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

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

A Tale of Two Headsets

There is no shortage of wireless gaming headsets these days, with 2.4 GHz via USB dongle the most common option. The HyperX Cloud MIX provides wireless connectivity of the Bluetooth variety, and if you need or just prefer a wired connection don't worry - as the name implies these provide wired analog audio via a 3.5mm headset plug, with a Y-cable is also included to split off mic and audio to your sound card's requisite I/O.

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An interesting addition to the standard Bluetooth codecs with the Cloud MIX is aptX support, which means this headset has the capability of far better wireless audio quality than the standard SBC codec can provide - if you have a way to connect with aptX, that is. It's also worth noting that the Cloud MIX is actually the first Bluetooth-capable headset HyperX has released, with latency a roadblock to its adoption in this market.

Before moving on here is a look at the full specifications from HyperX:


  • Headphone
    • Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
    • Type: Circumaural; Closed back
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz–40,000Hz
    • Impedance: 40Ω
    • Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
    • T.H.D.: < 2%
    • Weight: 260g
    • Weight with Mic: 275g
  • Cable Length:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  1.3m
    • PC Extension Cable:  2m
    • USB Charging Cable:  0.5m
  • Connection Type:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  3.5mm plug (4 pole)
    • PC Extension Cable:  3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
  • Boom Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Built-in Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery Life (50% headphone volume) 20 hours
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters

Pricing and Availability: $199.99, Best Buy

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Continue reading our review of the HyperX Cloud MIX Wired Headset with Bluetooth!

The sound of a Cloud in Flight from HyperX

Subject: General Tech | July 24, 2018 - 04:17 PM |
Tagged: audio, wireless, hyperx, headset, headphones, gaming, Cloud Flight

Back in the early months of this year Sebastian judged the HyperX Cloud Flight gaming headset worthy of an Editors Choice Award thanks to their comfort and usability.  It has been a while since then, but that is no reason not to revist them, especially as different ears will have different experiences.  The Tech Report just tested these out, contrasting their performance to the Cloud Alpha headset they were impressed by.  Check out their thoughts on this wireless headset in their full review.

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"HyperX's Cloud Flight takes the company's considerable experience building gaming headsets and applies it to a set of wireless cans for the first time. We cupped our ears with the Cloud Flight's memory-foam padding to see what a cord-free gaming experience can be."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

Introduction and First Impressions

HyperX announced the Cloud Flight at CES, marking the first wireless headset offering from the gaming division of Kingston. HyperX already enjoyed a reputation for quality sound and build quality, so we'll see how that translates into a wireless product which boasts some pretty incredible battery life (up to 30 hours without LED lighting).

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The HyperX Cloud Flight with a closed-cup design that looks like a pair of studio headphones, and in addition to the 2.4 GHz wireless connection it offers the option of a 3.5 mm connection, making it compatibile with anything that supports traditional wired audio. The lighting effects are understated and adjustable, and the detachable noise-cancelling mic is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord.

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The big questions to answer in this review: how does it sound, how comfortable is it, and how well does the wireless mode work? Let's get started!

Continue reading our review of the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless headset!

CES 2018: HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2018 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: wireless, kingston, hyperx, headset, headphones, gaming, Cloud Flight, CES 2018, CES, 2.4GHz

HyperX has announced their first wireless headset with the Cloud Flight, and with it the promise of a whopping 30 hours of battery life on a single charge using its 2.4 GHz connection.

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"With a solid, gaming-grade wireless connection, incredible 30-hour battery life, and signature HyperX comfort, Cloud Flight allows you to play uninterrupted for longer. The closed cup design helps keep you immersed, while the durable steel slider and high-quality construction mean it’s built to withstand daily wear and tear."

The new Cloud Flight headset is compatibile with PS4/PS4 Pro as well as PC, and the optional wired connection allows use with anything that supports a 3.5 mm connection. Other features include 90° earcup rotation, adjustable lighting effects, and the detachable noise-cancelling mic is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord.

