Tag - audio

Sennheiser PC 373D Headset Review

Sennheiser has a long history of making high quality audio headphones. When I recently got the chance to take a look at their 7.1 surround sound headset, the PC 373D, I was reminded of my previous experience with a Sennheiser headset, which set the bar very high. Looking at the weighty price point of the PC 373D headphones, a hefty $249.95 at the official Sennheiser website, I was hoping they would be just as good of an audio experience.

Our look at the Sennheiser PC 373D begins with its overall design and build quality. In terms of its looks, the PC 373D is actually very similar to the PC 350, but mixed with some features from the PC 360 headphones. It’s as if the two headphones made a child together. It has the ear cups and mic design of the PC 350 and the headband style of the PC 360 – all while keeping its predecessors’ light weight and comfort. One of the things I loved about the PC 350 was how comfy the ear cups were on the sides of my head and the PC 373D headphones are terrific. I wore them for several hours at a time during my usage and never experienced ear ache or unnatural pressure on the sides of my head. Something that it brings over from the PC 360 is the volume dial on the right ear cup. I love this control and it makes fine adjustments easy to accomplish. Sennheiser does use a strangely-thin audio cable for the PC 373D. I was hoping that they would opt for a braided cord but the current cord material feels pretty thin. But, I digress… On a positive note, the headband feels really sturdy and I can’t see it breaking anytime soon.

The virtual 7.1 surround sound is accomplished via downloadable software as well as the use of the USB dongle that comes with the headphones. It is a strange setup in opposition to how many other virtual surround sound headphones work but, in this case, the headphones connect to the dongle via mini-USB port, and then from the dongle to your computer via 3.5mm audio jack. Unlike other headphones, you need the dongle as, without it, you are left with a mini-USB cable that won’t connect to any audio output ports. My advice is DON’T LOSE YOUR DONGLE! The virtual surround software has several presets, such as music and gaming, and all seem to work very well in creating virtual channel separation. Usually, I am not a fan of virtual surround sound, opting for much heavier real surround sound headphones. That being said, I actually loved listening to the PC 373D’s crisp audio and separation. They have shown me that virtual surround sound can be just as good – if not better in some ways (the biggest way being the decreased weight in not having seven drivers in the headband, saves the neck a lot of stress).

I played a whole library’s worth of games using the Sennheiser PC 373D’s – from Fallout 4 to EverSpace to Flight Simulator X to…. Well, a lot more titles from a variety of categories. I also listened to a good amount of music on them. Moving on to its microphone, the boom mic picked up my voice with great clarity during several sessions of online RPGs via Roll20.net and on TeamSpeak servers. The best part of the microphone boom is how it mutes itself when you swivel it upward. I wish more headphones did this as it is such a natural movement and you always know whether your mic is hot or not. The optional noise cancellation algorithm is also very good and I never saw a reason to disable it during my usage of the headphones except while I was testing it out.

Overall the Sennheiser PC 373D 7.1 surround sound headphones are terrific. The audio quality is great, microphone pickup perfect for gaming or chat, and its construction is super-comfy. Sennheiser continues to impress me. I just wish that they used a more durable cable material, like a braided cord. Truth be told, the biggest drawback in reviewing this pair of headphones is knowing they have to go back after my evaluation period is over, but I digress. At $249 dollars, the Sennheiser PC 373D headphones are an excellent choice whether you are gaming or playing your favorite tunes.


Sennheiser PC 373D Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)

Official Product Page


Technical Data

  • Color: black
  • Wearing style: Headband
  • Impedance Headphone: 50 Ω
  • Connector: USB
  • Frequency response (Microphone): 50 – 16, 000 Hz
  • Frequency response (Headphones): 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 116 dB
  • Ear coupling: Around-the-ear, open acoustic design
  • Cable length: 1,7m + 1,2m
  • Weight: 355 g
  • Pick-up pattern: Noise-cancelling
  • Microphone sensitivity: -38 dBV/Pa

LucidSound Announces LS35X Wireless Xbox one Headset

San Diego, CA – May 8th, 2017 – LucidSound®, innovators of premium gaming audio hardware, announced today the LS35X Wireless Gaming Headset, the first in a new range of licensed Xbox products from LucidSound, and the first headset to connect directly to Xbox One consoles, with no cables and no base station.

Expected to ship for Holiday 2017, the LS35X connects directly to Xbox One consoles using the same wireless technology as an official controller, automatically configuring for hassle-free set-up. No base station or chat cable is needed, simply pair the LS35X directly with the Xbox One as you would a controller. The LS35X will feature continuous compatibility with past and future Xbox One consoles. Windows 10 users can connect the LS35X directly to new PCs that include built-in Xbox Wireless technology or by using the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.

