Gaming Headsets  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Gaming Headsets  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Audio-Technica ATH-G1 Headset Review: A Gaming Headset Worth Listening To https://www.gameskinny.com/4qz4o/audio-technica-ath-g1-headset-review-a-gaming-headset-worth-listening-to https://www.gameskinny.com/4qz4o/audio-technica-ath-g1-headset-review-a-gaming-headset-worth-listening-to Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:07:34 -0400 Mark Delaney

For fans of quality music headsets or record players, Audio-Technica is probably already a brand you know. If your most important audio experience comes when you're gaming, though, they may have slipped through the cracks of a market dominated by the likes of Astro, HyperX, and Turtle Beach.

One of Audio-Technica's newest headset, the ATH-G1, rivals headsets like the ever-popular Stealth 700 from Turtle Beach in price, but to establish the brand in the gaming world, they need to outperform those and other stalwarts.

While the ATH-G1 lacks some features players would assume are standard on even entry-level headsets, the actual audio experience is blatantly better than those offered in its price range, making it a go-to piece of equipment for players serious about their game audio.

How The ATH-G1 Sounds

At $169, the ATH-G1 is actually one of the cheapest gaming headsets offered by the revered company, but that price would put it at near the top of some rivals' headset lines. With that in mind, the ATH-G1 needs to outperform those rivals in all the usual ways, like overall audio quality, onboard features, and form factor. Two out of three isn't bad.

In terms of audio quality, the ATH-G1 is the best I've experienced at this price. It dwarves similarly priced headsets from bigger names, giving Audio-Technica the strange designation as deserving underdog. They're a company used to consumer trust and name recognition, but the ATH-G1 will be a headset that helps them break into gaming in a serious way or it least it deserves to.

The headset's 45mm drivers may not seem so impressive on a specs list, but the ATH-G1 finds a way to make them work. The end result is an audio experience with the loudest ceiling I've experienced so far, but not one that sacrifices the subtleties of game audio design that remains at the forefront of the most important factors.

Seriously, cranking the ATH-G1 all the way up is absurdly loud without a loss in sound quality. They're actually too loud for me in most instances, but if I could be assured they're not going to do long-term damage at this level, I'd mess with them like that some more in stuff like PUBG or Blackout, where the audio edge plays a massive role in how a round shapes out.

You're not going to get the revolutionary audio experience of higher-end headsets like the HyperX Cloud Orbit S built with Audeze parts, but you likely already understand that tradeoff. For this price, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better experience.

How The ATH-G1 Feels

Another big benefit of the ATH-G1 is the form factor. Simply put, it's the most comfortable over-the-ear headset I've ever used. Lightweight and breathable, it's built for long sessions, be they on console, PC, mobile, or even just for music.

It doesn't feel as bulky as most other fancy headsets I've bought or reviewed. Once you get to this price range, many headsets offer a detachable microphone, and the ATH-G1 is no different. In turn, this has made them my go-to headset for mobile gaming or for stuff like music and podcasts.

Where it stands out most, however, is in how stylish it looks. Reflective royal blue circles surround the brand logo on each ear cup, and though the minimalist design leaves some wires exposed and running through the light metal, all seeming a bit strange at first, I got used to the look and eventually came to appreciate their studio style. It mirrors those which DJs or producers may use. That's Audio-Technica's move, so they're going to use it.

While stuff from Astro and Turtle Beach wear their gaming-first design on their sleeve (on their ears?, this Audio-Technica headset appeals to the more varied audiophile. As a result, they drop the early-aughts' boyish designs of lime greens and bright oranges in favor of sleek blacks and metals, with a touch of elegant blue.

They look classy in a way the industry's most recognized brands deliberately lack for reasons I still can't quite figure out. More than that, they don't feel like they're just marketed toward young men. They're refreshing.

What Else Can the ATH-G1 Do?

It's always important to spell out the versatility of a headset, especially pricey ones where buyers don't want to ensure they've made the right choice on the first try. Here's where the ATH-G1 falters. Yes, it's a great headset for all parts of your audio-driven life. As mentioned, it's become my travel headset for those trips in the hotel with my Switch or several hours of podcasts.

However, they clearly lack a few features that should or very well could be standard for $169.

For one, there's just one way to connect them, and that's via the 3.5mm headphone jack. A lack of any wireless options stings, but a total of zero USB inputs hurts more. The cord that comes in the box is two meters long, which is almost comically long. There will maybe be times when I'm thankful for this immense length, but I haven't had one yet. As it's plugged into the controller anyway, what's the need?

The worst offense of the ATH-G1 is its almost complete lack of onboard buttons. The headset features none at all and the cord contains one volume dial and a mute button. The mute switch's physical markings are so obscure it's not immediately apparent which way mutes the mic.

With no way to balance game and chat audio, the ATH-G1 lacks one of the central features offered by virtually all other gaming headsets of note. At least on Xbox, the audio mix options are easily found, but on other platforms, they aren't as quick to find. Regardless, one shouldn't have to go looking for those menus with a headset that costs almost $200.

Pros:
  • Fantastic audio for its price range and with a very high ceiling, too
  • Comfy, stylish, and maturely designed
  • Lightweight and battery-free
Cons:
  • A lack of standard onboard features, like a chat/game mix 
  • The few buttons that are there are obscure and unnecessarily confusing at first glance

Audio-Technica's ATH-G1 offers a sonic experience better than its direct MSRP competitors. It's not the best headset on the market, but it's not trying to be. For that, everyone would agree to pay much more. However, for the high-end but still sub-$200 market likely the most trafficked headset range in gaming you can't do much better than the ATH-G1.

Its lack of physical buttons and features can be hard to overlook, but the mature, lightweight fit paired with the fantastic quality of the audio overall makes it a versatile and proudly simplified headset. Audio-Technica seems to pride itself on not being flashy, and while that gets the company into some trouble with the ATH-G1, it also helps deliver a gaming headset worth listening to.

[Note: An ATH-G1 review unit was provided by Audio-Technica for the purpose of this review.]

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HyperX Cloud Orbit S Review: A Headset That's Out of This World https://www.gameskinny.com/sv06y/hyperx-cloud-orbit-s-review-a-headset-thats-out-of-this-world https://www.gameskinny.com/sv06y/hyperx-cloud-orbit-s-review-a-headset-thats-out-of-this-world Tue, 03 Sep 2019 09:15:01 -0400 Mark Delaney

There are a few big names in the gaming headset space, and for a long time, Turtle Beach garnered most of the name recognition. Depending on your platform, you may also be familiar with Astro, Logitech, Corsair, or HyperX. One name you may not know is Audeze, unless you're a true audiophile with interests in music and other media beyond just games. 

Audeze hasn't really broken into the games market the way they may want, but that's about to change thanks to their partnership with HyperX.

The HyperX Cloud Orbit S is, in almost every way, the same headset as the phenomenal Audeze Mobius, now repackaged for a cheaper price with a name more familiar. What does that all add up to? A versatile headset with few peers, if any.

So We Meet Again

I reviewed the Audeze Mobius earlier this year, so it was funny when my review unit of the HyperX Cloud Orbit S arrived on my doorstep. Though the box is different and the manual is more to the point the Mobius booklet is "The Traveler's Handbook to the Mobius Universe" while its HyperX is regular plain very little else inside is different, and that's a beautiful thing.

The marquee feature of the Cloud Orbit S is its true 3D audio experience. Built using Waves Nx with optional head-tracking technology, the subtlety of every movement in-game is mapped in such an unrivaled manner that for anyone who plays competitively, there's no better choice.

I play PUBG a lot and with a serious drive to play well, and I can confirm I've actually played better and won more since I switched to this headset (including its Mobius twin). The way it mixes sounds near and far, right and left and all around is stunning. Eventually, your ears will get so used to the advantage that it's tough to go back to anything else.

Early hours of play with the Cloud Orbit S actually had me laughing out loud with my brother in party chat because I was able to call out enemies in a way we couldn't before. As he's a better shooter than me, I feel like I am pulling my weight better these days.

The head-tracking is really fun to use in VR as well, placing you there in a way I previously didn't know was available yet for video games. When new consoles come out, we often look first to visual fidelity, but an awesome headset can no longer be overlooked as game audio improves and the tech to deliver it is as impressive as the Cloud Orbit S.

One Big Difference

Internally, the Cloud Orbit S is identical to the Audeze Mobius with one exception: there's no Bluetooth functionality. Knowing that, you'll need to be okay with always being wired one way or another to play. The headset includes three connection options: USB-A, UBS-C, or a 3.5mm cable. The cool thing is you can plug it into multiple sources at once and swap between them with the push of a button. That might sound like overkill, but it's nice to be able to swap between, say, a game your playing and a phone call coming in without ever taking off the headset.

Bear in mind, if you're a console player, the Audeze Mobius is never wireless either, so it's only really PC players that may have to choose between the wired Cloud Orbit S and the optionally wireless Mobius. And if you're not the type to mind an unintrusive wire being the only real difference, you'll save $70 off the MSRP in the process. While the Mobius retails for $399, the Cloud Orbit S is sold at $329.

For console players, the savings are a no-brainer because there's simply nothing different about your experience. For PC players and those who may use the headset for other things like music or Netflix, you just have to decide if you want to go fully wireless for the extra $70.

Same Look and Feel

Even the form factor of the Cloud Orbit S is virtually identical to the Mobius. The same dark gray, smoothe matte surface with the same dual audio control options on the left ear cup are present. The same detachable microphone with optional pop filter is there, too, as is the simplified 3D audio button.

Both twinning headsets deliver about a 10-hour playtime on a full charge with 3D enabled, more if not (but you should totally use it). Inside, the same standard-bearer Audeze planar magnetic drivers deliver supreme audio fidelity, making every game a theatrical masterpiece. 

Looking at it from the outside, the only major difference is the logo on the ears, and that's where the project explains itself. Audeze is not a name many gamers know, but HyperX is. However, what Audeze does have is the very best tech in the field, so the collaboration between the two audio engineering companies makes sense. HyperX brings the name value, Audeze brings the technology, and theoretically, everybody wins. It's an equation that will likely prove true. 

Pros:
  • Internal components have nearly no rivals, from the Waves Nx 3D audio to the Audeze planar magnetic drivers
  • Easy to use on-board control scheme puts everything you need on the left ear
  • Several ways to plug in, and you can swap among them with ease for multiple uses
Cons:
  • Lacks any fully wireless options

The Audeze Mobius was the best headset I'd ever used when I reviewed it this spring, and in the HyperX Cloud Orbit S, I found its near-identical twin. For those who want the best gaming headset on the market and don't mind a missing Bluetooth feature, this is it. You really can't do better than the HyperX Cloud Orbit S.

[Note: A Cloud Orbit S review unit was provided by HyperX for the purpose of this review.]

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Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL Wireless Review: Meh For Music, Absolutely Epic For Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/2stnu/audio-technica-ath-g1wl-wireless-review-meh-for-music-absolutely-epic-for-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/2stnu/audio-technica-ath-g1wl-wireless-review-meh-for-music-absolutely-epic-for-gaming Tue, 13 Aug 2019 15:38:43 -0400 Ty Arthur

Audio is a critical component in any gaming experience, and I don't just mean for games like Beat Saber or Dance Dance Revolution.

From hearing where gunfire is coming from in Fortnite to accurately getting classic lines like, "You must gather your party before venturing forth," dunked into your eardrums, sound effects and music can be just as important as graphical quality.

The fact that we now have lag-free wireless headsets for phones and laptops still kind of blows my mind, especially having grown up with felt-covered Discman headphones that could charitably be called "absolutely awful."

Audio-Technica's 2019 product lineup now includes a wireless model specifically aimed at gamers, and if you play games more than you listen to Spotify or Apple Music, then they should definitely be on your wishlist.

