Corsair Void Surround

Corsair’s products have been ergonomic and eye catching. The Corsair Void Surround is no different. One of the 5 Void headsets on sale, the Void Surround has a few things the other Voids don’t.

To start off, imagine a peripheral device that can be used on pretty much anything that is up to date. That is the Void Surround. It is able to be used on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and even on mobile devices, if they have a 3.5 mm audio jack. The versatility of this headphone is one of its strengths. However it is still able to be used on older platforms, some however might require an adapter.

Another feature is a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, by using the USB Dolby Headphone adapter. What does this mean? You can have surround sound while playing your favourite games on console. So if you want to experience The Last of Us or Uncharted with surround sound to have the best experience possible, this is also a good pick.

The microphone and the frame is not to be underestimated. Corsair teamed up with a few designing experts from BMW to make an ultra-iconic and ultra-comfortable design. The ear cups are ear-shaped and fit around your ear instead of rubbing against them. This itself allows a long lasting gaming marathon without fatigue kicking in very quickly. The icing on the cake for comfort is that the ear cups have memory foam microfibre wrapped around it.

The microphone itself has a program called InfoMic. On the tip of the mic, there are two lights, one to notify you about battery life, microphone mute condition and some settings. Unlike most other headphones, the buttons to toggle mute, adjust volume or swapping presets are not on the cords. Instead of making the cords look slightly weird, with that little bulge,  the buttons are on the ear cup to make it more comfortable and efficient to use and there is no need to fumble about to find that bulge.

Sound quality wise, it is still something to look up to. With 50mm neodymium drives and the aforementioned Surround Sound, listening experience are both gaming and music are equally good. Due to its strong drivers, the bass is strong and its pirmary focus. It also has a very wide dynamic range. The mid-range and high-end might not be on par with the bass’ quality, they are regardless still very good and decently clear.

So, if you want a gaming headset that looks nice, have quite a good sound quality and have a microphone that updates you about its status. This is one of the best choices. The surround sound is an ad-on that quite some people will like, giving more immersion to those epic singleplayer games and campaigns. With a price of 115SGD, this headphone is a good deal for its price.

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Monstercat Best of 2016

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The annual mix for Monstercat is out, with 2 and a half hours of songs altogether, this album has a good number of songs. Out of the 40 songs, I will only review 10 of them. They are in no order.

Noisestorm – Antihero

Using the same formula as Heist last year, the trap song has a catchy start with Arabic-sounding buildups and using horns for a good portion of the starting melody. The drop is somewhat good, but it can surely be better.

Marshmello – Alone

A big hit in the electronic charts, undoubtedly Alone will be in the Best of 2016. With additional vocals, the song is generally good. A good buildup and melody helps it very well. The drop is also well produced. The vocals are quite good and fits the theme of the song.

Muzzy – Crescendo (featuring MYLK)

Part of the 5 Year Anniversary songs, Muzzy has shown what he has been doing. With one of the best vocals in the album, this is further complimented with a good mix of styles by Muzzy. The drop is somewhat bouncy and the buildup is intense. This is one of the best song produced by Muzzy.
Vicetone – Nevada (Featuring Cozi Zuehlsdorff)

Vicetone has made on of the best songs this year. With simple, slick and catchy synths and melody, with out any vocals, this will already be a well produced song. Ever since her inception last year in The Girl, the songs that she is starred in has beautiful vocals. Undoubtedly, this is one of the hottest songs on Monstercat this year.

Feint – Words (Featuring Laura Brehm)

The same formula is used twice, and it worked twice. In Words, Feint has produced a song with intense beats and still sound very melodic. Laura’s vocals are unbelievably good this time round, even though it is more intense than last year’s We Won’t Be Alone.

Pegboard Nerds and Grabbitz – All Alone

What could be considered a ‘dream collaboration’, when you have two of the most recognised artists to collaborate. With good vocals by Grabbitz and both artists producing the melody, it is a masterpiece by default.

