MCV lists the must-have audio products for gamers during peak season in our mammoth audio peripherals guide. Check out the latest audio hardware from the biggest brands and distributors.
Venom has all bases covered with its VX Comm series, a range of headsets that promise immersive audio, exceptional comfort and flexible controls.
VX Comm’s Freedom Headset (£19.99) looks to provide PS3 gamers clear sound, a luxurious feel and, thanks to its wireless Bluetooth technology, offers impressive game chat. A microphone boom arm also gives players ultimate positioning control.
Venom are ensuring that 360 consumers aren’t left out with the VX Comm’s Elite Headset (£14.99), a device that continues the brand’s focus on clarity and comfort but adds an adjustable volume control via a cable port to the controller.
Bringing 360 and PS3 players together is VX Comm’s Fusion Communicator (£29.99), a lightweight model that builds upon the successes of the popular Response Communicator by providing clear controls, and a design that positions around the outer ear for a perfect fit.
Finally, fans of Super Mario can enjoy listening to audio through character earbuds (£14.99) that sport the iconic Mushroom logo (pictured above) and are compatible with the DSi, DSi XL and the 3DS.
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Mad Catz has a trio of headsets designed to delight gamers, each from its highly acclaimed Tritton brand.
The Tritton 720+ 7.1 Surround Sound Headset (£129.99) gives both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners a complete Dolby enhanced gaming experience.
With this upgraded audio quality, gamers will want to play for longer and consumers who are no stranger to marathon gaming sessions can look forward to trying out the set as it has been designed specifically with comfort in mind. It also features independent game and voice volume control.
Building upon the Tritton AX Pro, the Tritton Pro+ 5.1 Surround Headset (£149.99) features eight speakers spread across two earpieces to form three-dimensional audio and consumers can even customise the volume controls for front, rear, centre and subwoofer channels.
Finally, the Tritton Kunai for PlayStation 3, Vita, Wii and DS comes in up to three colours and maintains the brand’s focus on comfort.
Realtime is distributing some acclaimed Sennheiser headphones along with some other lines catered towards the dedicated gamer.
The Sennheiser range offers players clear audio and a comfortable design, with the X320 (£69.99) bringing consumers a noise-cancelling microphone that ensures clear chat with online players.
The higher priced Sennheiser U320, at £109.99, is a headset that features Circle Flex ear cups that keeps a player’s head cool through an open acoustic design, which automatically adjusts to a the user’s head.
Alongside the Sennheiser models, Realtime is also distributing a duo of Razer Chimera headsets. The Razer Chimera 2.1 (£79.99) caters for the dedicated gamer with a battery life of up to 12 hours.
The wireless Chimera 5.1 (£169.99) headset boasts 5.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound that’s free of external interference that could damage the experience. Finally, the Sound Blaster Recon3D Omega Wireless (£209.99) includes high quality 50mm drivers and award-winning THX TruStudio Pro customisable audio enhancements.
Interactive entertainment hardware and accessory designer Guillemot has a new wireless speaker for PCs and Macs from it Hercules brand.
The Hercules WAE Wireless Speaker for PC and Mac (£179.99) allows gamers to transform their computers into a stereo system with a peak power of 25W.
The included USB dongle means that the user can wirelessly play music stored on the computer to the speaker and with a lengthy battery life, players can now listen to up 20 hours of audio at medium volume with a range of 20 meters.
The speaker comes with a remote control that can be attached to the centre of the device and a 3.5mm mini-jack line input enables it to connect with any other audio device.
Distributor meroncourt will be rolling out a range of audio peripherals featuring some iconic characters and brands.
Peppa Pig fans can look forward to belting out the hits with the help of a Peppa Pig CD Boombox with Microphone (£49.99). A handle makes this piece of kit easy to pick up and carry around, perfect for the hairbrush superstar on the road.
Fans of Hello Kitty can enjoy Hello Kitty pink earphones that feature 10mm speakers, detachable earbuds and a metallic charm of Kitty herself.
Designer clothes label Bench has also put its name to Rhythm Geo headphones (£39.99). Compatible with iPhone and iPad, this headset features a colourful over-the-head design and ear cup that can cut out ambient noise, amplify bass. It also has a headband cushion for comfort.
