CES 2019: HyperX QuadCast Microphone & Cloud Orbit S Headset

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 10:56 PM |
Tagged: RGB, microphone, hyperx, headset, gaming mouse, gaming headset, ddr4, ces 2019, CES

HyperX is here at CES demoing several new products — including a new product category — as well as some updates to their existing product line. The highlights include the company's first microphone and a new premium gaming headset made with Audeze's planar magnetic drivers.

Check out the complete launch details below as well as our impressions from our visit to the HyperX suite at CES.

HyperX Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse

The HyperX Pulsefire Raid RGB mouse is designed for gamers who need additional buttons for key binding or to execute a variety of commands. HyperX Pulsefire Raid features 11 programmable buttons and is designed with a Pixart 3389 sensor for accuracy and speed with settings up to 16,000 DPI. Customizable native DPI settings allow gamers to monitor settings with an LED indicator. In addition, the mouse includes Omron switches with 20M click reliability. Pulsefire Raid is designed for accurate, fluid and responsive tracking, without acceleration. Using HyperX NGenuity software, gamers can assign personalized macro functions to the 11 programmable keys and store them in a macro library.

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Our impressions: The Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse doesn't do anything new in terms of basic design, but its 11 programmable buttons are more than found on many competing gaming mice and will be appreciated by competitive gamers looking to map as many in-game functions as possible.

The wired mouse feels good in the hand and includes nice RGB effects that can by configured via software or turned off if desired. The Pulsefire Raid includes the normal range of higher-quality components — Omron switches and a 16,000 DPI Pixart 3389 sensor — at a competitive price point of about $60. Recent purchasers of mid-range and higher gaming mice probably won't be tempted to switch, but if you're looking for a new gaming mouse or craving those additional programmable buttons, the HyperX Pulsefire Raid will be a nice choice at it expected price point when it launches in Q2.

HyperX QuadCast Microphone

The HyperX Quadcast is a standalone microphone designed to meet the exacting demands of PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac professional or aspiring streamers. The QuadCast features an anti-vibration shock mount, an easily-accessible gain control adjustment, four selectable polar patterns, and tap-to-mute functionality with convenient LED lighting to indicate broadcast status. With crystal clear voice capturing, Quadcast connects streamers to their viewers like never before.

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Our impressions: While we couldn't fully test the QuadCast's audio capabilities in a noisy CES demo suite, what we could hear sounded promising. Users have a choice of polar patterns, quick gain control via a dial on the bottom, a 3.5mm headphone output for live monitoring, and a tap-to-mute feature that indicates the mute status by turning off the microphone’s red light.

The QuadCast's stand is sturdy with a functional and attractive built-in shock mount. But it also comes with an adapter for mounting it to another microphone stand or arm. The QuadCast will be priced at $139 when it launches in Q2.

HyperX Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S Headset

The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets are the first HyperX gaming headsets powered by Audeze’s patented 100mm Planar Magnetic Drivers for accurate sound. Waves Nx® 3D audio technology brings an immersive cinematic audio experience to gaming. The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx® head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the user’s head movements bring the room to life 1,000 times a second. HyperX gaming headsets paired with Audeze and Waves technology bring audio quality to the next level with audio technology previously found only in audiophile headsets.

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Our impressions: HyperX is no stranger to gaming headsets, but the new Cloud Orbit series is their first project in collaboration with high-end audio company Audeze. The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S feature Audeze's planar magnetic drivers in a headset that eschews the common more "aggressive" gamer design for a subtle yet attractive black and gray look.

In addition to high quality sound from the planar magnetic drivers, the higher-end Cloud Orbit S features Waves NX 3D audio processing that can optionally position the user's audio sources via head tracking. When enabled, the current audio output is "placed" in a static position. When the user then turns their head, the headset uses head-tracking technology to pan the audio accordingly. In other words, the Waves Nx processing is simulating what it would sound like if you were sitting in a theater with multi-channel surround sound speakers and then turn your head to the side or behind.

We had a chance to demo Waves Nx on the Cloud Orbit S and the effect is quite realistic and impressive. But while it makes a great demo, we're not sure how many users would find a feature like this useful in the long-run since many users would prefer to have their audio "follow them" regardless of head positioning. However, we're hoping to get a chance to try it out more in a quieter environment.

Set to arrive in Q2, the Cloud Orbit S with head tracking will set you back $329 while the non-tracking Cloud Orbit will land at $299.

HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB Memory

The HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB is now available in 16GB modules in speeds of 3000MHz and 3200MHz as individual modules and kits of 2 and 4 up to 64GB. Predator DDR4 RGB features synchronized RGB lighting with HyperX Infrared Sync technology, allowing multiple modules to sync LED lighting and produce an exceptional color and pattern display. Powered directly from the motherboard, this patented technology provides an enhanced visual experience of RGB memory for gaming, overclocking PCs and DIY system builds.