In addition to the direct connect technology, the LS35X boasts a magnitude of technical features designed to offer a premium experience for Xbox gamers. The LS35X uses precision 50mm neodymium drivers to provide exceptionally detailed audio. The LS35X is compatible with Windows Sonic for Headphones surround sound technology, providing exceptionally accurate 3D surround sound when playing on Xbox One Consoles and Windows 10. The LS35X also features state-of-the-art head tracking technology and is also compatible with Dolby® Atmos for Headphones surround sound optional add-on for Xbox One and Windows 10.

Unique to LucidSound, the iconic, intuitive ear-cup control system allows the user to effortlessly adjust the most common controls, never losing focus of the game and eliminating the need to hunt for ungainly rocker switches and buttons. The all-new LS35X includes a new ear-cup design that provides expanded space, resulting in increased comfort and enhanced audio accuracy.

“The LucidSound team has designed the LS35X as a headset for this generation of Xbox players with the most simplistic wireless capability to date,” said Chris Von Huben, CEO of LucidSound. “We believe the Xbox gamer will be blown away by the feature set and quality. This is just the beginning of our announcements for E3 in June and it only gets better.”

For more information, visit lucidsound.com and follow LucidSound on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

SteelSeries Arctis Wins Red Dot Award

CHICAGO – April 3, 2017SteelSeries, the fastest growing major PC gaming headset brand in the US*, today proudly announced that its Arctis headsets received the prestigious “Red Dot” award. The jury reached its decision after assessing thousands of products from all over the world. SteelSeries created an outstanding design for the Arctis Headset line that the expert committee for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 has recognized with the internationally sought-after seal of quality.

“Our Danish heritage has never been more apparent than in the creation of the Arctis headset line – where every choice made for building a superior headset directly affected the look and feel,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “Simplicity is what makes this headset truly a force to be reckoned with – the questions asked and choices made were hard but simple – find materials that impact comfort, choose shapes that improve function and stop thinking about a gaming product as a visual stereotype.”

The significance of the international design competition, Red Dot Award: Product Design, is well established internationally. For more than 60 years, an expert team has been awarding the seal of quality for good design and innovation to the outstanding designs of the year.

“The Red Dot winners are pursuing the right design strategy,” said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award. “They have recognized that good design and economic success go hand in hand. The award by the critical Red Dot jury documents their high design quality and is indicative of their successful design policy.”

The Arctis 3, Arctis 5, and Arctis 7 gaming headsets are now available at Best Buy or SteelSeries for $79.99, $99.99, and $149.99, respectively. Arctis headband accessories are available now exclusively at https://steelseries.com/arctis for $14.99.

For more details about the Arctis headset line and accessories, or SteelSeries’ entire selection of gaming peripherals, visit https://steelseries.com.

HyperX Begins Shipping Cloud Revolver S 7.1 Surround Sound Headphones

Fountain Valley, CA – March 13, 2016 – HyperX®, a division of Kingston® Technology Company, Inc., today announced it is now shipping the HyperX Cloud Revolver S with plug-and-play Dolby TM 7.1 Surround Sound. HyperX has integrated Dolby HeadphoneTM technology into a new USB dongle that delivers immersive audio at the touch of a button. HyperX’s signature memory foam and new wide headband design brings comfort for endless hours of gameplay. Designed for use by professional gamers and eSports teams globally, the premium headset also features multi-platform support, 50mm drivers and a noise-cancelling microphone.

Cloud Revolver S continues the HyperX tradition of award-winning comfort and competitive audio performance, while adding Dolby Headphone surround sound realism with a new HyperX audio dongle that is included with each headset. The Dolby Headphone 7.1 channel surround sound environment provides an immersive gaming experience – putting gamers right in the middle of the action for gameplay advantage. In addition to Dolby surround sound, there are three additional sound profiles: bass, flat response and chat profiles. The Cloud Revolver S sound stage features unique design driver technology that allows gamers to visualize sounds placed around them at different angles and distances. With three additional pre-set equalizer settings: bass boost, flat and vocals, each gamer can choose their favorite setting. Gamers will gain a competitive edge in FPS and 3D environment games by hearing opponent locations more clearly and accurately than previously attainable.

“The HyperX Cloud Revolver S headset is our best gaming headset yet – simply plug it in and one click later Dolby quality surround sound is on,” said Tyler Needles, audio business manager, HyperX. “Combining the perfect balance of audio performance and comfort, Cloud Revolver S will immerse listeners in a cinema quality audio experience.”

