Speedlink Parthica Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Speedlink may not be the first name you think of when picking a new gaming keyboard, but the brand has been providing a great range of gaming peripherals to the PC market for many years. They’ve produced some great products and some not so great, just like every other peripheral manufacturer, but one thing that they’re consistent with is their value for money. It’s no secret that Speedlink are somewhat of a budget brand, but while many of us would love nothing more than going out and spending £100+ on a flagship mechanical keyboard, the reality is that a lot of gamers are on a much tighter budget and generally want to get as many features as possible, without making a big investment.

The Speedlink Parthica is available from most retailers for under £40, so I’m not expecting it to be the greatest keyboard I’ve ever tested. However, £40 is still a sizeable investment for a lot of people and Speedlink have crammed in a lot of extra features to make the Parthica more attractive to a gaming audience; such as shortcut keys, multimedia controls, LED lighting and more.

The keyboard comes with an enlarged chassis that gives it a fairly aggressive and futuristic look. One thing I do like is that the chassis of the keyboard also forms a short wrist rest, which will no doubt improve your overall comfort levels while gaming or working.

Down the left side of the keyboard, you’ll find a range of easily accessible and programmable macro keys; these are perfect for MMO style gaming.

The WASD keys have been given a little extra style, sure it doesn’t change the performance of these keys, but it does make it abundantly clear this keyboard is designed for gaming.

The key caps are nicely designed and have a very light texture to them. You’ll also notice that the lettering is transparent to allow the internal LED lighting to shine through.

Across the top you’ll find a set of basic windows shortcut keys; perfect for launching your default browser, email application or search functions.

On the right, you’ll find dedicated multimedia keys, although it’s strange that we have play/pause and stop, but not a next and previous button.

The keyboard has a low profile, but you can of course raise the height with the kickstands on the base.

There are four small rubber grips on the base of the keyboard which will help prevent it from sliding around your desk; these are certainly needed as the keyboard is fairly lightweight.

The kickstands are fairly durable for a keyboard in this price range; just a shame they don’t have rubber grips on them.

Oculus Rift Configuration Guide – Simulation Gaming

Introduction


The Oculus Rift is one of the hottest gadgets on the tech market right now. Sure the hardware isn’t ready for consumers just yet, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2). We already reviewed the basic hardware and features of the Oculus Rift, but also I want to take a more in-depth look into some of the experiences available on the rift; starting with Simulation style games.

Many of you will have an image of plug and play features that allow you to strap an Oculus Rift to your face then start gaming, unfortunately that’s currently not the reality. Setting up games for the Oculus Rift can be a hit and miss experience, hopefully I can help smooth out a few of these issues for you. This article is as much a review for those thinking about investing in the technology, as it is an Oculus Rift configuration guide for those who already own it.

Simulation-style games are a big market for PC gaming, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites (that also have VR support). Of course, Star Conflict isn’t exactly a common sim-game, but there aren’t exactly rules excluding it.

  • Star Conflict
  • Assetto Corsa
  • Life for Speed (LFS)
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2

Helping me in my gaming adventures, I will be using the follow extra hardware.

Essential Oculus Rift Setup Advice

If you experience judder or low fps, drop your games graphics settings down to low. If the game runs smoothly at this point, you know it’s your graphics settings and not the DK2 hardware. If you have judder at low settings you know the problem is with a different part of your setup. It’s often also good to start games with AA and AF disabled, enable them later if the game is running smooth. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is to just get the basics working first then build from there.

Go into your GPU configuration software, this will typically be Catalyst Control Centre or Nvidia Control Panel. Set all major graphics options to “let the application decide”. This is especially important for AA and AF settings. For most games you will need V-SYNC as “let the application decide”, but some games don’t detect this properly. If your game is experiencing judder, force VSYNC on and try again, else force off and try again. Some games have their own ways of handing VSYNC and conflicts can and will occur.

If your game is still not running smoothly, go to the GPU control panel, switch your desktop display to 75Hz (if it supports it). If you can’t do this at your current resolution, this will likely drop your monitors resolution lower to one that will support 75Hz (my monitor drops to 1280 x 1024). This will prevent VSYNC from confusing the DK2 as both the DK2 and your desktop will now be running at the same refresh rate (75Hz).

