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  1. Understanding Audio – Bried GlossaryBelow are some of the most common terms that it is useful to have a grasp of when evaluating PC audio products. Note that this brief summary borrows heavily from the excellent Pro Audio Reference published by the Rane Corporation, which can be found here. Common audio terms and their definitions follow: Acoustic Driver The Acoustic Driver in an audio device is what physically moves the cone(s) and causes sound through controlled (typically magnetic) vibration. Analog to Digital Converter [ADC] The Analog to Digital Converter [ADC] is the electronic component which converts the instantaneous value of an analog input signal to a digital word (represented as a binary number) for digital signal processing. The ADC is the first link in the digital chain of signal processing. In other words, it breaks down a continuous signal into a digitized signal of 1’s and 0’s. Amplifier An electronic device used to increase an electrical signal. The signal may be voltage, current or both (power). Preamplifier is the name applied to the first amplifier in the audio chain, accepting inputs from microphones, or other transducers, and low output sources (CD players, tape recorders, turntables, etc.). The preamplifier increases the input signals from mic-level, for instance, to line-level. Power amplifier is the name applied to the last amplifier in the audio chain, used to increase the line-level signals to whatever is necessary to drive the loudspeakers to the loudness required. Audio Source The Audio Source is the original source of sound where the data is taken from. A vinyl record, mp3 file, CD and DVD are all possible examples of an audio source. Bit Rate The Bit Rate is the rate or frequency at which bits appear in a bit stream. Applied to digital audio, bit rate (kbits/sec/channel) equals the sampling rate (kHz) times the number of bits per sample. The data bit rate for a CD, for example, is 1.41M bits per second (44.1 kHz x 16 bits per sample x 2 channels). Generally speaking, the higher the bit rate, the more detail you retain and, as a result, higher fidelity can be experienced. Clipping Clipping is a term used to describe the result of an amplifier running into power supply limitation. The maximum output voltage that any amplifier can produce is limited by its power supply. Attempting to output a voltage (or current) level that exceeds the power supply results in a flattoping effect on the signal, making it look cut off or "clipped." A clipped waveform exhibits extreme harmonic distortion, dominated by large amplitude odd-ordered harmonics making it sound harsh or dissonant. Hard clipping is the term used to describe extreme clipping of a signal, producing highly visible flattoped waveforms as viewed on an oscilloscope; soft clipping refers to moderate clipping that results in waveforms having softly-rounded edges, as opposed to the sharp edges of hard clipping. Crossover A Crossover is an electrical circuit (passive or active) consisting of a combination of high-pass, low-pass and bandpass filters used to divide the audio frequency spectrum (20 Hz - 20 kHz) into segments suitable for individual loudspeaker use. Since audio wavelengths vary from over 50 feet at the low frequency end, to less than one inch at the high frequency end, no single loudspeaker driver can reproduce the entire audio range. Therefore, at least two drivers are required, and more often three or more are used for optimum audio reproduction. Named from the fact that audio reproduction transitions (or crosses over) from one driver to the next as the signal increases in frequency. For example, consider a two driver loudspeaker crossed over at 800 Hz: Here only one driver (the woofer - "woof, woof" = low frequencies) works to reproduce everything below 800 Hz, while both drivers work reproducing the region immediately around 800 Hz (the crossover region), and finally, only the last driver (the tweeter - "tweet, tweet" = high frequencies) works to reproduce everything above 800 Hz. Crossover circuits are characterized by their type (Butterworth, Bessel and Linkwitz-Riley being the most popular), and by the steepness of their roll-off slopes (the rate of attenuation outside their passbands) as measured in decibels per interval, such as dB/octave, or sometimes dB/decade [useful rule-of-thumb: 6 dB/octave approximately equals 20 dB/decade]. