Consumer Audio (5)
Consumer audio products
Audio on gaming computers is one of the things that gets overlooked when people are building their systems. While they are busy making sure they have a powerful CPU, GPU and enough RAM they seem to forget that audio is an important part of the gaming experience. With good audio the gaming experience becomes more immersive. Of course even if you do get a good audio card you still need something that can reproduce the audio properly or that is just a waste of money. Headphones, Speakers, etc. all need to be able to do their job or you lose a part of the overall gaming experience. With that in mind we are taking a look at set of gaming headphones from Cooler Master’s CMStorm line, the Ceres 300. Let’s see if this set of headphones can bring out the best in your gaming audio.
Audio is a part of the computing experience that is very often overlooked when people are building their system. We see this every day when someone is talking about putting together an HTPC (Home Theater PC), a gaming system or even a general usage system. They stick with the audio on the motherboard and call it good enough. Even when someone takes the time to pick out a good sound card, they often buy $20 speakers to play this sound through. Today we are going to take a look at a combination audio card and headset from Rosewill this is the RHM-6308. The RHM-6308 is listed as a Circumaural Gaming Headset; we are going to see if this $30 headset can live up to its name.
After being impressed with the House of Marley’s Redemption Song On-Ear headphones we have now spent some time with their Zion In-Ear head phones. These follow in the same style as the Redemption Song headphones and are made of recycled or renewable materials. They also follow in the trend of being tuned for high quality sound and are designed for use with Apple’s lineup of products (iPad, iPod, iPhone) but will work with just about any media player or smart phone (with a few exceptions). With a price tag of $99.99 we are hoping that these headphones give us the same level of performance that we saw with the Redemption Song. Follow the bouncing ball and sing along as we tell your just how well they perform.
Have you noticed that the selection for good quality audio components for the PC is dwindling? I mean the number of companies that make add-in sound cards, good quality analog (and digital) speaker sets and yes even head phones (for those of us that have to maintain a low volume presence). There was a time when the choices in audio gear was large enough that you had to do quite a bit of research to get something that fit right. Now, well the pickings are slim. However, just because they are limited does not mean there are not any good ones out there. As we recently found with the Cine5 from Asus some companies are getting back into the audio game. We had the chance to talk to Asus about their recent improvements in quality audio products (both on their boards and their own line of audio gear). Asus said they recognize that gamers, enthusiasts and HTPC owners are looking for better audio from their components; as such Asus is moving to provide these parts at all levels to meet this need. One of the products they have released is a set of plug and play wireless headphones; the Travelite HS-1000W. These headphones operate from a single USB audio dongle that acts as both audio processing device and charging connection. They are lightweight and while not exactly “stylish” still look pretty good. Now it is time for us to see if they work well or not.
Asus is a common name in computer components. We have taken a look at more than our share of their products from the mundane to the extreme. One area that Asus has been taking more of an interest is the higher-end side of the HTPC market. Here is where things get interesting. Unlike gamers, or overclockers a person that wants to build a high-end HTPC is looking for the best combination of performance, cooling and power draw. If you can build it fast, cool and power efficient then they will want that. But building an HTPC is not only about what you drop inside the system. You also need some good hardware on the final end of the output side. Not to worry, Asus has you covered there too. They have their own line of HD capable monitors and even speaker sets to keep you happy. We are taking a look at t new one to hit the market. It is a speaker bar that is capable of providing 5.1 surround sound to your viewing area. Called the Cine5, this small and stylish speaker system runs for about $130 on the internet. We are going to take a look and see if it is worth it.