“The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is incredibly comfortable,” said Gordon Hayward, All-Star basketball player and gamer. “And the plug-and-play Dolby surround sound is amazing.”

More about the HyperX Revolver S Gaming Headset

The Cloud Revolver S is designed to provide a premium gaming experience; additional features include:

  •  Dolby Surround Sound – New USB audio dongle for plug-and-play surround sound and built-in high quality sound card
  •  Developed by Gamers – Three Pre-set Equalizer Settings, independent volume and microphone mute buttons, and backlit LED to quickly check active modes
  •  New Design – Wider headband, matte black finish and HyperX Signature Memory Phone
  •  Premium Performance – No software or separate audio box required, unlike competing headsets

Additional HyperX Revolver S Specifications:

  • Headphone
  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response: 12Hz–28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 100.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 360g
  • Weight with mic: 376g
  • Cable length:
  • Headset: 1m
  • Audio Control Box: 2.2m
  • PC extension cable: 2m
  • Connection Type:
  • Headset: 3.5mm plug (4 pole)
  • Audio Control Box: USB
  • PC extension cable: 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
  • Microphone
  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Bi-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz

Availability and Support

The Cloud Revolver S (MSRP $149.99US) will be available March 13, 2017 through HyperX’s network of retail and e-tail outlets. Cloud Revolver S includes a two-year limited warranty and HyperX’s industry-leading customer service and support. The Cloud Revolver S was recently shown at the PAX East gaming show in Boston, MA.

LucidSound Announces PAX East Presence

San Diego, CA, March 7 2017, – LucidSound®, innovators of premium gaming audio hardware, announced today a full roster of events planned for PAX East, a three-day gaming celebration taking place in Boston, MA from March 10 through March 12 2017.

One of the largest and most celebrated gaming events in North America, PAX East is a favourite destination for gamers worldwide, complete with the latest games from AAA publishers and indies alike, exhibit halls, concerts, panels, cosplay and so much more. Unmissable, unmistakable and usually unbelievable, PAX East is a totally unique event on the gaming calendar.

Located on the show floor in booth 12102, LucidSound will be bringing the noise to PAX East 2017, making games sound better and bringing their unique brand of gaming audio to the masses! All three headsets in the LucidSound range will be available to test and buy, including the white-hot flagship of the range, the all-new LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset. Strictly for show customers only, the LucidSound team will be offering incredible show specials on the range (while stocks last), making the event the ideal destination to buy the latest technology for an unbeatable price.

Designed for portable power, the LucidSound LS20 Powered Universal Gaming Headset is the ideal headset for Nintendo® Switch. To celebrate the launch of the new home console, LucidSound will be inviting show visitors to take part in daily Switch tournaments, offering a chance to win a brand new LucidSound headset each and every day! With exclusive game T-Shirts and copies of Switch software to give away, the Switch tournament is destined to be a highlight of the LucidSound stand.

Even more headsets are available to win via the daily 4pm raffle (must be on site to win!) and as a prize for the ‘Look-for-Lucid’ game taking place live on the show floor! Every day, LucidSound will be giving away free temporary tattoos. If you’re wearing a tattoo and caught by the Lucid team on Instagram wearing a tattoo, you might just be awarded a headset for being awesome!

Those interested in entering the raffle, obtaining a free tattoo or entering the daily Switch tournament are encouraged to subscribe to the LucidSound social channels and visit the LucidSound stand as soon as doors open to participate.

For more information, visit lucidsound.com and follow LucidSound on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

SteelSeries Announces Compatibility Between Arctis 3 Headset and Nintendo Switch

CHICAGO – March 1, 2017 – SteelSeries, the fastest growing major PC gaming headset brand in the US*, announces compatibility between the Arctis 3 gaming headset and the highly-anticipated gaming console, the Nintendo SwitchTM. Using the Switch’s headphone jack, the Arctis 3 headset brings the same high-quality audio performance gamers have come to expect from the Arctis line with a style anyone would be comfortable wearing while playing on-the-go.

“Arctis 3 is the best headset for everywhere you game, which makes it perfectly suited for the Nintendo Switch” said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “We designed Arctis 3 with the industry’s best audio drivers, our exclusive athletics-inspired ski goggle suspension headband and AirWeave ear cushions, for performance and comfort at an accessible price for gaming on all-platforms.”

With the Arctis 3, SteelSeries shattered preconceived notions of what a gaming headset should sound, feel and look like. Arctis represents design-forward thinking and the best audio choice for all-platform gaming.  In addition to compatibility with the Nintendo Switch, the analog wired headset is fully compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, VR and mobile devices.