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) A technology for signal processing that combines algorithms and fast number-crunching digital hardware, and is capable of high-performance and flexibility. This allows for the manipulation of signal Distortion Audio distortion: By its name you know it is a measure of unwanted signals. Distortion is the name given to anything that alters a pure input signal in any way other than changing its size. The most common forms of distortion are unwanted components or artifacts added to the original signal, including random and hum-related noise. Distortion measures a system's linearity -- or nonlinearity, whichever way you want to look at it. Anything unwanted added to the input signal changes its shape (skews, flattens, spikes, alters symmetry or asymmetry, even if these changes are microscopic, they are there). A spectral analysis of the output shows these unwanted components. If a piece of gear is perfect, it does not add distortion of any sort. The spectrum of the output shows only the original signal -- nothing else -- no added components, no added noise -- nothing but the original signal. Electro-Magnetic Interference [EMI] A measure of electromagnetic radiation from equipment that must be taken into account, as this radiation tends to bleed into an unprotected, or unshielded, audio circuit and can create noise. Frequency Range The frequency range of an audio device represents the lowest to the highest frequencies of sound it is capable of producing. With today’s technology, it is easy to produce below 20Hz and above 20,000Hz, but 20-20,000Hz represents the average human’s audible hearing range, and anything beyond that spectrum usually goes unheard. However, our bodies can still feel the physical rumble of frequencies below 20Hz and the frequencies above 20,000Hz may not be noticed as distinct notes, but they add a sense of atmosphere to the acoustic image. This is why very high-end audio systems will still provide a frequency range well beyond our noticeable hearing capabilities. Frequency Response Audio electronics: It connotes amplitude-frequency response and quantifies a device's maximum and minimum frequency for full-output response. The electrical passband of an audio device. The measure of any audio device's ability to respond to a sine wave program, and therefore is a complex function measuring gain and phase shift (see phasor). It is used to express variation of gain, loss, amplification, or attenuation as a function of frequency, normally referred to a standard 1 kHz reference point. Noise General. Sound or a sound that is loud, unpleasant, unexpected, or undesired. Physics. A disturbance, especially a random and persistent disturbance, that obscures or reduces the clarity of a signal. Computer Science. Irrelevant or meaningless data. Phase Audio signals are complex AC (alternating current) periodic phenomena expressed mathematically as phasors, or vectors. Phase refers to a particular value of t (time) for any periodic function, i.e. it is the relationship between a reference point and the fractional part of the period through which the signal has advanced relative to an arbitrary origin. In short, Phase is responsible for creating acoustic positioning. When you hear two speakers but think that sound is coming from some spot between them, that is a result of phase manipulation. Power Output (Wattage) 1. Electricity a. The product of applied voltage (potential difference) and current in a direct-current circuit (or the voltage squared divided by the resistance, or the current squared times the resistance). b. The product of the effective values of the voltage and current with the cosine of the phase angle (between current and voltage) in an alternating-current circuit. 2. Physics The rate at which work is done, expressed as the amount of work per unit time, and measured in units such as the watt (1 joule per second, which equals the power dissipated (as heat) by 1 ohm of resistance when 1 ampere of current passes through it) and horsepower (equal to 745.7 watts). Sampling Rate The frequency or rate at which an analog signal is sampled or converted into digital data. Expressed in Hertz (cycles per second). For example, compact disc sampling rate is 44,100 samples per second or 44.1 kHz, however in pro audio other rates exist: common examples being 32 kHz, 48 kHz, and 50 kHz. Summary With these fundamental concepts now understood, users may purchase an audio device with knowledge and confidence. Speakers must be test heard, just as cars should be test driven. The more knowledge you have, the better you will be able to discern various characteristics between two juxtaposed products. Even further, once a product is decided upon, the user must know what he/she is doing in order to fine tune the device to fit his/her ideal needs. For those who wish to learn more, I highly recommend the full reference that can be found at http://www.rane.com/digi-dic.html.
  2. For some of us, PC is the only platform to game on but there are some who choose to game on PC and on console. This article is to show which VOID Gaming Headsets work on which console and how to configure them on your PS4 or Xbox One. The PS4 supports most, if not every, USB headsets and Stereo headsets, allowing gamers to use them as a standard stereo headset and microphone. In our testing, we were able to get all four of our different versions of the VOID (Wireless, USB, Surround, and Stereo) working on the PS4. And there’s quite a bit to be customized with our headset such as adjusting mic volume levels, headphone volume levels, and what audio should go through the headset. To access these options, you’ll need to go into the settings. Once in “Settings” find “Devices”. In “Devices”, you will be able to see all