Bells and whistles aside, of which the ATH-G1WL has plenty, there's really only one thing that matters with a pricey headset like this: how does it sound?

While I'm not the guy who insists on downloading the FLAC lossless audio files from Bandcamp or the one who will argue about why vinyl sounds better, I can say one thing for certain: after reviewing music for a decade and getting to interview musicians and audio engineers regularly, I do put a premium on sound quality. So, hopefully, the analysis below should be helpful to audio junkies and the average gamer alike.

Alright, ready? Let's dive in and take a look at how the ATH-G1WL compares to other headphones in terms of sound quality, comfort, and overall features.

How the Sound Stacks Up

To get a proper baseline and explore the differences between headphones with varying designs, I tried out three different models to compare and contrast the ATH-G1WL's sound:

  • Crappy $10 earbuds from Big Lots
  • Denon DJ HP1100 wired headphones
  • Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL wireless Bluetooth earphones

Since headphones aren't just for gaming or even a single type of gaming, I compared the three across three different test beds: music reproduction, single-player gaming with lots of music, and multiplayer gaming with lots of chaotic sound effects like bullets, explosions, and sword-clanking.

For the music test, I went with Ihsahn's "Mass Darkness" off the Arktis album. It's something heavy with catchy elements, a bit of a progressive twist, and a combo of harsh and clean vocals that hit all the various sound types in one song.

The track has a clean enough production that you'd notice if the sound quality is off, but it is still heavy enough that it's something I'd listen to regularly for a pulse-pounding backing soundtrack to a gaming session.

So how did the three models stack up?

To be blunt, the Big Lots earbuds were garbage. Just straight up, unmitigated garbage. Somehow they take this epic track and make it sound like '90s era Mayhem, all with an extremely fuzzy tone muddling the low notes.

Moving onto the wireless Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL wireless headset, the quality is leagues ahead of the earbuds (of course), although it is still not pitch-perfect. Unfortunately, the headset still has a slightly fuzzy tone to some of the backing notes, which becomes much more noticeable at higher volumes.

Strictly for listening to music, (especially with heavy guitar notes and booming drums), there's no question the Denon DJ wired headset came out on top for sound quality. 

For gaming, it's an altogether different story. 

Where Audio-Technica's wireless offering really shines is with PC game audio. When tested by that metric, the ATH-G1WL easily lived up to its pedigree. 

Echo effects and deep-bass strings found in Pillars Of Eternity 2 come through crystal clear and provide a killer surround sound atmosphere. There's also no appreciable lag in sound despite the lack of a wired connection.

Clicking Tekehu's icon at the bottom of the screen, resulting in, "Yours to command, captain," immediately filtered into my ears in full 7.1 surround. Ditto when launching a lightning attack with my scepter in the ultra fast-paced Ziggurat.

Fortnite, Call Of Duty: Black Ops, and Homefront: The Revolution all had the same high-quality sound when played online.

How the Design Compares 

Now that we know the game audio is top-notch, what about all the other features like button placement and comfort?

First up, I love being able to change the volume directly on the headphones. While a lot of models have on-ear volume wheels, the positioning here is easy to reach while gaming, and the wheel is easily discernable from the other buttons and switches.

Rather than just swiveling up out of the way, you can fully remove the mic for when you aren't gaming online and don't need it in your face. The mic also has a bendy attachment string so you can put it into any position you want, an added bonus for any use.

The mic easily picks up sounds, it's clear, and I never had any issues with teammates not being able to hear me. On top of that, the volume on/off switch for the mic is on the far side, which is a nice touch. it makes it easy to remember which button is for the audio output and which is for the mic input.

Where the ATH-G1WL absolutely annihilates the competition is in overall comfort level. This model fits perfectly over my ears, and it is significantly lighter than I expected. While something like the Audeze Mobius weighs around 350g, this Audio-Technica model weighs 290g without the detachable mic. 

The level of "barely there" comfort makes multi-hour usage much preferable to other large over-ear headphones. The difference is so noticeable that I now get ticked off when I plop my Denon DJ headset back on. That's because I know how much more comfortable high-end headphones could be if they went with the current Audio-Technica design.

However, the ATH-G1WLs don't fold up for storing like other Audio-Technica models, or those from Logitech or Audeze. 

Since this pair doesn't come with a storage bag, either, it's worth investing in a charging stand for aesthetically-pleasing storage — and so they don't get banged up while on the coffee table or thrown into that pile of cords by the door.

The Bottom Line

 

 

Pros:
  • Crystal clear audio for PC gaming
  • Ludicrously light and comfortable
  • Easy button access for volume and muting
Cons:
  • Sound quality is tailored toward gaming and isn't great for music
  • No Bluetooth for phone pairing
  • Wireless means charging — and remembering to charge

When it comes to video game audio, the ATH-G1WL is easily the best headset I've ever used. The fact that it's wireless puts this model in the upper echelon of headphone contenders.

After charging all night long, I got a solid and respectable 14 hours of listening time, although other wireless gaming headsets, such as some from HyperX and Logitech, provide upwards of 30 hours of battery life. 

There's one final design issue worth noting: this model is tailored exclusively towards gaming, and that shows in more than just sound quality. Despite being wireless, these headphones don't provide a phone- or tablet-pairing option via Bluetooth. For some, it's a small issue that easily disregarded. For others, it might be harder to overlook. 

That issue aside, if you want a wireless option and play games more than listen to music, you can't go wrong with the Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL.

You can pick them up on the Audio-Technica website for $249.99. 

The full specs can be found here: 

Driver Diameter  45mm
Frequency Response 5-40,000Hz
Sensitivity 101 dB/mW
Impedance  45 ohms
Battery Internal, 3.8V rechargeable
Battery Life 15 hours
Charging Time 7 hours
Weight w/Mic 297g
Weight w/o Mic 290g
Mic Type Condenser
Mic Sensitivity -43 dB (1V/Pa, at 1kHz)
Mic Frequency Response 30-20,000Hz
Mic Polar Pattern Hypercardioid
Included Accessories 6.6ft charging cable; USB transceiver;
spare earpads, windscreen


[Note: An Audio Technica ATH-G1WL review unit was provided by Audio Technica for the purpose of this review.]

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Turtle Beach Recon Spark Headset Review: A Colorful, Slightly Pricier Recon 70 Upgrade https://www.gameskinny.com/iadsh/turtle-beach-recon-spark-headset-review-a-colorful-slightly-pricier-recon-70-upgrade https://www.gameskinny.com/iadsh/turtle-beach-recon-spark-headset-review-a-colorful-slightly-pricier-recon-70-upgrade Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:04:56 -0400 Thomas Wilde

A Turtle Beach representative told me at E3 that the company had done some research, and apparently, there's quite a potential market for PC and console headsets that are not primarily jet black.

Who knew?

The Recon Spark, which retails for $49.95, is the first result thereof. It's the first of a planned series of headsets from Turtle Beach that will receive what it calls the "Spark treatment," which begins with a unique visual style.

The Recon Spark is bright white with lavender cords, which is more of an eye-catcher than you'd expect, and more color options are intended to follow in the coming months.

As the name suggests, the Recon Spark is an update and cosmetic redesign of Turtle Beach's entry-level Recon line of wired headsets. The Spark is a cross-platform model with a 3.5mm jack, intended for use with any modern console or tablet, and comes with a splitter cable for PC compatibility.

Like the Recon 70, the Spark features a volume dial on its left speaker, the ability to mute its mic by sliding it into an upward position, and an adjustable, reinforced metal headband.

The extra $20 price tag above the Recon 70 does get you a few bonus features besides the new color scheme, however. The Spark doesn't feel as flimsy or cheap as the Recon 70 does, and it's markedly more comfortable. It's got a wider headband, with a glasses-friendly design on its speakers' padding. The 70 tended to sit a little uneasily on my ears, but the Recon Spark was comfortable and stable through several multi-hour gaming sessions on PC, Switch, and PS4.

Just for the hell of it, I also tested the Spark by spending half an hour on an elliptical machine while I watched Netflix on a tablet. While I don't recommend that as, you know, a life decision (yeah, work out in earmuffs, see what happens), the Spark stayed firmly in place throughout the experience. It's got a nice bit of grip and weight to it, comfortable without being heavy or restrictive.

As far as the audio quality goes, I didn't really notice a difference between the 70 and the Spark. It's still a perfectly serviceable option for games and still sounds decent if you're watching movies or streaming video.

As with the 70, then, the Recon Spark is aimed strictly at a no-frills, entry-level audience. The extra $20 over the 70 might seem a little steep, but that extra money is getting you a lot of additional comfort, as well as a much-needed splitter cable that addresses one of the 70's primary issues. 

 

Pros:
  • One of the rare gaming headsets that you can also use for music or TV without a noticeable dip in audio quality
  • It systematically addresses many of the issues I had with the Recon 70
  • Decent sound
Cons:
  • $49.95 feels like a slightly tall ask for an "entry-level" product
  • It's a little warm and bulky, even by the standards of a stereo headset with big speaker cups
  • As with the 70, the best thing you can say about it is that it does the job

[Note: A Recon Spark review unit was provided by Turtle Beach for the purpose of this review.]

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Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset Review: Sound Like a Pro https://www.gameskinny.com/mwxjs/logitech-g-pro-x-gaming-headset-review-sound-like-a-pro https://www.gameskinny.com/mwxjs/logitech-g-pro-x-gaming-headset-review-sound-like-a-pro Mon, 29 Jul 2019 10:11:08 -0400 Jonny Foster

The latest addition to Logitech's arsenal of 2019 gaming gear is the Logitech G Pro X headset, a refinement over the company's previous Pro model. For a small price increase (up to $130 now), the G Pro X adds some bells and whistles that make it an enticing option, especially for streamers, content creators, and eSports athletes. 

Before we jump into the meat of this review, though, it's worth mentioning that Logitech G is also releasing an updated version of the Logitech G Pro headset for $100, that it's helpfully named: (drum-roll please...) the Pro.

Setting aside the fact that there are also 'Pro' lines of Logitech keyboards and mice, there are now three nearly identical headsets with nearly identical names. 

So that everyone's clear: we're specifically reviewing the new G Pro X Gaming Headset with BLUE VO!CE. It's the BLUE VO!CE integration that makes the G Pro X so special, but it's also what pushes the headset over the $100 price tag that many gamers are so keen to stay below.

On top of that, the improvements require Logitech's G HUB Software to use, planting this firmly as a PC headset. PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch owners will see no improvement over the regular Pro headset, narrowing the headset's market further.

With the competition for gaming headsets under $100 already so fierce, Logitech has an uphill battle in this regard. It's filling a niche demand, sure, and it does that superbly, but it's not the recommended headset for everyone.

Design

The G Pro X is instantly recognizable as a Logitech headset. Save for the metallic silver "G" logo on the outside of each earcup, the headset boasts a simple, sleek black aesthetic. It features aluminium and steel for the headband and frame and memory foam leatherette for padding. 

Thanks to the lightweight metal frame, it's far more durable than cheaper plastic headsets as well as some of Logitech's other offerings. Though, it obviously comes at a cost. At 320 grams, it's not the lightest of headsets, sitting between Logitech's G935 and G432. However, it's far from bulky, either. 

As with its predecessor, the word "Pro" is emblazoned across the top of the headband, this time in a subtle black finish. Overall, it's a very stylish design, straying from the typical "gamer" look that may put casual users off.

You'd have no problem using these to listen to music or a podcast in public: they're nondescript enough without looking boring, and the microphone is detachable, which is always a nice touch.

There still isn't much movement with the earcups, unfortunately. There's no 90-degree swivel that Logitech's other headsets employ, so the G Pro X can't be flattened to pack away or set on the chest when not in use. We've been fairly vocal in the past that it's a crime for modern headset design to forgo this, but it's primarily a preference at the end of the day, so some certainly won't be bothered by the omission. 

