No, the world didn't end and thankfully so, as we're able to give you guys episode 193 of the No BS Podcast! Filling out the seats just in time for the Holidays are Editor Josh Norem, Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang, Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung, and Editor-in-Chief Katherine Stevenson. This time around we discuss a wide variety of topics that include:
If you spend your days dreaming of taking to the skies, Razer's new BlackShark headphones may be the peripheral to keep your head above ground, even if you aren't. The stereo gaming headset was designed to look and feel like the ones worn by attack helicopter pilots, Razer says, and if they look familiar, it's because the gaming peripheral maker already sells a branded pair for Battlefield 3 junkies.
Multi-core processors and vastly improved onboard audio solutions have all but rendered discrete audio cards obsolete, just don't speak such nonsense to Creative, which just unveiled a new generation of Sound Blaster soundcards. Three new cards comprise the company's new Sound Blaster Z Series, including the Sound Blaster ZxR, Zx, and Z, all three of which are PCI Express parts.
We lent an ear to Plantronics so the company could tell us all about its new limited edition GameCom Commander headset built for professional gamers. In short, Plantronics claims they took a noise cancelling headset developed for military applications and adapted the design for gaming. That sounds like overkill, until you factor in that professional and semi-pro gamers often find themselves surrounded by thousands of competitors, and when you're in a confined space with 3,000 people, things tend to get a little boisterous.
Sennheiser needs no introduction in the audio space, so we'll skip right to the chase and share the fact that Sennheiser has just added a pair of headsets to its PC gaming line. The new models include the PC 323D with 7.1 "super-realistic" surround sound, and the PC 310, the latter of which is a more subdued headset aimed at entry-level gamers, with a price tag to boot ($60).
Windows Media Center may not make it into default Windows 8 installs, but the team of crack programmers behind the highly excellent XBMC media player is working hard to dull the pain. The newest addition to the open source software completely revamps XBMC's audio code and brings support for 7.1 HD audio formats, along with a lot of other goodies.
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system will incorporate Dolby Digital Plus audio technology, it has been announced. In a press release on Thursday, California-based Dolby Laboratories revealed that its deal with Microsoft covers both x86- and ARM-based Windows devices.
It’s an audiotastic kind of day at CES; if the Scosche headsets we mentioned earlier don’t quite tickle your fancy, Sennheiser’s also let loose some information about a pair of new, high-performance headsets coming in March. Like most Sennheiser headsets, the new ones look like they’ll definitely satisfy audiophiles – but that high-end audio comes with a high-end price tag.
You run into all kinds at CES, from big name OEMs introducing fancy Ultrabooks models, to companies like Scosche, which has been dabbling in accessories and car audio for over three decades. The latest products from Scosche include three brand new additions to its Realm line of premium headphones, a free tuneQ equalizer app for iPhone and iPod touch devices, and nearly half a dozen chargers of various utility.
Aesop tried to teach us that slow and steady wins the race and he used a turtle to drive the point home. That's cute, but out here in the real world, companies are blitzing the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with pre-show announcements quick as can be, and that includes Turtle Beach, which unveiled a bunch of new products spanning wireless, mobile, and Dolby Surround Sound technologies.