Dirty Audio – Gorilla Glue
With an ominous start and a good drop, this is one of the better trap songs this year. Both parts are well produced and catchy. As compared to the ‘legendary’ trap songs on Monstercat, this is on the better end of the stick.

Rogue – Nemesis

To put simply this is Rattlesnake VIP. With the ‘pots and pans’ in the drop and reusing some sounds from Rattlesnake, this is a catchy song. A worth successor of Rattlesnake, this song is no doubt Rattlensnake 2.0, but better than a reskin or remake.

Hellberg – Synchronize (Featuring Aaron Richards)

An underrated song, but nevertheless a very good one. It is very well made, smooth and melodious. Aaron Richards’ vocals are well done and the lyrics are well thought-out. The well choreographed and touching music video is just the icing on the cake.

Richard Caddock, WRLD, Nitro Fun, Slips & Slurs & Subtact – Break The Silence

More is better in this scenario. With Richard Caddock doing the lyrics and vocals, WRLD and Nitro Fun doing melody and synths. Slips & Slurs and Subtact should be doing the bass and adding some of their signature sounds into the mix. This is very diverse and able to fit the styles of everyone in the track.

Noisestorm

Marshmello

Muzzy

MYLK

Vicetone

Cozi Zuehlsdorff

Feint

Laura Brehm

Pegboard Nerds

Grabbitz

Dirty Audio

Rogue

Hellberg

Aaron Richards

Richard Caddock

WRLD

Nitro Fun

Slip & Slurs

Subtact

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

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When one thinks about a premium noise-cancelling headphone, products from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser might first come to the mind. However, those headphones costs an arm and a leg. Plantronic’s BackBeat Pro 2 offers similar quality, but is much cheaper.

BackBeat Pro 2 is in basic, a premium headphone made more affordable. Unlike its competitors, it is not as aesthetically pleasing in terms of mass. Compared to its predecessor, Plantronics has cut both the size and weight by quite a bit. Though it costs lesser, its sound quality can compete with other premium headphones.

The noise-cancelling is not as good as some Bose headphones, it muffles ambient noises without making a hissing noise. The headphone boasts sensors that will pause and resume your music when you take off and put on. The headphone does not give the user any fatigue from the sound or how it fits on your head. It works well both indoors and outdoors, though if you are outside, your ears might get steamy.

However, the identity of a Plantronic headphones lies in its ability to receive calls. On the left earcup, there is a ring to adjust the volume of music or the caller’s voice, a button to activate and deactivate the microphone. On the right earcup, there is a mute button which is helpful when there are unneeded background noise that the people from the other end does not want to hear.

The headphone has a 24 hour battery life at a moderate volume levels. It comes with a cable and a case, which essentially means it can also be a wired headphone. If you pay an extra 50 dollars, you will receive a hard case instead.

Overall, the BackBeat Pro 2, is a cheaper high end headphone with a quality that is as good as other high end headphones.However, as compared to Bose’s QuietComfort 35, the QuietComfort 35 has a slightly better noise cancelling. Same goes with the sound quality. The price of the BackBeat is 360SGD.

Photo Courtesy : https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-backbeat-pro-2/review/

Sony H.ear On Wireless NC

The Sony H.ear On Wireless NC is Sony’s latest wireless headphone to be on the market. Being quite similar to Bose’s QuietComfort 35, H.ear has an edge over QuietComfort in a few ways.

H.ear On Wireless NC is only 290 grams heavy, just slightly heavier than the QuietComfort and not as comfortable. However, with some parts of the headphone being not as elegant, it will take a while for you to fatigue. It is folds up into an included carrying case, though it does not fold flat. The case is also very bulky too. Aesthetically, H.ear comes in 5 colours, some of which are really striking.

Sound and track control are on the right ear cup, and you can choose to have noise cancelling on or off. You can also plug in a cord to make it a wired headphone. Its Automatic AI Noise Cancelling function constantly analyses environmental ambient sound components and automatically selects the most effective noise cancelling mode. H,ear is a textbook headphone for calling with two microphones, one external and one in the housing.