The in-line volume wheel and mute slider can be found on a clip about 1ft down the headset's cable. Although other Logitech headsets, as well as those from other brands, have mostly moved to on-cup controls for volume, mute, etc., the in-line controls found here aren't necessarily a detriment and are easy to find while in use. 

Comfort

For the G Pro X, Logitech has included both leatherette memory foam earcups and cloth memory foam earcups, though the headband padding is solely the former. 

The leatherette gets hotter than the cloth over long periods, and I preferred the smell of the cloth to the leatherette. It might seem odd to critique the smell in a headset review, but I found the standard leatherette earcups were strangely pungent. 

The G Pro X is certainly comfortable for longer using the velour, but other users have complained of a small fit. If you have littler ears like I do, this shouldn't be an issue for you. However, these earcups definitely cut a trimmer figure than their bulky Logitech counterparts.

The headband never became an issue, either, with quite a wide range of adjustability. The leatherette sits comfortably atop your noggin, and it's even wide enough to sit snugly over a VR headset, which is an added perk.   

Performance

Having only briefly mentioned it earlier, I should explain exactly what BLUE VO!CE is.

Put simply, Logitech has teamed up with BLUE, the makers of the famous Yeti and Snowball standalone microphones, to bring souped-up microphone technology to the G Pro X.

Using the G HUB software, you can tweak the compression, noise, and balance of your microphone, as well as add filters to give the mic a more professional audio profile. It won't make you an overnight V.O. superstar or radio personality, but it's an impressive piece of kit. 

The microphone quality is on par with the Snowball, making the G Pro X a solid all-in-one option for anyone looking to get into streaming, video creation, or eSports. In fact, the audio profiles have been fine-tuned by professional gamers, with presets of some of your favorite eSports athletes available in the software.

The 50mm drivers pack a punch, too, presenting an impressive soundscape with the G Pro X headset. At the $100+ price range, though, you can easily find headsets with greater frequency ranges and better impedance.

It has good audio for a "mid-range" headset; voices are crisp and clear, while explosions are deep and footsteps are noticeable. It doesn't provide the spacial awareness of other headsets in the $150+ range, but it's a fine set of speakers for gaming. 

I fear, though, that the addition of BLUE VO!CE may have pushed the price too high for the average gamer. The "Pro" moniker itself should be a clear indicator that this is aimed at a more serious crowd, but when it comes to gaming and audio, no-one likes second best. 

If you're sick of your squad telling you they can't hear your orders, or you want an all-in-one audio solution that can also help you create quality recordings, the Logitech G Pro X gaming headset may be the perfect set of cans for you. 

For everyone else, though, the BLUE VO!CE integration is probably wasted. It only works when you're plugged in using the included USB soundcard and synced up to the cumbersome G HUB app, so this is purely a headset for PC gamers.

It will work on other systems, and you can still plug it into your phone as a set of headphones and mic, but you lose the USB of the G Pro X, making the regular $100 G Pro a better option.  

Pros: 
  • Excellent microphone quality, when using BLUE VO!CE integration
  • Good sound quality with 50mm drivers
  • Sturdy construction but not too heavy
Cons:
  • G HUB software can be fiddly and a nuisance to use
  • Only get the full experience when using a PC
  • Better quality audio is available in the price range 

Overall, the G Pro X is a great all-in-one package. You can definitely find worse headsets for a higher price, be that in terms of audio, microphone, or build quality. It's got a sleek look that lets it easily double as a pair of travel headphones, and it's comfortable on the head, too.

The main drawback with it, however, is the price. At $130, it's certainly not going to break the bank, but its audio doesn't necessarily stand out when compared to other headsets in the same price bracket.

Anyone looking for a good pair of headphones and a reasonable microphone to do some recording with will surely be happy with their purchase of a Logitech G Pro X. But if microphone quality isn't of great importance to you, you're probably better off sticking to something like the $90 HyperX Cloud Alpha or spending slightly more for the powerhouse that is the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

Here are the headset's full specs: 

Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
Sensitivity 92dB SPL @ 1mW & 1cm
Impedance 35 Ohms
Type Wired
Cable Length 6.6ft
Audio Stereo
Mic Type Cardioid (Unidirectional
Mic Frequency Response 100Hz to 10kHz
Mic Sensitivity -40dB (+/- 3dB)

 

[Note: A Logitech G Pro X review unit was provided by Logitech for the purpose of this review.]

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Audeze Mobius 3D Headphones Review: Moving Through Sound https://www.gameskinny.com/w371c/audeze-mobius-3d-headphones-review-moving-through-sound https://www.gameskinny.com/w371c/audeze-mobius-3d-headphones-review-moving-through-sound Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:06:55 -0400 Jonathan Moore

A while back, I reviewed Sennheiser's GSP 500 open-back headset. Its sound was phenomenal. In fact, it emitted some of the clearest, most immersive sound I'd ever heard. I gave it a 9/10, and I still stand by that score. 

But now I've tried Audeze's Mobius 3D headphones, and my life has irrevocably changed for the better. 

At $399, Mobius comes in at the price of a console. Indeed, it's a headset for audiophiles or those with deep pockets willing to shell out for top-tier sound. The good thing is that for those people, the Mobius is worth the price of admission. 

Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile in various setups, Mobius is the classy, tuxedoed martini of headphones. With a focus on projecting impeccable sound across a meticulously designed soundstage, Mobius 3D creates an immersive experience that's authentically mind-blowing.

If you've never heard 3D audio before, it's possible your jaw might hit the floor. 

Design

The Mobius screams premium. Everything about the headset feels solid and lovingly made. Whereas some other headsets might have flimsy frames, the Mobius doesn't rattle or creak even though it's made almost entirely of plastic.

As pointed out by a PR representative for the company, and proven true in my testing, you can "twist it to an extreme level" without fear of breaking it or deforming the headband. 

Although the headset is sold on the Audeze website in variants sporting copper and blue accents, the model I tested had a black matte body with grey accents at the bottom, middle, and top of the adjustable headband, as well as on both sides of each earcup.

"Audeze" is emblazoned across the top of the headband in the chosen color, and "Mobius" is emblazoned on the outside of the left earcup in smaller font. Finally, each earcup has a hexagonal honeycomb design on the outside, also in the chosen accent color. In my case, grey. 

Both the headband and the earcups feature extremely comfortable memory foam underneath faux leather. The padding feels great and isn't too thick; there's no discomfort along the jaw or across the top of the head even at 350g. I especially appreciate how the closed earpads encompass the ears and keep the diaphragms from resting directly on them. 

As with many modern headsets, gaming or otherwise, all of Mobius' controls are on the left earcup. Here you'll find the volume for the headset as well as the volume for the detachable boom mic. You'll find the input jack for the mic and the USB-C charging port there as well. Lastly, you'll find the AUX jack and the 3D audio toggle button.

On the outside of the earcup, you'll find the mic mute toggle at the top, the power button at the bottom, and an LED just above that for denoting if the headset is on or charging. 

While there are quite a few buttons and inputs on this set of cans, they're all fairly easy to find once you feel your way around, and the mic mute isn't as awkwardly placed as I originally suspected. Having said that, I do wish the headset volume and the mic volume dials were a bit more prominent for better grip. 

Features

There's quite a bit going on under the hood of the Mobius 3D. It features planar magnetic drivers, head tracking technology, 3D sound emulation compatible with surround sound modes such as 7.1 and 5.1, full-room emulation, and Waves NX technology for incredible sound processing. 

Due to its plug and play ethos, there are also eight pre-programmed sound profiles on the headset:

  • Flat
  • Default
  • Foot Steps
  • Ballistics
  • Music 
  • Racing
  • RPG 
  • Warm

Oddly enough, though the headset has free downloadable software in the Audeze HQ app, there's currently no way to adjust the pre-programmed EQ profiles. It's a bit of a bummer, even if the profiles sound great. There will certainly be those who wish for more control than the headset currently provides. 

However, there are a few things you can tweak in the software, namely HRTF Personalization (head-related transfer function personalization) and head gestures. 

The first allows you to customize the soundstage based on the measurements of your head. The headset already does a good job of producing tones out of the box, but if getting into the minutia of optimal emulated driver placement is your thing, you can set up an audio experience that's unique to your biologically-perfect cranium. Just whip out the tape measure and input the values. 

Specifically, this mostly has to do with positional audio. I'm grossly oversimplifying the process, but it boils down to how sensitive your ears naturally are, and how the software, based on your measurements, accounts for boosting frequencies for your specific head shape and ear anatomy. 

The second feature allows you to set keybindings to head gestures. The Audeze HQ app shows your head position in real-time, including pitch, yaw, and roll. With head gestures activated, it's possible to assign such functions as looking up and looking down, turning right or turning left, to certain head movements.

It's even possible to tweak the degrees at which the in-game action will be performed, with larger values requiring more head movement to activate and smaller numbers less head movement to activate. A Twitch mode binds an action to two head movements, either up or down or side to side for example. 

Outside of those two things, the Audeze HQ app is pretty threadbare; most of it acts as more of a manual than a piece of software. As you can probably guess at this point, there's no RGB to be found here, either.

Audeze eschews modern gaming tendencies with the Mobius, something that may or may not put certain gamers off, but something that very much seems to align with the company's hard sci-fi panache. 

Performance

In almost every way, the Mobius 3D shines when it comes to audio production. With games, music, movies, and podcasts, both 3D audio and stereo audio sound absolutely fantastic.

But let's face it: while it might sound great, you're not here for stereo. Instead, you're doling out $399 for full audio immersion. So what's it like? 

3D audio is like touching sound or being inside whatever you're listening to. Some have even called it VR for sound, and I think that's probably the most effective way to describe it. In no small way does Mobius' 3D audio authentically emulate real-world sounds and sound wave directionality. 

I often listen to relaxation sounds and playlists while working, such as rain in a forest or tides crashing on a beach. With the Mobius, I can pinpoint almost every raindrop and know exactly where every seagull is flying as they caw against the crashing waves. 

In games like Battlefield 1, I'm able to eerily pinpoint exact enemy placement, down to what section of wall they're standing behind, for example. With Logitech's G533 headset, a set of cans which I completely adore, I'm able to get a fairly close approximation of where enemies are hiding based on its directional audio. With 3D audio, I can pick them out with extreme certainty.

Combine that with the headset's Ballistics or Footsteps presets, and you'll hear bullets whizzing by your head in incredible details or boots plodding on concrete with precision. In the campaign mode, you'll feel as if you're inside Chapter 1's tank or in the cockpit of Chapter 2's biplane. Dialog cuts through booming sound effects and sweeping scores like a bullet through silence. 

Music sounds fantastic as well  especially live music. I've been to and played in my share of rock and metal concerts. Mobius is the only headset I've ever used that comes close to accurately recreating how sound works in a live concert environment.

The magic of Mobius is that it emulates your head position. That means if you're facing the screen (or the position you've designated as the center of your viewing area), it feels as if the speakers are directly in front of you.

Turn to the right, the sound shifts mostly into the right diaphragm, with the volume in the left decreasing accordingly. Turn left, the same thing happens. Turn around, and it feels as if the sound is behind you. 

It's eerie. It's awesome. And it's something everyone should hear for themselves at least once. 

Pros: 
  • 3D audio changes the way you hear you experience your favorite games
  • Sturdy, yet flexible design makes the Mobius a joy to wear
  • Crystal clear detachable mic with dedicated volume
  • Can charge and use at the same time via USB-C 
  • In-depth (and surprisingly cheeky) user manual makes set up easy
Cons: 
  • 3D audio doesn't work on mobile devices
  • No Bluetooth for PS4, Xbox One, or Switch
  • No Bluetooth dongle or receiver provided 
  • Short USB-C charging cable makes it hard to use when attached
  • Can't adjust EQ settings or make new profiles in HQ App
  • Battery doesn't last as long as other wireless/Bluetooth cans

Audeze's Mobius 3D headset is certainly a premium product. It's not the highest high-end headset out there, but at $399, it's probably out of reach for many gamers. That being said, this is a headset that will last for years and years to come, all while providing some of the best audio you can possibly get without going to absolute crazy town on price. 