Multi GPU configurations have also been known to cause stutter, albeit in very rare circumstances. If nothing else works, try running the game on a single GPU.

Be sure to adjust your IPD, lens distance and lens type accordingly prior to use. These can make a vast improvement to the overall visual quality, but they will not have any effect on the frame rate of your game, just the overall visual quality.

I find that it is worth disabling GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software. These programs are tailored to adjust your graphics settings to get the best performance and quality, which may overwrite the settings you’ve used to configure your games for the DK2.

All testing was done with the Oculus 0.4.3 SDK. Please make sure you have the latest graphics drivers and all updates installed for your games prior to trying to replicate any settings in this article.

Speedlink Prime Z-DW Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Budget gaming mice can be tricky, not only because there are so many, but it can also be hard to find which one offers the best performance. To stand out from the crowd, budget models usually feature a number of unique features, outlandish designs and more to try and attract buyers; the Speedlink Z-DW which I am reviewing today is no exception. The mouse features not one, but two scroll wheels, as well as a range of extra buttons that should appeal to a wide range of gamers; is this a worthless gimmick, or could Speedlink be onto a cool and practical idea?

Being a budget friendly model, I’m not expecting earth shattering performance from this mouse; it would be unfair to do so. What I am looking for is decent build quality, a good range of practical features, reasonable performance and all round value for money. There are countless gaming mice available on the market for a similar price, so I’m eager to find out how the Speedlink Prime Z-DW compares.

As you can see, we’ve got a 3200 DPI optical sensor, right hand ergonomics, eight programmable buttons, two scroll wheels, internal memory for profiles and macros, colour customisation and more. At least on the features side of things, this mouse does sound fairly exciting and competitive.

Features

  • Gaming mouse
  • Maximum precision 3,200dpi optical sensor
  • Excellent in ergonomics
  • Eight programmable buttons, second, fully configurable scroll wheel plus profile switch
  • Software offers extensive configuration and customisation options
  • Internal memory for profiles and macros
  • Zero-response-time buttons for lag-free operation
  • 64 colours for experience-enhancing scroll wheel illumination
  • Flexible, sheathed 1.8m USB cable

As a side note, I’ll be testing this mouse out on the new Speedlink Invictus Core Gaming Mousepad. I don’t normally review gaming surfaces as I find them to be very subjective, but Speedlink were kind enough to ship it along side the mouse and it would be a shame to waste it.

The Prime comes equipped with a very nice quality two-tone braided cable. This looks great and should also provide some extended protection for the cables.

The overall design of the mouse is very nice. There’s a matte red rubber finish to the top section that should provide extended grip and there are some deep ergonomic curves down the side; perfect for claw grip play-styles.

There are the usual two toggle buttons on the left side, but Speedlink have snuck in one more near the base of the mouse; this could come in handy for a profile switch button or an extra macro launcher.

The ergonomic shape does mean the mouse is right-hand use only; sorry lefties, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Both scroll wheels have a soft rubber grip coating, and a slight “bump” on the rotation for extra control and they’re both clickable. They’re both fully functional normal scroll wheels, with the only difference being that the top one is smaller and slightly more recessed so not to cause conflicts with the front one.

The underside is pretty straight forward, but there are four large Teflon slipmats, this is good news as they should provide plenty of glide on a wide range of surfaces.

The Invictus mouse mat I’m using is quite unique in that it has a separate rubber grip base and a reversible top section. The grip base provides a small wrist rest, while the top section offers a choice of smooth and lightly textured sides. If you’re a fan of hard mouse surfaces, it’s certainly worth checking out.

All powered up and ready to go, the Prime certainly looks the part of a gaming mouse.

The customisable LED lighting is fairly subtle, but adds just enough flair for you to customise it to your liking; although the bright red chassis does clash with pretty much everything other than red.

Speedlink Gantry Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Introduction


It’s no secret that mobile phones lack impressive audio. There have been many developments in the mobile market over the years, with phones getting better bass, louder speakers and more. However, it’s still not enough to satisfy the needs of someone like myself who loves to blast out a few albums every day. My phone (a Sony Xperia Z1) sounds pretty decent, but without headphones it’s really not a great way to listen to music.

