Posts Tagged ‘audio’

Sennheiser GSP 600 review: Bass overload

Sennheiser GSP 600

It’s a stupid thing to get excited about in the grand scheme of things, but Sennheiser’s new ‘contact pressure slider’ on their flagship GSP 600 gaming headset really caught my eye when it was announced at this year’s CES tech bonanza. It wasn’t exactly clear what it did at the time thanks to Sennheiser’s rather vague description in its press materials, but it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, it might help alleviate my ongoing battle with the dreaded headset headband pinch. Here’s how I got on.
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Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 review: A great, bassy headset undermined by fussy touch controls

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500

The Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 is probably the first headset I’ve used in quite some time where I haven’t had to automatically put the headband on the tightest possible setting. This surprised me, considering the enormous size of its ear cups, but the tight, rigid design of its headband meant there was no way I was getting this thing over my head without loosening it first. Finally, a USB headset for people with smaller noggins than I.

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Roccat Khan Aimo review: Better for bass lovers

Roccat Khan Aimo

The Khan Aimo is the final piece of Roccat’s smart RGB peripheral puzzle – or at least it is so far, anyway. Like their Horde Aimo keyboard and Kone Aimo mouse before it, the Khan Aimo uses Roccat’s intelligent RGB system to create a synchronised light show that adapts to the way you work and play, rippling and fading with every click, tap and pause across each of your devices.

Of course, unless you regularly have out-of-body-experiences when you’re playing games, the RGB effect on the headset will be pretty much lost on you, as there’s no way to actually see any of it once you’ve put it on. Not that it’s particularly overt in the first place, with only a thin strip down the side of each ear cup and a tiny little sliver at the base of headband, but at least your mates will think you’re “Très Cool” when you rock up with everything at your next LAN party. Okay, so the lighting might be a bit pointless, but to dismiss the Khan Aimo on those grounds alone would be short-sighted, as this is also another Hi Res audio certified headset just like the Steelseries Arctis Pro. It can also do Hi Res and surround sound at the same time – something the Arctis Pro is decidedly lacking.  Read the rest of this entry »

Steelseries Arctis Pro review: The best headset just got better, at a cost

Steelseries Arctis Pro

Ever since the Steelseries Arctis 7 rocked my eardrums at the end of last year, no other gaming headset has even come close to matching its supreme comfort or exceptional sound quality – until now. Enter its brand-new shiny upmarket sibling, the Arctis Pro.

Borrowing the same understated design and ski goggle headband as the rest of the Arctis line, the Pro takes everything up a notch, introducing Hi Res audio support, a dash of RGB lighting around the ear cups and some primo build quality to make it extra feel durable and luxurious.

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Not for those with tiny skulls

Turtle Beach Elite Pro

A lot of headsets sound like they’re playing a game of buzzword bingo these days, and the Turtle Beach Elite Pro is no exception. Are you a pro gamer who’s into esports and want to play like the athletes you see on the internet? Well, the Elite Pro and its Superhuman Hearing tech, TruSpeak microphone, Aerofit ear cushions and ComfortTec fit and ProSpecs glasses relief system (yes, all actual words printed on the side of the Elite Pro’s box) could be the headset for you! Sorry, you’ll have to excuse me a minute, I think I just threw up in my own mouth.

Marketing jargon and crimes against the English language aside, though, and the Elite Pro is actually a very nice headset. A rather bulky,  heavy gaming headset, but a nice one nevertheless.

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Roccat’s Khan Aimo RGB brings LEDs and Hi-Res audio to its classic gaming headset

Roccat Khan Aimo RGB

Hot on the heels of their Kone Aimo mouse that came out at the end of last year, Roccat are now following it up with an all new Aimo-themed headset. Dubbed the Khan Aimo RGB, this USB headset is about to bring Hi-Res audio and its ‘smart’ Aimo lighting system to your waxy ear holes.

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HyperX Cloud Flight review: Near wireless gaming headset perfection

HyperX Cloud Flight

It’s been barely a week since the annual CES tech bonanza shut up shop for another year, but HyperX has wasted no time getting in its very first wireless gaming headset out into the wild. Dubbed the Cloud Flight, this 2.4GHz headset boasts the longest battery life of any of its wireless competitors – up to a whopping 30 hours to be precise.