Not everything on the headset is a bag of chips, either. Head Gestures is currently in beta, and while it's a neat feature, it's strange in practice. With some tweaking, and perhaps some more practice by users, I could really see this being used to awesome effect in VR. As it stands, the number of use cases for the technology is pretty slim.  

For certain setups, the included USB-C charging cable might be too short, specifically if you're wanting to use the headset and charge it at the same time. As of this writing, there's also no way to change the on-board EQ profiles, truly a bummer for the price. 

However, if you want one of the best audio experiences around, and a pair of cans able to produce lush, vibrant tones across a bevy of media, the Mobius 3D is well worth checking out. Unless you actually hear 3D audio, it's almost impossible to accurately convey how precise and immersive it truly is. 

Here are the headset's full specs: 

Drivers Planar Magnetic
Emulation 3D w/ support for surround
(7.1, 5.1, 5.0, 2.1, 2.0)
Connections USB-C to USB-C, USB-A to USB-C,
Analog 3.5mm, Bluetooth
Frequency Response 10Hz - 50kHz
THD < 0.1% (1kHz, 1mW)
Earpads Contoured memory foam
artificial leather
Headband Memory foam
Microphone Detachable w/ volume control
Battery Type Lithium-polymer
Battery Life 10+ hours with 3D enabled,
charges via USB-C while in use


[Note: A Mobius 3D review unit was provided by Audeze for the purpose of this review.]
 

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Corsair HS35 Headset Review: A Lateral Step https://www.gameskinny.com/ewaw3/corsair-hs35-headset-review-a-lateral-step https://www.gameskinny.com/ewaw3/corsair-hs35-headset-review-a-lateral-step Tue, 02 Jul 2019 17:12:16 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Corsair's new HS35 gaming headset is a budget model of the HS50, which we reviewed last year. I liked the HS50, especially at $50. It was, and still is, a serviceable, good-sounding headset that I recommend. 

It's somewhat strange, then, that the HS35 exists at all. In many ways, it gets rid of the more premium aspects of the HS50 and drops the retail price $10. Problem is, what it removes were some of the things I liked about the HS50, and what it kept, I didn't like so much. 

Despite all of that, it's hard not to recommend the headset in general, specifically to anyone looking for a fantastic budget option or a lateral choice to the HS50. Gamers aren't made of money, and one could do far, far worse than the HS35. 

Design

The HS35 comes in several different colors: 

  • All black
  • Black with green earcups and headband cushion
  • Black with red earcups and headband cushion
  • Black with blue earcups and headband cushion

The frame of every submodel is lightweight plastic, except for the adjustable section of the headband, which is your standard silver aluminum. As is custom, "Corsair" is emblazoned across the top of the headband. 

Each earcup tilts inward to provide more comfort for different shaped heads, an expected but nice tough. On the outside of each, the Corsair ship logo is placed nicely in the center. There is a glossy black channel that runs around the earcups, providing a stark contrast to the matte black around the rest of the headset. 

One thing I do not like about the HS35 — which I also did not like about the HS50 — is that the earcups do not swivel. It's a crime in modern headset design, but that's just whining from an entitled writer that likes to rest his headsets flat when not in use.

On the back of the left earcup, you'll find the volume wheel and the mic mute button. On the front, you'll find the port for the unidirectional, detachable mic. 

Comfort

For the HS35, Corsair opted to drop the leatherette earcup and headband padding found on the HS50 for fiber mesh. The mesh is a tad hotter than the leatherette over long periods, and although the earcups are supposed to manage moisture better, my ears did feel a tad sweaty after prolonged use. 

What bothered me more, however, was the depth of the earcups. Unlike the roomy earcups found on the HS50, those on the HS35 feel very shallow, as if my ears were directly on the drivers and the mesh that covered them. 

However, a plus is that during my time with the headset, the headband never bothered me; it felt just as comfortable as the one found on the HS50. Perhaps the headset's newer lightweight design contributed to that as the HS35 is 60g lighter than the HS50.

Performance

The HS35 sounds pretty great for a $40 budget set. It's hard to complain on most levels. While I did moan a bit about the HS50's bassier leanings, I found I missed that punchier sound in the HS35s. Here, bass isn't as pronounced, with highs and mids garnering the most attention. 

In games like DOOM, that means glory kills aren't as meaty and visceral, and the thrum and thunk of a shotgun takes a backseat to clankier tones of individual parts — or even the slug itself. 

There's nothing wrong with that, and I never felt I was "missing out" on tones or cues, but it's worth noting. 

For dialog in games and podcasts, for example, the HS35 shines. Voices are clear as a bell, and the stereo power of the headset's 50mm drivers really shines through. 

The microphone is Discord certified, and it performs swimmingly on the app. A colleague of mine said I sounded decidedly better than when using Logitech's G432. She said my voice was crisp and clear. 

Pros: 
  • Great sounding Discord-certified mic
  • Good sound on a budget for gaming, movies, and music
  • Plug and play for PS4, Switch, and mobile
    • See below
Cons:
  • Earcups are shallow
  • Detachable mic is easy to lose
  • Overall construction is flimsier than HS50
  • Not all versions come with Y-splitter 
    • May need XB1 3.5mm adapter (sold separately)

All in all, the HS35s aren't necessarily worse than the HS50s; instead, they're simply different. Gamers love options, and Corsair has provided them an option to the HS50. Seeing as gamers can buy an HS50 from third-party retailers for about the same price as an HS35 these days, price shouldn't be the deciding factor. 

For a low-tier headset, the HS35s sound great. Music, movies, and games are all enjoyable. Since it's plug-and-play, you won't find any fancy software here; what you hear is what you get. 

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to pick up a pair of HS35s is color scheme — it actually seems to mean something. Although every color works with every platform, only the all-black Carbon version comes with a Y-splitter for PCs.   

Here are the headset's full specs: 

 Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
Sensitivity 113dB (+/- 3dB)
Impedance 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
Type Wired
Cable Length 5.9ft
Audio Stereo
Mic Type Unidirectional noise canceling
Mic Frequency Response 100Hz to 10kHz
Mic Sensitivity -40dB (+/- 3dB)

 

[Note: An HS35 review unit was provided by Corsair for the purpose of this review.]

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HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless Review: A Solid Wireless Offering https://www.gameskinny.com/7wvil/hyperx-cloud-stinger-wireless-review-a-solid-wireless-offering https://www.gameskinny.com/7wvil/hyperx-cloud-stinger-wireless-review-a-solid-wireless-offering Fri, 07 Jun 2019 15:34:27 -0400 Jonathan Moore

In 2016, we reviewed the wired version of the Cloud Stinger. We gave it a 10/10, with our writer saying "I would go so far as to say that the Cloud Stinger is the best gaming headset I've ever owned."

That's ostensibly high praise. 

Recently, the company released a variant of that headset in the Cloud Stinger Wireless. For all intents and purposes, it's nearly identical to the wired version of the headset. Because of that, we'll be primarily looking at the differences in this review. For a more in-depth analysis of the headset, be sure to check the review above. 

One thing is important to get out of the way up front, though: the Cloud Stinger Wireless is double the price of the wired version. Coming in at $99.99, it's on the higher end of mid-tier, and you're essentially paying $50 for wireless functionality. 

Don't misunderstand, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's simply something you should know up front and be aware of as we talk more about the headset. 

 

Design

The wireless version of the Cloud Stinger sports the same all-black primary aesthetic as the wired version. The primary deviations here are that the HyperX logo on the outside of each earcup is black as well, whereas the logo was red in the wired version, and there is a blue flourish around the earcups.  

Personally, I miss the splash of color on the earcups. But then again, I'm only looking at the headset when I'm not wearing it, so it's an ultimately tiny gripe. 

The headset is more lightweight than ever before. The wired version weighed in at 275g, and the wireless weighs in at 270g. The chassis still feels a tad flimsy, but it's comfortable across the jaw and across the top of the head. I was able to wear the headset for hours working, watching YouTube videos, and playing games without any pain or discomfort. 

Once you dial in the right fit, the headset stays put. 

Both earcups still swivel 90 degrees, so you can lay them on your chest, easily shove them into an overnight bag, or lay them flat on your desk. As I say every time I get the chance, it's a feature I love and one I think should be on every headset. 

On the right earcup, you'll find the volume wheel, which works great and is relatively quiet when moving. On the left earcup, you'll find the USB charging port, the wireless on/off button, and the somewhat noise-canceling, flip-to-mute mic. 

Performance

Since there isn't any nifty hardware or surround sound to talk about here, let's just jump right into how the Cloud Stinger Wireless performs. 

In our original review, our writer said that the wired version of the Cloud Stinger "still boasts the full spectrum of sound quality that you'd expect from the brand. Deep bass tones reverberate without sounding buzzy, and higher pitches come through without getting too tinny."

For the most part, I tend to agree with those statements. In my time with the wireless version of the headset, highs and mids were crisp; lows didn't tread into muddy waters, although they weren't as punchy as some other headsets on the market. For heavier music, there was ferocity behind some of the heaviest bits. 

Overall, the full spectrum experience was pleasant, once again making it easy to give HyperX high marks for driver design. 

One thing I appreciate about the headset is that the sound doesn't decrease or grow louder when you turn your head from side to side. Some other headsets are guilty of that vexing idiosyncrasy, and while not damning, sully the overall experience. Luckily, that's not the case here.

Another tick in the "good" checkbox is that they're also loud without having to jack the sound up on either the headset, the computer, or the PS4. I like to listen to my music and games loud; few things are as frustrating as not being able to get the volume you want and are comfortable with. 

The only real negative here lies in the headset's wireless range. While the headset has a wireless range of 12 meters (which is most likely good enough for 99% of users), I did notice that I wasn't able to go too far downstairs from my PC at home.

Although my kitchen is just below my office, the signal started cutting out during testing; my Logitech G533s are able to easily manage that distance with the same obstructions.

Lastly, the mic is average, producing mostly clear communication, even if it does pick up some background noise. 

Pros:
  • Works for PC, PS4, PS4 Pro, Nintendo Switch (in dock mode)
  • Fantastic sound quality that defines HyperX
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Under $100
Cons
  • Does not currently support Xbox One or mobile
  • Does not have a wired option built-in
  • Range is iffy, not as strong as some other cans
  • Does not have customization options

The main takeaway here is this: if you've been wanting the wireless version of the Cloud Stinger, this is a no-brainer. And if you've been looking for a comfortable, reliable, and great sounding wireless headset under $100, you'd do well to consider this newest model. 

There's not much at all to complain about here. Even though I've opined about the range, it's adequate for most users.

I could nitpick these to death, but I won't. These are a good set of cans. 

[Note: A Cloud Stinger Wireless review unit was provided by HyperX for the purpose of this review.]

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Logitech G432 Review: Average Just Doesn't Cut It https://www.gameskinny.com/c1d7r/logitech-g432-review-average-just-doesnt-cut-it https://www.gameskinny.com/c1d7r/logitech-g432-review-average-just-doesnt-cut-it Fri, 24 May 2019 10:38:10 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Ask anyone that knows me, and they'll agree I typically recommend Logitech products. Whether it's gaming mice, keyboards, or headsets, I'm usually effervescent when talking about Logitech gear. Unfortunately, the company's new G432 gaming headset leaves me a little down in the dumps. 

An update to the years-old Logitech G430, the G432 has a lot of things going against it. Its ordinary nature is made more apparent in a space so saturated with other similar headsets. At $79.99, the G432 is already on the high end for most gamers. Considering this is a "mid-tier" headset, there's a lot to be desired in the final product.