Today I’ll be taking a look at the Gantry, a mobile Bluetooth speaker with NFC support from Speedlink. It promises to offer a big performance boost for your mobile audio, while being significantly more portable that a full-size dock. It features a USB rechargeable battery and a downward firing bass speaker port for extra punch.

Specifications

  • Active wireless Bluetooth speaker
  • NFC function for easy Bluetooth pairing
  • Bass-reflex Downfire function for powerful bass
  • Integrated Li-polymer battery
  • Wireless range of up to 10m
  • Integrated microphone for hands-free phone calls
  • Up to 5hrs’ battery life – USB chargeable
  • Charging and audio cable included
  • Rubberised coating

In the box you will find the speaker, a simple user guide, a 3.5mm male-to-male cable and a USB to microUSB charging cable.

The Gantry comes with a red mesh finish on the front, behind which you’ll find a pair of small stereo speakers.

On the base of the unit are four rubber grips to prevent it sliding around your desk, as well as four small holes that will help push better bass levels.

There is an NFC tag built into the right side, just tap your compatible phone against it and it’ll pair up the Bluetooth.

Around the back you’ll find the AUX line-in, a microUSB charging port and a master power switch.

On the top you will find the volume, skip track and a multifunction play/pause/answer call button.

Speedlink Phantom Hawk Flight Stick Review

Introduction


Over the last few weeks I’ve been diving into the world of flying games, with everything from War Thunder to Star Citizen: Arena Commander taking up my time. While mouse and keyboard do a pretty reasonable job for flight sims, it’s a far cry from the real deal and can be a little cumbersome at the best of times. Control pads such as the Xbox 360 controller are a nice middle ground, they provide dual analogue sticks that are great for arcade style flying, but they lack the controls needed for more sim-friendly flying. This leaves only one option, a flight stick and that’s exactly what I’ll be testing today.

There are countless flight sticks out there to choose from, from several manufacturers such as MadCatz, Cyborg, Speedlink and more. It doesn’t take long to realise that if you want to get to grips with a realistic flight stick, you need to spend a fair amount of money. This is why I’ve chosen to put a budget friendly model through its paces, the Speedlink Phantom Hawk. It’s relatively cheap, with prices around £25 from most retailers, so I’m not expecting industry leading performance here. I am however eager to find out just how good it really is, despite its low price tag.

“Transform your desktop into a cockpit – the PHANTOM HAWK joystick makes flight simulation a true experience and adds authenticity to challenging missions. With throttle controller, three control dimensions and eight-way Coolie Hat sets you up for the races, spectacular dogfights and accurate rescue flights.” – Speedlink

It’s got all the major features you could hope for in a flight stick; an analogue stick, 8-way hat switch, throttle control, vibration feedback, D-Pad and 12 programmable buttons.

Features

  • Ergonomically designed flight stick with hand rest for right-handed use
  • Coolie Hat for an eight-way all-round visibility
  • Perfect grip on all surfaces thanks to especially strong suction discs
  • Progressive throttle controller
  • Twelve freely assignable digital fire buttons
  • Force vibration for the ultimate gaming experience
  • 4-way digital D-pad
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Dimensions: 185 × 185 × 240mm (W × D × H)

The packaging is nicely designed, with images and specifications clearly displayed around the box; handy for those looking at this item in a retail store.

In the box you will find everything you need; the controller, a driver install CD and a quick install guide.

Speedlink Announces Kudos Z-9 Gaming Mouse

SpeedLink has announced their latest mouse, the Kudos Z-9 Gaming Mouse. Aimed for speed, the fully customizable gaming mouse is said to feature excellent ergonomics and has nine programmable buttons with zero-response-time.

The mouse has a distinctively notched 4-way scroll wheel and comes with dpi and profile switches as well. Under the hood, it has a laser sensor with an adjustable DPI that ranges from 50 to 8,200.

The Kudos Z-9 is ergonomically designed for right-handed use and has a thumb-indent. Running across the mouse is an illuminated indicator strip with 64 colours available to distinguish what profile is active. Connection to the PC is done with a flexible and sheathed 1.8m long USB cable.