The headphone can last for 20 hours on Bluetooth and with noise cancellation active, it will last longer if you were to bring the volume down and not use noise cancellation. Compared to its rival, the QuietComfort 35, H.ear has an edge over it in terms of sound quality. The sound quality is also really clear, with tight bass, all these being natural for Bluetooth headphones, but it sure does a good job imitating a wired headphone.

Even though it is not the most comfortable Bluetooth headphone in the market, it makes it up for its excellent sound quality, being so good, that it does sound a bit like a wired headphone. For the price, 468 SGD is quite pricey, however, it is a good trade-off for the sound quality.

Photo Courtesy: https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/FjlQu4FPvYItnndErGSEhEZxuG0=/770×433/2016/07/08/658ecb87-7c44-48c9-a93a-70711f3324b9/sony-hear-on-wireless-noise-canceling-headphones-teal-04.jpg

Bose SoundTouch 30

Finding a speaker with decent sound and bass? Then this tabletop speaker might not be a poor pick. Though distortion might be evident when at a high volume, the speaker doesn’t really have that many other flaws. The sound quality is really decent at mid – range volumes.

The SoundTouch sounds revealing and open and can pack a whole load of bass and aggression too. Moreover, it is able to be controlled via the device application. With that said, Bluetooth is also supported so the device is really flexible.

With a wideness of 43cm, height of 25cm and a length of 17cm, it isn’t bulky or that inconvenient to transport around at all. The speaker also looks smart and simple with black and white finishes and a display located in the middle of the device.

Without a touchscreen function, a remote will come together with the speaker so that users would be able to control the device easily. With the remote, you can pre-program radio stations conveniently while it has other basic buttons to control the tracks and volume. Black in colour with a rubberized finish, the remote looks relatively simple. You would also be able to launch an application by Bose available on both iOS and Android to have these same controls. There are also identical controls on the system itself but oddly enough, the ones on the system does not have a pause button. The Bose is equipped with two full – range drivers configured in stereo and also a single bass woofer while having a vertical bass port.

Through the application, you can choose from various streaming services, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Deezer and Sirius XM. However, the device in flawed in a way that you are not able to play music directly from your phone or any other device as it is not supported within the Bose application. Rather, Bluetooth is required to sync in order to play music directly from your phone.

Compared to other speakers in the price range, the Bose performs really well with a stronger and more distinct sounding bass. Despite this being true, it does not overpower the balance of the entire music track unless it is at an extremely high volume. It also has decent amount of clarity. Bluetooth connectivity had no problems at all as the connection is really stable and reliable.

Overall, the Bose is a very decent speaker. Though it might not seem really outstanding, nor have any fancy feature to boast about, the speaker does perform really well in everything it needs to. Thus, if you’re looking for a sound system, the Bose is in fact not a bad pick at all.

Photo Courtesy of : http://cdn.ndtv.com/tech/images/gadgets/Bose%20SoundTouch%2030%20Wi-Fi%20music%20system.jpg

 

Rebirth EP

Rebirth is Rezonate’s latest EP, though it was about 11 months ago. If you have been an old timer on Monstercat, you should know Rezonate pretty well. With a ‘story-like’ of songs he released, this is no doubt a sequel to Shake it Off by Rezonate himself.

Link: Rezonate- Rebirth (featuring Ashley Apollodor)

The first song of the EP is conveniently named Rebirth.The start of the song has a piano tune to make your mind relax. Up to the vocals, the tune you are hearing is the staple tune for pretty much the next five minutes.Rezonate’s vocals are unbelievably good in this song,which is surprising as Rezonate is not a vocalist himself.As the song progresses, the featured voclist Ashley Apollodor starts singing right after Rezonate’s lines end. Her vocals are complimented with a guitar playing the staple tune of the song, with both the music and her voice combined, it has no doubt this song is liked by quite some Monstercat fans till this day.Her lines were short but it was beautiful.After which will be the drop.The drop was more or less similar to most parts of the song(to keep the carnival-like theme).Immediately after the drop will be Rezonate’s vocals again.It’s pretty much the same thing after Rezonate’s vocals.With a piano outro, this is no doubt the best song in the EP.

