Soundcore Space A40 and Space Q45

Soundcore has a whole series of earbuds and headphones under their life brand including the Life Q30’s which if how much they are talked about on the Anker subreddit are extremely popular. Well, today Soundcore is launching a new lineup they are calling Space and while some of the Life models have adaptive noise canceling both the Space A40 and Space Q45 launched today have stepped that up a notch with upgraded adaptive noise canceling that is advertised to reduce noises by up to 98%. That is a step up from the Q30’s for example that could do up to 95% and would explain the new Space branding. So today I’m going to check out both the Space Q45 and Space A40s to see what they are all about.

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Soundcore Trance Go and Soundcore Motion Boom

It’s hard to believe that it was four years ago when I last took a look at a variety of portable speaker options. At that time we were getting ready for our first summer with a pool and looking at our options for poolside music. I ended up finding a nice speaker for in the shower and a speaker for by the pool that my wife and I both loved. While that speaker is still working, I’ve been wondering if we could have a little more kick and curious what other options are out there. The chance to check out speakers from Anker’s audio brand Soundcore came up and they had a few options that were portable but might also have a little more volume and bass so today I’m going to check them out and see if they fit the bill. We have the Soundcore Trance Go and the Soundcore Motion Boom, let’s check them out.

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Sound Blaster Katana V2

Between reviews and my love for tech as a whole means that a lot of the hardware around our house changes up over time and it is rare that any one thing sticks around for an extended period of time. This has been the focus of the year-end roundups where I check back in to see what hardware over the years I’m still using. There have been two consistent on there. I’m still using the Sound Blaster X7, six years in now, though I would love to see a new version of that come out. The other is the Sound Blaster Katana soundbar that my wife has been using. We liked the Katana so much that we ended up getting a second one to use in our living room as well. Well, Sound Blaster brought out the Katana 2 this past fall and today I’m going to see how it compares to the original. Is it worth the upgrade? Let’s find out!

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MSI Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic

MSI has been expanding their reach for a while now and in a lot of ways, you can build a complete setup from the MSI lineup with the exception of your CPU and ram. They have been in the gaming peripherals market for a long time now including a range of headphones. But surprisingly they haven’t jumped into the dedicated microphone market, until now. MSI just recently introduced their new Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic that as the name implies is focused on the streaming market. I’ve had the chance to check out a wide variety of microphone options over the years and I’m excited to see what MSI’s take on it is. At first glance, their microphone looks a lot like some of the other options but MSI has avoided software altogether to keep things simpler for easier setup which I dig. So let’s check out what else it has going on and how it performs compared to some of the competition.

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Jaybird Vista 2

Back in 2019 I took a look at a set of wireless earbuds from Jaybird called the Vistas and was extremely impressed with their performance. Even with having multiple other wireless earbuds come in, I have stuck with the Vistas as my go-to earbud using them anytime I’m doing outside work. Especially when mowing the yard. They don’t have active noise cancelation, but they sounded great and did a good job of sticking in my ears even with the vibration of riding around on the mower. When I saw that Jaybird was introducing a new earbud, the Vista 2 I was very interested in what they had changed. Low and behold, one of the big changes was adding active noise cancelation. Today I’m going to check out the new Vista 2’s and see what else Jaybird has changed as well as putting them through the normal use to see how well they work. Will they replace the originals for me? Well, I can get a little attached to what I’m used to, but we will see!

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ModMic 480i bundle

Over the years I’ve had the chance to check out the ModMic from Antlion Audio in nearly all of its different variations. My first introduction to them was on Massdrop (now Drop) and later seeing them at our LAN events. But after getting to check them out, I was impressed with their performance, sitting worlds ahead of all of the microphones available on gaming headsets. The biggest downside is you do have to pick out a nice pair of headphones to go with them which can quickly start to add up. Well, Antlion Audio has helped with that by putting together bundles that pair a ModMic of your choosing with a range of headphones. With options ranging from a $99 combo up to a $259 option when paired with the wireless ModMic. While I’ve previously taken a look at the ModMic USB, they sent over their ModMic 480i bundle to check out. So today I’m going to see how the $149 bundle compares with headsets like the Arctis Pro, Kraken Ultimate, Cloud Revolver, and the Pro X which are all in a similar range and from the normal gaming brands.

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Sound Blaster X3

I’ve been using the Creative Labs X7 DAC to power my desktop speakers and wired headphones for almost 6 years now and have consistently been impressed with the performance, especially when it comes to having it paired up with my speakers. But I rarely run wired headphones because switching between the devices is complicated and you can’t use both at the same time. Not to mention the X7 gets toasty warm on the front when I use it with headphones. All of these issues have had me thinking about adding a dedicated headphone DAC into the mix and given the performance I have seen from the X7 it only makes sense that I would give their Sound Blaster X3 a look. So today I’m going to see what the X3 has to offer and then test out its performance to see if it fits the bill. I’ve heard great things, so I have high expectations. Let’s go check it out!