A nifty feature that comes along with the Kudos Z-9 is the configuration app that allows you to edit profiles and adjust settings of your mouse from a compatible smart-device.

Thanks to Softpedia for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Softpedia

Coolermaster, Speedlink & TteSports Budget Headset Head-to-Head Review

Introduction


If you’re on the market for a new headset, chances are you’ve got more than one option on your shopping list, you’ll be looking for the best return on investment and you’ll want to find the headset that is best suited to your needs. Today I’ll be departing from our usual headset review format and showing you three headsets, putting them head-to-head and finding the strengths and weaknesses of each. At my disposal I have the TteSports Cronos, the Speedlink Medua NX and the CM Storm by Coolermaster Ceres 300. They’re all quite varied in terms of features, price and style, but they all have one thing in common, they’re all available for under £60.

The TteSports by Thermaltake Cronos headset is priced around £55 from most major online retailers, making it the most expensive of the collection that I have here today. The Speedlink Medusa can be picked up at most major retailers for around £50, but a little Google-fu will net you a brand new one for around £40 from some of the top eBay sellers making it the second most expensive option and finally we have the CM Storm by Coolermaster Ceres 300, which can be picked up for a very affordable £28. I’m hoping that by covering these three products we can work out if you need to spend more money to get the kind of performance you desire, or perhaps you’ll be able to save yourself some money by downgrading. There is only one way to find out, so let’s put these headsets to the test, but first let’s take a closer look at what you get in the box.

First up we have the TteSports Cronos; in the box you’ll find the headset, a rubber sleeved 4-pole cable (for mobile use), a braided dual 3.5mm + USB power connector cable, a simple user guide and a nice quality protective bag.

The speed link Medusa comes hard-wired with a fairly standard cable and comes bundled with a quick install guide and a zip up protective bag.

Finally, we have the Ceres 300, which comes bundled with a user guide, a hard wired cable and a detachable boom microphone.

Speedlink Xeox Pro Analogue Wireless PlayStation 3 & PC Gamepad Review

Introduction


It was only a few weeks ago that we brought you a review of Speedlinks affordable PlayStation 3 controller the Strike FX-6, I loved that budget controller so much that after over a month after testing it, I’m still using it for all of my PlayStation 3 gaming, especially since it’s trigger are exponentially better than the official PlayStation ones.

Speedlink have a solid history of creating third-party peripherals and the Strike FX-6 was proof that they could do it well. The product I have with me today is for the PlayStation 3 and would have been included in our Strike FX-6 review had I read the box and realised this is not an Xbox controller, no matter how much it looks like one! It is in fact every bit a PlayStation 3 controller, but its design is focused to look like an Xbox controller, just swapping the b for an e to become the Xeox.

With official controllers still costing in the region of £35 from most major retailers, you have good reason to shop around for a lower cost controller and with a price tag of just £16.99 + 3.91 shipping from Overclockers UK the Xeox is a very tempting option for both PlayStation 3 users and PC gamers alike. The question is, is it any good? Well if its performance and quality are at least on par with the last Speedlink controller I reviewed, the simple answer is certainly yes. So let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the Xeox has to offer.

The controller is nicely packaged and on the front you’ll see a quick run down of the major features, this includes 10m range and 2.4GHz technology, force vibration, rapid fire, rubberised coating, ergonomic stick layout, Li-polymer internal battery and analogue sticks / triggers.

In the box you’ll find everything you need is included; the controller, the wireless adaptor USB dongle, a mini-USB charging cable and a quick install guide.

Speedlink Strike FX-6 Bluetooth PS3 Gamepad Review

Introduction


Speedlink are well-known for making 3rd party peripherals for games consoles and have done so quite successfully for many years now, offering (in most cases) a lower cost solution for consumers than you would find with first party solutions. This is a great thing consumers, especially when you see that official controllers for consoles often cost upwards of £50-60 and PlayStation 3 controllers still cost around £35 at most major retailers even after the introduction of the PlayStation 4. The Speedlink Strike FX-6 that I’ll be taking a look at today costs just £25 and while that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, I know there are a lot of people who would rather have the extra £10 left in their wallet after a trip to the shops.