Link: Rezonate – The Only Road (featuring Danyka Nadeau)

The queen of Monstercat vocals returns again. With a loud start and the usual usage of Danyka’s  vocals in a ‘pop’ like style. For this first minute or so, the ‘pop’ vocals is basically what you will be hearing. The buildup after Dankya’s vocals is not anywhere near intense or an actual buildup, probably to fit with the style of the EP. Unlike Rebirth, the drop is repetitive probably due to its genre.After the drop its pretty much the same thing. This song ends with the drop which is something I do not usually see. This is one of those ‘Danyka Nadeau’ songs with awesome vocals. That’s all.

Link: Rezonate – What We Want (featuring Aloma Steele)

It starts off with the usual future bass, chirpy tune for a solid 30 seconds before Aloma’s vocals comes in.Her vocals were soft and negligible at the start but later on, it becomes louder and that is pretty much what you will hear.After her vocals, it would be the typical future bass drop which is chirpy and not so ‘bassy’.Immediately after the drop will be Aloma’s vocals again. For most of the remaining songs, it’s Aloma’s vocals and a shorter version of the drop.

Link: Rezonate – Outro (Performed by Austin Rafuse)

This is the outro to the EP, which is acoustic. It is really calming with the especially similar tunes to Rebirth.Even though it is very short, it is still a beautifully made song.

Artist links:

Rezonatehttps://www.facebook.com/RezonateMusic/

Ashley Apollodor: https://www.facebook.com/BeneathHerSkin/

Danyka Nadeau:https://twitter.com/NDanyka?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Aloma Steele:https://www.facebook.com/alomasteele/

Austin Rafuse:https://www.facebook.com/austinrafuse

Picture Courtesy:http://f1.bcbits.com/img/a2896365874_10.jpg

Bose SoundTrue In-Ear

As Bose SoundTrue In-Ear nears its retirement,there is no denial that this pair of earphones are really comfortable.Unlike other earphone that has a earbud stuck in your ear, this ‘open’ design basically hangs on the edge of your ears loosely.

Most of Bose’s ‘open’ earphones does not feature noise cancellation with the exception of QuietComfort 20, which costs considerably more than the rest.With this pair costing 186SGD with an inline microphone or 143SGD without it. As this phases out certain colours have a 30% discount online, making them good deals.The buds basically cling around the sides of your ears and does not fall off when running wire which is a good thing for athletic people, but it is not sweat resistant.

The SoundSport In-Ear comes with a round neoprene carrying case (plus a carabiner) while the SoundTrue In-Ear and Freestyle ship with a larger, rectangular case.The design of the remote is well done.The buttons are easy to feel, hence operation by feel is much easier.Call quality was also good, and this headphone works well as a substitute headset.The plug is not l-shaped but straight, which in theory, should be more sturdy. The straight plug is compact, so it’s designed to work with most cell-phone cases.

Performance wise, this uses the same driver as other Bose open earbud-style headphones.Bose does a good job making smooth-sounding headphones that are pretty well balanced with good bass performance. The headphones are like a Jack-of-all-trades headphones, not limited to a specific music genre.If you like to blast loud music, this may disappoint you.The top volume is 10 to 20 percent softer than a lot of in-ears on the market.With a sound-isolating in-ear headphone like the Ultra, you also get some cord noise when the cord rubs against your clothes. The open design of the SoundTrue, SoundSport, and Freestyle In-Ears eliminates the cord noise but lets ambient noise in.

If you really want or need a pair of high quality headphones or like Bose products, this may be a cheap grab for you, especially if you were to buy it online with the discounted colours. I would personally buy this for the cheap price if a have a lack of headphone or earphone to use.

Photo Courtesy:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/611WPYK-79L._SY355_.jpg

Bose SoundTrue Ultra

The Bose SoundTrue Ultra are in-ear earphones designed for both Apple and Android devices. There are different versions for both apple and Android devices and is available in two different colours, black and white. It comes with noise isolation which prevents you from hearing most external noises so you would have minimal distractions.

