Tesoro today announced the release of its Kuven Pro 5.1 surround sound gaming headset. Armed with eight drivers (four in each ear cup), Tesoro advertises true 5.1 and virtual 7.1 surround sound capabilities, along with the ability to fully customize each channel (voice, front, rear, center, and subwoofer). As for the funky name, it's a shout out to the helmet that Hades wore in Greek mythology (more accurately spelled "Kυνέη").
IF YOU'RE A LONGTIME PC user, you might remember Turtle Beach as one of the original manufacturers of computer audio hardware—we’re talking soundcards that competed with the best that Creative Labs had to offer. You might also have been dismayed in recent years, as the company became known for producing high-end headsets aimed primarily at console gamers. Turtle Beach has never forsaken its roots, though; its lineup has always included some solid offerings for the PC. The Ear Force Z6A is the latest in that line.
The Z6A features perfectly respectable build quality, with ear cups that swivel and flex to fit comfortably on any shape of head. The padding on the headband and the ear surrounds isn’t exactly plush, but we found it comfortable enough for extended wear. As is generally the case with Turtle Beach products, the Z6A boasts stylish design, with sharp-looking chrome accents and deep blue detailing.
We’ve waited so long for Logitech to replace its 5.1-channel Z-5500 speaker system that we finally quit asking the company about it. The Z-5500 ruled our best-of-the-best list (in the 5.1-channel speaker category, that is) from 2004 to 2005 before M-Audio’s Studiophile LX4 knocked it off its perch. We put it back when M-Audio discontinued the LX4 several years later, and it’s been there ever since.
Wires are the bane of any neat freak's home theater setup, so it should come as good news that AuraSound went and developed the industry's first wireless 5.1 soundbar for TVs.
"We are very excited to introduce the wireless 5.1 soundbar which will immerse individuals in a rich audio experience from their home entertainment systems," Mr. Harald Weisshaupt, President and CEO stated. "The response from both our retail and OEM customers has been outstanding."
The wireless soundbar measures 42 inches and includes four 3-inch hand-built mid/bass transducers and two 3/4-inch aluminum dome neodymium tweeters. A pair of satellites and a wireless subwoofer round out the package. Equipped with a 6.5-inch long throw driver, the sub's frequency comes rated at 35Hz up to 80Hz, so it's not going to trade low blows with the likes of Outlaw, SVS, or Hsu subwoofers, but it's all about reducing clutter here, and AuraSound's subwoofer can be placed within 60 feet of the soundbar (with a clear line of sight). As for lag? AuroSound claims a latency equal to the speed of sound (1ms/ft).
Volume shipments have already begun, and from what AuroSound tells us, it's "selling like hotcakes at almost all the major U.S. retailers." MSRP for the 5.1 system is $429.
The PC speaker market isn't as exciting as it once was -- remember when Logitech and Klipsch would duke it out with high-end speaker sets? -- but that doesn't mean it's dead entirely. To prove it, Logitech this weekend announced its Z506 Surround Sound Speakers.
According to Logitech, the Z506 is easily connected to just about any home entertainment device, and yes, that includes your PC. It also includes your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, iPod, and DVD player.
"To ensure that the Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z506 are easy to set up, we color coded all the cables and included an accessory cable for soundcards and music players," Logitech states in a blog post. "And, if you're a gamer, you can connect the Z506 speakers directly to your game console's existing RCA cable."
In addition to multiple inputs, the Z506 delivers 75 watts (RMS) of power, dedicated bass control, and a ported, down-firing subwoofer.
The Psyko 5.1 takes the idea of 5.1 surround sound in a gaming headset to its logical extreme. Not content with using two drivers to simulate 5.1 surround sound, the Psyko 5.1 actually packs seven drivers into the headset; five for directional sound, and two for bass. The Psyko isn’t the first headset with that many drivers, but the way it uses them to achieve its surround-sound effect is truly unique.
It’s a bit complicated to explain, but we’ll try: When gaming on a traditional surround-sound system, when a sound is played on the front-right speaker, the sound from that speaker hits your right ear a millisecond before your left ear, from the front. With the Psyko 5.1 headset, the same bullet sound would also be played primarily on the front-right speaker, except that now it’s located on the right half of the headband. The sound then travels through an acoustic channel, and is piped into the front of both ear chambers. Because the sound originates on the right side of the band, it hits your right ear first, producing the same effect as a physical speaker. Sound from the rear speakers works the same way, but is piped into the back of the ear chambers.