There are many reasons for wanting a lower cost controller, the first one is obviously a financial reason, sometimes you just need a spare controller for the kids or a backup one should yours break. Of course cheaper is often associated with lower quality too, and as many of you will know, there is a reason that the official controllers cost more, they’re high quality and guaranteed to be compatible with your system. Today I’ll be looking for nothing less than on par or better performance than the official controller and expecting all features (or more) than you would find on the official controller, despite the lower cost.

Most 3rd party controllers are wired, most often in a bid to keep the cost down and make them a financially attractive option compared to their more expensive official counterparts, but the Speedlink Strike FX-6 is fully wireless using the same Bluetooth technology that you’ll find in the official controller, it also features 6-axis, rumble, a USB rechargeable built-in battery pack. Basically, it has everything that you’ll find on the official controller, the only two minor differences are that this doesn’t come with the USB cable and it also comes fitted with a rapid fire mode.

The controller comes packed in one of those awful blister packs that takes a chainsaw to break into, but at least the clear plastic gives you a good view of the product should be looking at it in a retail outlet. On the front you’ll see a few badges detailing the major features such as 6-axis support, Bluetooth and vibration.

Speedlink Jugger 2.1 Speaker System Review

Introduction


Today I’ll be taking a look at the new Speedlink Jugger 2.1 speaker system, a budget friendly solution for those who want to give their multimedia an extra kick and bigger sound, but that don’t want to stretch their budget too far.

With 16 years industry experience, Speedlink have already sold over 10 million sound systems, making them one of Europe’s leading brands for multimedia solutions, and this is especially true for the PC and gaming markets. With that experience, they’ve no doubt got plenty of knowledge and experience, so I’m expecting to see much of that reflected in the product we’ll be taking a look at today.

Priced at around £45 Inc. shipping here in the UK the system is obviously not enthusiast grade audio equipment, but it’s priced just right to go head to head with systems from Wavemaster, Logitech, Creative and similar brands who all have products around the same budget, and many of those products are pretty good too (for this price), so it will be interesting to see how the Jugger 2.1 holds up and how well it holds up to Speedlinks own words about its performance (see below).

“Take your games’ sound quality to the next level and transport yourself to a powerful dimension in sound with the JUGGER 2.1 Subwoofer System. It combines the quality of cutting-edge audio technology with the high standards you place on your speakers’ performance. The high-volume subwoofer with its superior quality driver unit and wooden housing delivers powerful, gutsy bass. Experience spectacular sound effects, such as bombs going off or shots being exchanged, in all their glory. The JUGGER 2.1 Subwoofer System won’t just get gamers’ hearts racing: besides the high-fidelity sound of action-packed gaming scenarios, it’s perfect for action movies and music. Simply connect the system to your PC, games console or TV, and use the practical desktop remote to connect an MP3 player, a microphone or a gaming headset.” – Speedlink product page.

As you can see from the specifications below, the Jugger 2.1 outputs 35 Watt RMS with a peak of 70 Watt, so they should be pretty loud for a desktop solution, plus combining that with a subwoofer for some added thump.

  • Active 2.1 speaker system
  • 35 Watt RMS output power, 70 Watt peak power*
  • powerful subwoofer with a wooden housing and high volume for extreme bass
  • satellite speakers angled for optimal audio projection and with metal grill protectors
  • separate practical volume and bass controls on the subwoofer
  • on/off switch and auto power-saving mode for zero power wastage
  • practical desktop remote with connectors for rapid switching between additional audio sources, a microphone or a set of headphones
  • impressive symphony of sound for games – perfect for multimedia use
  • easy installation
  • rubber feet for acoustic decoupling
  • audio adapter cable (1m) for connecting to a PS3, Xbox 360 or TV
  • dimensions: subwoofer: 190 × 210 × 210mm (W × D × H), satellites: 130 × 105 × 130mm (W × D × H) x 2

The speakers come really nicely packaged with a carry handle built into the box, making them very retail friendly. On the front of the box you’ll find that they’ve been listed as compatible with TV, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, but of course they’ll be compatible with any device that has AUX ports or a 3.5mm connection.