In some ways, it feels like a budget set at a mid-tier price. Being compatible with PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices doesn't vault it over the competition either. 

Logitech G432 Gaming Headset front view earcups flat

Design

Despite my misgivings, the G432 actually looks pretty great. The design is somewhat outdated, and some have faulted it for that. However, the color scheme, flourishes, and logos compliment each other well, and I don't see too much to complain about in that regard. 

Aside from the yoke, the body of the headset is made entirely of plastic, which feels sturdy and survived a few significant drops between home and office. Both earcups swivel inward and rotate to rest on your chest when not in use. On the left side, you'll find the bendable 6mm mic, the volume wheel, and the headset's cord (no wireless option here). 

The mic flips down for use and, of course, flips back up to mute. As expected, it's flexible and allows you to move it closer to your mouth for improved use. Since the mic doesn't rest inside the headset, it can be somewhat disagreeable when laying the earcups on your chest. For me, that meant it uncomfortably pushed into my neck on the left side, right up against the good ol' jugular, which wasn't entirely comfortable. 

The volume wheel on the back of the left earcup does feel tighter than the wheel found on the G935. It's also easier to find and doesn't thump inside the earcup when turned. 

The earcups themselves feature leatherette padding and are adequately comfortable. The leatherette can become somewhat warm during use, but that's the nature of leatherette and something you would expect from the design. My primary gripe about the earcups is that they can feel uneven along the jaw if the G432 isn't on just right. It can lead to feeling as if there's a gap at the front of the earcup even if there's not. 

Finally, the headband also features leatherette padding. While comfortable for an hour or two, the headband can exert pressure on the top of the head during extended use. 

Features

As expected, the G432 doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles. You've got the aforementioned flip-down mic, 50mm drivers, and DTS Headphone: X 2.0. It is, as expected, compatible with the latest G Hub software, too. There's no RGB, and there aren't any spiffy "G" keys to be had. 

We'll talk more about the headset's mic, drivers, and DTS capability in the section below. Here, however, let's talk about what you can do in G Hub, which isn't a whole lot. 

First of all, you can only use G Hub on PC. It doesn't work on consoles or mobile devices. Second of all, you can only use G Hub on PC with the headset's USB connection. The G432 also comes with a Y-splitter, which hooks into the audio ports on your PC. However, that won't give you access to G Hub and the headset's best sounds. 

Once in G Hub by proxy of the USB DAC, you can tweak the G432's audio settings through the equalizer. You can also activate surround sound here, too. And... that's about it. 

G Hub is still a fantastic piece of software, but there's not much to drone on about I haven't said in my other Logitech headset reviews.  

Performance

This is where the G432s really let me down. The sound is better than the G430. However, it's not difficult to outperform a six-year-old headset with newer technology. 

In-game, the G432s provide various middling results. Although there are multiple ways to connect the headset to your devices, some are certainly better than others. Unfortunately, none are outstanding.

Hooking the G432s to a DualShock 4 via the provided 3.5mm jack means getting raw, unequalized sound. In games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on the PS4, sounds are adequate but uninspiring. Sword slashes are dull, while musket shots are hollow. Directional audio stands out in testing for Sekiro but is more of a pan effect from right to left, not a specific, discernible location. 

Things aren't considerably better when playing DOOM. The id Software logo sequence on the game's splash screen features some small bits of distortion in its louder sections. Guns also feel flat and offer little punch. However, glory kills are nice and crunchy.

In games like Sniper Elite V2 Remastered and Battlefield 5 on the PC, using the Y-splitter makes for an uncomfortable experience at best. Sniper V2's rifle shots crack with piercing treble. Explosions ring empty and subdued. Much of the same can be said for Battlefield 5, where pistol shots and shotgun blasts ring out in uncomfortable tinniness. 

Connecting the G432s to a PC via the provided DAC does make things more palatable. Being able to equalize levels, tweak audio profiles, and enable surround sound adds more depth to the headset's 50mm drivers. Here, directional audio is a highlight, though it's best without surround sound enabled. 

Music is best listened to through the DAC. The same can be said of watching movies.

Using the Y-splitter often results in muddied tones. Listening to bands such as Architects and While She Sleeps without the DAC isn't particularly enjoyable as guitars and higher-end vocals quickly blend together. Tweaking settings through G Hub helps to better separate tones, but it's average at best. 

For less aggressive music, the DAC still provides a superior listening experience. City and Colour's Little Hell rings with a certain vibrancy, while  Dire Strait's Brothers in Arms is able to separate instruments but loses some of its bassier punch. 

Watching John Wick or Mission Impossible: Fallout is best done with surround sound, which provides the most vibrant experience. For a headset in its price-range, the G432 doesn't do too bad of a job here, and DTS Headphone: X 2.0 proves its power. 

Finally, the mic on mobile (a Google Pixel 2) leaves something to be desired as well. Speaking to a colleague, she said I sounded like I was on speaker-phone on the other side of the room. But I was right next to the mic. She said she could hear everyone in the immediate vicinity as well. But those people were having normal conversations about 20 feet away. 

That somewhat changed on PC, though. Speaking on Discord, she said some peripheral sound bled through, but the mic sounded decidedly clearer and "less echoey" on PC. 

Pros: 
  • DTS Headphone: X 2.0 provides solid surround sound
  • Adjustable levels via software allow for audio customization
  • Compatible with PC, PS4, XB1, Switch, and mobile
Cons: 
  • Average to subpar sound quality fluctuates by device and input
  • Uncomfortable for long sessions, and when not in use
  • Mic quality less than stellar on mobile

As much as it pains me to say, Logitech's G432 gaming headset isn't super great. Although it's one of Logitech's higher-priced mid-tier sets, it feels like one that's half the price.  

Almost everything works better using the provided DAC. Even then, the headset's performance is average at best. The problem is, the DAC only works for PC, meaning console players can't take advantage of the headset's most powerful offering. 

I can't help but notice Logitech's own G Pro sounds a touch better than the G432s from stem to stern. It doesn't provide surround sound, but it does provide better overall sound quality in my testing. 

For some, the G432s might be worth considering. There's just a lot holding them back.

[Note: A G432 review unit was provided by Logitech for the purpose of this review.]

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Contest: Win a SteelSeries Arctis 7 Headset https://www.gameskinny.com/8lqhd/contest-win-a-steelseries-arctis-7-headset https://www.gameskinny.com/8lqhd/contest-win-a-steelseries-arctis-7-headset Thu, 23 May 2019 12:22:40 -0400 GS_Staff

Enter to win one of the best gaming headsets of 2019: the SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset.

To enter, simply use the widget below.

Game Skinny & SteelSeries Arctis 7 Headset Giveaway

About the Arctis 7 Headset

From keyboards to mice, SteelSeries makes a lot of excellent gaming peripherals, and its line of Arctis headsets only solidifies that reputation.

The Arctis line is engineered to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. If you're the sort of gamer who will spend 8+ hours in your cans, SteelSeries designed this headset with you in mind.

With their top-end wireless Arctis 7 model, it's clear that SteelSeries wants to give players the coziest experience it can without sacrificing great sound in the process.

The highlights of this great sounding headset include:

  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices
  • Extremely comfortable headband
  • 24 hours of battery life
  • Great for on-the-go
  • Lossless wireless audio with low latency up to 40 feet
  • Stereo and DTS 7.1 surround sound
  • Great for hearing callout in games like PUBG and WoW and enemies in games like Fortnite and Call of Duty
  • Discord-certified Clearcast bidirectional microphone
  • It’s one of the most awarded gaming headsets of all time, with rave reviews from tons of gaming publications, including GameSkinny.
When We’ll Announce the Winner:

There will be 5 headsets given away and the winners will be announced June 6, 2019. Contest closes on June 2 at 11:59 p.m. Good Luck!

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Logitech G935 Headset Review: Artemis Spectrum 2.0 https://www.gameskinny.com/w2opa/logitech-g935-headset-review-artemis-spectrum-20 https://www.gameskinny.com/w2opa/logitech-g935-headset-review-artemis-spectrum-20 Tue, 07 May 2019 13:46:40 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Logitech's newest wireless gaming headset, the G935, is essentially a remaster of the G933 Artemis Spectrum. Dubbed one of the best wireless gaming headsets on the market by reviewers and users alike, the Artemis Spectrum was first released. 

I say first released because the Logitech G935 looks, acts, and feels just like the G933 in all but a few ways. From the design to the size to the headset's high-quality sound, you'd be forgiven for thinking these two headsets were one in the same. 

What's important to note, though, is that the G935s are primarily differentiated from the G933s by way of their 50mm drivers. These larger drivers allow for an improved low-frequency response. This means the G935s are bassier out of the box, something that can be both good and bad for a set of headphones depending on your ear. Additionally, these headphones employ DTS Headphone: X 2.0 technology, which allows for Hi-Res audio recognition as well as, on paper, greater clarity. 

At $169.99, the G935s aren't cheap. However, they are cheaper than the still-available G933s. That's good for consumers wanting to upgrade or for those that want to essentially get a new set of G933s. 

Logitech G935 left-side view with mic

Design

From stem to stern, the G935s look identical to the G933s. Coming in all black, the headset features a plastic frame with metal yoke, rhombus-shaped earcups, removable earcup plates, and leatherette padding. 

Starting at the core of the headset, the overall build of the G935s is fairly sturdy. While the earcups feel a tad rickety, they also tilt inward off the yoke and rotate to sit flat on your shoulders or desk. Both of these are factors contributing to their "wobbliness" when the headset is held by the headband.  

Each earcup is designed to be worn over the ears, and each has leatherette padding around them. The earcups themselves are deep and able to accommodate a variety of ear sizes. However, the earcups did feel a bit tight across my upper jaw, a feeling that persisted after a month of wear. 

The left ear cup is where you'll find all of the G935's buttons, inputs and outputs, and noise-canceling mic.

The back of the earcup has the power switch at the top. Below that are three programmable "G" keys and a mic mute button. Below those is the volume wheel. The charging port and the 3.5mm audio port are on the bottom of the earcup. Finally, the noise-canceling mic is vertically nestled into the front of the left earcup. 

Each earcup also features a detachable outer plate. Removing the left plate reveals a place to house the headset's wireless USB dongle. Removing the right plate reveals the headset's battery. I absolutely love this feature of the headset, specifically the housing for the USB dongle. It's also nice to know that it's super easy to replace the headset's battery if need be. 

Features

As is standard on most modern headsets, the G935s feature RGB lighting. Here, the design is replicated from the G933s; one lightband crawls up the back of each earcup to the top center of each earcup. The new, blockier Logitech logo is featured on the lower back corner of each outside, removable plate. 

The RGB lighting can be finetuned through the refined G Hub software. As expected, you'll have access to a vast palette of colors and a wide array of effects. You can assign one color to the lightbands and one to the Logitech logo, and you can also cycle colors while dialing in cycle rates and brightness. 

The more interesting aspect here is the use of LightSync and Screen Sampler. The former allows you to sync your lighting profiles across all of your Logitech devices, including keyboards and mice. The latter allows you to set capture zones on your monitor. These zones then dynamically change the RGB scheme to whatever is on screen in a particular zone. 

G Hub also allows you to assign actions and macros to the headset's "G" keys. Here, you have options such as increasing bass and increasing treble. However, you can also assign the keys actions such as opening programs or performing keystrokes. 

Lastly, G Hub is where you'll tweak the headset's audio profiles and access its equalizer. You can activate noise removal and enable surround sound. You can disable the headset's sidetone and control mic volume. And you can choose audio presets or more finely adjust frequencies through the equalizer. 

If you've used G Hub or any recent Logitech software, you'll be right at home as not much has changed. 

Performance

Before I get into the way this headset sounds, I do want to talk about a few hiccups that impact user performance, specifically the design of the "G" keys and the build of the volume wheel. 