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Elgato Wave:1

Elgato has made a name for themselves by focusing on streamers and content creators with everything from capture cards, lighting, green screens, and their stream deck. The one area that they seemed to avoid for a long time was the one area that other companies had taken notice with at all, microphones. That changed recently with the introduction of their Wave:1 and Wave:3 condenser microphones. Over the years I’ve had the chance to check out a variety of desktop microphone options, so I was excited to see that Elgato was getting into the market. Given Elgato’s history of streamer support, I’m curious to see their take on the desktop mic.

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Blue Yeti X

With more and more people working from home, taking up streaming as a potential side gig, and others just looking to improve their audio quality. Desktop microphones have taken off in popularity, even with microphones on gaming headsets finally starting to improve. One of the biggest names in desktop microphones for PCs has been the brand Blue with their Snowball microphone as well as their Yeti Microphone. Well, the Yeti received an updated version late in 2019 before all of the craziness of 2020 hit and I have been using the Blue Yeti X for a while now. With my review of the Philips X3, thought it would be a great time to take a look at a desktop microphone that could be paired with a higher-end pair of headphones like the X3 so today I’m going to check out the Yeti X and see how it performs compared to other desktop, add on, and headset microphones.

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Philips Fidelio X3

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to test out an extremely wide range of headphones and headsets. In that time I have refined exactly what I like in a headset and none of the headsets I have had come in checked the main few bells for me. I love full-sized headphones and headsets, I have a big head and love when the cup isn’t pushing or touching my ears. For the headband, I prefer a suspension design. I love velour padding, this is one of those options that almost none of the normal designs have other than the old Sennheiser’s and recently Steel Series offered them as an upgrade. Then of course I want solid audio quality and an open design if possible to keep from getting to hot. Well, Philips sent a note over about their successor to the Fidelio X2 which not surprisingly is named the Fidelio X3 and they have the velour ear cups, suspension headband, and a large open-air design. But do they also sound good? I’ve been using them for the last few weeks and with them coming out this month I wanted to take a closer look at them and check out their performance.

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Creative Outlier Gold Wireless In Ears

After finally switching over to a phone without a headphone jack late last fall, I have covered a few different in-ear wireless earbud options looking to see what has worked best for me ahead of all of the normal spring yard work which is where I spend a lot of time listening to music. It would be crazy to not check out what our friends over at Creative have to offer considering I am using Creative products for my desktop audio on my PC and my wife's PC. They have their Outlier Wireless In-Ears in the air version and their upgraded gold edition which adds more battery life and works with their Super X-Fi software. So today I’m going to check out the Outlier Gold’s to see if they will be the ideal solution to put to use here soon for yard work.

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Philips TAPH805BK Noise Cancelling Headphones

My first few experiences with active noise canceling weren’t all that great. It did cut out noise, but I was also often left with a headache or pressure in my ears from it. In the end, I accepted that maybe active noise canceling just didn’t jive for me. Well, this year, with my phones all dropping their headphone jack I opened myself back up to Bluetooth audio devices. When I saw that Philips introduced a new wireless noise-canceling headphone I thought I would be open-minded and try active noise canceling hoping that I might be able to cut out some of the noise when working remotely. ’ve had the Philips TAPH805BK’s on hand and today I am camping out at the dealer waiting on car repairs. What a perfect chance to put them to the test!

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Antlion Audio Mod Mic USB

Over the years I have had a whole list of different Antlion Audio Mod Mics come into the office. The Wireless Mod Mic being the most recent and the biggest change they have made. But the formula for the standard Mod Mics has been about the same, top-level microphone performance that can be attached to quality headphones and you have a high-end gaming headset on the cheap and in most cases well above the performance possible with most gaming headsets. Other than the wireless model, they have all had a standard audio jack but that has now changed. Antlion Audio has now paired their always popular microphone with an ADC chipset (analog to digital converter, not an Attack Damage Carry from LoL) which allows for it to be hooked up directly to USB for those who don’t have an audio card or DAC that matches the quality of the Mod Mic. So today I’m going to check out the new Mod Mic USB and see if it lives up to the very high expectations that past models have set. 

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Jaybird Vista Wireless Earbuds

Okay, I’ve been a little late to the party on in-ear Bluetooth earbuds. I own a stack of higher-end wired earbuds and I have been sticking with them for a while now. I’m sure I’m not the only one being a little stubborn both because of the money invested, but also because wired performance has been a lot better. Well I recently took a look at a pair of wireless earbuds to use when out mowing and I liked them. But they haven’t really overtaken the wired performance yet, so I am still on the lookout for a set to wow me. Especially now that my own phone no longer has a wired headphone jack. Jaybird is a Logitech brand and as much as it pains me to even bring up, but with the holidays coming up they were showing off some of their products and the Jaybird Vista caught my eye. Today I’m going to check them out and see if they can finally replace my wired earbuds for good. They might even potentially make a good open for those of you shopping over the holidays, but lets reserve that for after I’ve tested them.

