VisionTek SoundTube Pro Wireless Speaker

Portable speakers is an area, like keyboards and mice, and for a while SSDs everyone seems to have their own model. Even VisionTek who I would normally associate with video cards has gotten into the market. They have their SoundTube Pro Wireless Speaker with a pill like shape only with a large grill across both the front and back. So they sent one over, curious what we thought of it so today I’m going to see what it is all about and find out if it is a good pickup to take out with you this summer while you are enjoying the weather.

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Sennheiser Game Zero

A while back I sat down and took a look at the GSP 300’s from Sennheiser and ended up giving them our Top Honors award because they performed extremely well while still being priced under $100. This put them in line with the few other gaming headphones that I consider to be good quality. My only issue really was their small earcup size because I prefer a larger over the ear design. Well, I have been testing the Sennheiser Game Zero’s, Sennheiser’s over the ear headset design. They are significantly more expensive, but I was curious to see if going higher end will finally really give you that audiophile experience in a proper gaming headset. But fist let’s check them out before I talk about how they performed. 

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Razer Hammerhead BT

When it comes to audio, Razer has actually been in the business for a long time now. Going all the way back to their Barracuda HP-1 headset back in 2006. Then in 2009 they got into the mobile market with the Razer Moray so they aren’t new to the market, they have actually continued to bring out new earbuds a few times now but the new Razer Hammerhead BT’s are their first wireless earbuds. In the past, Razer has stayed within their gaming market but these push out into the mobile market more. They peaked my interest and with summer being a great time to test a set of mobile headphones I got the Hammerhead BT’s in and have been toying around with them. Today let’s check them out and see what they are all about.

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SteelSeries Arctis 7

Late last year I took a look at the Arctis 5 from SteelSeries and I was extremely impressed with their new audio series. It won our Top Honors Award and the Editors Choice and I liked them so much that my wife has been using them for the past 6 months. The only reason I didn’t snatch them up myself was that I wanted something wireless so I kept bugging SteelSeries and when some of the Arctis 7’s came in I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. With a similar design, I have high hopes for their audio performance and I’m really hoping this is going to be the wireless headset that I finally stick with. SO today let’s check them out and see how they perform.

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Patriot Viper V370 and V361 Headsets

When it comes to headsets, I’m typically in the $70 range when suggesting or looking for anything. We rarely get anything cheaper in both because a lot of the big names don’t even try to compete at low price points and because what you do find is normally not very exciting. Well a while back Patriot reached out to me about checking out two of their new headsets and I signed up. They sent over the Viper V370 and the Viper V361. I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than more budget friendly headsets. Well, they came in, I got busy and I’m just now getting around to talking about them so let’s see what is different about them, test them out, then talk a little about where they fit in the market.

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Sound BlasterX Katana

For living rooms, it used to be a big push for multi-speaker configurations with a big receiver. For some people, this is still the goal, especially for surround sound. But recently there has been a trend where people have been moving to soundbars. They take up a lot less space while still being an audio improvement over your TVs speakers and they better fit with today’s ultra-thin TVs. There are some downsides though and performance can be a little limited. Well, Sound Blaster came out with the Sound BlasterX Katana and they don’t even like to put it in the same category as a traditional sound bar. They call it an Under Monitor Audio System aka a UMAS. This is because beyond having speakers under your monitor it has a built-in 224 bit DAC, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder, and 5 drivers all with their own amps. With my wife getting a new desk, we started to look at her options and the Katana from Sound Blaster looked to be a good fit to keep the desktop footprint low by using unused space under her monitors. So today I’m going to check the Katana’s out and see just how they perform.

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Sennheiser GSP 300

When it comes to headphones the Sennheiser brand is well known for their great audio performance both in the enthusiast market and the professional market. They have even been in the gaming market for a while now, I even covered the PC-350’s all the way back in 2009. I was really excited about the PC-350’s back then for their performance and their comfort but the price point was out of range for most regular gamers. It took 8 years but they did finally decide to move into the regular price range of gaming headset. So I’m really excited today to check out the Sennheiser GSP 300’s and see how they compare to the recently improving gaming headset market. Sennheiser finally has a model at a price point that won’t scare people away, but is it too late?