That’s enough time to play a complete run through of AC Oranges or that same cathedral at the start of Dark Souls III over and over again because god damn Vordt of the Boreal Valley is just too damn hard. The question is, is it actually any good?

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Roccat Khan Pro review: A small wonder?

Roccat Khan Pro header

As gaming headsets go, the Roccat Khan Pro is delightfully diddly. Normally when I put on a headset, it feels like I’m encasing my head in something akin to a bike helmet, so large and cumbersome are their various ear cups that they’d probably provide adequate protection in the event of a roadside collision.

That might be because of my apparently pea-sized head, judging by the number of adjustments I always have to make to get a good fit, but it’s a rare thing indeed when I find a headset that could almost pass for a regular pair of over-ear headphones. You know, if it didn’t have a mic poking out the side or gigantic logos emblazoned on the ear cups.

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Best of CES 2018: The top PC gizmos you’ll want to own this year

CES 2018

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is over for another year. It was a slightly weird show this year, marred by an embarrassing power outage, one too many pointless robots (Cloi, I’m looking at you) and the creeping feeling that the world’s biggest tech show might just be becoming a bit irrelevant.

Fortunately, PC gamers still have plenty to look forward to in 2018, from giganto gaming screens and teeny tiny powerhouse NUCs to mouse mats that can charge your phone, metal-clad motherboards, and probably yet another hike in GPU prices when EVGA unleashes its crypto mining dream machine power supply that can run something silly like 14 Nvidia GTX 1070s all at the same time (thanks, guys). But all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for what I’m officially deeming the best of CES 2018, all without a single stroppy robot in sight.

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Corsair Void Pro RGB review: Supreme comfort marred by underwhelming surround

Corsair Void Pro RGB header

I thought it would be ages before I found another pair of headphones that could rival Steelseries’ superb Arctis 7, but it turns out great headsets are a bit like buses. You wait ages and then two come along at once. This time, it’s Corsair’s Void Pro RGB.

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Steelseries Arctis 7 review: The best gaming headset bar none

Steelseries Arctis 7

Readers, I think I’ve found it. The perfect gaming headset. For me, anyway. Thanks to a simple strip of fabric, Steelseries’ Arctis 7 is hands down the most comfortable gaming headset I’ve ever used. Instead of cushioning that damnable headband with memory foam and other such gubbins you normally find in online mattress ads, Steelseries’ so-called ‘ski-goggle’ design puts all the weight on a stretchy piece of material that wraps tightly, but snugly round your skull, while the main aluminium frame sits suspended above your head. No pinching, no headache, nothing. It’s beautiful.

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Steelseries Siberia 800 review: A great wireless headset let down by its microphone

Steelseries Siberia 800

For a wireless gaming headset, the Steelseries Siberia 800 sure does come with a lot of cables. Open up the box and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve bought the wrong headphones, as there’s a whole other mini box crammed inside it with more cables than you know what to do with. This is mostly because, unlike a lot of wireless headsets, the Siberia 800 uses a dedicated transmitter box that can be connected to a variety of different devices instead of a traditional USB dongle. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels like a slap in the face when the whole point of wireless headphones is to get rid of said wires, but there is method to this cable-hogging madness.

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Black Friday 2017: The best mouse, keyboard and gaming headset deals

Asus ROG Claymore

Your mouse and keyboard are vital parts of your PC setup, but they also break the most often, making Black Friday a great time to get a good deal on a new mouse and keyboard without spending an arm and a leg. We’ve also got some great deals on the best gaming headsets here as well, just in case you fancy upgrading your audio setup as well while you’re at it.

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Black Friday 2017 has already started at Currys PC World, now with even more deals

Twas the Monday before Black Friday and all through the web, the deals were stirring, yes, it’s that time of year again, let’s prep. That’s how it goes, right? As you may have noticed, it’s Black Friday this week, but instead of waiting until the big day itself, dozens of retailers like Currys PC World have started their discounts early, letting you beat the crowds and bag that all important deal before the masses start clicking feverishly at any saving they can find.

There are loads of  Black Friday products on sale at Currys PC World right now, with more being added all the time. Many products, for instance, have a handy ‘Black Friday Price Now’ sticker next to their listing, telling you their prices won’t change between now and the day itself. Others require you to enter a code on checkout.