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Our impressions: HyperX launched its Predator DDR4 RGB memory — which uses infrared light to sync RGB effects between modules — last year, but only in single-module capacities of up to 8GB. This of course limited the amount of memory users could install in their system, especially on desktop motherboards/chipsets which only feature two or four DIMM slots.

Now HyperX is adding a 16GB module to the product lineup, doubling the maximum amount of RAM that users of this product can fit into their builds. The new capacity will be available later this month starting at $167.

Source: HyperX

Have you ever heard Audeze headphones before?

Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2018 - 07:07 PM |
Tagged: audio, Audeze, mobius, gaming headset, planar magnetic

It is certainly possible that you have heard of Audeze headphones before, but for the vast majority of readers, your experiences with high end audiophile headphones may not include them.  You probably also read the title in a way that almost makes sense, which means you are pronouncing it as incorrectly as I.  They've recently added a Mobius gaming headest model, connecting via Bluetooth or USB.  The controls are somewhat impressive with dials, buttons and hybrids all present, some for wireless connectivity and some for wired.  Even if a $400 gaming headset isn't on your list, the review at [H]ard|OCP is worth checking out ... for reasons.

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"Audeze is a well known name in the headphone world, and it recently used crowdfunding to fund its first foray into the world of gaming headsets. We are reviewing the Mobius headset that promises us that it is more than a headphone, "it's an experience." For $400 we want to know exactly what kind of experience it gives us when it comes to gameplay."

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Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP

1MORE is at the spearhead of 3D audio design

Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2018 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: audio, 1MORE, Spearhead VRX, gaming headset

While it might look like 1MORE's Spearhead uses an ancient voice tube style microphone but the truth is far more terrifying.  That tube is part of the RGBs and will glow whenever you are talking; in fact there are three microphones on this device.  The one which picks up your voice is a pinhole style, providing audio quality at the exact level TechPowerUp and you would expect.  The two additional microphones are rear facing and are used for the sound cancellation feature on the Spearhead.  On the plus side, this is the first headset to feature the Waves Nx technology that enables 3D audio very effectively. 

Take a read through the whole review here.

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"The freshly released 1MORE Spearhead VRX is the newest, technologically beefiest, and most expensive gaming headset 1MORE has to offer. It comes with a unique head-tracking unit that works in conjunction with an advanced DSP to achieve an immersive surround sound experience."

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Audio Corner

Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Sennheiser

Sennheiser’s New Flagship Gaming Headset

Sennheiser is one of the most respected names in the audio world and especially with headphone users. Almost five years ago, they released the GAME ONE headset and set a new high water mark for PC gaming audio. In late 2016, the company began reshaping its gaming line with a new “GSP” series, first with the entry-level GSP 300, which is still one of the best headsets you can buy for under $90. This year, they’re taking on the other end of the spectrum and releasing a new gaming flagship: the GSP 600. With an MSRP of $249, it doesn’t come cheap, but is easily one of the best headsets in its class.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $249.99
  • Color: Black
  • Wearing Style: Headband
  • Impedance: 28 Ohms
  • Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors) 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors), 2.5mm connection to headset
  • Frequency Response (Microphone): 10–18,000 Hz
  • Frequency Response (Headphones): 10–30,000 Hz
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 112 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
  • Ear Coupling: Over-Ear
  • Cable Length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
  • Transducer Principle: Dynamic, Closed
  • Pick-up Pattern: Bi-directional ECM
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
  • Weight: 395g
  • Warranty: Two-year

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Starting with packaging, the GSP arrives in a simple, elegant box. I appreciate that it’s not covered in gamer-marketing. The name Sennheiser carries esteem and respectability that would be diminished by slathering the box with over-stated logos and aggressive art. The packaging is in line with many of Sennheiser’s consumer audiophile headsets, which is in keeping with what they’re trying to do here.

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Inside the box is the headset itself and two detachable cables, as well as the usual warranty card and basic instruction manual.  The GSP uses an analog stereo connection, so there’s no built-in USB sound card here. Each cable is braided in nylon fiber and connects to the headset with a 2.5mm jack. The longer cable of the two is 2.5m and ends in a Y-splitter with separate headphone and mic connectors, clearly meant for use with PC. The shorter cable is only 1.5m and ends in a 4-pole connection, suitable for use with consoles.

Continue reading our review of the Sennheiser GSP 600!

Out of the world wireless audio, Alienware's AW988

Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2018 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: wireless headset, gaming headset, AW988, audio, alienware, 7.1

Alienware obviously wanted a compact design for their wireless AW988 headset, the microphone almost disappears when it is folded up, the logo also functions as the power button and the other controls are almost flush with the earcups.  The headband is made of soft rubber, with a coating to ensure it doesn't bring hair along with it when you re-position it on your head and [H]ard|OCP found it to be quite comfortable.  The audio quality was top notch, with one of the better instances of virtual 7.1 surround implementations [H] has tried and even more importantly, the RGBs are easily disabled.  The whole review can be found here.