additional devices supported, such as Bluetooth devices, audio devise, external mice and keyboards, etc. To configure VOID you will need to go into “Audio Devices”. Once in “Audio Devices” you can change your Input (headphones) and Output (mic) devices, as well as different volume levels. Under the “Adjust Microphone Level” setting, you will be able to see your Input Volume as your speak and if it falls below the “Good” threshold you can adjust the sensitivity by moving the slider until your input volume in the “Good”. It should look something like this: You can also change “Output to Headphone” settings so that it can have all audio go through the headset or just chat audio. These steps should work for the VOID Wireless, VOID USB, VOID Surround, and VOID Stereo. For those with an Xbox One, the console only supports stereo headsets or headsets that have 3.5mm audio jacks. This means only VOID Stereo and VOID Surround will work on the Xbox One. In terms of functionality, the VOID Stereo and VOID Surround will allow gamers to hear stereo audio and use the mic to communicate with other players. Here is a chart to break down what the VOID can do on each platform: Platform PC PS4 Xbox One Stereo Audio All All VOID Surround, VOID Stereo Microphone All All VOID Surround, VOID Stereo Surround Sound VOID Wireless, VOID USB, VOID Surround - -
  3. The HS80 RGB WIRELESS is a mix of iconic CORSAIR design, superb audio quality, industry-leading wireless technology, all wrapped up in a durable, light-weight build. When connected via USB, you can experience true high-fidelity 24bit/96kHz audio or take advantage of the hyper-fast SLIPSTREAM wireless connection with a range of up to 60ft and 20 hours of battery life. The HS80 RGB WIRELESS also comes with immersive Dolby Atmos when used on PC to give you detailed sound while utilizing the 50mm high-density neodymium audio drivers. The headband strap design is made with a flexible leather and fabric combo that’s easily adjustable so that it fits a wide range of head shapes. To adjust the fit of the headband, release the inner straps on both sides of the headset and change the length to your desired fit and reattach the straps to secure the adjustment. It’s that easy! The earcups have on-ear volume and mute controls with a smooth scrolling volume wheel on the left side. Additionally, you also get a broadcast-grade omni-directional microphone that captures voice with terrific clarity and has a flip-up mute function with a built-in LED indicator. The earcup cushions are soft and comfortable with the ability to detach for easy replacement and cleaning. To detach the earcup cushions, lay the headset down with the cushions facing up. Then turn the earcups outwards to release and remove. To reattach, reverse the process and turn the earcups inwards to secure them back in place. That’s it! If you’d like to see a video tutorial on the above mentioned details about the CORSAIR HS80 RGB WIRELESS headset, please check out the YouTube link below.
  4. A new generation of consoles is coming and you might be wondering if your CORSAIR gaming headset will work on your next PlayStation or XBOX. Well you’re in luck! We’ve put together a quick guide outlining the current state of console compatibility for our lineup of audio products! For most of our wired headsets, the tried and true 3.5mm audio jack works just fine when plugged into your console’s controller. If you want to go wireless on a PlayStation, all of our current wireless products (with the exception of the HS75 XB) will work when you connect your headset’s USB wireless dongle to an available USB port on your PlayStation console. If you’re team green and want to game wirelessly on an XBOX, you’ll want to pick up the HS75 XB which pairs directly to your XBOX console, no USB dongle required. If you’re having trouble telling the difference between our headset offerings, here’s a short list of our current lineup. For our PlayStation gamers and hi-fi music lovers, consider the VIRTUOSO as it is our top of the line headset giving the highest quality in our line up, we recommend using the VIRTUOSO with the USB wireless dongle on a PlayStation console. The VOID ELITE Series will be for those who want the quality sound but with more of a unique aesthetic and gaming-focused comforts. The VOID ELITE WIRELESS can be connected to a PlayStation using the USB wireless dongle while the VOID ELITE SURROUND can be used with either an XBOX or PlayStation by plugging the headset’s 3.5mm audio jack into your controller. Now if you’re the type of no-nonsense gamer who doesn’t want flash, our HS PRO Series features a simple and clean design and the new HS75 XB model has been built from the ground up to support current and next gen XBOX consoles wirelessly (and without a USB dongle). For PlayStation users that want a wireless solution, our HS70 PRO model’s USB wireless dongle can be connected to a port on your PlayStation, and of course any HS headset with a 3.5mm audio jack can be connected to your controller. Be sure to check out our Discord server, subreddit and the official CORSAIR forums to learn more.