While I was able to get used to the placement of the "G" keys, I wish they were more defined. As it stands, it's very difficult to quickly differentiate between them, even when not playing games. One tends to bleed into the other. 

What's more, I don't (at all) see the use in the mic mute button because simply physically flipping the microphone up mutes it, and it's located between the third "G" key and the volume. The mute button maybe should have been removed and the "G" keys made either larger or more defined in its absence. 

Moving to the volume wheel, it too could have benefited from being larger. It's just too small as it stands. Finding it can sometimes be a pain, especially with the mic mute button placed in such proximity. That's not to mention the wheel feels loose and audibly "thunks" when touched/released. Thankfully, it doesn't make a sound when actually increasing or decreasing the volume. 

Aside from being bassy on its default, out-of-the-box setting, the G935s sound great. Where the Artemis Spectrum is still heralded as one of the best sounding wireless headsets available, the G935 inherits that lineage.  

For gaming, DTS Headphone: X 2.0 seems to improve upon the previous version of the surround sound software. I was able to hear gunshots in Battlefield 1 and Sniper Elite V2 Remastered with great clarity. I was able to pinpoint the exact location of enemies in games like Apex Legends, too. Comparing them to the Logitech G533s, the G935s did seem to provide better clarity in these situations, allowing me to better discern exactly where sounds were coming from. 

For movies, surround sound is fantastic. Movie and television dialog is clear and precise, while action sequences, such as those in John Wick and Mission Impossible: Fallout, are explosive. Interstellar is still, well, stellar in surround sound. 

Although the headset's bass-heavy proclivity means that music can easily become muddy, I do appreciate that the G935s render sound without distortion. Additionally, I very much enjoy how the headset forms the music around the vocals, where vocals always seem to be in the center channel and instruments in the surrounding channels. 

Pros: 
  • Works on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Fantastic directional audio with improved DTS Headphone: X 2.0
  • Clear mic with flip-to-mute features
Cons:
  • Only works wirelessly on PC and PS4; Xbox One and Switch require the included 3.5mm cable
  • Cramped button layout on the back of the left earcup
  • Bass heavy on default profile; can only change profiles/access EQ on PC

In a vacuum, the G935s are a fairly easy recommendation. That's especially true for those looking to get the Artemis Spectrum 2.0. Many of the pros and cons of that headset apply here. The 50mm drivers and DTS Headphone: X 2.0 technology found in the G935s do make this a slightly more attractive purchase than the G933s at this point. 

While the sound quality of the headset is hard to beat, I can't help but feel the headset's design is just a bit too antiquated. I also still think that the "G" buttons are a bit too cramped, the headset is a tad bulky, and that not having some sort of EQ DAC for console completely removes one of the headset's biggest selling points, and that is hard to ignore.

[Note: A G935 review unit was provided by Logitech for the purpose of this review.]

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Turtle Beach Recon 70 Headset Review: A Thrifty Option for PS4 Owners https://www.gameskinny.com/cof58/turtle-beach-recon-70-headset-review-a-thrifty-option-for-ps4-owners https://www.gameskinny.com/cof58/turtle-beach-recon-70-headset-review-a-thrifty-option-for-ps4-owners Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:32:30 -0400 Thomas Wilde

It's kind of funny how Turtle Beach packages its products. I have a wired Elite Atlas headset, which seems to have been designed for the sake of an unboxing video; you unwrap that thing and you feel like humming the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The cheaper the headsets go, however, the less spectacular the presentation. If Turtle Beach made cheap convenience-store headphones, they'd come in a brown paper bag.

The Recon 70, conversely, is designed as a mid-range, affordable option for your headset needs, priced at US$39.99, with no frills or particular gimmicks. It's the product of a designer who knows the audience; this is a headset for somebody who wants a bargain and has nothing to prove.

You can spend a lot of money on PS4 peripherals without really trying  because Sony  and headsets are no particular exception. After a few days of marathon sessions with the Recon 70, I can say that at this price point, it'd be hard to do much better. It's a durable headset that provides decent sound for the money.

The word "decent" is crucial here, of course. You're paying for "serviceable" with the Recon 70, and that's what you get. The sound is clear, adjustable, and audible. If you're looking for a pair of headphones that'll fully embody the majesty and orchestral flavor of a particularly bombastic game soundtrack, these aren't them.

The Recon 70 also has a trademark Turtle Beach feature, as does the Atlas One on PC: the microphone is automatically muted if you flip it up. I go through a lot of headphones, and I've seen a lot of them that put their mute switch in some seriously awkward positions. (I have a Corsair PC headset where the mute switch is just on the side of the left cup, so it's basically always on. I can't not turn it on.)

With Turtle Beach's cheaper sets, if the mic's out of the way, it's off. It's a common-sense approach that should really be an industry standard, and if you play a lot of games on PS4 with voice chat, it makes the Recon 70 an attractive budget option.

The design is a bit bare-bones in all plastic and synthetic leather, with a master volume dial on the left cup, and it took me a little work before I found an angle at which the headset was comfortable. Once I did, though, I found the Recon 70 easy to wear for long periods of time, which is really all I ask from a headset of any kind.

 

All in all, it's worth the money. If you just want a pair of headphones so you can play late at night without waking up the house, or you'd rather save your money for one more game, the Recon 70 is a decent all-around option that offers acceptable performance and comfort at an acceptable price.

Pros:

  • $39.99 gets you a decent wired headset that's compatible with anything that has a 3.5mm jack.
  • Reasonably comfortable, even if you have them on for an entire workday.
  • Decent sound.

Cons:

  • It does feel a little cheap: synthetic leather, thin plastic.
  • The short cord makes it hard to use for anything besides console play.
  • "It does the job" is hardly a ringing endorsement.

[Note: A Recon 70 review unit was provided by Turtle Beach for the purpose of this review.]

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SteelSeries Arctis Headset Line Comes to the Xbox with 9X https://www.gameskinny.com/q8pau/steelseries-arctis-headset-line-comes-to-the-xbox-with-9x https://www.gameskinny.com/q8pau/steelseries-arctis-headset-line-comes-to-the-xbox-with-9x Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:17:00 -0400 QuintLyn

A new headset has been added to SteelSeries' already impressive Arctis gaming headset lineup.

Today, the company revealed the Arctis 9X, created specifically for the Xbox One. This is the first ever Arctis headset designed for the console, and it features Xbox Wireless connectivity, allowing for easy setup. It also includes Bluetooth audio.

The Arctis 9X connects to the Xbox One the same way a wireless controller does, allowing players to get it connected and start using it almost immediately. It doesn't require a dongle to work on the console since it's been fully integrated with the console. This connectivity has been made possible thanks to Microsoft working with SteelSeries to build the 9X "from the ground up."

According to Steel Series Senior Product Category Manager of Audio, Brian Fallon, the partnership resulted in, "the highest quality implementation of the Xbox Wireless connection seen on an Xbox headset to-date."

Other features of the headset include dual wireless technology and a retractable ClearCast microphone with noise cancellation. The dual wireless tech allows Xbox One players to use the headset with other devices via Bluetooth without having to disconnect from the Xbox. This means they can take calls, listen to music, or use VoIP while still receiving audio from their game.

An added benefit is that the Arctis 9X can be used with any Bluetooth device such as a cell phone on the go. No Xbox One is needed.

Since the 9X is part of the Arctis family, it also uses the Arctis soundscape tech to emphasize more subtle but important sounds. That means players should be able to pick up audio clues in games that they might otherwise miss while playing.

As for keeping the 9X powered, the device delivers a reported 20 hours of battery life. So forgetful players don't need to worry if they skip charging it every once in a while.

Those interested in picking up the SteelSeries Arctis 9X can do so on the SteelSeries site. The headset is priced at $199.99.

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HyperX Cloud Mix Headset Review: Putting a (Hefty) Price on Features https://www.gameskinny.com/me48n/hyperx-cloud-mix-headset-review-putting-a-hefty-price-on-features https://www.gameskinny.com/me48n/hyperx-cloud-mix-headset-review-putting-a-hefty-price-on-features Fri, 04 Jan 2019 16:14:14 -0500 Jonathan Moore

True to the pedigree HyperX has cultivated over the years, the brand's latest headset, the Bluetooth-capable Cloud Mix, is a well-made, high-quality set of gaming cans. It's comfortable, stylish, and exceptionally functional.

In my time with the headset, it quickly became my go-to for both gaming and listening to music. Rarely, if ever, did it leave my side. 

The only thing is that I received the Cloud Mix for free, courtesy of HyperX. While I could easily recommend the headset in a vacuum, it's a harder sell at the lofty price of $200. That's especially true if you consider HyperX is essentially asking you to pay $100 more than the $99 Cloud Alpha for what roughly amounts to "a Bluetooth chip, a built-in mic, and a battery". 

And while I do think the Cloud Mix is a little more than that, the long and short is that you really need to want Bluetooth functionality to pay the extra dough. Heck, the Cloud Flight offers fantastic wireless capabilities for $50 less, so finding where the Mix fits in isn't all that clear.  

But if you still want to know what the Cloud Mix does right, and what it does wrong, keep reading. 

Cloud Mix side view with boom mic

Design

The Cloud Mix looks a lot like the Cloud, Cloud II, and Cloud Alpha. To help the headset fit more into the hybrid gaming/lifestyle category HyperX is shooting for, the headset eschews the brand's typical bright red flourishes for silver and matte black.

But unlike the Cloud Silver, everything from the headband to the aluminum frame and the plush earcups is black; the only silver to be found on the headset comes in the form of the larger-than-they-need-to-be HyperX logos emblazoned on the outside of each earcup. 

Since the Cloud Mix is meant to be the most ubiquitous and portable HyperX headset to date, the headset is small all around. That wasn't such a big deal for me, but for those with larger domes and/or ears, that may be an issue. 

While downsizing means the Mix weighs a featherlight 260 grams without its detachable mic and 275 grams with it, it also means that the frame isn't as wide as other headsets and the earcups only measure in at 40mm. The earcups are some of HyperX's smallest. Although they're adequately deep, even my smaller ears felt constricted on top and bottom from time to time. 

Despite that, I will say that this is one of the more comfortable headsets I've worn. While some have derided the headband as disagreeable over long periods, I never felt any discomfort across the top of my head. The plush single-band headband provides plenty of cushion and the pleatherette around the earcups keeps them from exerting too much pressure across the top of the jaw. 

Wearing cloud mic

Moving along to the headset's controls and ports, you'll find a 3.5mm jack, microphone port, built-in Bluetooth mic, and a Bluetooth multifunction button on the left earcup. On the right earcup, you'll find the Bluetooth power button, a micro-USB charge port, the Bluetooth volume buttons, and a battery status LED. 

Keeping in line with its lifestyle aesthetic, none of the buttons or ports are prominent; if you were to wear this on the subway or while listening to tunes around the house, no one would know this was a gaming-first set of cans. 

However, that design choice also means that some of the buttons can be difficult to find when in use. While the Bluetooth volume buttons on the right earcup are defined enough for easy recall, both the Bluetooth power button and the Bluetooth multifunction button are a bit too recessed and smooth for my liking. Eventually, you'll memorize their placement and it won't matter, but I can't help but feel it's a small oversight that could have been better designed. 

Thankfully, the in-line volume wheel and mic-mute button found on the headset's 3.5mm braided cable are easy to reach when using the headset in wired mode. Both function as you'd expect, and unlike other in-line controls I've used in the past, I didn't experience any crackling or sound loss when rotating the volume wheel — even after about two months of heavy use. 

Cloud Mix bottom view showing buttons and I/O ports

Functionality

The Cloud Mix comes with a 4.2-foot detachable headset cable that's used for console gaming, and a 6.5-foot PC extension cable that connects everything to your desktop. With such cable lengths, it's possible that you might not even use the Mix's Bluetooth capabilities if you don't mind being wired to your phone or device. 