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"We have spent the last few days living with the Alienware AW988 headset perched on our head and have gotten a very good idea of what the first headset from Alienware in nine years is all about. We gamed, we watched movies, and we listened to a lot of music. We tell you how it did and all the features and build quality."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Roccat's new headset is perfect to watch the second Star Trek movie

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2018 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged: roccat, swarm, Khan AIMO, virtual 7.1, RGB, gaming headset, audio

Roccat's new Khan Aimo bears a similar design to the Khan Pro, with a subdued colour scheme, apart from the garish RGB infection.  The pair of 50mm neodymium drivers offer true 2.0 audio however with the help of the Roccat Swarm software these headsets are able to deliver virtual 7.1 sound well enough to satisfy Benchmark Reviews.  The headset's High Resolution Audio badge is apparently well deserved, with incredible good playback thanks  to the  10 – 40000Hz response range and the microphone also earned tacit approval.  Check out the full review here.

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"Roccat has added a splash of intelligent RGB lighting to their new HiRes audio headset and given it a new name: the Khan Aimo. More than just a name change and some lighting, this update of the Khan Pro keeps the HiRes designation but swaps the 3.5mm cable for USB to add some new capabilities."

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Tech Talk

HyperX's Cloudy future

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2018 - 03:59 PM |
Tagged: gaming headset, hyperx, cloud alpha, audio

HyperX have released a new headset, the Cloud Alpha which weighs in at a svelte 336g, the lightest model yet.  Inside you will find the standard 50mm drivers, though HyperX designed the Alpha with two chambers surrounding the speaker, which The Tech Report felt worked very well in enhancing audio quality.  It was the microphone which was the biggest surprise, offering significantly better quality than any of the other headsets they have used, though not quite up to a stand alone model.  At a price of $100, TR has no qualms in recommending purchasing this headset.

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"HyperX has continually refined its Cloud series of headsets ever since the original became a smash hit for the company, and the Cloud Alpha is one of the latest fruits of that work. We put this headset to the test with games and music to see whether HyperX's mantra of continuous improvement has paid off."

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Audio Corner

The sound of the Phontum Cougar

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2018 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: audio, Cougar, phontum, gaming headset

Cougar have come up with a brand new word to go with their new headset, unless they are referring to a certain old geographical location in Thailand.  At ~$50 it does not represent a major investment even with its 53mm drivers and the two pairs of earcups included in the box.  Neoseeker found the microphone to be decent enough for conversational usage and were thoroughly happy with sound reproduction when listening to music or gaming.  If you are in the market for a headset but can't justify spending $100 or more, this is worth a look.

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"The Cougar Phontum gaming headset incorporates a 53mm driver to provide more audio output across multiple situations than the standard 50mm driver. Next, Cougar utilizes a dual-chamber design to achieve a profound distinction between bass, midrange and treble frequencies. Finally we have a graphene diaphragm to reduce distortion due with their lighter and stiffer construction – making for faster response with less unwanted flex of the cone."

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Source: Neoseeker

Hear the roar of the Cougar Immersa Pro gaming headset

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2018 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: virtual 7.1, Immersa Pro, gaming headset, Cougar, audio

The Cougar Immersa Pro offers virtual 7.1 sound when plugged in via USB to a machine with the driver installed, you will only hear stereo from the 50mm drivers if plugged into an audio jack.  On the other hand plugging it into the audio jack also disables the RGB features on the headset, if you don't feel like forcing the driver to disable them.  The Guru of 3D appreciated the comfort of the earcups as well as the overall quality of sound but felt somewhat let down by the quality of the microphone; a common complaint on gaming headsets.

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"They recently sent us a box full of goodies, including the new Immersa Pro, their top headset. If you thought you’d forgotten about RGB all the things, well, Cougar is here to remind you with the Immersa Pro."

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Source: Guru of 3D

Dive into MSI's GH70 7.1 gaming headphones

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2017 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: audio, msi, gaming headset, Immerse GH70

The MSI MSI Immerse GH70 gaming headset sports a Solid Steel Design, RGB Mystic Light as well as Hi-Res Audio and a variety of other marketing terms, however we are far more concerned with its price and performance.  The price is $130, the 7.1 sound is virtual and Modders Inc loved the effect when gaming, though they toggled it off when talking to NPCs which the included in-line controller makes incredibly easy.  The RGBs can provide up to 16.8 million colour combinations and with Mystic Sync it can be synchronized with any other compatible MSI components you have.

Just don't ask about the beard.

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"Micro-Star International, better known as MSI has sent us a treat! We will be taking a look at one of their latest products, the MSI Immerse GH70 Gaming Headset. Websters dictionary describes "immerse" as "to plunge into something that surrounds or covers..." and "completely immersed in his work". Lets see if the MSI Immerse GH70 Gaming Headset stands up to …"

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Source: Modders Inc