  5. Headsets enable communication across multiple platforms and applications in an increasingly connected world. To make it easy to navigate the sea of audio products, we’ve put together a cheat sheet outlining some key features of each headset family with notes on connectivity and compatibility so you can choose the right headset for your home office or gaming setup! HS and HS PROOur HS and HS PRO headsets may be our entry level, but the HS family packs a punch where it counts in terms of basic features. Our entire HS lineup is equipped with 50mm drivers that have been tuned for quality as well as a highly capable unidirectional microphone that helps to isolate your voice from unwanted background noise. Best of all, the entire lineup (with the exception of the wireless HS70 PRO) features a standard 3.5mm headphone jack that you can simply plug into your console’s controller or audio combo jack on your Mac/PC! ModelHS35 HS45 HS50 PRO HS60 PRO HS70 PRO Connectivity 3.5mm analog combo, Mic/Headphone Splitter (Carbon) 3.5mm analog combo / USB dongle 3.5mm analog combo 3.5mm analog combo / USB dongle Wireless USB Receiver Compatibility Mac/PC, Console Mac/PC, ConsoleMac/PC, Console Mac/PC, Console Mac/PC, Console (PS4) VOID ELITEThe VOID family is by far our most popular, with a unique look, high comfort and omnidirectional microphone for improved quality. To sweeten the deal, the VOID ELITE lineup has additional creature comforts like rotatable earcups and large onboard buttons for easy access! The USB and wireless models up the ante even further with an upgraded rear control toggle for volume (over a standard volume wheel) and quickly changing EQ settings as well as a smart mute feature which disables the mic when in the up position. All of these great features come together to make navigating your next online match or conference call a breeze. Model VOID ELITE SURROUND VOID ELITE USBVOID ELITE WIRELESS Connectivity 3.5mm analog combo / USB dongle Wired USB Wireless USB Receiver Compatibility Mac/PC, ConsoleMac/PC, Console (PS4) Mac/PC, Console (PS4) VIRTUOSOThe VIRTUOSO RGB and VIRTUOSO RGB SE are our top of the line headsets with multiple connectivity options available no matter which version you pick. You can connect directly to your Mac/PC over USB, analog 3.5mm or wirelessly with the included SLIPSTREAM wireless USB dongle! If you’re concerned about how your voice sounds, the broadcast-grade omnidirectional microphone on both the standard and SE models as well as our exclusive SLIPSTREAM wireless technology make sure that you can hear and be heard with better audio quality than ever, all without wires! And if you do opt to use a wire, both the VIRTUOSO RGB and VIRTUOSO RGB SE offer crystal clear 24-bit 96kHz playback over USB on your PC! Model VIRTUOSO RGBVIRTUOSO RGB SE Connectivity 3.5mm analog combo cable / USB cable, SLIPSTREAM Wireless USB dongle 3.5mm analog combo cable / USB cable, SLIPSTREAM Wireless USB dongle Compatibility Mac/PC, Console (USB – PS4; 3.5mm Analog – PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch)Mac/PC, Console (USB – PS4; 3.5mm Analog – PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch)Stand Up for Excellent Audio!If you’ve got a headset and find yourself setting it on your desk or hanging it on your monitor when you’re done for the day, our ST100 RGB is a sturdy RGB headset stand that doesn’t just add a splash of color to your space and give your headset a proper place to stay, it also packs an integrated USB hub for wireless receivers as well as a built-in audio combo jack that enables features like sidetone monitoring and simple, customizable EQ settings through our iCUE Software! The Choice is YoursNo matter which headset you choose for work or play, CORSAIR has the solution for you, ranging from universally compatible 3.5mm headsets all the way up to feature-rich wireless headsets! For more information about our headset lineup, you can check them out here, visit our User Forum or join us on Discord!
  6. The 2016 reboot of DOOM was awesome and the next entry, DOOM Eternal looks to be even better! To celebrate the launch of another hardcore FPS, we’ve got an updated custom DOOM lighting profile courtesy of RGB wizard, Lewis Gerschwitz. You can download the profile here. But what next? iCUE can import and export custom profiles, they can serve as a backup of your home setup’s lighting and performance, but they can also be shared with the community! A few repositories exist for this very reason, but let’s go ahead and dive into how to import and setup a custom profile you’ve downloaded, using the newly updated DOOM profile as an example! To import a profile into iCUE, start by expanding the profile options tray and clicking on the import/export button (arrows going left/right). iCUE will now display profile import/export options in the main window. Click the browse button (the button marked “…”) to open a new window and browse to the profile you wish to import. In this case, we’ll select the DOOM profile. Click open then select what parts of the profile you’d like to import, if this were a backup of a profile you used for your home setup, you’d want to import everything, but since we’re only interested in the lighting effects, uncheck all the boxes except for the “Lighting Effects” box. Click import and iCUE will proceed with the import process. Okay cool, we’ve successfully imported the profile… but did you know that you could have iCUE automatically switch to a custom profile when you start up a game? Click the browse button marked “…” next to the box for “Link profile to program”. A new window will open and you can browse to the executable for your game. We’ll use DOOM 2016 as an example, but this also applies to DOOM Eternal or any other game/program you’re linking the profile to (file names and location will be different of course). If you’re confused as to which executable is the right one to link the profile to (some games use multiple .exe files), launch the game and ALT+TAB out so you see your desktop. Start up task manager and find your game in the list of processes, expand and you should be able to see which executable is used to run the game. Now that you’ve linked the profile to the game, you’ll want to go in and tweak settings for your hardware, if you’ve got a Commander PRO or any of our other iCUE-enabled products, you should take this opportunity to set up fan curves, DPI, and remaps that’ll apply when iCUE switches over to this profile when you launch the game! Alright, the important bits are covered, but don’t forget you can also set a custom background and icon for this profile too. Download whatever images (or be creative and make your own) that you’d like to use and apply them in the profile settings window. And that’s it! You’ve successfully imported and personalized a custom profile! Now go on and get fragging!
