ROG USB-C RGB headset will survive the lunacy that those in charge of the USB spec have been inflicting upon the world, but for now it will work on your phone or computer.  Kitguru does suggest installing the ROG Armory software to make use of the features offered by the built in DAC.  

Check out the full review and why the reviewer preferred it over their Corsair Void Pro, in the full video review.

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"Today we are reviewing the high-end ASUS Republic of Gamers Delta USB-C RGB headset. It has a beautifully ergonomic D-shaped ear cup design, and provides detailed, true to life audio with its updated Essence drivers and hi-fi grade ESS quad DAC"

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Source: Kitguru

Cooler Master's got that analogue feeling, the MH751

Subject: General Tech | February 28, 2019 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: MH751, analogue, cooler master, gaming headset, audio

Cooler Master's MH751 is the analogue sibling of the USB MH752 and is designed to offer performance, with no extraneous features like RGBs, for a decent price.   They are available for $80, so at least they managed that goal, but as for performance and comfort you will have to rely on TechPowerUp's experiences for now.  They described the feel of the headset "like a hug for your head" and were more than happy with the quality of audio which is good news for anyone shopping for a decent, understated headset.

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"Cooler Master's new analogue gaming headset hits all the right spots: it's comfortable, performs very well, and offers good value for your money!"

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Audio Corner

Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: EVGA

Dedicated 2-Channel Sound

In the audio realm something pretty special happens when you have the right mix of source material, digital-to-analog conversion, amplification, and transducers (headphones or loudspeakers). And I am just talking about stereo, as 2-channel audio has the potential to immerse as deeply, and even more so, than 3D positional audio can; but it does take more care in overall setup. Enter EVGA, a company famous for its video cards, power supplies, motherboards, etc., and no stranger to diversification in the enthusiast PC community. And while EVGA in recent years has expanded their offering to include cases, coolers, and even laptops, they have never attempted a dedicated sound solution - until now.

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Coming as a surprise as the featured product in their suite at CES 2019, EVGA’s introduction of the Nu Audio card was exciting for me as an audio enthusiast, and this is really an enthusiast-level card based on the pricing of $249 ($199 for EVGA ELITE members). The Nu Audio is an all-new, designed from the ground up sound card with a true hi-fi pedigree and a stated goal of high-quality stereo sound reproduction. Just hearing the words “two channel” in relation to the computer audio was music to my ears (literally), and to say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I will try to temper my enthusiasm and just report the facts here; and yes, I understand that this is expensive for this market and a product like this is not for everyone.

The Nu Audio was created in partnership with Audio Note, a UK-based hi-fi component maker with a solid reputation and a philosophy that emphasizes component selection and material quality. In breaking down the components selected for the Nu Audio card it is evident that a high level of care went into the product, and it is the first time that I am aware of a computer sound card having this much in common with dedicated audiophile components.

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Of course component choices are irrelevant if the Nu Audio doesn’t sound any better than what users already have, and proving the value of a quality 2-channel experience can be tricky as it generally requires the user to provide both source material and headphones (or amplifier/speakers) of sufficient quality to hear a difference.

Continue reading our review of the EVGA Nu Audio PCIe sound card!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech G

Logitech G935 and G432 Gaming Headsets Review

This month, we were given a sneak peak at Logitech’s updated line of gaming headsets for 2019. We’ve spent the last week getting acquainted with two of the premiere entries in their new catalog with the Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset and the G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset. Each headset is an update to two of Logitech’s most popular models, the Artemis G933 and G430, and include a number of upgrades to bring them up to speed. Let’s see how they made out!

Specifications

Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset

  • Price: $169.99
  • Driver: 50mm Pro-G
  • Sensitivity: 93dB SPL/mW
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range:
    • Indoor: 15m
    • Outdoor: 20m
  • Connection Type: USB 2.0
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.43" x 7.67" x 7.40"
  • Cable Length: 6.56ft/2m (Charging Cable), 4.92ft/1.5m (Mobile Cable)
  • Weight (w/o cable): 13.4oz (379g)

Logitech G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset

  • Price: $79.99
  • Driver: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
  • Cable Length: 6.5ft (2m)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.77" x 3.22" x 6.77"
  • Weight (w/o cable): 9.14oz (259g)

Shared Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impedance: 39 Ohms (Passive), 5k Ohms (Active)
  • Microphone:
    • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid(Unidirectional)
    • Condenser Size: 6mm
    • Frequency response:100Hz–10KHz
  • 2-year limited hardware warranty

Packaging

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Starting with packaging, both headsets arrive in the usual Logitech grey and blue with big, beautiful product shots. There’s no mistaking these two headsets. The G935 is clearly larger and, even though the picture only shows blue lighting, it’s fully RGB enabled.

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Inside the box, both headsets are packaged similarly, wrapped in a plastic sleeve and held in place with a cardboard arm. Folding the arm up frees the headset and reveals the accessories hidden inside. I actually really like this packaging style. It’s easy to retrieve your extra cables and other goodies without unfolding a cardboard jigsaw puzzle. It also makes putting everything away neatly that much easier #reviewerproblems.

Check out the rest of our review of the new Logitech G935 and G432 gaming headsets!

I can hear the RGBs!

Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2019 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: optoacoustic effect, audio

There are a variety of ways to send targeted audio, which can only be heard when standing in  a specific are.  Generally this is accomplished by broadcasting sounds at a frequency to high to be perceived by humans, until it encounters specific interference which lowers the frequency into an audible range.  This is currently used for targeted advertising, or for driving people nuts if you consider the two separate. 

Today The Register posted a new way to provide targeted audio, which uses light instead of high frequency audio to transmit the signal.  Previously this was used in medical imaging techniques, this particular application is new.  The light interacts with water in the atmosphere to provide audio to a specific location, using what is termed the optoacoustic effect.  The moisture in question is insignificant, the humidity in the air and that produced by exhalation is enough for this to be effective.  Pop by for more information on this; though there is no confirmation that wearing an RGB headset will enhance or interfere with transmission.

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"Water is among a class of materials that can emit sound after they absorb light, and according to a paper in Optics Letters, a correctly tuned laser can be modulated to deliver human-audible sounds this way."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

No audio jack, eh? A Creative way to use your phones USB-C port

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2019 - 04:03 PM |
Tagged: usb-c, SXFI Amp, Headphone Amp, Creative, Aurvana Trio, Aurvana SE, audio

There was a dearth of USB-C audio devices shown off at CES, with wireless connectivity and other ways of dealing with the removal of the audio jack from phones getting far more attention.  However, Creative were up to the challenge and showed off their new USB-C to 3.5mm SXFI Amp for headphones as well as the Aurvana SE over the ears headset and Aurvana Trio earbuds. 

The amp is quite impressive, with an Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4377 32-bit DAC that can drive headphones with up to a 600Ω impedance, and provide 120dB SNR from 24 bit/96 kHz input and provide 2.0, 5.1 or  7.1 channel sound.  TechPowerUp took a listen to all three products and compiled a review for those who want high quality audio from their phone.

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"Creative finally brings to market its Super X-Fi technology built over 20 years of R&D. It aims to be a radical new change to the audio world by not only offering extremely convincing surround sound using stereo headphones, but generally enhancing the audio experience even for mono recordings provided you have a certain set of compatible devices."

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Audio Corner

Source: TechPowerUp