Not all geeks are created equal, as Maximum PC readers no doubt know. Hardware geeks and miniature wargaming geeks don't necessarily grunt the same language; sticking a Star Trek geek and a Firefly geek in the same room is just asking for trouble. BioWare and LucasArts are hoping to strike nerd gold by tapping into the combined power of gaming geeks and Star Wars geeks with the upcoming MMORPG "Star Wars: The Old Republic." Now, Razer's getting into the action and trying to suck hardware geeks into the mix with their new line of SWTOR-branded peripherals.
As you go bouncing from one LAN party to another, you'll want to bring a solid set of cans, and preferably 5.1 if you want to know exactly where the bad guys are coming from (or good guys, depending on how you roll). Or maybe you've been getting complaints from your wife/parents/neighbor/landlord over those late night gaming sessions being blasted through your gnarly speaker set. Either way, Cyber Snipa has come out with a new 5.1 gaming headset the company hopes will find a home in your, well, home.
Now, the first thing you’re going to notice about the HS1 USB gaming headset is that it isn’t the best looking set out there. It’s bulky, the color choice is uninspired, and the odd decision to pad the bottom and top of the headband gives the whole thing a sort of bloated aesthetic. There—now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about the reasons that Corsair’s first headset kicks ass.
For one, it sounds great. That supersize chassis means more room for big, beefy 50mm drivers. These give the HS1 clear highs and bass that’s great for a pair of headphones. The dynamic range is also stellar, letting everything from gunshots to quiet, ambient background noises come through with excellent clarity.
Sennheiser's probably best known for its line of high-end earphones primarily for listening to music on the go, but the company also offers a line of gaming headsets. That line got a little larger today with the introduction of a handful of new units, including the new flagship PC 360.
The PC 360 is the followup to the PC 350. It combines open-air speaker technology with a noise canceling microphone into a headset that's purportedly comfortable to wear with "velvety-soft ear pads and large ear cups."
There's also the PC 163D with virtual 7.1 channel, 360-degree audio, the slightly larger PC 333D also with virtual 7.1-channel sound that adds Dolby Headphone technology into the mix, and the PC 330 G4ME featuring closed acoustics with a flip-up design similar to a DJ's headset.
The PC 360 ($300), PC 163D ($210), PC 333D ($240), and PC 330 ($160) are available now.
Razer didn't become arguably the most popular gaming peripheral maker on the planet by accident, the company did it by pandering to its target audience. It started simple enough with the release of the Boomslang gaming mouse over a decade ago, and continues today with the announcement of a line of peripherals intended specifically for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty fans.
"We have been anticipating the moment we could get these gaming peripherals into the hands of gamers and StarCraft players," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "We could not be more happy with the massive feedback we’ve received over the unique APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System feature and remarkable design. This new line offers StarCraft II players a great new way to complement and customize their real-time strategy gaming experience."
There are three StarCraft themed peripherals in all, including the Spectre gaming mouse ($80), Marauder keyboard ($120), and Banshee headset ($120). Each one sports the StarCraft II logo and multi-colored LEDs.
Look for these devices to start shipping in November.
Zound Industries, makers of the, um, Coloud / Hello Kitty headset, has partnered with Marshall to develop a pair of Marshall branded cans for your skull.
Marshall specializes primarily in amps of various sizes, and as far as we can tell, the Marshall Headphones will mark the company's first foray into headsets.
"Nothing has been compromised when expanding the Marshall heritage of big stage performance to the individual enjoyment of good music," Marshall said. "These headphones are conceived from Marshall’s time-tested fundaments of performance and endurance, designed to thrive on daily use and to render music the way it was meant to sound, no matter what your flavor is. The greatest of effort has also been put into the aesthetics, making the headphones ooze of that iconic Marshall look."
Other than a partial sneak peek at the design, Marshall is keeping tight lipped about its upcoming headset, which is slated to launch on November 15, 2010.
If you scoff at the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a high-end set of headphones, then you're probably not going to pony up $2,749 for Ultrasone's new Edition 10 open-back headset. We didn't inadvertently mash an extra number on our keyboard, folks, these headphones run just shy of three large. Just what exactly constitutes a $2,749 pair of headphones?
"The outer ear cup is finished with galvanic Ruthenium plating and with a Zebrano wood inlay, which is coated with eight layers of clear lacquer for protection," the German headphone maker explains. "The Edition 10's inner ear cup, as well as the head-pad, is adorned with reddish brown Ethiopian sheepskin. This type of leather is known for being the most supple leather available, achieving the maximum level of comfort and sound isolation."
So there you have it -- part of the markup is due to the "supple leather," plus a gaggle of other marketing bullets, like Titanium plated drivers, Kevlar coated cables, and a hand-crafted Zebrano wood headphone stand housed in its own wooden box.
If you're a family man, live with a roommate, or have neighbors hanging out on the other side of thin walls, then a good headset isn't just a luxury, it's a necessity. And if you're console gamer, Logitech is looking at you.
The company just released its new Wireless Headset F540. The F540 lets you connect up to three audio devices, including both your PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, and comes with voice chat to boot.
"We set out to build a great wireless headset for people who like to play at night, but need to keep it quiet so they don’t disturb anyone trying to sleep," said Elliott Chin, Logitech’s senior manager of product marketing for gaming. "The result is an amazing audio experience for console gamers, no matter when they like to play. The Logitech Wireless Headset F540 delivers superior sound coupled with voice chat and does it all without a single cable running between you and your console."
One cool feature on the F540 is that you can recharge the headset while you're still playing -- just attach the micro USB cable and you're good to go. Otherwise, Logitech says you can expect up to 10 hours of use in between charges.
The F540 will ship stateside in November for $150.
Motorola would have you believe its new Oasis behind-the-ear Bluetooth headset is the "most comfortable and lightest" around, and while we can't back that claim without having first tested it, Engadget at least seems to agree.
The funky-looking earpiece sports a rotating boom mic and a lightweight battery that tucks behind your ear. Motorola says it's good for up to 6 hours of talk time, or up to 7 days of standby time.
Other features include echo cancellation, advanced voice prompts, and noise cancellation capable of suppressing wind to 12mph.
The Motorola Oasis goes on sale October 3 for $80.
Creative wants you to know that they've just launched the world's first truly 3D audio headsets, unlike those other 3D sets you may have read about, which apparently aren't the real deal. So how exactly can Creative make that claim?
"Creative gaming headsets are the only headsets in the world to deliver a true 3D immersive experience -- with sound coming from around you, above you, and from below. As games have evolved and 3D video has become the norm, Creative headsets with THX TruStudio Pro are the perfect complement, providing gamers with a completely immersive, mind-blowing 3D audio and video experience," said Steve Erickson, VP and GM for audio and video at Creative.
THX purportedly had a hand in helping develop the new Sound Blaster 3D Tactic Alpha and 3D Sigma headsets, which use proprietary advanced algorithms to blast audio at your eardrums from above, below, and all around. From a hardware standpoint, the 3D Alpha comes with 40mm Neodymium drivers, a detachable noise-canceling mic, and a dual-mode USB 2.0 adapter that allows the headset to be used in analog mode.
The 3D Sigma boasts the same feature-set, except the drivers are 50mm and it comes with a steel core headband. These are also the first headsets to come with customizable profiles.
Look for the 3D Alpha and 3D Sigma to ship later this month for $60 and $90, respectively.