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!

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

HyperX Announces Cloud Orbit Gaming Headsets with Audeze Planar Drivers

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 11:05 PM |
Tagged: hyperx, CES, ces 2019, gaming, headset, Audeze, planar magnetic, Waves Nx

HyperX has announces the Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets, produced in collaboration with Audeze to incorporate the company's planar magnetic driver technology.

"Cloud Orbit headsets are based on the ground-breaking Audeze Mobius Platform that features 100mm planar magnetic driver technology for clear and realistic spatial audio. Audeze planar magnetic designs utilize extremely thin-film speakers and powerful custom magnets, allowing you to accurately hear where your opponent is located. Feel completely immersed in the field of play with high resolution audio clarity and wide sound stage."

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In addition to the use of these 100 mm planar drivers the new headsets also feature Waves Nx 3D audio technology for a 360-degree audio experience.

"The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the users 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."

Cloud Orbit & Cloud Orbit S Specifications

Headphone

  • Driver: Planar transducer, 100 mm
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response: 10Hz–50,000Hz
  • Sound pressure level: 120 dB
  • T.H.D.: < 0.1% (1 kHz, 1 mW)
  • Weight: 350g
  • Cable length:
  • 3.5mm (4-pole): 1.2m
  • USB Type C to Type A: 3m
  • USB Type C to Type C: 1.2m

Boom Microphone

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Microphone type: Noise-cancelling
  • Battery life: 10 hours (Tested at 50% headphone volume)

The new headsets will be on the premium end of the market with MSRPs of $299.99 for the HyperX Orbit and $329.99 for the Orbit S. A release date has not been announced just yet.

Source: HyperX

CES 2019: Lenovo "Legion" Peripherals: H500 7.1 Pro & H300 Gaming Headsets, K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, M500 RGB Mouse

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: RGB, mechanical keyboard, Lenovo, Legion, headset, gaming mouse

Lenovo has just announced two new gaming headsets, a gaming mechanical keyboard, and a right-handed gaming mouse.

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The Lenovo Legion H500 7.1 Pro Gaming Headset is the high-end of the two announced. For $99.99 USD, the headphones have 50mm drivers in an all-black with black anisotropic metal highlight design. It supports virtual 7.1 surround sound via its USB sound card, although it can also be plugged into 3.5mm analog jacks. The microphone is retractable.

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For $59.99 USD, the Lenovo Legion H300 Gaming Headset still has 50mm drivers although it loses the USB sound device with 7.1 surround; it can only attach by 3.5mm, stereo. The headset design is somewhat similar, though, including the retractable microphone.

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Moving on to the Lenovo Legion K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard. This device is based on Cherry MX Red switches, which means you will not feel a click or a bump as the key passes it actuation point. I personally don’t like linear keys, because I don’t like having no feedback until I bottom out, but that is 100% user-preference. The bottom of the keyboard has a full palm rest, which is detachable if you want to save that little bit of room. Its media keys are standard buttons on the top-left of the keyboard. I like how it contributes to the overall simple, clean design, although I would prefer a volume roller or dial. The price is listed as “starting at $99.99” (USD) although I don’t see any upsells listed.

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The Lenovo Legion M500 RGB Gaming Mouse uses a 16,000 DPI Pixart sensor and Omron mechanical switches. It also had three-zone RGB lighting and seven programmable buttons. There is also a 10g adjustable weight to customize how it feels to move. It is expected to cost $59.99 USD.

All peripherals are available in April 2019.

Source: Lenovo
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach

Introducing the Atlas

Turtle Beach has been a mainstay in the PC gaming world for years, but recently it’s seemed like their focus has shifted toward console gamers. The Atlas line is their answer to that, with three headsets modeled after their console offerings and custom tuned for PC gamers.

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach’s Top of the Line

Turtle Beach is one of the most well-known companies in the world of gaming headsets. They’ve got an entry for virtually every price range, and today we’re looking at their highest-end model yet: the Elite Pro 2. Retailing for $249.99, this new flagship has a lot to prove to justify its price point, but comes to market rich in features, compatible with Xbox One/PS4 and Windows 10, and packing its own sound card and amplifier, the SuperAmp. Let’s take a closer look and see how it fares.