Of course, you'll get the best quality from the headset's 40mm drivers in wired mode. On PC, the headset was the loudest, providing the richest tones, as would be expected. Since console sound is still transmitted wirelessly from the console to the controller, then to the headphones via the attached cable, I had to crank the volume a bit higher than I would've liked on console, leading to just a tad bit of distortion in games like Doom

But when playing games like Battlefield 1 and 2016's Hitman on PC, I didn't notice a bit of distortion. Explosions thrummed and bullets cracked through the air; eurobeats thumped across dance floors and coins bounced off concrete with piercing metallic pings.  

For the most part, I didn't notice much loss of fidelity when gaming; most sounds remained separate across the low-high spectrum. However, music is where you'll discover the Cloud Mix trends to treble as highs sometimes bleed into each other depending on what you're listening to.

Cloud Mix earcups showing drivers and padding

Bluetooth works equally well. Although some fidelity is naturally lost across Bluetooth, there isn't a decided tonal difference between the two modes: bass tones are just as punchy and high tones still fall on the weaker side of things, much like the rest the Mix's Bluetooth has to offer.

While 32-feet of wireless range isn't shabby — I could walk around most of my 2,400-square-foot house without losing signal — it's head-scratching that the Cloud Flight provides more than twice that distance at 65 feet. 

On top of that, you'll have to have a Bluetooth-ready device to even use the functionality. On the surface, this is a rather "duh" statement, but chances are only your phone or laptop is Bluetooth ready. Seeing as the Mix doesn't come with a Bluetooth dongle, hooking it up to your computer or console right out of the box — without a secondary purchase — is a very real possibility. 

For a $200 headset, that's a pretty big disappointment. For the life of me, I can't feasibly understand why Hi-Res audio is a feature on this headset and a plug-n-play wireless dongle isn't. The latter is far more useful to HyperX's demographic and much more in line with the "lifestyle" ethos of the headset itself. 

Cloud Mix headset with cables and carry bag

Pros:
  • Comfortable headband and earcups
  • Fantastic portability and overall design
  • Good audio quality in both wired and Bluetooth modes
Cons: 
  • Smaller design won't suit everyone
  • Bluetooth range is shorter than Cloud Flight
  • Hi-Res audio capability is nice, but not practical
  • No wireless dongle hampers Bluetooth use out of the box
Specifications:

 Driver Custom dynamic, 40mm w/ neodymium magnets
Type Circumaural, closed back
Frequency Response 10Hz—40,000Hz
Impedance 40 ohms
Sound Pressure Level 100dbBSPL/mW at 1kHz
Weight w/o mic 260g
Weight w/ mic 275g
Cable Length Detachable headset cable: 4.2 feet
PC extension cable: 6.5 feet
Micro USB charging cable: 1.6 feet
Connection Type Detachable headset cable: 3.5mm (4-pole)
PC extension cable: 3.5mm stereo/mic plugs
Battery Life 20 hours
Wireless Range ~32 feet

Info via HyperX's Cloud Mix product page.

Ultimately, the Cloud Mix is a great headset held back by its price: the sound is solid, the design is everything you've come to expect from HyperX, and the quality is top-notch. You could do much worse than the Cloud Mix, that's for sure.

But unless you must have Bluetooth and the ability to listen to Hi-Res audio, the Cloud Alpha is just as capable as the Mix and comes in at half the price. 

You can pick up the Cloud Mix at BestBuy at its normal price of $199.99.

[Note: HyperX provided the Cloud Mix used for this review.]

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5 Best Gaming Headsets Of 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/zaofn/5-best-gaming-headsets-of-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/zaofn/5-best-gaming-headsets-of-2018 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:41:20 -0500 Nick Congleton

Headsets have become a crucial piece of gear when gaming online. For PC gamers, this means another peripheral and even more choice. Sure, choice is one of the greatest strengths of the PC as a platform, but it can be seriously overwhelming when you need to choose the optimal equipment that you'll be using for years.

When audio enters the equation, things get even messier. Fear not, though. We're here to help you sort everything out with these 5 top headsets of 2018.

1. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wired/Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro comes in two varieties, a wired version with an accompanying gaming DAC, and a wireless model. Both are exceptional headsets that push gaming audio to audiophile grade levels, and that's really saying something. For a long time, true audiophiles laughed at the notion of headsets, opting instead for headphones (i.e. the ones without a microphone). The Arctic Pro thoroughly blurs that line.

This one isn't for casual gamers, though, with a price tag starting at $240. That said, the bulk of its strength comes from the fact that it does so much more than games well. This is an excellent option for music lovers, with an external DAC to boost sound quality and cut down on interference and noise. Its simulated surround sound capabilities are great for games, but they're also awesome for movies as well. If you're looking to invest in the complete package, the SteelSeres Arctis Pro is definitely worth considering.

2. HyperX Cloud Alpha

Are you sick of multimedia pro wireless headsets that claim to be the best at everything? Would you rather a no-nonsense gaming headset that's legitimately great for gaming without a ton of extra baggage? The HyperX Cloud Alpha is exactly what you're looking for. It's a gaming headset in the ultra popular Cloud line that's designed for do gaming right.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a 2.1 channel headset without the simulated surround sound features of some higher end headsets, but it still sounds excellent. With the Cloud Alpha Kingston pioneered a new dual chamber driver design to smooth out and clean up the sound quality that these deliver. The HyperX Cloud Alpha utilizes an aluminum frame with memory foam padding to keep you comfortable, even during marathon gaming sessions.

3. Corsair Void Pro RGB

Corsair is an undeniable presence in just about ever facet of PC gaming, and rightly so. Nearly everything they do, they do well. That's not to say that they're the best, though, and that's the case here with the Corsair Void Pro RGB. It's a great headset, especially at just $80 for the wireless version, but not the absolute best.

The Void Pro RGB is a simulated 7.1 headset. It offers high quality sound for games and video. For top quality music, though, it falls slightly short. Like nearly everything that Corsair puts out, the controls for the Void Pro come in the form of Corsair's proprietary software. That includes both audio adjustments and RBG. Some people will love that, for others, it's a major annoyance or even a prohibiting factor in the case of people who want to make the most of their headset on platforms othere than Windows.

Corsair's gamer-centric styling definitely gives the Void Pro RGB a distinct look. The headset is well built and comfortable, but you might not like the amount of plastic around it. That's more of a stylistic choice though. Altogether, the Corsair Void Pro RGB is a solid choice if you want the 7.1 functionality at a reasonable price.

4. HyperX Cloud Revolver S

Yes, it's another HyperX Cloud headset on this list, but the whole line is so well done, it's hardly surprising. HyperX Cloud products are built well, without needless frills and gimmicks, and the Revolver S is definitely no exception. It features an aluminum construction, intelligently placed padding, and ergonomic design dimensions.

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is similar to Alpha, but packed with even more. The Revolver S offers 7.1 surround sound that you can toggle at any time via the on-cable controls, which are simple and convenient. The quality of both the stereo and surround modes is wonderful, and you'll easily be able to get the most out of your gaming, video, and music.

The one feature that the Cloud Revolver S is lacking is wireless, but it doesn't really matter, unless you absolutely need wireless capabilities. For a more in-depth look, check out your complete review of the HyperX Cloud Revolver S.

5. SteelSeries Arctis 7

And, yet another series pops up on the list twice. The SteelSeries Arctis line of headsets is the most direct competition to the Cloud sets, and they really are on the same level of quality. The Arctis 7 is a wireless 7.1 surround sound headset that promises a lag-free experience in gaming. As a primarily wireless headset, it offers on-ear controls to adjust settings, like the balance between your game audio and chat.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 offers top-notch sound quality across gaming and every type of media you can throw at it. While it's not quite up to the level of the Arctis pro with a dedicated DAC, you still won't be disappointed with the rich audio this headset delivers.

Speaking of quality, the Arctis doesn't skimp anywhere. Its solid steel and aluminum frame is ergonomically designed to be insanely comfortable, and the headband is inspired by ski goggles to deliver a more tailored fit. This one will stay comfortable, even during extended gaming sessions.

Conclusion

You absolutely can't go wrong with any of these headsets. Aside from the Arctis Pro, which is a fairly clear overall winner at a much higher price point, they all meet slightly different needs and priorities. When choosing a gaming headset, you need to ask yourself how else you plan on using it and which features matter most to you.

Disclaimer: this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on the links provided and buy any of the products listed here, GameSkinny will receive a small commission on the products sold. These microtransactions do not affect you in any way.

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SteelSeries' Upgraded Arctis 3 Bluetooth Now Available https://www.gameskinny.com/mfsgk/steelseries-upgraded-arctis-3-bluetooth-now-available https://www.gameskinny.com/mfsgk/steelseries-upgraded-arctis-3-bluetooth-now-available Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:57:39 -0400 QuintLyn

A new, upgraded version of the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset -- billed as the best gaming headset for Nintendo Switch -- is now available for purchase. This new version of the Arctis 3 features a variety of updates based on user feedback, including better memory foam in the ear cushions, extended bass response, and a simplified cable system. It also still offers all the features that fans of the original headset have come to love.

The Arctis 3 is advertised as "The only solution available for combining wireless chat audio from the Switch mobile app with high quality, zero latency wired audio directly from the Switch." While it may not be the ultimate wireless solution, it does help alleviate a pain with Nintendo Switch's new online service.

Those currently in the market for a new headset will be happy to know that despite the upgrades, the new Arctis 3 Bluetooth is available at a lower price than the original. It can be purchased via the SteelSeries website for $99.99 USD (€129.99).

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + Superamp Pro-Gamer Console Headset Now Available https://www.gameskinny.com/tg72g/turtle-beach-elite-pro-2-superamp-pro-gamer-console-headset-now-available https://www.gameskinny.com/tg72g/turtle-beach-elite-pro-2-superamp-pro-gamer-console-headset-now-available Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:31:15 -0400 QuintLyn

Starting today, North American Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can get their hands on the latest iteration of Turtle Beach's Elite Pro headset, the Elite Pro 2 + Super Amp. This new audio system is designed with professional gamers in mind. In fact, Turtle Beach even worked with pro esports teams such as OpTic Gaming, Splyce, and the Houston Outlaws to develop the new system.

The Elite Pro 2 picks up where its predecessor left off, offering professional-grade audio performance while adding new ways for players to control their audio experience. The headset audio is driven by Turtle Beach 50mm Nanoclear esports-tuned speakers. It also features a high-sensitivity noise canceling mic using TruSpeak technology. For added comfort and flexibility, the mic can even be removed. Other features include a durable metal headband with a suspended pad, a glasses-friendly design, magnetic cooling gel-infused memory foam ear cushions, as well as removable decorative plates for easy customization.

The addition of the SuperAmp gives players a new way to control their game audio using a dial audio controller that provides players on both consoles a better audio experience. The dial connects via Bluetooth to the Turtle Beach Audio Hub mobile app, giving gamers more control over their audio settings via their phones.

The Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is available for purchase in North America as of today at an MSRP of $249.95. Gamers in Europe and the UK will be able to purchase the set on October 12.

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All-New Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gaming Headset Now Available https://www.gameskinny.com/o599r/all-new-turtle-beach-recon-200-gaming-headset-now-available https://www.gameskinny.com/o599r/all-new-turtle-beach-recon-200-gaming-headset-now-available Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:42:40 -0400 Zack Palm

Turtle Beach announced earlier this morning that their new Recon 200 gaming headset hit retail stores today, available just before the upcoming holiday season. This set of cans was previously revealed by Twitch streamer Dr. DisRespect earlier this year in an retro, 80's-themed trailer, which you can watch below.

Turtle Beach lists the headset as having amplified audio to hear every gun shot headed in a player's direction, enhanced bass to provide absolute immersion, surround sound for the Xbox One, a metal-reinforced headband for increased durability, and premium ear cushions for optimal comfort.

