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Recently I headed down to the Surprise Attack PR agency in Victoria, Australia to check out exactly what Plantronics are looking at releasing in the near future. From stellar beginnings including "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" being broadcasted through the help of a Plantronics product, this audio company is looking to help step up the gaming scene with its new RIG 500 series of fully modular headsets.
Mainly pictured in this article is the RIG 500e. Coming in as the top of the range model with the most options, expect it to he hitting retail shelves soon for a MSRP of $149 ($199 AU in Australia). The 500e is endorsed by the ESL and is known as the eSports edition. Coming jam-packed with features, included in the package is a fully modular design, a closed-earcup with soft leatherette padding, an open-earcup with cloth padding and an in-line extension unit which includes a 24-bit Dolby 7.1 surround-sound USB sound card.
All headsets across the range include fully modular design, a microphone that mutes when flipped up and the ability to mix and match your accessories later in life. The standard RIG 500 headset will set you back $59 ($99 AU in Australia), with the middle option 500HD costing $99 ($129 in Australia), but if you're wanting to add the extra ear cups, 7.1 support or change your headband to something awesome in the future when your finances permit - you will be able to log on to the Plantronics website and pick and chose parts as you see fit.
Audio maker Turtle Beach has launched the EAR FORCE Stealth 420X headset for the Microsoft Xbox One game console. Turtle Beach announced the headset earlier this month, available for $149.95 MSRP.
The EAR FORCE Stealth 420X headset is fully wireless, and is easily installable via USB connection, active mic monitoring, and 15 hours of rechargeable battery life.
"As the market leader, we continuously challenge ourselves to innovate and create new headsets with unique offerings for each segment of the gaming audience," said Juergen Stark, CEO of Turtle Beach. "Our third fully wireless Xbox One headset, the Stealth 420X, delivers the perfect mix of best-in-class features and functionality from its Elite 800X and Stealth 500X siblings for a more immersive and comfortable gaming experience at a great price."
Providing 360-degree sound to all whom will listen, this IP54 rated speaker is water resistant and even fits snug within a pushbike water bottle holder.
For those who are always running out of power, there's the capacity to use this product as a power bank and the rubber coating will ensure clumsy users don't smash their speakers on the first drop.
Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, LEPA claims to offer immersive sound and a passive radiator for "rich, deep bass." TweakTown has been supplied with a review unit of this beauty and we shall report back our findings very soon.
We're not quite sure if the name of this headset is meant to be a joke aimed at the constant memes and Snoop Dogg 420 references, but either way Turtle Beach has released its 420X Xbox One headset for pre-order.
Set up with a 100% wireless design, this headset features a USB connection to the Xbox One (wireless sender), separated game and voice chat volume controls, an adjustable microphone boom, an over-ear headset design and audio presents with voice prompts.
Set for release on July 18 at a recommended price of $179.95, Turtle Beach CEO Juergen Stark claims this product "will feature our renowned audio and mic quality in a comfortable headset designed to give gamers the most immersive and enjoyable gaming experience."
As reported in a recently issued press release from LG, NPD Group has announced LG's continued reign over the US Bluetooth headset market since May 2012 - owning a massive 40% market share. Said to be mostly thanks to the TONE headset, LG further bragged that many spin-off copies are currently being made of the TONE globally.
With the 10 millionth TONE headset sold since October 2010, this product has been designed by LG in collaboration with Harman/Kardon and JBL in order to provide a claimed "highest level of sound quality."
It seems that LG didn't expect this headset to travel so well at first, with LG Electronics' vice president for Innovate Personal Devices, Seo Young-jae, commenting "Initially we were quite surprised by the enthusiasm of the feedback we received from people who said that TONE was the most comfortable wireless headset they've ever used." He then went on to congratulate LG's R&D department, stating "We stuck to what worked well and improved upon TONE over the years and we're absolutely delighted by the positive reception we've gotten."
Virtual reality hardware is advancing nicely, as shown off during E3, but there is a cause for concern among some industry experts: how audio will be addressed for VR. Since current prototypes rely on VR to help deliver audio, only the Oculus Rift will feature built-in audio - and it'll be up to us, the consumers, to figure out how we maximize our VR experience.
It looks like surround sound is ideal for gamers above stereo sound, but that may not be what game developers are actually aiming for:
"Virtual reality games will be offering binaural audio to simulate a fully three-dimensional listening environment," said Winifred Phillips, a seasoned game music composer, in a recent Gamasutra blog post. "While binaural audio can present an awesome level of immersion and realism, the technology of binaural sound isn't the same as that of surround sound."
Audio manufacturer BRAVEN has announced that the Balance portable Bluetooth speaker is now shipping, a new product aimed at consumers with active lifestyles.
The speaker supports up to 18 hours of playtime, powered by its built-in 4000mAh battery that can also charge mobile devices. You can use the hands-free speakerphone and built-in noise-canceling microphone to answer calls. The Balance also has an anti-slip exterior and will survive accidental drops or spilled liquid.
The BRAVEN Balance is now available for $129.99 MSRP in six colors: Raven, Alpine, Raspberry, Electric, Sunset, and Periwinkle.
With 195% of its funding goal reached in just one month, this audio product boasts impressive features such as 2.1 or 5.1 surround-sound audio, satellite speakers being able to operate singularly or as a group and a universal charging dock for all components. Even better, there is the ability to direct sound to whatever speaker you are near from a single device.
Complete with Dolby surround sound, $149 plus shipping will nab you the cheapest early bird package and this expands up to $899 plus shipping for the full 5.1 system ($500 off the eventual retail price).
As they are currently sitting at $97,279 raised, Kien has introduced stretch goals to get everyone a little more interested - the next one coming up is at $100,000 and will ensure three other colors are introduced as voted for buy the buyers. Further to this is the $200,000 stretch goal of extra inputs, followed by the $500,000 goal of a free power dock for every system.
E3 2015 - Audio company Polk Audio has unveiled the debut of the Striker Pro Hitman Contract Edition, with the new product designed for the PC, Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, laptops and smartphones.
The Striker Pro includes a mobile connect cable, dual-jack console controller connect cable, and a dual-jack, detachable, extra-long pro PC connect cable. Interested gamers will find the headset includes an omni-directional microphone for console and PC gaming, along with an in-line microphone for mobile use.
The Polk Audio Striker Pro Hitman Contract Edition Gaming Headset will be available starting in September for $129.
Audio maker V-MODA is embracing innovation by spearheading a project for the world's first 3D printed personalized wearable technology. The company has introduced custom 3D printed shields using materials such as stainless steel, raw, plated and other precious materials - creating the "first time in history" that mass customization "merges jewel-grade 3D printing with consumer electronics."
Using the V-MODA website, consumers can customize their products by choosing a base color, 3D shield material of choice, and then the design and monogram of their product. As for precious metals, the following choices are available: sterling silver, solid 14k gold, 14k rose gold, 14k white gold, or platinum.
"3D printing has captured the imaginations of people, but this is the first application that can be worn every day on an award-winning product," said Val Kolton, CEO of V-MODA. "This technology ends the ubiquity of carbon copy, plastic consumer electronics and ushers in an era of bespoke designs and metals that transform products into handcrafted designer relics."