In the box I found not one, but two quick install guides, handy. I also found a wired controller, AUX to 3.5mm cable and AUX pass through to female 3.5mm cable, pretty much everything you should need to hook his up to your PC, TV, Blu-ray player or similar audio enabled device.

Speedlink Decus 5000dpi Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today I’ll be taking a look at the feature packed Speedlink Decus gaming mouse, it promises a lot of features despite its affordable price tag and if the performance is up to scratch it could very well be one of the best value for money mice available on the market.  With prices averaging around £35 on Google Shopping it’s obviously not a budget model, but it is still cheap for a feature packed gaming mouse and I’m really looking forward to put it through it’s paces.

Speedlink aren’t exactly the first name you think of when your talking about gaming peripherals, but they’ve got a pretty solid range to their name for the low to mid budget market. Sure most enthusiast gamers will leap towards the bigger gaming brands such as Razer, Roccat, Corsair and MadCatz, to name but a few, but your average consumer and casual gamer is much more likely to pick up something like the Speedlink, as it looks affordable and the specification list is on par with many other top brands and products on the market.

With the ever increasing popularity of PC gaming there is big demand for affordable peripherals and as you can see from the features below the Decus doesn’t disappoint, we’ve got a 5000 DPI laser sensor, 7 programmable buttons including a rapid-fire feature, macro editor, profile features, internal memory and more, everything you would expect from a quality gaming mouse.

Features

  • Professional gaming mouse
  • Ultimate in ergonomics
  • Fully customisable functions and look
  • Stunning laser precision
  • Ultra-precise laser sensor with adjustable resolution from 400 to 5.000dpi
  • On/off switchable LED illumination with 6 breathtaking colours
  • 7 programmable buttons incl. dpi switch and rapid-fire button
  • Powerful macro editor
  • 5 profiles with separate button, sensor and colour configurations
  • Internal profile memory (128kb)
  • Auto-loading game profiles
  • USB polling rate configurable up to 1000Hz (ultrapolling)
  • Ergonomic design with grippy scroll wheel and finger indents
  • Rubberised finish
  • Flexible USB cable with hard-wearing sheath (1.8m)

The Decus comes really nicely packaged with a clear image of the mouse on the front of the box, as well as a quick run down of some of the major features such as 6 colour lighting with effects, macro software and the 5000 DPI sensor.

The box folds out to give us a look at the mouse, while also detailing further many of the features of the included software and lighting systems, but of course we’ll take a much closer look at all of this shortly.

In the box you’ll find the mouse, a drive CD and user guide, of course we downloaded the latest drivers from the website, but the CD is handy for those times you don’t have internet access on a certain system, always handy to have it as a backup.

SpeedLink PARTHICA Core Gaming Keyboard Launched

SpeedLink launched its PARTHICA Core gaming keyboard, a keyboard optimized for your responsiveness, precision and comfort, and of course gaming. The keyboard comes in three LED color variations for gamers to choose from, the “Volcano” red, the “Midnight” blue and the “Tyrian” purple LED illumination.

The PARTHICA Core Gaming Keyboard features complex macros that can be used at “lightning-fast speed”, helping gamers achieve those combos that take you up the leaderboards, and if you want to reach the top, it also offers customizable profiles to help you in your quest. The keyboard can be customized to the gamer’s liking with its impressive configuration software, fitted with 5 custom profile slots and a powerful integrated macro editor.

The keyboard also features Game on Detection (G.O.D.) technology, giving the opportunity to store and load your custom game profiles automatically when you launch your desired game. The lighting profiles also have four states, OFF if you feel that it distracts you from your gameplay, 50% intensity, 100% intensity and pulsating. You can also shuffle your key response from 4 selectable response timing: 2 ms, 4 ms, 8 ms and all the way up to 16 ms. There is also a feature that lets you record your macros on the fly.