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Corsair VOID RGB ELITE Wireless

Corsair launched their Void Pro series of headsets back in 2017 and that included both wired and wireless models. Two years later they are relooking at the lineup with a new Void Elite series. They sent over one specific model, the VOID RGB ELITE Wireless. You can see how the Pro is now Elite and RGB was, of course, added into the name as well. This new model comes in at the same $99.99 price point of the original and today I’m going to check out what is different with the new model and I’m going to see how it performs. I love wireless headsets, years ago I got tired of running over my own cord and getting up and pulling on my cord, causing damage. I’m curious if Corsair’s headset will be a good option for others who have had those same issues.

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Philips UpBeat SHB2505 Wireless Earbuds

Anyone who knows me would never consider me to be an overly active person. I’m white and pasty and well beyond overweight. But there are times you need to be an adult and slip outside and do some maintenance around the house. For me weakly that includes mowing the yard. This is also one of the only chances I have to put some music on my phone and toss earbuds in and jam. After moving I upgraded from a push mower to a riding mower, but one of the downsides of this has been issues with me pulling my earbuds out by the cord when driving and when driving around low trees. It’s a big concern and frankly, mowers can be dangerous so I have been thinking about trying out wireless earbuds for a while. Well a few weeks ago Philips sent over their UpBeat wireless Earbuds and I have been playing with them. Today I’m going to take a look at them and talk about how they have worked for me. Let’s go check them out!

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Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

The pro lineup of mice and keyboards from Logitech has been by far my favorite thing that they have been working on over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong I like a lot of their other products, but the pro products have been a lot more subtle with their styling and clearly more in tune with the enthusiasts that you will find on product specific forums and subreddits. For example, the keyboard enthusiasts hating the “gaming” fonts used on so many keyboards and giving the pro keyboard thin bezels. On the mouse side of things, the enthusiasts on Reddit are extremely vocal about mice needing to be lightweight and aiming for shapes that are similar to classic mouse designs. Well, last year Logitech introduced their pro headset which moved away from the scratchy materials and went with a cleaner styling. Here almost a year and a half later they are introducing their refreshed lineup with the G Pro X Gaming Headset and the G Pro Gaming Headset. Today I’m going to check out the X model and see if it can win me over. I haven’t taken a look at a Logitech headset in a few years, I’m excited to see how the G Pro X performs. Let’s check it out!

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Corsair HS35

If everyone could afford to pick up high-end headphones everyone would have them but for people getting their first gaming setup (PC, Console, or Mobile) or someone who wants to save money for the “go fast” parts it is important to have a lineup that fits that budget. I’ve had a few headsets come in that fit that range but up until now, Corsair has stayed a little higher with mid-range offerings like their HS50 and HS60. Well, today they are introducing a new more budget-friendly option in the HS35. It is still a full size over the hear headset but at a $39.99 price point. Not only that but Corsair is offering four different color options which is a little unusual for them but it fits perfectly in this price range. I can imagine brothers getting different color HS35’s to prevent fighting or LAN centers using them to prevent confusion. Either way, I have been testing them out for a few days now and with them launching today I thought I would give everyone the rundown on their features and performance. So let’s check them out.

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Antlion Audio ModMic Wireless

While looking for the best gaming audio setup over the years I spent a lot of time testing different gaming headsets and what I found was that a lot of companies focused more on making their gaming headsets “look” gaming more than they tried to really give you the best possible audio experience. This has improved over the last few years some, but still the best possible configuration, in my opinion, is a traditional set of high-quality headphones design for music use and then to provide your own microphone in the form of a table microphone or an add on microphone like the ModMic which I have reviewed twice in the past (ModMic 4 and ModMic 5). The desktop microphone is more convenient but often picks up any noise around you including your keyboard and the ModMics both performed flawlessly but you do have to fight with a second cord in addition to your headphones. Well, Antlion Audio now has a solution to that, their ModMic Wireless and that is what I’m going to take a look at today.

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SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC and Arctis Pro Wireless

All the way back in November 2016 I took a look at the SteelSeries Arctis 5 and was impressed with the direction they were going. It even earned out top honors and an editors choice award. But I was waiting on the change to check out the Arctis 7 because I hate getting tangled in the wires. Well later in mid-2017 I covered the Arctis 7 and while I was really happy with it I felt like it had lost a few features from the H Wireless that were great. Well, we are back at it again, only this time SteelSeries has brought out two headsets for the high end of their product line with the Arctis Pro name. One is the Arctis Pro Wireless, I can’t wait to see how that compares to the Arctis 7 that I have been using for the past year. The others are wired Arctis Pro’s, they are the same headset only one also comes with what they call the GameDAC, a desktop DAC for those who don’t have a high-end audio card or DAC already. Today I will be checking out that version alongside of the wireless to see if both are worth their wallet busting price points.

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