Specifications from HyperX:

Headphone

  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response:
    • Wireless: 20Hz–20,000Hz
    • Analog: 15Hz–23,000Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 106dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Weight: 300g; 315g with mic
  • Cable length and type: USB charge cable (1m) + Detachable 3.5mm headphone cable (1.3m)

Microphone

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Noise-cancelling
  • Frequency response: 100Hz-7,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: -45dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery life:
    • LED off: 30 hours
    • Breathing LED: 18 hours
    • Solid LED: 13 hours
  • Wireless Range: Up to 20 meters

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The HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset is available now for $159.99, and our testing is already underway so expect the full review soon!

Corsair's HS50 continue to recieve kudos

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2017 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: stereo, review, neodymium, HS50, headset, headphones, gaming, corsair, 50mm, audio

Sebastian was not the only one who listened to Corsair's new HS50 gaming headset, several other sites tested out this $50 headset and offered their thoughts.  The Tech Report contrasted this headset with their favoured Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones which cost roughly three times as much.  They found the audio to be somewhat clearer on the more expensive headset as you might expect, but Corsair's offering came very close and offer congratulations on the quality they managed on such an inexpensive pair of headphones.  Check out their review in full right here.

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"Corsair's HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset boasts solid build quality and classy looks, plus a Swiss Army knife's worth of compatibility. We gamed with the HS50 on consoles and listened to its musical chops to see whether it's a winner for $50."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Is this the new budget champion?

True to their name, Corsair’s new HS50 STEREO gaming headsets offer traditional 2-channel sound from a similarly traditional headphone design. These are certainly ready for gaming with a detachable microphone and universal compatibility with both PCs and consoles, and budget friendly with an MSRP of only $49.99. How do they stack up? Let’s find out!

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Specifications:

  • Driver: 50mm Neodymium
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 111 dB (± 3 dB)
  • Mic Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling
  • Mic Impedance: 2.0k Ohms
  • Mic Frequency: Response 100Hz – 10kHz
  • Mic Sensitivity: -40 dB (± 3 dB)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 160 x 100 x 205 mm
  • Weight: 319g
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Available Colors: Carbon, Green, Blue

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Nothing about these say “budget” when you look at the packaging and first unbox them, and they have a substantial feel to them like a pair of premium headphones - not at all like an inexpensive gaming headset.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair HS50 STEREO gaming headset!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Introduction and Specifications

Logitech has been releasing gaming headphones with a steady regularity of late, and this summer we have another new model to examine in the G433 Gaming Headset, which has just been released (along with the G233). This wired, 7.1-channel capable headset is quite different visually from previous Logitech models as is finished with an interesting “lightweight, hydrophobic fabric shell” and offered in various colors (our review pair is a bright red). But the G433’s have function to go along with the style, as Logitech has focused on both digital and analog sound quality with this third model to incorporate the Logitech’s Pro-G drivers. How do they sound? We’ll find out!

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One of the main reasons to consider a gaming headset like this in the first place is the ability to take advantage of multi-channel surround sound from your PC, and with the G433’s (as with the previously reviewed G533) this is accomplished via DTS Headphone:X, a technology which in my experience is capable of producing a convincing sound field that is very close to that of multiple surround drivers. All of this is being created via the same pair of left/right drivers that handle music, and here Logitech is able to boast of some very impressive engineering that produced the Pro-G driver introduced two years ago. An included DAC/headphone amp interfaces with your PC via USB to drive the surround experience, and without this you still have a standard stereo headset that can connect to anything with a 3.5 mm jack.

