Patriot, a company better known for their high-end memory products are branching out into the gaming world. Today, we have the all new Viper V360 7.1 Virtual Surround Headset in the eTeknix office and given that it’s the first headset from Patriot, we’re certainly eager to see what it can do. Patriot hasn’t gone too crazy with this one, keeping to a budget-friendly end of the market that it’s sure to be easier for them to compete in, giving how fierce some of the more established brands dominate the premium end of the market; it makes sense to walk before you can run.
The Patriot V360 7.1 virtual surround sound gaming headset is designed to provide an enhanced PC gaming experience. Engineered with a closed back and ergonomic ear cups, the V360 blocks out environmental noise and fits comfortably over the ears to keep you relaxed and focused on your game longer. Experience Patriot’s revolutionary Ultra Bass Response (UBR) system; simply flip a switch to enable two powerful subwoofers and achieve even the lowest sound frequencies. Backed by Patriot’s award winning customer service and a two-year warranty the V360 is compatible with nearly every Windows operating system, including Windows 10 and Mac OS X, or higher.” – Patriot
Equipped with powerful 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers, as well as 30mm sub-drivers, a good quality omnidirectional microphone, and a 2.2 meter long braided USB cable, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes for a good gaming headset. Let’s take a quick look at the Patriot product preview video and then we’ll move on and take a closer look.
A nicely designed box, with a clear image, the specifications and a side window for a sneaker look at the overall design.
While around the back, you’ll find a quick rundown of the main features, such as the UBR switch and LED lighting.
In the box, you’ll find a nice protective pouch for the headset, as well as a small envelope.
In the envelope, there’s a product guide, quick start guide, and a few cool stickers; nothing too crazy, but it’s always nice to have a few small extras.
Corsair blew us away with their new Void gaming headsets, offering exceptional performance, comfort, style and very competitive prices that have made them an instant success with gamers around the world. Now Corsair is back again with their latest model, the Corsair Void Surround Hybrid Gaming Headset and if it’s anything like their Void USB Dolby 7.1 RGB, Void RGB Wireless 7.1 or their Void 3.5mm Stereo , we’re going to be in for a real treat with their latest.
“Enter the VOID—the innovative and exciting new family of advanced gaming headsets from Corsair. Whether you choose wireless, USB, or stereo powered audio gear, you will always be one step ahead of your enemies with fast forward design, spectacular fidelity, universal compatibility, and innovative on-headset controls – enabling you to command your gaming soundscape without hitting pause.” – Corsair
The Void Hybrid comes very well equipped, with a unique USB adapter system that allows it to work effortlessly on PC, Mobile, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, meaning it’s going to be a one-stop shop for all your gaming needs, at home, or on the go. Of course, you’ll also find the usual thrills from the Void headset, such as that comfortable microfiber padding, a noise-cancelling microphone, on-headset controls and more!
Genuine Dolby 7.1: Treat yourself to 7.1 channels of accurate and immersive surround
Universal Compatibility: The mobile-compatible connector works with PlayStation 4, Xbox One and mobile devices. The included USB Dolby 7.1 sound card unlocks genuine Dolby surround for PC
Embark on Marathon Gaming Sessions: Microfiber-wrapped memory foam ear pads enable extended play
Unlock legendary audio: Oversized 50mm neodymium drivers bring the action to life with brilliant range and precision
Crystal Clear Voice Communication: The noise-canceling microphone on the VOID headset puts your voice in the spotlight—and nothing else
The packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with other Corsair Gaming hardware and the previous Void series headsets. On the front, we can see that it supports Dolby, Corsair Utility Engine, multiple devices and features 50mm drivers.
Around the back, a more detailed run down on how the headset can connect to multiple devices, as well as some information on the noise-cancelling microphone, format support, and on-headset controls.
In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation as well as a simple quick start guide.
There’s a small USB dongle soundcard included, this isn’t needed for connecting to all devices, but as you can see, it takes a USB port and outputs it to a 3.5mm jack for the headset, and there’s a small LED indicator on there for the Dolby feature.
Competitive gaming is big business, as like any other sport, having the right equipment can help you perform better and also just improve the experience for you personally. Mad Catz has been working closely with pro gamers for years now, so it comes as no surprise that their latest headset is tailored to be suitable for that market.
“The F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 is a new tournament quality 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset optimized for competitive multiplayer gamers with an unrivaled level of audio personalization and an advanced dual microphone system for precision communication with teammates.” Said Mad Catz.
The name is a bit of a mouthful, it looks like a bad pick from the bag while playing Scrabble, but I don’t doubt the performance of this headset. Having used the F.R.E.Q.5 and the F.R.E.Q.7 over the last couple of years as part of (one of) my gaming setups, they’ve proven they can last a long time, sound great and provide a comfortable fit and the new TE looks to follow the same design cues as its predecessors.