The Arctis 3 gaming headset is now available at Best Buy, Amazon and SteelSeries.com for $79.99. For more details about the Arctis or SteelSeries’ entire selection of gaming peripherals, visit http://steelseri.es/arctis.

Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II Desktop Speaker Review

In looking for some new desktop speakers (my older set ended up taking a nosedive and breaking), I looked through a great many potential replacements. Having used several types of speaker systems in my gaming lifetime, I was hoping to reduce the physical footprint of the audio system as much as possible. My office is not that big and I don’t need to have gigantic speakers everywhere. Then again, I also did not want to sacrifice sound quality for this exchange. My answer came in the form of the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II desktop speakers.

The GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is made up of two free-standing satellite pylons – each containing three types of speakers. There is a cloth-domed tweeter unit for higher-end frequencies as well as two fiber woven cone drivers for low and mid-range sound. Capping these drivers off is a resonance chamber that helps funnel low-end sound out of the pylon for a subwoofer-style effect. The speakers require an AC power source – the adapter is included. Some have complained about this requirement but those detractors need to understand that power is required to send the audio signals through the six speakers.

These weighty satellite units are more than a match for a full 2.1 sound system and it saves you the extra space being taken up by a dedicated subwoofer! Using Tokyo city planning logic, Creative Labs built upwards, not outwards, and it is a very successful outcome for their efforts.

We liked…

  • Powerful sound
  • Reasonable price
We did not like…

  • Couldn’t really think of a negative

I have used the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II speakers for easy listening music all the way to first-person shooter games. When using speakers for Mp3 enjoyment, I usually start with showtunes. Hamilton, the latest craze in musicals, plays wonderfully on these speakers. Having the bass and treble control knobs next to the volume/power knob is brilliant and allows me to have direct control of the highs and lows, without getting bogged down in all the tweaks available via an equalizer. Moving into the hard stuff, I loaded up Dragonforce and blared out Operation Ground and Pound and reveled at the clear separation of highs and lows, thanks to the GigaWorks T40 Series II’s multi-driver system. Finally, I ran an assortment of video games while using the speakers. Master of Orion was no challenge for the speakers and the adrenaline-fueled explosions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came through like gangbusters. The system us truly exceptional – especially at its price point of $124.95 on Amazon.

Overall, the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is a terrific option for those of you in need of powerful desktop audio that won’t break your bank account. The three different sound sources per satellite provide a wide range of frequencies that you would normally need several speaker units and a subwoofer to equal – especially in a home office environment. The GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is a great choice for gamers and audiophiles in their home office, dorm, or bedroom.


Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II Desktop Speaker Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


 

LucidSound Touts the LS20 Headset’s Advanced Features When Used with Nintendo Switch

San Diego, CA – January 13, 2017 LucidSound, innovators of premium gaming audio hardware invite Nintendo® gamers to make the switch to a better audio experience via the LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset. Available for purchase today at all leading retailers, the LS20 features unrivalled, powered gaming audio, serving as the perfect partner to the new Nintendo Switch Home Gaming System available from March 3, 2017.

With a modern, lifestyle appearance, strikingly different from traditional gaming headsets, the LS20 has been engineered for gaming-on-the-go. Featuring a compact, portable footprint, the headset houses superior quality, fully amplified gaming audio. With a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, LS20 owners can enjoy rich audio via their Nintendo Switch and other gaming platforms for up to 20 hours per charge.

The LS20 is designed with the gamer in mind, featuring the acclaimed LucidSound ear-cup control which allow players to adjust audio simply by rotating their ear-cup and mute audio with a simple press. The radically innovative control scheme means an end to awkward buttons, switches, and dials, allowing gamers to adjust their audio without taking concentration away from the game.

“We engineered the LS20 from the ground up to provide next-generation audio and intuitive control to portable gamers and we believe our headset will prove to be the go-to choice for Nintendo Switch players,” said Chris Von Huben, CEO of LucidSound. “It’s clear that Nintendo has reinvented gaming yet again and our headset is ideally positioned to take advantage of the unique methods of play offered by the new console. Whether using at home or away, the LS20 provides modern gamers with a superior audio experience and we can’t wait to introduce the LucidSound difference to a wider audience come March 2017.”

40mm speakers with neodymium magnets provide deep bass and clear highs, complete with the carefully crafted, signature LucidSound audio acoustics. Bass-Boost enhances the low-end yet further, ideal for shooting games such as Splatoon 2, and built-in mic-monitoring allows players to hear their own voice through the headset. Lastly, the LS20 features a removable boom mic as well as an integrated hidden mic, affording truly universal use and sporting an understated design that uses premium materials including an aluminium frame.