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Logitech G533 Wireless Headset

As someone who prefers good audio quality but also can’t stand being attached to my desk with a wire, I have been on the hunt for the perfect wireless headset for a long time now. I’ve run into a few that I liked and even used for a while but they all seem to have their flaws that become obvious over time. The Logitech G930 for example. I tested it back in 2013 and it performed really well, but I ran into issues trying to use it at LAN events and later it even gave me issues in my office when running other wireless devices. Well, I’m back at it again, this time with Logitech’s G533. In a lot of ways, it is similar to the old G930 and Logitech was happy to tell me about the improvements in wireless performance and even improvements in gaming audio performance, but let’s take a closer look and see what it has going on.

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Antlion Audio ModMic 5

Last June I took a look at the ModMic from Antlion Audio and was impressed with its overall performance and how it opened up new options for quality audio for gamers. I had a few issues with it, but overall it came out with a recommended award. Well in December they introduced their new ModMic 5 and I’ve been playing around with it. Today I’m going to run through what it's all about and see if the new design is an improvement on the already popular design.

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V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

Hi, my name is Wes and I’m addicted to wireless headsets.. I hate to admit it, because I have just about any wired headset I could want in the warehouse, but on my main PC I prefer to use a wireless headset. Over the years I can’t even count the different ways that I have gotten tangled up in a headphone wire or damaged the wire with my chair so years ago I started using wireless headsets. I started with the Corsair Vengeance 1500’s then I went to the Logitech G930’s, and for the past three years I’ve had the SteelSeries H Wireless. I’ve run into multiple issues with reception issues, especially at LAN parties, battery issues, and at one point the Corsairs even just came apart in my hands. The H Wireless held up better and gave me fewer issues because of its swappable battery setup but the audio performance and comfort were never really as good as anything wired. But it's 2016, going on 2017 and I’m feeling saucy. I decided to check out the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. I’ve got the wired version that I take with me to LAN events and love them, so I thought they might finally be the solution to the audio and comfort issues while being wireless so I’ve been giving them a try.

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SteelSeries Arctis 5

In the eight and a half years that I have been doing reviews here at LanOC, I’ve had the opportunity to work with SteelSeries on every one of their headset launches. But in that time none of the new headsets have been a completely new design. They have revamped the H and Siberia lines multiple times and even had a few variations that were close to an all new design like the Siberia Elite. But recently they actually introduced a completely new headset product line called the Arctis. Like their H series they have a couple of variations but for the launch they sent over the Arctis 5 and I’ve been testing it out and I finally have a little time to sit down and talk about it. So let's dive into the new features then see how they perform.

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Monster Fatal1ty FxM 200 Headset

Not everyone who plays games is into e-sports, but there is a large following for e-sports in general, especially a few of the most popular games. Payouts are in the millions of dollars and players are starting to become household names. None of today's players though have found the universal success that Fata1ty has. Fatal1ty paved the way for today's players, won twelve world championship titles, was profiled on MTV’s True Life TV show, and he created his own brand of products. Thorin did a great video covering it all earlier this year. Johnathan Wendel managed to transition huge success across multiple games into a brand. Over the years we have seen a wide variety of products including motherboards, ram, PSUs, and headsets. I actually think a lot of today's gamer crowd may even know him more as that brand than anything else. The reason for the history lesson today is because this past CES Fatal1ty and Monster announced a partnership to bring out new headsets and for a while now I’ve actually had the new Fatal1ty FxM 200 here in the office to test out. So today I’m going to take a closer look at it and see how it performed.

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Gamdias Hephaestus V2 7.1 w/vibration

Back in May, I took a look at a new RGB mechanical keyboard from a company called Gamdias. Well as it turns out they aren’t just in the keyboard market, they mice, mouse pads, and headsets as well. They asked us if I would be interested in checking out one of their latest headsets, the Hephaestus v2. I read a little about the headset and on top of it being a 7.1 headset it also has something called Bass Impact that vibrates around your ears. As someone who enjoys a little bass but doesn’t want to lose my hearing early in life, I had them send the headset over to give it a little testing. After spending a little time with the headset I’m finally going to run you guys through its features and my overall experience, so let’s dive into it.

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Bose SoundLink Mini II

It’s crazy just how much smartphones have changed things over the last 9 years. We went from carrying around a phone to carrying around a PC replacement for some as well as things like a camera. Even with everything that smartphones are capable of, we can still expand their reach with a few accessories. This is why our friend over at Verizon sell a whole variety of things in their store beyond phones and phone chargers. To give us an example they sent over a box with two new products they carry. Today I’m taking a look at the first of those two products, the Bose SoundLink Mini II. This is a small portable battery powered speaker from Bose. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks around the office and today I’m going to dive into its features and how it performed.