“Connecting via standard USB, the F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 delivers highly immersive 7.1 surround sound via state-of-the-art audio customization software, placing the gamer in the heart of the action and in full control over their audio landscape. High quality 50mm audio drivers present the audio with precision clarity, providing the gamer with a full 360 degrees of positional awareness. In addition, the removable boom microphone with dual-chat mic system work in unison to actively cancel out environmental background noise and boost the clarity of the gamer’s voice to teammates.” Added Mad Catz
“As the next generation in our award-winning F.R.E.Q. line of high performance gaming audio headsets, the F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 exemplifies Mad Catz’ commitment to delivering products tailored to needs of today’s competitive gamers,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “In-game audio is vital to the performance of the player, and we believe that our F.R.E.Q. TE 7.1 will offer the competitive edge eSports and competitive gamers require to stay ahead of the competition. We’re confident that our strong line up of products spanning multiple gaming formats will see us build considerable momentum as we move towards the Holiday’s and into 2016.”
The latest range of Corsair headsets launched recently and they’ve already blown us away with their impeccable build quality and performance. The Corsair VOID Dolby 7.1 Wireless is by far one of the best headsets we’ve ever tested and to make it even sweeter, it was priced under £100. Of course, wireless isn’t ideal for every user, so naturally Corsair pushed to make a USB version too, giving you all the thrills, without the ticking timer of the battery or signal issues; not that we had issues with either in our testing of course.
“Enter the VOID—the innovative family of advanced gaming headsets from Corsair. Whether you choose wireless, USB, or stereo powered audio gear, you will always be one step ahead of your enemies. With fast forward design, spectacular fidelity, and innovative features like InfoMic and CUE Control, Corsair VOID gaming headsets enable you to command and control your gaming soundscape without hitting pause.” – Corsair
The USB version is pretty much the same headset as the wireless, albeit a little lighter as it doesn’t need a battery, so it doesn’t need charging or the required charging cable either. It offers two powerful 50mm drivers, the very impressive Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound technology, one of the first consumer virtual surrounds that I think is comparable to dedicated drivers. You’ll also find the InfoMic, Clue Control RGB lighting and more!
Corsair is really proud of what they have created and if the Stereo and Wireless models are anything to go by, they’ve every right to be. Check out the video below as Corsair gives you a bit of background on what went into creating their new headsets.
There’s not a lot in the box, just a few documents and the headset, but in all honesty, this is everything you’re going to need.
The latest Corsair gaming headset is here at last and like many Corsair headsets we’ve seen in the past, it’s set to be a must-have, premium grade product. Corsair teamed up with the design team at BMW with the aim of creating one of the most functional and extremely comfortable headsets on the market. When you’re wearing your headset for many hours while you’re gaming, comfort is obviously an important factor, so it’s an aspect of this headset that I’m eager to test out.
The Void isn’t just about style and comfort, as Corsair has packed a lot of cool features to make this headset not only look, but also perform like a premium headset. You’ll find InfoMic & CUE control, ergonomic ear cups, RGB lighting, powerful 50mm drivers, a noise-cancelling microphone, high-end wireless technology and more!
Dolby 7.1 multi-channel surround delivers lethally accurate positional audio
RGB lighting for individual customization or synchronization with other Corsair RGB devices
CUE Control enables rapid on-the-fly audio adjustments
InfoMic LEDs relay instant visual status of audio and mic settings
Microfiber-wrapped memory foam ear pads for extended play
Unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone makes gamers’ voices loud and clear
Wireless USB extension dock (VOID Wireless SE only)
Check out the video below for a quick run-down of some of the features and design aspects of the headset.
As you can see from the packaging, we have the Void RGB Wireless Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset at our disposal today, this is the top model of the range, so we’re expecting great things from it today. The packaging is nicely designed, with all the major specifications detailed on the front, as well as a nice image of the headset.
Around the back, a more detailed run-down of the features, such as the microfiber/memory foam earpads, 2.4Ghz Wireless technology, and Dolby Headphone 7.1 surround.
In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation, such as the manual and warranty guide.
There’s a high-quality USB cable, which is used for charging the headset, as well as a cool looking USB dongle for the wireless connectivity.
TteSports products have been a popular choice with gamers around the world for many years now, the companies unrelenting focus and dedication to the gaming scene has seen them produce some of the best performing and some of the most competitively priced peripherals on the market today and hopefully, we’ll be seeing a repeat of that again today. I have in my hands the new TteSports Shock 3D Gaming Headset, which comes with all the usual bells and whistles you would associate with a gaming headset. There’s virtual 7.1 surround, customizable EQ, built-in volume controls, a fold away auto-muting microphone and more; all of which should appeal to both casual at home gamers and the eSports community alike.
The SHOCK 3D 7.1 headset offers users true in-game immersion via enhanced 3D virtualized surround sound. Giving users one of the best spec’d headsets on the market. The 3D 7.1 virtualized surround sound technology is the first on the market to offer a 360° feel that most traditional 5.1/7.1 headsets can’t. 4 EQ settings offer a way to fine tune the sound for any game. The microphone automatically mutes when it’s pivoted up. LED accents further add to the gaming atmosphere of the headset.
Check out the official product trailer below!
The Shock 3D 7.1 is powered via USB, features a pair of high-quality 40mm drivers and an omni-directional microphone.
The packaging is nicely designed, with a good photo of the headset on the front, as well as a peak-window to show off the actual design. A few of the major features are detailed on the front of the box, but let’s get it out of the packaging and take a closer look ourselves.
In the box, you will find a hard-wired headset, a protective carry pouch and a small collection of documentation.
The cable is 2 meters long and comes with a good quality black braiding, a custom molded and gold-plated USB connector; all of which should help improve the lifespan of the components.