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The G433 is available in four colors, of which we have the red on hand today

If you have not read up on Logitech’s exclusive Pro-G driver, you will find in their description far more similarities to an audiophile headphone company than what we typically associate with a computer peripheral maker. Logitech explains the thinking behind the technology:

“The intent of the Pro-G driver design innovation is to minimize distortion that commonly occurs in headphone drivers. When producing lower frequencies (<1kHz), most speaker diaphragms operate as a solid mass, like a piston in an engine, without bending. When producing many different frequencies at the same time, traditional driver designs can experience distortion caused by different parts of the diaphragm bending when other parts are not. This distortion caused by rapid transition in the speaker material can be tuned and minimized by combining a more flexible material with a specially designed acoustic enclosure. We designed the hybrid-mesh material for the Pro-G driver, along with a unique speaker housing design, to allow for a more smooth transition of movement resulting in a more accurate and less distorted output. This design also yields a more efficient speaker due to less overall output loss due to distortion. The result is an extremely accurate and clear sounding audio experience putting the gamer closer to the original audio of the source material.”

Logitech’s claims about the Pro-G have, in my experience with the previous models featuring these drivers (G633/G933 Artemis Spectrum and G533 Wireless), have been spot on, and I have found them to produce a clarity and detail that rivals ‘audiophile’ stereo headphones.

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Continue reading our review of the Logitech G433 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset!

Logitech's G433 7.1 Gaming Headset: Stylish Looks and Pro-G Drivers for $99

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2017 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: wired, surround, Pro-G, logitech, headset, headphones, gaming, G433, DTS Headphone:X, drivers, 7.1

Logitech has released their latest surround gaming headphones with the wired G433 Gaming Headset, a 7.1-channel (via DTS Headphone:X) model that is latest to use the company's Pro-G drivers.

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The style of the new G433 is quite eye-catching, with four colors (black, red, blue, and blue camo) of a unique fabric finish that Logitech says is hydrophobic (repels water) for enhanced durability. The G433 primarily function as an analog headphone (with a 3.5 mm plug) unless an included USB DAC/headphone amp is used, giving PC users access to DTS Headphone:X surround up to 7.1 channels and customizable EQ via Logitech's Gaming Software. The microphone is a removable boom style with noise reduction to help improve voice clarity, and Logitech has used a 5-element double-grounded cable to eliminate crosstalk and prevent game audio from bleeding into voice.

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The G433 arrives with an MSRP of $99, making the headset the least expensive Pro-G option to date, but this comparatively low price tag for a premium option still provides the buyer a complete accessory pack including the USB DAC,  alternate ear pads, two 3.5 mm audio cables (one with inline mic), a 3.5 mm audio/mic Y-cable, and a fabric storage bag.

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The Logitech G433 is available now, and with a pair on hand will have a full review up very soon!

Source: Logitech
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Introduction and Specifications

The G533 Wireless headset is the latest offering from Logitech, combining the company’s premium Pro-G drivers, 15-hour battery life, and a new, more functional style. Obvious comparisons can be made to last year’s G933 Artemis Spectrum, since both are wireless headsets using Logitech’s Pro-G drivers; but this new model comes in at a lower price while offering much of the same functionality (while dropping the lighting effects). So does the new headset sound any different? What about the construction? Read on to find out!

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The G533 exists alongside the G933 Artemis Spectrum in Logitech’s current lineup, but it takes most of the features from that high-end wireless model, while paring it down to create a lean, mean option for gamers who don’t need (or want) RGB lighting effects. The 40 mm Pro-G drivers are still here, and the new G533 offers a longer battery life (15 hours) than the G933 could manage, even with its lighting effects disabled (12 hours). 7.1-channel surround effects and full EQ and soundfield customization remain, though only DTS effects are present (no Dolby this time).

What do these changes translate to? First of all, the G533 headset is being introduced with a $149 MSRP, which is $50 lower than the G933 Artemis Spectrum at $199. I think many of our readers would trade RGB effects for lower cost, making this a welcome change (especially considering lighting effects don’t really mean much when you are wearing the headphones).Another difference is the overall weight of the headset at 12.5 oz, which is 0.5 oz lighter than the G933 at 13 oz.

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Continue reading our review of the Logitech G533 Wireless 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset!