Corsair HS80 Max Wireless

Wired or wireless which do you prefer? In a perfect world, I prefer the audio quality of a wired headset but the convenience of wireless is worth it. You don’t have your cord getting in the way and you can keep your headset on even when you get up from your PC. Not to mention cord damage is one of the big failure points for a headset. Well, Corsair introduced their new HS80 Max Wireless headset last fall, improving on their original HS80 design with an impressive triple of its battery life. I haven’t seen what Corsair has to offer for headsets in a long time and I’ve got the HS80 Max in the office, let’s see what it’s all about!

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Razer Seiren v3 Chroma and Mini

It’s kind of crazy to think but the last time I had a Razer desktop microphone in for review was back in 2015 when I took a look at the Razer Seiren Pro. That wasn’t Razer’s first desktop microphone but it was part of their first generation of Seiren microphones and Razer has continued to evolve their lineup in the last 9 years. Well, today they have updated that lineup with their new Seiren v3 models. That lineup consists of two different models, the Seiren v3 Chroma and the Seiren v3 Mini. The Seiren v3 Mini is their budget-friendly option and then the Seiren v3 Chroma is the larger flashier option. Today I'm going to check out both and see what they have to offer then put them to the test to see how they sound compared to the competition. I’m excited to see how their design has changed over the years and to see how these new microphones compare to the current competition like the Yeti Orb and Yeti GX that I took a look at last fall.

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Logitech G Yeti Microphones

Logitech purchased Blue Microphones back in 2018 for $117 million and for the last five years, we have seen them integrate the Blue lineup with the Logitech brand.  This includes using the Logitech G Hub software for some of the Yeti microphones and the Blue brand being used in their software for the microphone controls for things like their headsets. This past June they put out an update on social media updating the status on integrating things letting everyone know that the Blue brand would be fully integrated into the Logitech brand and it wouldn’t be independent like we have seen with other Logitech-owned companies like Ultimate Ears and Jaybird. The Blue Mic website forwards to the Logitech Gaming website now and today's announcement of two new Yeti microphones are fully under the Logitech G branding now. The new microphones are the Yeti Orb and the Yeti GX. People familiar with the Blue brand will recognize the Yeti Orb to share a lot of similarities with the popular Blue Snowball microphone and then there is the Yeti GX as well which is targeted to be a more premium option. I’m going to check out both today, diving into the features, performance, and how they fit into the market so let’s get to it!

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Logitech G Pro X 2 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset

I took a look at the new Logitech G Pro Superlight 2 mouse and their Pro X TKL LIGHTSPEED Gaming Keyboard, both in their pink or magenta colorway. For that same launch Logitech also brought out one other product, they announced the Pro X 2 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset in that same pink color. The Pro X 2 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset was announced in May and was available in their black and white models. This isn’t a new product but they did match the pink color option to have a full matching set of peripherals available. I was extremely impressed back in 2019 with the original G Pro X Gaming Headset launch and one of my only complaints was that they didn’t have a wireless option available as well but I never had the chance to check out the original wireless model or the new wired X 2. So I’m excited to see what has changed and how well the wireless works, let’s dive in.

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Maono PD200X USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone

Microphones on gaming headsets have improved a lot over the last 3-4 years but even with those improvements the need for add-on microphones or desktop microphones has been growing. Anyone looking to create content like podcasts, videos, and streaming should be looking at a good microphone and even if you are just gaming and talking to your friends a solid microphone can help the experience. Sadly though a lot of those options are expensive and way out of reach from a starter setup. Maono reached out to me to ask if we wanted to check out their PD200X microphone which is a dynamic microphone with USB and XLR connectivity and is priced significantly lower than a lot of the household brands and I thought I would check it out. If it is a good performer having both USB and XLR make this a perfect starter microphone allowing you to upgrade from USB to a mixer in the future. The PD200X does have a little bit of RGB lighting as well for those who are into that. So today I’m going to check out the PD200X’s features then we will dive into its software and features to see if it's worth a purchase.

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soundcore Sleep A10 Bluetooth Sleep Earbuds

When sleeping no matter where I am I always have a fan on and I prefer to have the TV on as well with something playing. I’ve found however that those two things together can end up being a bit of a noise battle when I want to hear the dialog. So I have been tossing the idea of using earbuds to pipe the audio in so I could hear it better and to keep from annoying my wife with it being way too loud. The problem is, most earbuds aren’t designed with that in mind, specifically with their size and I’m a side sleeper so I would imagine that would lead to discomfort. I then came across the Sleep A10 earbuds from soundcore which are designed specifically for sleeping. They also have other features like sleep tracking, a built-in alarm, and the ability to play different white noises to help cover up snoring. Today I’m going to take a closer look and go over my experience with them so let’s dive in!

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AnkerWork M650 Wireless Microphone

Every time I see a TikTok or YouTube video where I see someone interviewing people using a phone as a microphone I die a little inside. There are a lot of different microphone options out there and Anker under their AnkerWork brand is jumping into the mix with their new M650 Wireless Microphone. The M650 is a pair of wireless microphones with a few mounting options paired up with a receiver that can be hooked up to your mobile phone or a DSLR or can be used remotely to store recordings. The design is focused on content creators or businesses who are recording content that want a simple way to get quality audio, today I’m going to take a closer look and see what all the M650’s have going on and how they perform.

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Sound Blaster X5

This month I’m celebrating my 15 anniversary of doing reviews and in that time I’ve covered a lot of amazing products. But when you have access to a wide variety of hardware what you use day to day changes up often, but there is one product that I have been using for 8 years now. Sound blaster’s X7 DAC and amp paired up with a set of bookshelf speakers and a powered sub. Not only do I use the X7 with my speakers but also for my wired headphones as well. So when I saw Sound Blaster launched the X5 which is an external dual DAC along with a headphone amp I had to check it out. So today I’m going to see what the new X5 has to offer and put it to the test to see how it performs.

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Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

With some companies, it feels like they are just constantly pumping out new products but then you have other companies who focus on a smaller niche and take their time with upcoming products. Antlion Audio without a doubt falls into that second category. Antlion Audio reached out about a product they were testing back at the start of the pandemic and they had already been working on it for a long time to have prototypes but they sent one over just to get some feedback on. While spring of 2020 feels like its only been a year, a REALLY long year its been a lot longer than that and in that time they have been battling to get things perfect in their eyes and today is finally the day that they are introducing their new product which they call Kimura. Kimura is a new microphone setup combined with an in-ear monitor. They aren’t the first to do it, but as they did with the ModMic they are hoping to show what can really be done. So today I’m going to check out the Kimura Duo which comes with two in-ear monitors and we are going to see what they are all about and then put them to the test so let’s dive in!

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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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