The headset its self is really nicely design. the black and red theme may not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no doubt that it has been designed to appeal to a gaming audience.
The left ear cup is fitted with a fold up/down microphone boom, as well as an infinite turn volume dial, the 3D sound button and the EQ control button; everything you need is within easy reach.
The microphone is straightforward enough, just fold it down when you need to use it. The centre part of the boom is a flexible rubber, which helps you adjust it, but also helps prevent it from snapping should you catch it on something. When you want to mute the microphone, just flick it back up out-of-the-way and you’ll be able to speak in private again.
The right ear cup is the same design as the left, albeit without the extra control buttons.
Both ear cups can be rotated inwards, this is great for transporting the headset as it’s easier to store, but it’s also help provide a better fit over your ears or around your neck between games.
There’s a durable metal slider on each side of the headset, allowing you to tailor the fit even further.
A three-section memory foam padding provides extra comfort for long gaming sessions and also helps prevent the headset from slipping off your head in the heat of battle.
The matte finish headband looks nice enough, with a small Tt logo in the top centre.
There’s no doubt that this is a great looking headset, although if I could make on adjustment, it would be that the volume dial plastics look a little cheap and could be improved upon.
The mesh on the back of the drivers looks nice, but there’s a hidden Tt dragon logo behind them, which lights up and responds to the audio being played; we’ll take a look at that shortly.
The drivers have a thick layer of padding that fits snugly over your ears, helping block out external noise and helping you stay focused on your game. The soft leather covering is super comfortable, but could leave you a little uncomfortable if you’re playing in a hot environment.
The included carry bag is nice, as it’ll help keep your headset free of scratches when you’re transporting it.
Ozone is one of the most popular gaming brands on the market, having a great product range that has proven successful with both gamers at home and the eSports community. From high-end mechanical gaming keyboards, to pro gaming mice, they’ve got something for every gamer. Now we have their brand new Blast Ocelot gaming headset, which was designed with the help of eSports legend Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez!
“When you can close your eyes in an fps shooter, and know exactly where every opponent is, then you know something is finally well done. Needless to say about listening to music or watching a film with them, mind-blowing. Blast Oceloteworld is one of the products I’m most excited about. Because I know everybody will love them.“ – Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez.
As you can see from the spec list, the headset comes equipped with 7.1 Virtual Surround, which is provided via the built-in USB soundcard and desktop software. There’s a pair of powerful stereo drivers, a good quality microphone, a 3m long cable and built-in LED lighting effect.
In the box you’ll find everything you need to get you started, in fact, you’ll really only find one thing, as all major components are hard-wired to the headset.
The headset is USB powered, so no mobile support unfortunately. It comes with a hard-wired in-line controller which gives you command over the volume controls and the master audio mute.
The headset is really nicely designed, with a mixture of soft matte finish blacks, chrome highlights and a few hints of orange; it manages to look cool, without being too over the top.
Each ear cup is mounted on a small pivot, which allows a few degrees of adjustment in each direction. This will provide you with a snug fit over your ears, although it does mean the ear cups are quite thick and will look bulky on your head.
The ear cups have been treated to a comfortable leather coated padding, although the interior is a little smaller than most headsets, those with ears like Martin Clunes may want to look elsewhere.
The microphone is fitted to the headset, but does come with a nice fold-to-mute function; just push it up and it’ll be muted, bring it down and it’ll be live again. There’s a small LED strip at the front that changes from white to red when the microphone is muted.
The headset has a flexible midsection, which should help prevent it from snapping if you snag it on something.
The top of the headset has an OZONE logo, which looks pretty nice I guess, but I think the headset would look smarter without it.
The headband is well padded and should provide a comfortable fit, even after a long gaming session.
The headset feels soft thanks to the padding, but it’s also very robust thanks to a metal strip that runs through it. The sides of the headset, as with virtually any headset on the market, can be adjusted to provide a better fit.
Overall a very nice looking headset, with durable construction and comfortable padding.
Turtle Beach are one of the leading names in the gaming audio market. They’ve got one of the most recognisable brand names in gaming and they’ve built themselves a great reputation for providing gamers with a wide range of headsets that cover virtually all budgets and formats. The headset I have at my disposal today is targeted at the mid-market, with a very reasonable price tag of around £79.99. This isn’t so expensive that it’s into the premium grade, but still more than enough money that you’re going to be expecting a great range of features and solid performance.
The Z60 is designed to work with PC, as well as mobile platforms and comes equipped with a great range of features that should provide us with some impressive audio, or at least I’m hoping it does! The Z60 is the first headset on PC to utilize 7.1 channel DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound and it pushes this new virtual surround technology through a pair of powerful 60mm drivers.
The Z60 comes equipped with a detachable boom microphone, a USB controller with built-in soundcard for plug-and-play compatibility with desktop PC/MAC and a hard wired 3.5mm cable on the headset for plug-and-play mobile use.
The USB in-line controller is really nicely designed. Not only is this the DTS Headphone soundcard, but it features all the controls you could ever need in a compact unit. The game and chat audio are on separate control dials and there’s a dedicated microphone must switch on the side.
One of the cooler features, which I’m really looking forward to testing, would be the mode switch, which allows you to tailor the surround mix for different kinds of media, such as movies, music and gaming.