Are they all good deals? Not necessarily. Black Friday’s a notorious time for retailers to get rid of unwanted stock and generally unwanted tat items, but we’ve done our best to round up what we think are the sales highlights. Of course, if you also fancy a new TV, camera, soundbar, fridge, washing machine or microwave oven, then you’re on your own. Read the rest of this entry »

Turtle Beach Recon 150 review: A no-frills gaming headset for just £40

Turtle Beach Recon 150

As my quest for a comfy pair of headphones continues, today I’m looking at one of Turtle Beach’s entry-level headsets, the Recon 150. Available for just £40, the Recon 150 is about as straightforward as gaming headsets come. Unburdened by fancy surround sound features or active noise-cancelling technology, this is very much a plug in and play kind of headset that doesn’t require any additional setup, driver downloads or any of that other annoying faff that comes with buying further up the headphone food chain. Indeed, its regular old 3.5mm jack connection means it’s just as good a fit for PC gaming as it is for consoles, giving it a welcome bit of flexibility after Sennheiser’s rather fussy work around on its more upmarket GSP 350.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit more from your headphones, of course, but if you’re looking to keep costs down or are simply after something simple for the kids, the Recon 150 is a great place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

Sennheiser GSP 350 review: great surround sound for just over £100

Sennheiser GSP 350

Trying to find a comfortable pair of headphones has become a war of attrition for me over the last couple of years. Either I have the world’s most sensitive skull, or my head’s unbeknowingly shaped like a Minecraft block beneath my hair, as every over-ear headset I’ve used has only brought me pain and cranial-based misery.

They’re always innocent enough to start off with, but somewhere around the 30-45 minute mark, the dreaded head pinch begins, and those pesky headbands start sinking their tiny little teeth into the top of my head. After an hour, I’ve usually had enough, which obviously isn’t ideal if I want to spend a lazy Saturday playing games, or co-ordinate my weekly dose of Destiny 2 with my trusty fire squad.

Alas, Sennheiser’s GSP 350 barely made it to half an hour before I had to start shuffling them round my head to alleviate some of the pressure, but that’s not to say you should stop reading here. In fact, there’s plenty to like about this £115 headset, and I’m sure those with less sensitive noggins will get on with them just fine. Read the rest of this entry »

The Electronic Wireless Show – IGF Special #3: Sex

Stop sniggering at the back. The RPS podcast of yore has returned, as you might have noticed, in which we are chatting to all sorts of interesting people from the makers of 90s cyberpunk thriller Quadrilateral Cowboy to the creators of political elbow-nudging Orwell, and so many more.

In the third episode of this special #content we are talking to the visual novelists behind erotic adventure Ladykiller in a Bind and awkwardness sim One Night Stand. Yes, we’re talking to them about sex.
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The Electronic Wireless Show – IGF Special #1: Sci-fi

It’s time to use to our radio voice. The RPS Electronic Wireless Show has historically been our not-very-regular podcast where we gather to tell each other how wrong we are about videogames. But this month it has mutated into something different. In the lead-up to this year’s Independent Games Festival, we interviewed a whole bunch of developers, all of whom have been nominated for some kind of award this year. We’ll be talking to them about sex, politics, and other things we’ve never understood.

In part one, we’re talking science fiction with the makers of Duskers, Quadrilateral Cowboy and Event[0]. Click onward to listen here, or find it on Soundcloud directly.
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The State Of Game Audio


This piece on the state of contemporary game audio was first published in Edge magazine, earlier this year. In it I talk to Marty “Halo” O’Donnell, CryTek’s Florian Füsslin, Introversion’s Chris Delay and the ledgendary George Sanger.

Game design lecturer Tom Betts is feeling pretty downbeat about the attitude of his students towards videogame audio. “I do a few lectures on this topic and unfortunately it often comes down to the fact that while you can play a game with the sound off, you can’t play a game with the screen off.” If you’re studying the things that make a videogame work, sound comes way down the list. Why should Betts’ students worry about what he has to say on the subject of audio when there are so many other things to worry about, like visual design, level design, or the nature of puzzles? “It’s been an underdog for years,” says Betts.
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