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1:30 PM on 10.25.2014

Smell the ashes while listening to City 17

I've been a fan of the various You Are Listening To... streams for a few years now. Initially, you could listen to the police banter of various North American cities while a stream of ambient and instrumental music played at ...

Alasdair Duncan


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Mistwalker Announces Upcoming Terra Battle Concert

Terra Battle concert planning is now underway as the popular mobile-RPG surpasses 1 million downloads in less than a month. For more information on upcoming milestones and recently unlocked milestones, please visit Terra Battle's Download Starter.






Review: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC photo
Review: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC
by Dale North

Before I tell you why you need this DAC or any other, let me tell you what it actually is. 

Think of a Digital to Analog Converter as an external upgrade for the circuitry of your audio device's innards. Every modern audio device, from your MP3 player to your gaming PC, has a little chip in it that takes the digital sound information and changes it into something you can hear; this chip is also a DAC. But the difference is that the external DAC, the upgrade, will be geared specifically for quality conversion, whereas the built-in one from your mass market device is likely just barely doing the job.

Spending even the smallest bit on a DAC will make appreciable changes in the sound quality of any of these devices, as sound quality is only as good as its source.

In short, get a DAC, plug it in, and enjoy much improved sound and music. Hear your headphones/speakers like never before.

That's exactly what the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC does.

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3:00 PM on 02.03.2014

PS4 firmware 1.60 adds support for Pulse headsets

As of a system update going live late tonight, PlayStation 4 owners with an official Pulse or Pulse Elite Edition headset will now be able to use their device with the console. That took a while, didn't it? With that support...

Jordan Devore



Review: Polk N1 Gaming SurroundBar photo
Review: Polk N1 Gaming SurroundBar
by Dale North

I don't have the best history with sound bars. I had this bigger JBL one that sounded nice, but it stopped working. Kaput. I tried to replace it with one of Sony's budget models, but that one sounded so bad that I laughed at it. And I returned it.

I ended up with a discounted Samsung model that you'd probably find on the shelves of any electronics store right now. I hate it. It sounds like someone popped one of my eardrums. The wireless subwoofer is neat, but it sounds like someone mumbling loudly in the next room. It's unplugged and now in one of my closets. Do you want it? You can have it.

Polk sent along one for us to test out. The Polk N1 Surroundbar is a gaming-focused product, and one of the first officially licensed Xbox One products. I wasn't sure about how a gaming-focused soundbar would hold up, but I was pleasantly surprised after spending some time with it.

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6:00 PM on 01.10.2014

Polk Audio's Melee headphones are nice, but expensive

Polk Audio has crafted gaming headphones called the Melee that was created in tandem with the sound engineers of the Halo and Forza series to deliver top-quality sound. It's a pretty ambitious project, and overall, I'd say it paid off. I'm impressed, but $200 is pretty hefty for a device that's mostly tailored towards one console.

Chris Carter

11:00 AM on 01.10.2014

Premium audio brands get into gaming headsets at CES

The business of gaming audio is growing so fast that the makers of many premium audio product brands are throwing their hats into the ring. Several new gaming headsets debuted at CES 2014, with entries from top names like Aud...

Dale North

3:15 AM on 01.09.2014

The best PC desktop speakers we found at CES 2014

PC desktop speakers usually suck. Most of the ones you see in electronics stores center around a particle board subwoofer and satellite speakers that remind me (and sometimes sound like) the cups with string tied to them that...

Dale North

3:30 PM on 11.18.2013

Dementium II HD sound effects provided by schnauzer

A new developer diary for Dementium II HD has been unleashed upon an unwitting world. This time, sound designer Morné Marais goes over some of his approaches to creating audio for the game, always crucial to evoking the proper mood in a horror title.  Who knew such a cute little mutt could be responsible for so many horrible sounds?

Conrad Zimmerman

7:00 AM on 10.11.2013

PS4: Your headsets won't work at launch, some not at all

This is a PS4 PSA. Like the Xbox One, the PS4's compatibility with existing headsets leaves a lot to be desired. Both consoles come with a fully functional headset, mind, but that's little consolation for those with expensive...

Steven Hansen

3:00 PM on 06.18.2013

Impressions: Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

My experiences with sub-$100 headphones haven't been the most positive. I've gone through quite a few pairs from a variety of manufacturers, and have generally had issues with either comfort, durability, and/or sound/micropho...

Aerox

10:00 PM on 05.15.2013

Turtle Beach becomes official audio partner for Twitch

Turtle Beach has entered an exclusive agreement with Twitch to stock the streaming site's eSports and game events with audio equipment. Specifically, the Ear Force XP SEVEN and Z SEVEN headsets will be used for consoles and P...

Jordan Devore





11:30 PM on 03.25.2013

BioShock Infinite rocks your head with Pulse headset mode

Sony's super nice Pulse Elite Edition headsets will see the release of an exclusive Audio Mode for BioShock Infinite tomorrow. Sony says that this is the first time they've partnered with a game developer to deliver a special...

Dale North

9:30 PM on 01.08.2013

CES: Ears-on with 3 new Turtle Beach headsets

I had a chance to listen to a few of the newly announced headsets from Turtle Beach at CES today. Their top option is the new Seven series of headsets, which comes in three configurations: XP Seven for consoles, Z Seven for P...

Dale North



Review: Designears photo
Review: Designears
by Daniel Starkey

It’s not very often that I get a chance to review something bad. It’s even rarer for me to come across headphones that I just hate. Truth is, most things that you spend $50 or more on are pretty good. Mediocrity can often cost a pretty penny, but straight-up awful headphones come free with every iPod.

So it’s with a heavy, if slightly amused heart that I bring you this review for Designears, a $70 pair of headphones that are objectively garbage. 

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Review: Palo Alto Cubik photo
Review: Palo Alto Cubik
by Daniel Starkey

If you haven’t been able to tell by the fairly large number of headphone reviews I’ve done for this site, I have a thing for audio equipment. It's probably the single biggest investment I make beyond my daily caffeine intake.

As a result, I have a tendency to care quite about about how my things sound and what I can do to get the most from my music, movies, and games. With that in mind, and the sad realization that, while I may want to, I cannot spend my whole life with headphones on, I decided to take a look at the rather unique-looking Palo Alto Cubik desktop speakers.

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Review: Astro A50 photo
Review: Astro A50
by Daniel Starkey

It doesn't take much to really improve the gaming experience. Better seating, better lighting, better company, etc. are sometimes all it takes to go from an utterly insufferable trek through your simulated world of choice to a magical journey that will keep you coming back for hours on end.

Upgrading your audio setup is often one of the best ways to squeeze every bit of rich detail from a game. Better speakers can kindle a warmer affinity for the creaking, tired breaths of Rapture or give that extra edge over the competition. Astro claims that its new line of wireless gaming headsets can not only keep up with their wired cousins, but that can raise the standard for gaming audio quality.

From what I've heard, they are absolutely right.

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