The microphone is fully detachable and has an adjustable boom to help you find the optimal speaking position. I really like detachable microphones as it’s not often I need one and it bugs me when it’s in front of your face and not being used.
The headset itself has a sleek and somewhat understated look. There’s a nice mixture of soft matte finish plastics and some glossy back covers on each of the drivers.
The headset is trimmed with a little bit of red detailing to help keep it looking a little bit interesting. There’s a thick foam padding on each ear cup and a very comfortable feeling fabric coating that will be very welcome during those long gaming sessions.
The headband is thick and durable to help keep the headset in place, but it’s also very light weight so that it doesn’t become bothersome during extended use.
The interior of each ear cup is big enough that the headset will fit over-the-ear. Combine this with the thick padding and the closed back design and you should find it very easy to get lost in the game world and block out virtually all external noise.
The side extenders lock firmly at each position and there’s a good range to each side; perfect for a wide range of head sizes.
Each ear cup can be rotated to lay flat, which is a lot more comfortable when you’re wearing the headset around your neck between games.
Overall, a very nice looking headset that avoids much of the garish flair we often see on gaming headsets. It feels durable, lightweight and initial impressions are that it’s very comfortable.
Turtle Beach are one of the hottest and biggest gaming brands around, time and time again they’ve delivered great quality headsets for a range of budgets and a wide range of formats. Their new Ear Force Recon 320 is a mid-budget headset, so it’s not completely over the top with features, but it does still promise high-end performance and build quality; not that I would expect anything else from a well-known brand such as this.
The Recon 320 may not be the most expensive headset that Turtle Beach produce, but it still packs plenty of features. It supports the latest Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound virtual processing, a pair of powerful 50mm drivers, customisable backplates, an in-line controller, detachable microphone boom and more, so I’m really looking forward to putting it through its paces to see what it can do!
The headset comes equipped with a USB connection for PC, but also a detachable 3.5mm cable that makes it perfect for mobile use, or for use with just about any device in the world with a headphone socket. Just keep in mind that the Dolby Surround features only work via the USB connection and that the headset will run in stereo mode via the 3.5mm cable.
The microphone is pretty standard, but features a flexible/positional boom and can be easily removed from the headset when not in use; perfect for those who want to use the headset as headphones.
The in-line controller is nice and compact, but has a volume dial on the side, as well as a master microphone mute switch that’ll prove handy while playing online.
The headset has a somewhat minimalist style. There’s some matte finish plastics for the bulk of the headset, but the backplates on the drivers are glossy. The back plates are held in place with magnets and can be easily removed to allow you to customize them with your own design; you can also purchase pre-customised plates directly from Turtle Beach.
Each ear cup is quite deep, this allows plenty of room for all that thick padding, as well as those large 50mm drivers; so we should get a good level of bass performance from this headset.
There’s a pair of sockets on the left ear-cup, one for the microphone, the other for the mobile/PC cable.
The headband is lightweight, yet still quite strong. There’s some really nice quality padding on both ear cups and on the headband. The headband padding may not look like much, but the headset is surprising lightweight, so comfort really shouldn’t be an issue, even after a long gaming session.
The headband can be easily adjusted to suit your personal fit.
While both ear cups can be rotated inwards so you can wear it around your neck between games, but there’s also a few degree of pivot to provide a better fit over your ears.
Overall, it’s a really cool looking headset. It has a bright red trim that some may find a little garish, but I think a welcome contrast to the dull grey plastics and I can see this design proving quite popular with gamers in general.
Turtle Beach is following up on the successful Stealth 500X headset with the new with a new wireless headset that they say will set a new standard of performance for the Xbox One: the Elite 800X.
The 500X was the first to bring totally wireless functionality to the Xbox One headsets and now the Elite 800X brings several more firsts to Xbox One gaming world. The new 800X include active noise cancellation and invisible, boom-free microphones. It also packs DTS 7.1 channel surround sound, customizable presets, a magnetic charging stand and swappable speaker plates.
It has digital optical (Toslink) input with pass through and USB and it has a wireless range of up to 10 meters. The speakers are 50mm with Neodymium Magnets with a frequency range from 20Hz to 20KHz. The ear pads are made from synthetic leather and memory foam inside.
The Elite 800X weighs 370g and is expected to launch at retail in the Spring of 2015, no word on pricing yet.
Thanks to Turtle Beach for providing us with this information
After the introduction of the Argon OceloteWorld mouse, Ozone gaming now launches the brand new Ozone Blast OceloteWorld 7.1 Surround headset. Ozone has worked with Ocelote the past year to develop these new peripherals to bring the best comfort and performance.
The new Blast OceloteWorld works for both PC and PS4 gamers and give quick access to important functions with easy and fast volume adjustments to both the headset and chat. The virtual 7.1 surround headset features an automatic microphone muting when the boom is moved up and a LED will also indicate whether the microphone is on or off.
The headband has been reinforced additionally for that extra stability. The adjustable ear pads are made from high-end protein and memory foam. The headset can also be folded together for easy transportation and storage.
