REVIEW: Turtle Beach Call of Duty Black Ops II Ear Force Sierra gaming headset (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Gerald Lynch Gaming, Headphones / Earphones, Reviews, Tech Digest news Leave a Comment

Looking to get an edge during your Black Ops II online matches? Turtle Beach's latest Call of Duty gaming headset range includes the Ear Force Sierra, designed to offer just that with its 5.1 surround sound delights. But can it improve your game enough to justify a price tag just a few pounds shy of £300? Read our full review to find out!

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REVIEW: Turtle Beach Ear Force PX3 wireless gaming headset for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

Gerald Lynch Gaming, Headphones / Earphones, Reviews 2 Comments

A wireless, multi-platform gaming headset from Turtle Beach, the kings of online deathmatch smack-talk enablers, that doesn't break the bank? That's just what's on offer from the impressive Turtle Beach Ear Force PX3 headset. Read on for our full review!

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REVIEW: Klipsch ProMedia In-Ear gaming earphones

Gerald Lynch Features, Gaming, Headphones / Earphones, Reviews, Tech Digest news, VoiP 5 Comments

Name: ProMedia In-Ear (Klipsch) Type: Gaming earphones Specs: Click here for full specs Price: £78.52 from Amazon Image Gallery: Click here While gaming headsets are normally of the bulky over-ear kind, the increasingly portable nature of gaming laptops would…

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Asus CineVibe force feedback gaming headset rumbles your brains

Gerald Lynch Gaming, Headphones / Earphones, Peripherals, Tech Digest news 1 Comment

Asus are launching a new gaming headset. Called the CineVibe, they quite literally pack a punch, rumbling your head in time to the action screen thanks to built in force feedback tech. "The inclusion of moving bass, force feedback reactive…

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HEADPHONES WEEK: Plantronics Audio 655 headset

Daniel Sung Headphones / Earphones Leave a Comment

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Hello you. Welcome to Day 3 of the Tech Digest Headphones Week where we’re reviewing a whole bunch of different head speakers to give us all a bit of an idea what it’s worth slapping our dollar down for. Remember, came-with-your-MP3-player headphones are the disease. Headphones week is the cure.

Today’s a little different. Today I’m taking a look at a set of on-ear head-grabbers that you can’t plug into your music machine – unless it happens to do audio-out via USB. Ladies, gentlemen, this is the Skype-certified Plantronics Audio 655 headset and it comes with a microphone too.

The Short Version

Name – Plantronics Audio 655

Type – On-ear closed cup PC headset

How much£39.99

How much should they cost - £59.00

Should you buy them – If you use VoIP, play PC games and don’t mind being tethered to the computer – yes, definitely

The Long Version

Sound Quality

Let’s not beat around the bush here. The Audio 655s sound superb. They really do. They’re a fantastic example of all round balance. Just the one set of 40mm drivers but they deliver good clear treble, confident mid-range and highly competent, if not heart-pounding, bass.

In fact, that’s probably my only criticism. There’s nothing wildly special about the sound here. The Audio 655s aren’t going to make you rediscover your music collection but then who cares, you’re probably not going to be using these listen to music. They’re designed to transmit the human voice as close to the real thing as possible and that’s exactly what they do.

Build Quality

There’s no two ways about it. The Audio 655s are plastic. They’re backed up with cushioning in the right places – top of the bonse and round the ears – but they’re completely plastic. Admittedly, it’s good, thick plastic but there’s something a little clacky about the build. It’s a touch on the loose side.

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That said, it’s nice and flexible. You’re not going to break them unless you get all the weight of one of your computer chair legs right on top of one of the cups or you hand it to a proper tough little toddler in the mould of a future Geoff Capes. My advice would be to do neither and I’m sure they’ll last you.

The cabling’s thick enough and they’ll adjust to all head sizes, including the most extreme, but it’s probably the microphone arm that’s the best put together. It’s really solid with hardly any lateral movement, it’s telescopic so you can adjust it to the position of your mouth and it stows neatly out of the way when you’re not using it. What’s more, it’s largely made of rubber so you’re not going to be snapping it off by accident. There’s handsome devil below modelling them.

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Phones

The Plantronics website claims the ear pads offer “pillow-soft” comfort. That’s probably taking it a bit far. I don’t think I’d have much luck using them to sleep on but I’d say they’re close to the quality of your least favourite sofa cushion. The point is that they’re thick enough not to hurt your lug holes and they’ve got a snazzy red lining too. No skull strain issues here at all. Guarantee.

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Usability

Largely positive in this department. The USB connection means that there’s no faffing around with two 3.5mm plugs and that you’ve probably got a lot more port choice depending on what suits you best. Mercifully, there’s no irritating software involved and my only gripe is that, from time to time, I had to unplug them and plug them in again to get them going – usually when I’d been sticking things in the dedicated audio socket at the same time.

The other neat little trick these Plantronics have up their sleeves is that you can fine tune the volume at the left ear – the same ear as the mic arm. There’s perhaps not enough adjustment at your fingertips as you might like but it’ll certainly make the difference between a good, clear level and losing your hearing.

Lastly, the mic itself works a charm with fully operational noise cancelling tech. Functions as it should. What more can you say.

Conclusion

Buy them. Quite simple. If you’re looking to spend more than a tenner and less than £50 on a PC headset, then look no further. I can bitch and whinge about this and that, as is my want, but, when it comes down to it, these little darlings offer value beyond belief, reason and probably manufacturing sense too.

More from Headphones week over here with Day 1 over here and Day 2 just beyond.

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Sennheiser launches PC 350 high-end gaming headset

Andy Merrett Gaming, Headphones / Earphones 1 Comment

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Sennheiser has announced their new PC 350 gaming headset, claiming to give the most accurate sound positioning and finest sound quality available in the gaming market.

This round-the-ear, closed headset passively shuts out external noises, and features special shaping of the frequency response which improves the wearer’s ability to detect where a sound is coming from. This should significantly improve reaction times.

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