Bench earbuds (£24.99) in electric blue are also available.
Finally, the punch-packing Speedlink Bazz Stereo headset (£27.99) provides gamers with a large set that is equal part comfort, equal part power and presents crystal clear audio for devices ranging from smartphones to PCs.
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Gem’s range of peripherals are all designed to satisfy audiophiles including headsets by SteelSeries, one of the leading manufacturers of gaming audio products.
The full-size, but lightweight SteelSeries Siberia V2 Pink headset (£81.59) has been developed in cooperation with professional gamers and features thicker ear cups for both comfort and outside sound isolation.
The SteelSeries Flux Headset (£79.99) is designed for users on the go and can be tailored by the consumer thanks to customisable cushions, cables and side plates.
Elsewhere, PC gamers can experience their audio in impressive 7.1 surround sound thanks to the Plantronics GameCom 780 USB headset (£70). Built to survive, the headset has strong cords and joints and can be simply stored with built-in spin joints allowing the earpods to lay flat.
Also, the minimalist three-piece 12W Krator N4-21U12B Speaker (£34.99) features a 3.5mm audio cable that allows the set to connect with consoles, MP3s and any audio device.
Finally, for those who like their speakers to carry a little more oomph, the TDK Sound Cube Audio System (£199.99) looks to be an ideal choice. Delivering multi-directional sound, this compact peripheral features an equalizer that visualises beats.
Inputs include USB, 3.5mm and auxiliary ports, which enable connection with iPod, iPhone, smartphone or USB flash drive. Those blessed with a pair of lungs or handy with an instrument can also plug in their microphones and guitars.
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A series of iconic characters and brands are gracing the latest audio offering from IGS Audio.
Fans of those feathered pig slayers can use the Angry Birds Gaming Bird Buds for the 3DS. Included in the package is a screen wipe, a cloth carry bag and earbuds that feature in-line volume control.
Console players can pick the Angry Birds Deluxe Twin Channel Headsets. With two models, one for the PS3 and one for the 360. These headsets feature independent game sound and voice volume controls that offer clear gameplay noises and online chat.
Continuing the crazed animal trend are the Rabbids Gaming and Music headsets. These officially licensed peripherals feature ear cushions that provide both comfort and clarity and are compatible with consoles, smartphones, laptops and various incarnations of the DSi and the 3DS as well as a range of music players.
LittleBigPlanet players can don IGS Audio’s licensed Sackboy PS3 Twin Channel headset while gamers on the go will find the Mimioto Touch Power Speaker a godsend. This portable speaker allows almost any phone or device to be placed on the speaker unit without the need for connecting or synching.
Finally, the Applebyte, Applebyte 2 and Ebot form a trio of high-performance Plug ‘n Play speakers for MP3 players, mobile and smartphones, tablets, handhelds, PCs and laptops. The Applebyte features a 2W speaker while the Applebyte 2 goes one better with a 3W speaker. The Ebot on the other hand has the most personality, with eyes that light up and rotating arms and feet.
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All Interactive is hoping its series of Sound Blaster headsets will tempt more consumers to join the 400 million users already benefiting from the brand’s focus on audio quality.
The Sound Blaster Tactic360 Sigma gaming headset features powerful 50mm audio drivers and has separate audio controls for voice and game volumes, whilst the Tactic360 Ion headset boasts a more lightweight design.
Created for the 360, PS3, PC and Mac, the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega wireless gaming headset delivers an immersive, 3D gaming experience complete with a detachable noise-cancelling microphone. PC and Mac users will also find their gaming experience enhanced by THX TruStudio Pro audio technology.
Finally, for players serious about audio, the Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage, both USB and Wireless, is something to get excited about. The device embraces SBX Pro Studio audio technology and utilises the SBX surround audio to fully immerse players into a 360-degree soundscape. Players can also choose from 16 million colours to brighten the headset thanks to the SB PrismTM LED illumination.
PDP will be offering consumers a peripheral featuring three audio modes in its new range of Afterglow wired and wireless headsets.