7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Headset
Headphone Impedance: 50 Ω
Speaker Driver dimensions: ø44mm
Speaker Sensitivity: 119 +/- 3DB
Speaker Frequency Response: 20~20kHz
Speaker Max Input: 100mW
Microphone Directivity: Omni-directional
Microphone Sensitivity: -42 +/- 3 dB
Microphone Impedance: 2.2k Ω
Microphone Frequency Response: 100 ~ 10,000 Hz
Microphone Dimension: 6 x 2,7mm
Cable Length: 3 m
Weight (w/o cable): 306gr
PS4 & PC Compatible
LED Lighting FX on earcups
The Ozone Gaming Blast OceloteWorld 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound headset comes with an MSRP of €74.90.
Thanks to Ozone Gaming for providing us with this information
ASUS is expanding their Strix Gamers series with the Strix 7.1 Gaming Headset. It is a true 7.1 surround headset as it has a total of 10 neodymium magnet drivers (5 per ear). The USB headset comes with an audio station for easy management of your audio profiles and pretty much everything a gamer could want from a headset.
The ASUS Strix has foldable ear cups that are cushioned with ultra-soft, full-size memory foam; 130mm across at its widest point and covered with protein leather. For easy transport or storage, the microphone is detachable.
The audio station features a headphone amplifier, 90% environmental noise cancellation for voice capture, and four game-audio spectrum profiles that enable gamers to tailor their audio experience to the type of game being played. With dedicated volume controls for each surround channel you can tune the balance just right for your taste and current played game. A switch to stereo is also possible at a push of a button. It has four pre-programmed profiles for FPS Gunfire, FPS Footsteps, Action RPG and Racing.
Thanks to Asus for providing us with this information
Today is a good day in the office, Shogun Bros are one of the newest players in the peripherals market and they’re back again with their second feature review here at eTeknix. When I reviewed their Ballista MK1 gaming mouse it proved that the company knows how to make a great peripheral without the need for a crazy budget, it was packed full of features, had great build quality, really nice aesthetics and competitive performance. Now they’re launching their first headset and if it is half as good as their gaming mouse, then we should be in for a real treat today.
The Ensense is the latest headset on the market to feature vibration drivers to give the sound some extra thump. Targeted right at the heart of the gaming market the Ensense is said to be perfect for everything from enjoying your games at home to competitive eSports. All the usual bells and whistles you would expect from a premium headset are included, such as a high-quality microphone, Virtual 7.1 surround, configurable sound and a whole lot more, so lets get stuck right in and see what the Ensense has to offer!
50MM Extra Large Pro Audio Driver
Superior Neodymium Magnet
Professional Tuned Crystal Clear Voice
Tuned Monitor Level Sound Precision
Optimized Sound Boost Logiv Chips
Ultra Thick PU Leather Ear Cushion
Ultra Thick PU Leather Head Cushion
Customizable Head Size Fitting
Powerful Remote Control
Backlit Control In Darkness
Mute, Microphone, Volume and Ensense Control
Tough Military Spec
Anti-interference – Best stable and fast
Signal (USB Magnet)
Tough – Military Fabric Cable
Cable Management Band
Extreme Cool Outlook
One Body Design
Change your voice to male, female and even dinosaur and small creatures
The packaging is nicely designed, lots of bright colours, specifications dotted around the box and a side window to give us a sneaky peak at the actual headset.
Around the back we have a more detailed run down of the features and specification.
In the box you’ll find the hard wired headset, a quick start guide and a driver CD.
It was over a year ago that we took a look at the Tritton 720+ headset and while it was a while ago, I remember it was an absolutely stunning piece of tech. Mad Catz know a fair bit about making a great headset, and they’ve proven it time and time again with hit after hit, and while the 720+ my be a little older now, it’s still one of the best on the market, and now it’s available for PC users, not just for consoles.
Featuring powerful 7.1 surround sound, the headset is equipped with extra features such as Dolby headphone Technology and its fully plug-and-play compatible. The 720 + brings Tritton’s surround sound hardware to the competitive PC gamer.
Connecting directly to the USB port, without the need for additional power, setup is simple making the 720 + highly portable and ideal for tournament play. In addition, the in-line controls can be easily detached at any time, revealing a 3.5mm jack, allowing connection to a wide variety of mobile and smart devices. Gaming at the PC may be great, but being able to hook the headset up to your iPad or Tablet means you can kick back and relax, and not have a need for multiple headsets to play on other devices.
“We believe the combination of excellent sound quality and simplified connection will make the 720 + an extremely appealing proposition for passionate PC gamers.” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “With quality, accurate sound so important to competitive gaming, we believe that the 720 + will allow us to grow our market share in the PC audio category.”
A simple button press on the 720 + initiates Dolby Headphone technology, providing 7.1 surround sound to enhance directional awareness and create a detailed, spacious 3D audio landscape. When listening to stereo audio, Dolby Pro Logic IIx processing will up-mix sound to create a highly authentic 7.1 channel effect. In addition, the 720 + features Selectable Voice Monitoring (SVM) which allows gamers to hear their own voice through the headset should they choose. I found this effect to be a little disorientating at first, but its certainly beneficial when you’ve got the game audio cranked up a little high.
Thank you Mad Catz for providing us with this information.
The Xbox One has literally just become available, however there is news going around that anyone with a surround sound headset will not be able to use them to their full potential at this moment in time. This is going to be severely bad news for a large number of people who own a high-end headset from the likes of Turtle Beach and Tritton to name only a couple as the new consoles optical output will only support two channel audio until an unknown date.
