Corsair entered this world as a memory maker, but now dabbles in a whole host of products and peripherals. The company can now add headsets to its resume with the launch of the Gaming Audio Series HS1 USB gaming headphones.
"We set out to develop a headset with the performance that gamers demand, while also providing the pristine audio reproduction required for multi-channel movies and high bit rate music," stated Jim Carlton, Vice President of Marketing at Corsair. "The Audio HS1 easily meets both these challenges."
Corsair claims the use of 50mm drivers means there's less distortion than what's "produced by smaller, more typical drivers." The HS1 sports a circumaural, closed-back design, replaceable memory foam ear pads, uni-directional noise-canceling mic on an adjustable boom, and an inline volume and mic controller.
The HS1 is supposedly shipping now, but if you can track down a vendor that's selling it, your Google-fu is strong.
Just weeks after threatening (and then backing down from) a lawsuit against Wicked Lasers for selling a laser device that supposedly resembles a lightsaber from the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas has turned his sights to Jedi Mind, Inc., which sells a wireless headset capable of detecting brainwaves and can be used to play games and run apps via thought control (think of OCZ's Neural Impulse Actuator).
Lucas and company sent a cease and desist letter to Jedi Mind way back in May, 2009, at which time the company's chief, Brent Fouch, said he would phase his company out of Jedi Mind trademarks. That was enough to appease LucasFilm, only Fouch allegedly hasn't followed through with his promise.
A second cease and desist letter landed at Jedi Mind's offices last September, but failing that, LucasFilm is now seeking $5 million in damages in injunctive relief and recovery of damages.
It should be noted that LucasFilm owns the trademarks for Jedi Knight, Jedi Power Battles, and Jedi Training Academy, but not on Jedi Mind. The company also claims legal rights to "all characteristics associated with the Jedi knights not memorialized in a registered trademark."
So what's the verdict on this one, should LucasFilm be compensated, or told to go pound sand?
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.
"The Red Sox are one of the most historic and respected franchises in all of professional sports, and their fans are among the most famously loyal," said Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M and co-founder of Beats by Dr. Dre. "We are very proud to be partnering with our friends at the Red Sox to introduce these headphones to the fans of this iconic team. We enter this relationship with sincere gratitude to all the athletes that have been so supportive of Beats."
In addition to mad respect from your fellow BoSox fans and dirty glares from baseball's Evil Empire (Yankees), the Red Sox themed headphones come with a Monster headphone cable with Quadripole 4 twisted pair construction (Monster says this reduces signal loss), iSoniTalk iPhone enabled headphone cable, "Rigid Tour" case, anti-microbial cleaning cloth, 1/3 to 1/4 inch adapter, and two AAA batteries.
The headset is available now for $400, and for that price, we wish it came autographed by Beckett.
A long time in the making, Creative Technology today announced that its Creative Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is now available for purchase.
"As the leading innovator in precision audio for PC gaming, we were well positioned to develop a headset that could live up to the high standards set forth by Blizzard Entertainment games," said Steve Erickson, VP and GM for Audio and Video at Creative. "The Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is a result of this, providing an unprecedented combination of wireless technology, THX TruStudio PC technology for enriched audio performance, and a unique design that stands out from anything else available to gamers."
The headset comes with interchangeable headset lenses so your mom knows where your allegiance lies when she brings you dinner during a raid. Other features include oversized padded earcups, built-in rechargeable battery, VoiceFX technology, a detachable microphone, and an optional Voice Tap accessory to eliminate the need to put down the hot pocket and push a key to talk.
SteelSeries, makers of “professional gaming gear”, have used CeBIT as the launching platform for a new keyboard, the 6Gv2, and headset, the 7H.
The 6Gv2 keyboard is modeled after SteelSeries’s award-winning 7G. It is designed with 18-karat gold-plated mechanical no-click switches, which SteelSeries says will offer quicker reaction times, advance key combinations, and more “Actions Per Minute.” The 6Gv2 has a buffer system created specifically for gaming, and an “anti-ghosting” feature that allows users in first person shooters (FPS) to move, crouch, aim, fire, and even check the scoreboard--all at the same time. Built in are media controls, allowing quick access to audio controls. Unlike the 7G, the 6Gv2 has no audio ports, USB ports, or removable plastic hand-rest.
The 7H headset features 50mm drivers with over-the-ear cups that SteelSeries says will deliver a “clean soundscape of high, low and mid tones from background, mood setting sounds in MMO games to 3D positional alerts in FPS games.” The 7H comes with two ear cup options: leather, for maximum sound isolation, or cloth, so you can better communicate with teammates. It has a retractable, uni-directional microphone in the left ear cup, and has built-in volume and microphone controls. 7H comes with standard miniplugs or a USB connector. The USB version comes with optimized sound profiles, as well as customizable environmental settings. For easy storage the 7H can be dismantled into four pieces.
The 6Gv2 keyboard retails for $99.99, while the 7H headset retails for $119.99, with the USB version going for $149.99. All are available for pre-sale at Amazon.
We've already spent some hands-on time with the G13 gamepad announced last month, but now Logitech has finally unveiled its full CES peripheral lineup with the rest of the new G-series family members. The popular G15 gaming keyboard has been completely revamped in a new G19 model, not only boasting more macro keys (the count is now up to 12 physical keys with 3 modes each) and customization options, but also a full color 320x240 GamePanel LCD display. Logitech also announced a brand new USB gaming headset, the G35. Dolby 7.1 surround-sound technology, noise-cancelling mic, convenient button locations, and voice-morphing software make this the first Logitech headset that we’re actually excited about. The $200 keyboard and $130 headset will be available in March, but we have some hands-on impressions and photos for you right now!
There are numerous companies that are currently working on technologies they hope would revolutionize the computer navigation landscape. Amongst the audacious researchers pioneering the touchless revolution is John Underkoffler, who owns a gesture tech start-up called Oblong Industries that recently raised $8.8 million in funding. Underkoffler has to his credit the honor of counseling the Minority Report crew regarding the depiction of futuristic technology in the movie.
Forbes reports that he is spearheading an utterly secretive project that deals with a touchless, gesture-based computer interface. All applications would be controlled merely by gestures.
But Oblong is not alone as alternative navigational interface industry leader Gesture Tek and gaming hardware manufacturers like OCZ Technologies, Neurosky, and Emotiv are also in the reckoning. Some of the researchers are really pushing the envelope with technologies that allow users to control applications and games using their gaze and even thought.
If you happen to live in California, Connecticut, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, or Washington, we hope you’re aware of a recently enacted law making it illegal to make cell phone calls while driving unless you’re using a hands-free headset. Fines in California start at $20 and rise with repeat violations. But if you happen to be a daring super commuter who’s already been caught using a cell phone while driving, you may be in luck. Bluetooth headset maker Jawbone just announced a new promotion to give ticket holders $20 off their new headset (which we really liked in our Bluetooth headset roundup) when you place an order from the official Jawbone website. The offer ends on August 31st, and will require you to give Jawbone your ticket number. You’re not really saving any money (since the minimum ticket fine is $20), so we don’t recommend breaking the law and getting caught just to make yourself eligible for the discount.
If you’re just dying to strap a display to your head, the Headplay Personal Cinema is your best choice. It’s comfortable, even for people who wear glasses, supports a wide range of input devices, and delivers relatively high resolution, and the only virtual-reality feature it lacks is head tracking.