2019 Coulda, Shoulda, and Almost Did
Antlion Audio ModMic Wireless
THE name in attachable wired microphones, Antion Audio changed things up with the addition of a wireless version of their always popular ModMic. Wireless made the ModMic much simpler to use but I did come out of the review with a few areas where I thought a second version in the future could improve. The only reason I haven’t been using the ModMic wireless daily is because I need to actually break down and invest in an even better pair of headphones.
Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset
The Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset is without a doubt the best headset I tested all year. Performance is amazing both on the microphone and headphone sides and they are comfortable. They also actually implemented software features that I might care to use. The only reason they didn’t win out on an editor's choice award was because I have been happy with the Arctis Pro Wireless headset I was already using and I didn’t have any plans to go back to being attached by a wire. But that doesn’t take anything away from the G Pro X, but hopefully in 2020 Logitech brings out a wireless version with swappable batteries and I will switch right away!
AMD Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT
AMD’s Navi launch brought AMD back into the picture with mid to high-end performance and had pricing significantly better than Nvidia as well. The only thing keeping the reference designs from winning out was their heat and noise. Aftermarket cards did fix that later but also add a lot more in pricing and a few have their own heat or noise issues as well. Most importantly though, I think there are driver or firmware issues still holding things back. Even as recently as last week I have still run into issues when manually setting fan speeds which was an issue I complained about at the launch and getting consistent results is still a big issue across all of Navi. Requiring lots of retesting as well, at least on our X570 test bench. I suspect 2020 is going to be the year of Navi though. AMD does a great job of constantly trying to improve on issues, as seen with past drivers and with the Ryzen launch as well.
SteelSeries Sensei Ten
The Sensei Ten from SteelSeries is exactly what lots of people, including myself, have been asking for from SteelSeries for years now. Just getting a proper sensor and keeping the exact shape that everyone loves would have gotten an Editors Choice award any other year. But this year everyone has stepped up their game and now what would have been an instant replacement of any mouse on my desk now feels a little heavy and the rubber finish is a concern considering the Sensei Raw that has been in my LAN bag up until this year when the coating just all at once turned into a gooey mess. Still, the Sensei Ten is a great mouse, but a perfect example of an “almost did” or a “coulda” if it came out a year ago.
Jaybird Vista Wireless Earbuds
The Jaybird Vistas impressed me with their performance and won our Top Honors award. The only thing keeping them from an Editors Choice award was me not really using earbuds in general except when mowing the yard. With me testing them late in the year they just didn’t see much use post review, but I suspect unless something even better comes along before the spring that they will get heavy use once the weather warms up.