Albert Panello, the Director of Product Planning at Microsoft has made a statement that indicates that there will be an update coming in the future that will unload the full Dolby capability of the optical output, thus allowing surround headsets to run at their full potential. In the statement, he did specify however that if you were to own a Dolby only HDMI receiver then you should be able to get uncompressed 5.1 or 7.1 sound to your speakers as this has been made available.
“Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it. Anyone with a HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS. Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver, you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround. For the Dolby only headsets, my understanding is that these will work but you will only get stereo audio since we only pass Stereo and DTS through the optical port. I have not tested this myself, but I’m told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we’re going to have Dolby coming.”
There is not any mention as to why full surround capability has been left out from the Xbox’s optical jack and there could be a number of reasons why, but there is the reassurance giving that it will be coming – we just don’t know when this will be at this moment in time.
With the battle against the PS4 just kicking off, there is the possibility that there will be some disgruntled customers who can’t use their existing hardware to its full capabilities, however this will become clear over the next week or so.
Tesoro are not the biggest name in the peripheral business, but they’ve already earned themselves some impressive awards, not to mention captured many people’s imagination with their unique and modern designs. While Tesoro have always had cool designs for their products, they wouldn’t be where they are today if they didn’t also back that up with great performance, and we hope to find plenty of it in the Tesoro Kuven gaming headset we’re taking a look at today.
Priced at around $69.99 / €69.99 the Kuven should be competing with firm favourites from Cooler Master, TteSports and Steelseries, to name but a few. All of whom have a competitive product in this price range and we’ll be looking for performance that at least matches the competition in this price range, as well as that one stand-out feature that would tempt us into making a purchase.
Promising stereo sound with the addition of virtual 7.1 surround thanks to its built-in USB sound card, the Kuven sounds like a tempting purchase. Tesoro offer the headset in a Devil and an Angel edition, which is effectively just a black one and a while one, we have the Angel (white) edition in for review today.
As you can see from the specification below, we have large drivers, detachable ear cups, long braided cables, an in-line controller and part aluminium construction.
50 mm Drivers Units.
7.1 virtual surround sound.
Closed Type Headset with Improved Noise Reduction.
The fancy looking box features a large wrap around window, giving us a great first look at the headset. While the rest of the box has a few of the major features listed on it such as the noise reduction, noise cancelling microphone and the 50mm drivers.
Around the back we have the full specification again, this time translated into multiple international languages.
In the box we found a fold out booklet that detailed other Tesoro products, a simple user guide and a utility / driver disc. Of course it is always best to download the latest drivers, but it is always nice to see some included to get you started.
In the box I found the headset, as well as a wide range of braided cables, connections and adaptors.
Today we take a look at a brand that is somewhat new to us here at eTeknix. While yes we have heard of Attitude One, we’ve even seen their products at various trade shows and online, but we’ve never had the chance to get hands on with their products and try them for our selves and the Tunguska Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound Headset is hopefully just the first product of their range that we will be taking a look at.
I’ve heard good things about A1 from industry types and general consumers too, this got our attention and it’s great to see a new name in the office. While I can’t say I’m bored with the offerings from the other big names in the industry, it certainly never hurts to have more options available to you, especially from a consumer perspective.
As always, we will be looking for a good level of design, build quality, performance and value from this headset and with a price tag of around £60the Tunguska are certainly set to be competitive and if the performance matches the feature list, then we could in for a real treat here, so let’s get straight to the good stuff and see just what this headset has to offer.
As you can see, the A1 Tunguska come in a brightly designed box, you can’t miss a bright orange box among the crowd and this would definitely stand out at retail. There are a few features labeled on the box such as the noise cancelling microphone, 3 meter cable, USB connectivity and the virtual 7.1 drivers (stereo speakers with software produced surround effects).
The box folds out to give us a proper look at the headset and first impressions are good, although I think the white and blue clashes with the orange a little (actually, that orange clashes with everything).
Around the back we have more feature details such as the “unique 4 piece padded headset and comfortable ear cushions”, “high-sensitivity mic and mic mute” and the “high-quality 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets and membranes”. Overall a fairly standard but well equipped feature set, so let’s get them out of the box and take a closer look.
First thing out of the box was an easy to read user manual that guides you through general setup, as well as a mini CD-Rom with the standard driver software, although with included drivers I would always recommend you check the manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers first, it’s still nice to see some included as most companies no longer include any drivers at all.
The headset we have today is finished in matt black, gloss white and neon blue, a very stylish colour scheme that makes me think of the film Tron, I like that movie, so I’ll take that as a good thing.
The headset features a really bold, durable design that really stands out thanks to a mixture of chunky panels and soft edges that seem to blend retro and futuristic styles into one, it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste but I think they look great.
The headband features plenty of soft padding that provides good fit and long term comfort.
The ear cups are covered in a soft leather-like material with a soft cloth backing, enough to keep a firm fitting over your ears but not so much that you cut off all air flow.
The chunky microphone is surprisingly light weight but it isn’t removable, however it can be folded upwards out of the way or adjusted up and down to find the best speaking position.