Specifications

  • Pricing: $249.99 (Amazon)
  • Compatible With: Xbox One, Windows 10
  • Audio Connection:
    • XBox One and Windows 10
    • 3.5mm + USB, Mobile Devices - Bluetooth
  • Speaker Size: 50mm Nanoclear™ speakers with Neodymium magnets
  • Speaker Frequency Response: 12Hz - 20kHz
  • Microphone: PRO GAMING MIC WITH TRUSPEAK™ TECHNOLOGY
  • Surround Sound: Yes: Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos Compatible
  • Headband Material: Athletic fabric
  • Ear Cushion: Over Ear, Athletic fabric, leather & cooling gel-infused memory foam
  • PROSPECTS™ glasses relief system
  • Superhuman Hearing™
  • Dynamic Chat Boost™
  • Variable Mic Monitoring

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Click here to continue reading our review of the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 Headset!

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: Corsair

Wire Free with RGB

Corsair has been on a roll lately. We’ve looked at a number of their peripherals here at PC Perspective and have consistently found them to be well-built, performance accessories for your gaming rig. Today we’re leaving the keyboards and mice behind to take a look at a different, more divisive product category: the gaming headset. Corsair’s Void Pro RGB Wireless looks great on the surface but does it have the sound and comfort to match? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $99.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Wireless Range: Up to 40 feet (12m)
  • Surround Sound: Virtual 7.1 Dolby Headphone
  • Headphone Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20 kHz
  • Headphone Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1 kHz
  • Headphone Drivers Drivers: 50mm
  • Headphone Connector: USB Dongle
  • Battery Life: Up to 16 hours
  • Microphone Type: Unidirectional noise cancelling
  • Microphone Impedance: 2.0k Ohms
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -38dB (+/-3dB)
  • Lighting: RGB
  • Audio CUE Software: YES
  • Warranty: Two years

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As always, we begin with packaging. Corsair always does a good job here. We find the usual black and yellow trim with the shard background on the face, as well as our key feature callouts. You can’t see it well on the box since they went with a black and white aesthetic but both the “sails” logo and the trim on the microphone’s boom arm are illuminated, though only the former is RGB. Inside the box, we find the headset well packaged without any annoying tie-downs.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless headset!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech
Tagged: pro, logitech, headset

eSports on a Casual Budget

Slowly but surely, gaming accessories are going to the way of sneakers. Growing up, if you wanted to be a “baller,” you wanted a pair of Jordans. Short of that, you at least wanted a pair of Nikes or Reeboks - something that screamed “sports.” Even though making it to the pros was about as common as winning the lottery, you still wanted to be like the pros with their amazing talent, millions of dollars, and adoring fans. So you’d lace up those shoes and think maybe, just maybe, they’d lend you a little bit of the magic promised in the commercials.

And so it goes with the rise of eSports. With pro gamers now competing in million dollar tournaments and filling out stadiums of their own, PC gaming peripherals are going to the way of Nike, inextricably tying themselves to competitive gaming with marketing and team sponsorships. Yet, at least in some cases, there may be some substance to the hype.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Logitech G Pro gaming headset. Yes, it’s got sponsorships printed on the side of the box and quotes from professional gamers on the product page, but with a renewed focus on performance over flash, could there be more to the G Pro than hype? Let’s find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $89.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Driver: Hybrid mesh PRO-G
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 107dB@1KHz SPL 30mW/1cm
  • Noise Isolation: up to 16dB
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Surround: Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos for headphones Compatible
  • Microphone Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
  • Microphone Type: Back Electret Condenser
  • Microphone Size: 4mm
  • Microphone Frequency response: 100Hz-10KHz
  • Dimensions: 6.77 in (H) x 3.22in (W) x 7.17 in (D)
  • Weight: (w/o cable): 9.14 oz  (259 g)
  • PC Cable Length: 6.56 ft (2 m)
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty

Materials:

  • Headband: TR90 nylon
  • Joint: Glass fiber reinforced nylon​
  • Slider: Stainless steel
  • Ear and head pads: Leatherette
  • Additional ear pads: Microsuede
  • Earcups: Soft-touch

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Beginning with packaging, we can see the simple approach right from the outset. The box mirrors the headset itself in its low key presentation. The most flash we see is on the rear with a large-text glossy black feature list and a slogan befitting its design: “One Purpose. Play to Win.”

Continue reading our review of the Logitech G Pro headset!