There are 3 pairs of StayHear Ultra tips that come in sizes of small, medium and large. After attaching the right tip to the earphones, the inner rim of the plastic bud stays away from the opening of your ear canal. These tips rest in your ears comfortability but also secure the earphones so that they would not fall out. They are lightweight so they would also cause minor annoyance.

The earphones are also fairly durable although not having particularly thick cords and are also tangle-resistant which is a convenient feature. Therefore, rolling up the earphones and storing it in a compact space is quite easy. The plug is a straight plug, and not a L-shaped plug, which is small enough in most phone cases. ds

For the performance of the earphones, it is designed to make most music sound good. There’s also ample amount of bass that the sound quality is smooth and clear, although it could use a little more bass to have the extra thump. The max sound volume of the headphones is a little lower than most common in-ear earphones but it is loud enough for most people.

In conclusion, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra are really good earphones if you’re looking for earphones that have great sound quality. However it is quite expensive as they cost around S$208 at retail price which is not recommended for people who are on budgets. The earphones are also really comfortable to wear and do not burden the user much. Thus, this is a great choice for people who are looking for high quality earphones and is not worried about the price.

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http://cdn.ndtv.com/tech/gadgets/bose_soundtrue_ultra_main.jpg

Velodyne vPulse

Velodyne vPulse is a brilliant earphone that costs S$97 and it is definitely worth the price. It gives off excellent sound quality and also delivers impressive bass which is no surprise, since Velodyne is known for its excellent subwoofers, making it a good choice if you are searching for earphones that produces good sound quality at an average price or just a bass lover.

There is an inline microphone that works as a volume control and a play or pause button that works on Apple devices and some other devices. It also has flat wires to ensure that it won’t tangle easily even when you just stuff it into your pockets, making it very convenient to bring around.

However, it does not provide as much comfort as some other earphones and may not fit well for some people. But the vPulse does have a nice design with a blue or black metallic finish and a 90-degree 3.5mm jack preventing accidental removals. It has a V logo on both earbuds indicating Velodyne that looks stylish too.

Velodyne does throw in a nifty protective carrying pouch, along with 8 pairs of ear tips in various different sizes, 4 pairs in white and the other 4 in white.

Overall, this is earphones produces excellent sound quality and also gives out an unimaginable bass, built for bass or music lovers. To top it off, the 8 pairs of ear tips and protective carrying pouch makes the earphones more worth it.

Photo courtesy of:

http://www.stereohead.ru/_articles/images/Headphones/Obzory/ZZZ/Vnutrikanal_naush/43.jpg

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Logitech Wireless Headset H600

The Logitech Wireless Headset H600 is like any wireless headsets, it comes with a USB Nano Receiver and a chargeable cable. It promises to works well with your normal social media like Skype, Windows Live Messenger and more.

The headset comes with a 2-year limited hardware warranty. It comes with a six-hour long battery life but varies on how much you use it.

If you need to be on the move often, it has a fold-and-go design to pack when space is limited. It has adjustable headbands to suit you best and has simplistic on-ear controls to adjust the volume if it is too loud or soft. It is very lightweight so it wouldn’t burden you much when using it.

It has good Noise Cancelling so there would not be much disturbance and would not have to compete with background noise. It has a using distance of up to 10m but might vary if there are obstructions.

The sound quality is clear and has a lot of bass although the headset doesn’t fully cover your ears. It also does not feel cheap as it is firm and solid.

In conclusion, it is a really good headset that is also not very expensive at a price of S$89.00 and has a battery life that is quite long and will suit most users. However after a few months of use, the sound quality might sound a little choppy and some even experienced one side of the headset not working anymore. The amount of bass and comparability makes up for it though. I wouldn’t recommend this headset as the durability is not great but if you are looking for a temporary headset or doesn’t mind the cons of the device, this might suit you.

 

photo courtesy of:

http://www.logitech.com/en-sg/product/wireless-headset-h600