Moving away from the main headset we have a small inline controller which features 7 small LED lights in the center, volume control button and master mutes for the microphone and headphones. It’s fairly small but it feels well made, although I fear the cable joins could be better reinforced here as this is a common point for wear and tear damage on headsets.
The cable is braided and this should aid with its life span, plus it also looks good and is generally harder to snag or tangle than grippy rubber cables.
Hook up the headset to your computer and the two pairs of lines one each ear cup light up in an electric blue that compliments the blue trim, it’s a fairly subtle lighting effect but an effectively cool looking one.
Setup & Installation
Setup was as easy as plug and play, windows detected the audio device straight away as the headset has its own internal sound card. Installation of the driver CD took a few minutes and a restart but nothing more than a couple of simple clicks to get through. The software was really comprehensive and offers plenty of features to tweak and tune the audio to your liking.
Since this is a virtual surround headset there is only one driver in each ear cup, so software steps in to do the processing magic and create the effect of multiple speakers. You can choose from stereo, quadraphonic, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound (shown as 2, 4, 6 & 8 channel). Then below that we have the Virtual 7.1 mix enable, output modes (system) and on the right you have the ability to adjust distance, volume and rotation of any of the channel speakers, this is a feature I wasn’t expecting and being able to tweak this was fantastic for fine tuning the sound scape.
There are a few more tabs that cover general system volume levels and voice effects, but the most interesting is the EQ page which allows for full customisation of DSP effects and EQ. There are multiple presets and each can be tweaked and saved to a profile. Unfortunately though you cannot save master profiles for the software for each job so between movies, gaming and day to day tasks you would need to come into the software and adjust things manually to your liking for each application.
I was eager to test out the multi channel sound on this headset so rather than jump straight into a gaming environment I started with a few movies. I chose the blu-rays of The Hobbit and Transformers 2 since I know one has a rich musical score and some interesting soundscapes while the other has some thumping low end bass noises that can often distort weak drivers. First impressions were pretty good with the stereo mode enabled, the drivers are loud and powerful, but there was a definite slope in the EQ that left the mids feeling fuzzy and the bass feeling a little low, but by no means disappointing.
Enabling the 7.1 (8 channel mode) with the virtual surround made a big impact, but it came at the cost of overall max volume. I tweaked in the speaker distances to increase their volume, applied the large room DSP and decided that the Classic EQ was the best pre-set. Suddenly the headset went from being a “good” headset, to an absolutely fantastic one. Bass was thick, deep and distortion free with a room filling distance that you rarely get on a headset, the mid tones warmed up nicely and had lost their rough edge and the high tones became clearer and more pleasant. I think that the drivers are not very well balanced out of the box but my EQ tinkering knocked some sense into them and the sound became fantastic for watching movies after I had made my adjustments.
Of course you may like different settings, but that’s the joy of this headset, it’s very customisable, at least to a certain extent. Push the high tones more than a little and they sound awful, same goes for the mid tones, you will benefit better from reducing the frequencies around the one you want to raise and increasing your volume, either way, great results can be found, it just takes some tinkering.
Gaming performance was on par with movies and while the effects have little to offer to games like League of Legends, fans of Skyrim and Battlefield will love the wide soundscapes, thick bass notes and clear dialogue. The noise canceling microphone is good too and while it’s nothing incredible I rarely find anything remarkable about microphone testing these days, it’s on par with the competition and sounds loud and clear, which is pretty much all you could want from a microphone.
Music playback was the real winner for me and while this benefitted from switching to stereo mode, you could still have fun with the EQ and there are a few tracks in my collection that few headphones get right, So You Die by Bloodbath is a real bone shaker that often sounds wobbly in weaker drivers, the acoustic warmth of All About Eve by Steve Vai is easily lost on many sets also but that really wasn’t the case here (although it’s worth pointing out the YouTube links I’ve provided here will not do them justice either, they’re just to give you an impression of the sound I was testing), so long as I kept the Classic EQ mode enabled, most of the other presets made powerful changes but often with negative effects to the range.
Overall I think it’s safe to say that I really like this headset, It’s full of little imperfections but it makes up for them in some really big ways and the overall sound quality is more than enough to make me part with my hard earned cash to buy a pair.
The overall appearance of this headset is of a cheaper product trying to look like a more expensive product, the design is chunky, features a lot of shiny plastics and some flashy lights, but I think A1 got the balance right and while there is a slightly cheaper look and feel to the headset, it does maintain a coolness that is often lost in this price range. They’re pretty well made too and while I fear they may smash with a few hard knocks and bumps, there are few headsets out there that wouldn’t.
Sound quality is impressive although you should really get stuck into the EQ and get things in line first. While I would argue that this is mostly personal preference, there really is a lot of extra performance and quality to be found through some simple EQ and DSP tweaks that benefit all listening scenarios. I did complain that you can’t set different profiles to tab between for music, movies, gaming etc but I found that once I had the optimum dialed in, I didn’t want to change anything other than between stereo and virtual 7.1 anyway.
It’s not all perfect though and as I said, build quality isn’t as heavy duty as the looks, the in-line controller leaves a lot to be desired although it does provide the basics and the stock audio performance is a little hollow at times.
eTeknix says: “The Tunguska is a reasonably priced mid-range headset and it packs an impressive feature set that makes it competitive in a crowded market. It’s a little unrefined in some areas but its an impressive product overall. I think this shows great promise for Attitude One and the Tunguska 7.1 is a great product for this price range.”