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Antlion Audio ModMic

It might be news to people who don’t consider themselves to be audiophiles, but for the most part gaming headsets aren’t exactly known for having top level audio performance. They are expensive, but they generally are focused on styling, and adding features that can be used in marketing when promoting. I’m not saying they are bad, but there are better options when you drop the microphone and start looking at headphones. You can also sometimes save some money going this route. This is why when you walk around a LAN you are going to see a few people sporting big headphones. The problem of course is for online gaming you are going to need a microphone. There are a few different options with the most popular being microphones sitting on your desk. They can be cheap old school microphones or production quality microphones that costs as much or more than your headphones. Well if you are looking for something that is closer to a traditional gaming headset you need a microphone on your headphones and Portland, Oregon based Antlion Audio stepped up to fill this void with their ModMic. Today I’m checking out the 4th iteration of the ModMic to see how they perform in combination with our V-Moda headphones.

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SteelSeries Siberia 200 and Apex M500

It’s funny, I've actually been writing long enough to watch companies that were just getting started back when I started LanOC grow and become big in their market. SteelSeries is a great example of this, when we first started working with them they just had a few mouse pads. Well we have watched them jump completely into the peripheral market and into the audio market. Its been so long in fact that we have seen great products that they introduced relatively early on like the Siberia v2 and the 6Gv2 go to make way for newer versions. Well I was really happy to see a few of the new products, specifically the Siberia 200 and the Apex M500 seem to be an indication of SteelSeries going back to their roots. So today im going to take a look at both and see how they compare to both the past and present models.

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HyperX Cloud Revolver

It’s amazing sometimes how quickly things can change. Back in 2014 when Kingston introduced their first gaming headset, the original Cloud, it was a little surprising. It didn’t take very long though before we started seeing them a lot at LAN events and people were talking very highly of them. The same for their Cloud II’s as well. Well the some of you might not know but the Cloud was licensed from Qpad with Kingston tweaking a few things on the sound engineering side of things. Well recently they introduced a new headset called the Cloud Revolver and this time around everything is designed in house. Today I’m going to check it out and see if it stands up to the very high standard that the original Cloud designs set.   

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Aftershokz Gamez

While we focus a lot on PC and gaming products, I do try to keep an eye out on a variety of different technologies. One of those technologies that we have seen pop up from time to time but has never made it into gaming products is bone conductive audio. A lot of you might remember the jawbone as an example but I also remember a company that I saw at CES back in 2013 called Aftershokz and their headsets for joggers. Well during the holidays as usual as I’m getting spammed with CES emails an email from Aftershokz caught my eye because they introduced a new gaming focused model called the Aftershokz Gamez. While im not a fan of the use of Z’s in the brand and model name I did want to check it out and see what the tech and the product was all about. After spending time with them today I’m going to sit down and go over how they performed so check it out.

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Sound Blaster Roar 2

Over the past few years it seems like everyone has been jumping into the portable bluetooth speaker market. You have trendy brands like beats pushing it heavily and even smaller companies bringing them out to slip into the market as well. Well Creative Labs got in fairly early with the original Sound Blaster Roar but I never took a look at it. Frankly portable audio isn’t exactly something that fits in my life very much, I’m typically in my car if outside of the house and in the house I have more than enough to output sound including the Sound Blaster X7 that I recently reviewed. That said a while back Creative Labs asked if I would be interested in checking out the Roar 2 and I figured it was about time I took a look. I’ve been using it around the house and whatnot for a while and now I can finally sit down and dive into its features and talk a little about my experience. So hang on, let’s take a close look at the Sound Blaster Roar 2.

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Sound Blaster X7 and E-MU XM7 bookshelf speakers

Like most of you PC and along with it my office is almost like a living being, slowly evolving. Every year or two I’m changing out my video cards, my motherboard, even keyboards and mice. It’s weird though, looking back there are only a few things that seem to be very consistent, my desk and for the most part my speakers. Well when I was replacing my desk last fall I decided that I wanted to move from the Corsair SP2500’s to something new. Now keep in mind, the Corsairs sounded good as did the Klipsch’s that I have before that. So to continue to evolve I wanted to go a new direction. Well the timing was good as Creative Labs had just recently introduced their X7 and more recently their E-MU XM7 bookshelf speakers. I loved the X5 when I covered it and for a long time I even used it over the onboard on my PC but the X7 looked to be a much more fitting permanent option. Well I’ve been testing both the X7 and the XM7 speakers for a while now and we can finally sit down and go over what they are and how well they performed.

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