Available now at leading retailers for around $99.99, the LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset is compatible with Nintendo Switch as well as a wide range of gaming formats including the PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PC/MAC, mobile phones, and smart devices.

For global retailer information, please visit http://www.lucidsound.com/where-to-buy.html

For more information, visit lucidsound.com and follow LucidSound on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sennheiser Announces HD1 In-Ear Wireless Headphones

Las Vegas, January 6, 2017 – Sennheiser’s HD1 headphone range represents the perfect fusion of sound and style: Uncompromised sound performance meets minimalist design and carefully selected materials. At CES 2017, held in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, the audio specialist goes one step further by unveiling the new HD1 In-Ear Wireless. Combining a leading-edge acoustic design with Bluetooth 4.1, AAC codec support and Qualcomm® apt-X™, the new neckband headphone has been designed to enhance the experience of listening to music on mobile devices – for the ultimate portable HD1 experience.

Uncompromising sound quality, progressive technology and high-quality materials in a minimalist design: Sennheiser redefined the world of headphones with its HD1 range – a series of headphones with MOMENTUM. In the creation of these iconic headphones, the audio specialist was inspired by people who follow their vision, striving for the new and pushing the world ahead. With the HD1 In-Ear Wireless, Sennheiser now adds ear-canal headphones with Bluetooth connectivity to the acclaimed range.

“HD1 headphones are inspired by people that push boundaries and refuse to compromise in fulfilling their ambition,” said Dr. Christian Ern, Head of Portfolio Management Audiophile at Sennheiser. “With the new HD1 In-Ear Wireless, we are bringing this ethos to a compact Bluetooth neckband headphone.”

Elegant in every detail, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless has been designed for an uncompromising experience. Its stainless steel in-ear sound tunnels have been custom machined to deliver superior acoustic precision: This high quality dynamic speaker system brings the signature HD1 sound to a compact in-ear headphone, with a powerful bass response, detailed vocal projection and a great sound stage. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.1, AAC codec support, and Qualcomm® apt-X™ compatibility, this true hi-fi sound is delivered with crystal-clear wireless transmission.

An elegant companion to mobile devices
With a great 10-hour battery life, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless can be enjoyed throughout the day. An integrated three-button remote and high-quality microphone are incorporated into the neckband, making it easy to stay connected and make phone calls and control music on the go. HD1 In-Ear Wireless supports convenient multi-connection with up to 2 devices at once, with 3-way calling support. Ease of use is further enhanced by NFC one-touch Bluetooth pairing with smart devices, an intuitive system of voice prompts to notify of pairing status and to provide battery life warnings, a vibration alert for incoming calls and support of USB audio with USB charging.

Like all HD1 headphones, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless represents a perfect marriage of style and substance, with high-quality materials, superb comfort and lasting durability. The ergonomic around-the-neck design and soft sheepskin nappa leather stitched onto the neckband offer all-day listening comfort. Ear adapters in four different sizes are provided for optimized fit in the ear canals to allow excellent attenuation of ambient noise. Meanwhile, premium materials such as stainless steel, the mirrored chrome finish, and tough, impact-resistant polycarbonate give the HD1 In‑Ear Wireless the strength for a life on the move.

Sennheiser’s HD1 In-Ear Wireless will be available from January 2017.

LucidSound Announces Xbox One Licensed Products

San Diego, CA – January 3, 2017 LucidSound®, innovators of premium gaming audio hardware, announced today that it will offer officially-licensed audio products for Xbox One and Xbox One S.

A new name in gaming audio, LucidSound began shipping their first gaming headset in March 2016 and has gone on to launch three distinctive products, each acclaimed for their uncompromising focus on audio quality and innovative control.

“The Xbox brand is synonymous with premium gaming and delivering experiences unmatched in interactive entertainment. We can now specifically develop and engineer audio products for the Xbox family of devices, and couldn’t be prouder to be partnering with Microsoft to deliver the next generation of audio to eager fans,” said Chris Von Huben, CEO of LucidSound. “The LucidSound range of products have captured the imagination of gamers, distinguishing themselves from competitors through modern aesthetics, innovative controls and unrivalled audio performance. We’re excited to take our expertise to the Xbox audience and believe that today’s announcement will be a major source of growth for our company in the years ahead.”

LucidSound currently ship three gaming headsets, the LS30 Wireless Universal Gaming Headset, theLS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset and the newly released LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset. The new range of licensed Xbox audio products will offer features tailored to the Xbox gamer with further details expected later this year.

For more information, visit lucidsound.com and follow LucidSound on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.