Using the latest Avnera wireless solution, the Afterglow brand provides gamers with clear in-game audio and solid connectivity whilst their universal status lets owners of 360, PS3, PC and mobile all use them.
These headsets come with three different audio modes, providing an experience designed for any gaming occasion. The pure audio mode showcases sound in its original, clear form whilst the bass boost mode allows gamers to feel every earth-shattering in-game explosion.
An immersive 3D cinema surround sound mode will utilise a 3D algorithm to create a soundscape that puts gamers directly into the action.
Alongside a three-meter play and charge cable, the headsets include speakers tuned by an award winning Hollywood audio postproduction facility and also features a noise-cancelling microphone.
For those who enjoy marathon gaming sessions, the Afterglow headsets are powered by a rechargeable battery that provides up to 10 hours of use.
The Afterglow wireless headset is out this month and will retail for £89.95 whilst the Afterglow wired headset is out in November and will retail at £59.95.
Gioteck continues to bring consumers high-quality headsets with its EX range. The best-selling EX-01 is described as the perfect weapon of choice for gamers seeking a comfortable headset that can be easily paired with a PS3. It also features simple to control volume and mute buttons that are perfect for fast in-game experience customisation.
The state of the art EX-02 headset builds upon the foundations of the EX-01 by adding built-in noise cancellation and premium voice clarity. Alongside its lengthy battery life, the 02 is also a smaller model that maintains that comfort of its predecessor.
For 360 gamers with a focus on online game chat, the 03 is a first rate choice, bringing consumers comfort and clarity as well as a sound chamber that emphasises the fuller sound of the headset.
Meanwhile, the military-style EX-05 allows gamers to pick up on even the most subtlest of aspects of a game’s audio design. It blends super stereo game sound with clear voice communication, while aches and pains shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the lightweight headband, metal adjusters and full size ear cups.
Finally, the single cup EX-05 Lite compatible for PC, Mac, PS3 and 360, features a mesh headband, reversible rubber mic and, possibly taking inspiration from one of Blazin’ Squad’s greatest anthems, consumers can now ‘Flip Reverse It’ to wear the headset in whatever way they want.
Branched off from Astro Studios, Astro Gaming dedicates itself to producing quality ‘tech-life’ products and its professionally tuned A50 Wireless Headset (£249.99) will no-doubt excite gamers looking for a quality audio experience.
Powered by KleerNet’s 5.8Ghz solution, the A50 delivers Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound allowing gamers to hear every gunshot, footstep and explosion.
The headset also features in-line mic control and three different EQ modes, one for movies, one for shooter games and one for hardcore games. Designed with comfort in mind, the headset has over-ear cushions and can be worn flat around the neck or over the head.
Having been created in close collaboration with pro gamers and professional audio designers, the A50 Wireless headset is designed to provide 360, PS3, PC, and mobile gamers with a crisp, clear, audio experience.
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With Call of Duty: Black Ops II firmly establishing itself as one of the most heavily anticipated games of the year, Lygo and Turtle Beach have a range of licensed headsets arriving the same day as the game.
The range of Black Ops II limited edition headsets are made up from the Ear Force Tango (£299.99), Sierra (£279.99), X-ray (£199.99), Kilo (£79.99) and an Earbuds set (£34.99).
The most affordable member of the squad are the earbuds that use an ear gel designed to block out any pesky ambient noise, creating the sound clarity that Lygo and Turtle Beach pride themselves upon.
At the opposite end of the scale, the leader of the set is the Tango, a stylish headset that can be loaded up with voice prompts and audio presets.
Completing the range is the Sierra which features a state of the art control unit, the X-ray that comes with a Bluetooth radio and the Kilo, a headset that provides quality audio for both chat and in-game sound.
Alongside this series, Turtle Beach also has an LA series: The XLA for 360, the PLA for PS3, the ZLA for PC and the NLA for Wii and DS. While the XLA and the PLA boast independent voice controls, the ZLA and NLA feature in-line volume control and sound isolating ear cushions.
Finally, away from these ranges, is the premium Turtle Beach Ear Force X42, a wireless gaming headset that features Dolby surround sound, powerful 50mm speakers and head-rattling bass.