Full feature specs:

  • Customisable functions and look
  • Freely configurable key/button functions Features
  • Three color LED illumination options
  • 93 configurable keys, 15 freely programmable buttons
  • 5 macro buttons plus 10 multimedia buttons and practical on-the-fly macro recording
  • Maximum gaming comfort thanks to extra-high raised keys for precise keystrokes, clearly labelled WASD and arrow keys, plus an on/off switchable Windows key
  • Anti-ghosting and 6-key rollover technology
  • On/off switchable and configurable LED keyboard illumination with 3 breathtaking colours
  • Profile button for toggling between up to 5 config profiles
  • Powerful macro editor integrated in the driver
  • Internal memory (128kb) for importing/exporting profiles
  • Auto-loading game profiles
  • Perfect ergonomics thanks to comfortable wrist rest, rubberized finish and height adjustment
  • USB polling rate configurable up to 1000Hz (ultrapolling)
  • Four selectable response-times down to 2 milliseconds
  • Flexible USB cable with hard-wearing sheath (1.8m)

Thank you SpeedLink for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of SpeedLink

SpeedLink Medusa NX 5.1 Headset Review

Today is the turn of a headset, but from a company you have probably not heard of much or even at all, in fact excluding this one recent news story then they have not been mentioned on this site. This is mainly due to them being very focused on their own German market.

That is not to say they are a small company, in fact Speedlink have one of the largest collections of products I have ever seen. To put this into perspective under ‘Headsets’ they have 31 different products – although several are the same model in different colours, this is still a lot of products.

Speedlink have  included a nice, circular, carry bag, and as the headset is fold-able it should fit in easily.

This headset is a full 5.1 headset and so we expect it to have a good collection of cables, as such the Medusa NX has front, rear, centre/subwoofer and microphone jacks.

There is also a USB connector to provide  power for the headset, although SpeedLink do make a fully-USB version of this headset.

As we would expect with this type of headset, there is also an in-line remote with plenty of options. This side has 1 on/off switch and two volume controls for the Centre speakers and the Bass Vibration.

 

The other side of the remote has 2 more volume controls for the Front and Rear channels, each control goes from 0 to 10.

Moving to the headset itself, we find a flexible microphone that includes noise cancelling technology for crystal-clear voice transmission.

Each ear cup rotates 90 degrees outwards and folds inwards making them very easy to store away which is especially useful for gamers who take their own peripherals to LAN parties for instance.

The ear cups are made of a soft fabric style padding which make them extremely comfortable to wear especially for long periods of time.

The headband is also well padded, and is fairly springy to help it fold up into a smaller space, perfect for fitting it into the carry case. They have also made it fairly obvious that its made by speedlink due to the rather large lettering on top.

The first thing we did when we got this headset, after plugging it in, was to sit down and watch a good film. This was to test the surround sound and sound quality aspects of the headset, as well as the general comfort and usability of the headset. We then tested this headset during several skype conversations to check the quality of the headsets’ microphone and the noise cancellation system.

The surround sound of this headset is very impressive, and while not the best we have tried it is certainly in the same league. Due to the use of 4 speakers in each ear cup the headset is able to produce a fairly encompassing sound which during films and games allows you to know exactly where the sound is coming from. It did however feel that everything was very close, as if you had 5.1 surround sound set-up in a very small room, or you were fighting in a broom cupboard, the range and depth of sound was just not there when compared with other headsets. The sound quality was also fairly good with a nice tone and decent balance of bass, although when needed the bass can really pack a punch which is very impressive for this size headset.

We also found that the noise cancellation and microphone worked well together and that during skype conversations we were heard very clearly, although we found it very easy to knock the microphone out of place as it rotates a bit too easily. The flexibility of the microphone is certainly useful as you can literally get it into any position you want.

In terms of comfort we found the Medusa Headset really excels, compared to other full 5.1  headsets it is extremely light and so after a few minutes you do forget you are wearing a headset. The ear pads are just the right size that they support some of the weight without crushing your ear and still block some of the external noises.

The price of this headset makes this one of the best value headsets we have ever seen and tested here at eTeknix. For just £48.60 you can have the full surround sound experience which does have pinpoint precision and impressive sound quality as well as punchy bass and full control over each channel. A perfect peripheral for everyones computer demands, whether a serious gamer or just wanting to enjoy films without annoying the neighbours, and at this price, we really couldn’t knock it.