The headset's 40mm speakers provides players with crystal-clear sound from any game.



The Recon 200 also comes with a small microphone attached to the left side, with the ability to flip-up for quick muting. 

This wired headset comes in sleek black or bright white variations and works for the Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and select mobile devices.

You can pick up the Recon 200 for $59.95 the Turtle Beach website, or with participating retailers in North America. The headset becomes available in the U.K. and throughout Europe later this month on September 28.

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Sennheiser GSP 500 Headset Review https://www.gameskinny.com/57n45/sennheiser-gsp-500-headset-review https://www.gameskinny.com/57n45/sennheiser-gsp-500-headset-review Fri, 29 Jun 2018 12:06:08 -0400 Jonathan Moore

I've reviewed quite a few headsets over my nearly two years at GameSkinny. From Corsair to HyperX and what seems like a countless lot in between, I've sampled a little bit of everything that corner of the peripherals market has to offer.

After a while, things start to sound if not the same, similar. It gets harder to pick out the minute differences in drivers or mark the true disparities between this software or that. But in all that time, this is the first I've gotten my hands on a Sennheiser -- the grandpappy of all grandpappies. 

I'd always heard that Sennheiser sound was some of the best audio quality you could get -- if not the best. I'd always heard that no matter how much I liked my favorite headset right now, a Sennheiser would make me green with envy. And although I paraphrase that last part from the glut of conversations I've had with audiophiles over the years, there's an inalienable truth to it.

It's damn hard to go back to my other headsets after sampling Sennheiser's GSP 500 gaming headset. 

Design and Comfort

Out of the box, the GSP 500 feels like something engineered and manufactured by Germans. It's sturdy. It's durable. And it's ergonomic. 

One of the first things you'll notice is that the headset doesn't feel like it's going to break in your hands. Although it's mostly made of plastic, that plastic is both relatively lightweight and resilient -- the headset weighs around 358 grams. That's eight grams more than the arguably flimsy-feeling Logitech G533 but nearly 70 grams lighter than SteelSeries' Arctis Pro+

What that means to you is this (and I say this with the utmost respect for both of those fantastic headsets mentioned above): the GSP 500 feels neither economical nor heavy. It feels very well-made -- and like something that's going to last you a very, very long time.

On top of that, it also means the GSP 500 is super comfortable. If you've read any of my other headset reviews, you know I've said more than once I think SteelSeries' ski-band is one of the cushiest headbands on the planet. I love that headband more than I love a well-made spicy taco. But man, is the GSP's headband its blow-for-blow rival. 

The showcase here isn't exactly what the headband is made of but instead the ability to customize the headband's contact pressure. Open along the top, the headband features two sliders that can be placed together in the middle for centralized pressure, at opposite ends from each other, or anywhere in between. This means that if you've got a weirdly shaped dome like me, you can find a sweet spot that just right for you


Moving down the headset, we come to the ergonomic earcups. Made of a soft, breathable material, these earcups don't sweat. That's pretty standard these days when it comes to (most) headsets, but what isn't so standard is the way these earcups are shaped: they mirror the shape of the human ear, providing a more natural, comfortable fit than your average round or square earcups. 

Another thing that makes them comfortable is the metal hinges that attach the earcups to the headband. These tilt and turn to fit a variety of face types and help the earcups better conform to your cheekbones and upper jaw. And although it's unfortunate the earcups don't fully rotate and you can't lay them flat on your collarbone when not in use like those found on the Logitech G Pro, for example, they're so comfortable and flexible that I'll give them a pass this time around. 

What's more, you'll also find a dearth of controls on the GSP 500's earcups. Typically, many newer headsets have a handful of volume and chat controls, as well as inputs, on one or both earcups. Here, you'll find a simple volume wheel on the right earcup. I especially like that the volume control is elegantly integrated into the headset and doesn't look like a volume knob. It's contoured edges make it easy to pick out, even though I do think it's a tad hard to turn.

Lastly, the noise canceling microphone on the GSP 500 works like a charm. Positioned on the left earcup just above the headset's only I/O, the mic is flexible, but just barely. This is where the GSP 500 looks like a gaming headset; you can't remove the microphone, just simply raise or lower it. That's not to say such a design is a detriment to the headset, but it is something that might turn off some who want something more ubiquitous.
 

Performance

My biggest gripe about Sennheiser's GSP 500 is that it's just not very loud. And I admit: loud is relative. Some users will think the GSP 500 is plenty loud and read this part of my review with an incredulous glare. But for me, I don't like having to turn a headset's volume knob to maximum -- while also turning my YouTube volume and system volume to maximum -- to achieve skull-blasting 11. 

However, after spending hours with headset, I think that volume "discrepancy" might just be because the headset is so damned good at recreating authentic sound via an open-acoustic design. 

So, despite my curmudgeonly misgivings about the headset's volume control, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the sound on the GSP 500. As an arm-chair audiophile, I'm constantly blown away by what the GSP 500 can do. It lets me hear frequencies I never knew were there and rediscover movies, music, and games like few other headsets can.  

Listening to songs from Northlane, While She Sleeps, and Tesseract, there were (are) guitar, bass, and drum sections I'd never heard before -- now resoundingly clear. Toms thrummed out in thrilling sonic waves, bass undulated through synths, and harmonics pinged through trebles and mids without either losing strength or impeding other tones. 

For classical overtures such as Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, it felt as if I were in the concert hall, standing right next to the piano. And although the GSP 500 isn't a surround sound headset out of the box, it's stereo offerings are robust enough to mimic that functionality, especially when reproducing well-recorded sound. 

In gaming, the GSP 500 gives new life to many of the games I've played for hours on end. It emphasizes Kratos' guttural tones in God of War. It brightens the whisps of zipping bullets in Battlefield 1. And it makes the irritating simul-banter of Far Cry 5 less grating and actually distinguishable. Since the headset isn't surround sound, you won't get 100% accurate directional sound, but what you will find here isn't too shabby. 

If you do want to get 7.1 surround on the GSP 500, though, you can -- all while keeping it in the Sennheiser family. The only real downside is that you'll have to pick up an external DAC and drop another $250 to get it, which is a pricey proposition considering the headset itself already costs $250 by itself. 

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If you're looking for something that immerses you in sound, the GSP 500 isn't exactly it. Because of its open ear design, you'll be able to hear a lot of the conversation and commotion around you. If you're in a loud environment, that can be pretty distracting to some users -- and in fact, this is the primary reason I'm giving it a 9 and not a 10.

However, the open ear technology affords crisper, more realistic tones and gives those that need it the ability to listen to music or play games without alienating those around them. If you want a closed-ear design, check out the GSP 600.  

The GSP 500 comes with a two-year international warranty, and it works on PS4, PC, Mac, and mobile devices. It also works on Xbox One, but may require the Xbox One stereo headset adapter (we didn't test it, but Sennheiser does suggest it). 

At the end of the day, this headset is for the high-end gamer who also has audiophile tendencies. I don't imagine your average gamer is going to opt for these, not only because of price, but also because those average gamers aren't necessarily looking for the sound this headset provides.

In other words, the GSP 500 is one of the very best headsets you can buy but it's also a luxury item. If you have the disposable income for it, there's no question you should pick it up. If you want high-fidelity sound, there's no question you should pick it up. But if you just want something to get you through the next CoD MP match, apply elsewhere -- this headset will be lost on you. 

You can buy the Sennheiser GSP 500 on Amazon for $229.95.

[Note: Sennheiser provided the headset used in this review.]

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Corsair HS70 Headset Review https://www.gameskinny.com/paes7/corsair-hs70-headset-review https://www.gameskinny.com/paes7/corsair-hs70-headset-review Thu, 31 May 2018 09:00:01 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

While the Corsair HS70 is similar in many regards to its previous incarnation, the Corsair HS50, the headset has made a few small steps forward that distinguish it from its predecessor.  

It retains its durability and comfort, easily keeping up with headsets that are much more expensive in that arena. But it falls behind in the sound department, making small strides forward with additions that should have been integrated far earlier. 

HS70 Design 

Keeping the simple aesthetics of previous versions, the HS70 refrains from an ostentatious or flashy style. It is available in simple colors, either all black or black with white accents. Really, the only thing to add any kind of flair is the Corsair logo on the earpieces. 

Speaking of the earpieces, they are equipped with a plush memory foam and their height can be adjusted to dial in comfort. In addition, controls for the headset can be found on both earpieces, with the right earpiece hosting the power button, and the left side having volume controls, a mic mute button, and a plugin for the detachable, unidirectional microphone that has pretty great noise canceling capabilities.  

There is also a charge port on the left earpiece to allow you to recharge the battery, which has an impressive, advertised lifespan of 16 hours. I didn't test it for quite that long in a single sitting, but it lasted through all of my longer gaming sessions over the past few weeks. 

Holding the set together is a remarkably sturdy headband that feels as durable as any headset that I've used, even those in the higher price ranges. The inner portion of the headband is covered in the same plush foam that covers the earpieces. 

The headset also comes with a USB plugin for the HS70's wireless capabilities. The wireless functionality is one of the more noticeable additions, and that is what gives the HS70 the biggest distinction from previous headsets in the series. Capable of providing a continuous, high-quality signal for up to 12 meters (40 feet), the HS70 doesn't have the longest range, but it's not that far behind more expensive sets such as Logitech's G533 in that department. 

Comfort 

Overall, the earpieces are roomy and well ventilated, providing a very comfortable fit around the ears. Even with glasses, I was able to wear the headset for roughly 3 to 4 hours before needing a serious break. The headband is equally well padded, providing a snug fit, without putting too much pressure anywhere.  

While the earcups do rotate a small amount to accommodate for varieties in ear shape and size, it isn't much. Unlike some of the more expensive headsets on the market, the earcups do not rotate enough for the HS70 to comfortably sit around the neck. This means that if you're not using the headset, you're better off setting it to the side until you need it again -- unless you're comfortable with a more traditional headset fit around the neck.  

In my time with the headset, I found that I prefer the lightweight design of the HS70 over some of the heftier headsets that I've used in the past. The lighter style allows for longer gaming sessions with fewer breaks, which is great because I never sit down intending to play for just a few minutes. 

 

Performance 

For the most part, the sound quality is great for gaming or voice chat, but if you need access to both at the same, time you might hit some minor speedbumps. It is fairly common in higher-end headsets to have different audio channels for games and chat. Such additions give the player the ability to moderate their sounds and designate whichever they feel is most important.

Unfortunately, the Corsair HS70 lacks this ability and while that is not a deal breaker in most cases, it does require you to adjust your sound settings accordingly. That's especially true if you intend to use this headset for any game that requires teamwork and communication  

The default bass levels seem to have been pulled back a little when compared to the HS50, and while the bass is still powerful, it doesn't feel like it's drowning the rest of the sound during movies and music. This is mitigated even further by the fact that the HS70 utilizes the Corsair Utility Engine for control over equalizer settings.  

As with the previous models, the HS70 is compatible with the PS4 in wireless mode. Naturally, I gave it a shot, testing out God of War and Monster Hunter: World, and while the headset performed well, it didn't exceed any expectations on the sound front.  

Verdict 

Overall, the HS70 is a definite step up from its predecessor, the HS50. Its wireless capabilities and the addition of the equalizer settings take a good headset and give it a boost. Unfortunately, the $89.99 price tag is a pretty big leap up from the previous model, pulling it away from being a budget headset and putting in the low end of the high tier. 

If you're looking for a reliable wireless headset with decent battery life in the $90 price range, this isn't a bad choice. But when compared to other offerings from Hyper X -- and considering the Corsair's own Void Pro is only about $10 more for an arguably better experience -- the decision gets a tad bit murkier. 

[Note: Corsair provided the HS70 Wireless Headset used in this review.]

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