Powerful EQ and DSP settings
Virtual Surround actually works
Good quality microphone
Cheap in-line controller
Some freqencies sound rough without EQ adjustments
Since 2007 Gioteck have been creating some of the most popular consumer gaming peripherals on the market, offering plenty of the budget conscious gamer and now also catering to a more enthusiast level of consumer with their high end gaming products. Now Gioteck have revealed their autumn product range and the launch of their boldest headset yet with the cutting-edge new wireless EX-07 ‘Kranium’ for Playstation, Xbox and PC. With a distinctive look and unique design that hugs the head for ultimate comfort during gameplay, the EX-07 stands-out against traditional headset styles and will ensure users are the envy of other gamers.
“Complete with wireless Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound technology and built-in 50mm stereo drivers, the EX-07 guarantees outstanding stereo sound that can be customised through an integrated control system. Users can also switch between three settings, gaming, movie and music, to ensure perfect sound quality.” – Gioteck
With an SRP of £129.99, the EX-07 also features wireless technology and eight-to-ten hour battery life that will no doubt prove popular with gamers who love to pull long gaming sessions. As well as this, the headset offers functionality through the inclusion of a removable microphone boom and charging stand that doubles as a storage point to save space in the home, meaning it should be ready to go and charged between uses.
Finished with black rubberised ABS and striking red trim, the EX-07 looks light years ahead of its rivals, check it out below:
Compatible across multiple platforms (Playstation, Xbox, PC)
Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound and 50mm stereo drivers
Distinctive charging stand that doubles as storage point
Removable microphone boom
Black rubberised ABS finish with red trim
Integrated sound control (gaming, movie, music)
Unique dual-adjustable flexible headbands
High density sponge for comfort
Xbox chatback jack
Micro USB2.0 for charging
20hz – 20,000khz frequency response
Eight to ten hour battery life
The EX-07 is available this autumn with an SRP of £129.99. For more information visit www.gioteck.com.
Thank you Gioteck for providing us with this information.
Razer Surround is a state-of-the-art audio engine that provides 7.1 virtual surround sound with any stereo headphones. The current generation of virtual surround technology often provides in accurate listening experiences because individuals perceive sound differently based on their distinct ear sizes and shapes. As such, virtual surround sound traditionally falls short compared to discrete surround sound set ups.
With the patent-pending Razer Surround audio engine, users have the option to calibrate their personal surround sound settings through a series of listening tests to match their preferences, giving them far superior positional sound over traditional virtual solutions. Razer Surround gives gamers a truly individualized 7.1 surround sound and attuned 3D audio experience, allowing them to acoustically pinpoint exact locations of opponents in game, providing “the unfair advantage” in gameplay.
Razer Surround is available as a complementary software add-on, integrated within Razer’s Synapse 2.0 application, offering virtual 7.1 surround sound and storing individual audio signatures in the cloud.These settings can be accessed any time and will automatically update new systems to previous calibrated settings.
In recognition of the support that the gaming community gives Razer, and in solidarity with its trade partners in gaming, Razer has waived the US$19.99 price for Razer Surround through December 2013, so that people who sign-up during this period will get a free copy of the program.During this time frame, users will also have the option to make a donation of any amount to Child’sPlay (www.childsplaycharity.org) after their download start. Everyone signing-up from Jan. 1,2014,onward, will pay the full price of $19.99.
Calibrate to your individual preferences
Pre-configured calibrations for all Razer Audio products
Bass boost – For a thundering bass
Sound normalization – Reduce loudness variation
Voice clarity – For crystal clear incoming voice communication
Voice level – Adjust the level of incoming voice communication
Custom & 11 pre-set equalizer settings
Works with any stereo headset/headphones
While the donations to Child’s Play are purely voluntary and users can choose to download Razer Surround for free, Razer hopes that through this initiative users can together with Razer help children in hospitals around the world enjoy games like we do.
Child’s Play’s stated mission is “… to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the video game industry and the power of play.” As of the date of this release, the philanthropy had raised more than US$5 million in contributions.
“With the individual calibration of Razer Surround, we’re setting a new standard in 7.1 virtual surround sound,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. “We’re a big believer of giving back to our fans and the gaming community, and making Razer Surround available free with a donation to Child’sPlay in 2013 is a testament of our commitment to giving back to current and future gamers of the world.”
G.SKILL International Co. Ltd. have just released their first gaming peripheral range and it’s a massive departure from their typical product ranges which focus mostly on RAM modules.
G.SKILL have already earned them selves a solid reputation within the system building and overclocking community for some incredibly cool products, both in terms of design and their performance and this is something that has also worked well in the PC gaming community, as well as eSports.
If they’re reputation means anything then these new G.SKILL Ripjaws R71 headsets should be pretty awesome and judging by the looks of them they’ve lost absolutely not of the funky and extreme style and colour choices that set G.SKILL memory products apart from the competition. We’re still waiting on prices and an official release date, but we’re sure this information will follow very shortly and we also hope to have some in for review in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.
As you can see below, the R71’s pack plenty of features with read 7.1 surround sound via 10 discrete driver units, ENC microphone, touch screen control unit, positional audio, custom EQ and more… or in other words “OMG AWESOME!”