  7. We recently announced compatibility for a wide selection of our peripherals with the Xbox One as an Xbox licensed hardware partner. Bringing the same high-performance gaming experience that you enjoy on your PC to the Xbox One. Getting Started While you can simply plug and play your mouse and keyboard into your Xbox One, we recommend configuring your peripherals on a PC with our iCUE software. In games that recently added mouse and keyboard support, you may experience some input latency as the developers fine-tune peripheral support, so the below steps will help ensure the best gaming experience. 1. Install iCUE from corsair.com and launch Note: If you already have iCUE installed, update to the latest version if prompted 2. Go to the settings panel and click the device you wish to modify for Xbox One 3. Click “Update” firmware to ensure your device is up-to-date 4. Click the “Polling rate” drop down box and select “125 Hz / 8 msec” Note: This is recommended especially for mice to reduce visible lag in certain games While in iCUE you may wish to configure your mouse sensitivity through the DPI tab on the left. If your mouse or keyboard have onboard storage for hardware profiles, you can also save lighting and other settings directly to your peripherals so that they’re available to you when you’re connected to your Xbox One console. Going Wired Connecting a set of wired peripherals to the Xbox One is simple. If your keyboard has a USB pass-through, plug both USB cables into the back of your Xbox One console and plug your mouse into the pass-through port. If you have a stereo CORSAIR headset such as the VOID Stereo and HS50, or a headset with a removable USB adapter such as the VOID PRO Surround and HS60, you can plug the three-pole 3.5mm jack directly into your Xbox One controller’s headset port or the headset port on the back of the console to enable game audio and voice chat. Going Wireless Wireless peripherals such as the K63 Wireless keyboard and DARK CORE RGB Wired / Wireless mouse may also be used with the Xbox One. Ensure that both peripherals are in 2.4GHz wireless mode (not Bluetooth) and plug their respective wireless receivers into available USB ports on the Xbox One console. For best performance, use the provided USB cable adapter and the charging/data cable so that you can position the USB receivers in clear view of their respective peripherals. (For more information, check out our blog on getting the best wireless performance). NOTE: DARK CORE currently supports Minecraft and an update will be released soon to enable better compatibility with other Xbox One games. Going wireless allows for more flexibility, letting you clear your desk of unnecessary cable clutter, or allowing you to take advantage of our K63 Wireless gaming lapboard accessory. The K63 Wireless gaming lapboard securely houses your K63 Wireless keyboard and provides a cloth gaming surface for the DARK CORE RGB mouse, providing the ultimate setup to enjoy gaming with a keyboard and mouse from the comfort of your couch. Game On! And that’s it! We’re excited to help bring the ultimate keyboard and mouse experience to the Xbox One. For more information, please make sure to check out our detailed compatibility list. Happy gaming!
  8. Firmware can be thought of as the operating system of a device and in the world of components and peripherals, firmware is everywhere! Sometimes firmware updates are introduced to improve the performance or squash bugs that may pop up, so today we're going to take a look at how to check to see if your peripherals are updated completely in the CORSAIR UTILITY ENGINE. If a firmware update is available for one of your peripherals in CUE, you'll notice a yellow notice in the bottom left corner of the window. In this case, we're wanting to manually check/update our firmware so we're going to go to the global settings menu by clicking the gear icon at the top. Once in the global settings menu, you'll see a download icon next to each peripheral you have plugged in, this is the firmware update menu. Go ahead and click it to proceed with the update process. Once you've clicked on the download icon, you'll see the firmware version your device currently has installed, click update to continue. Once you click update, you'll be given an option to force update to the current latest version available on our servers. Alternatively, if you're trying to roll back to an older version of the firmware in order to troubleshoot an issue, you can select firmware image to update from a file that's saved locally on your computer. Once you've made your selection, click on update to proceed. Once you've started the update process, you'll see a progress bar, once this is complete, the device will disconnect from CUE and reconnect automatically. Do not disconnect the device during this process! And it's as easy as that! Hopefully this helps to clarify the update process in CUE.
  9. The next evolution of our popular VOID headset lineup is here with the VOID PRO, featuring a slew of upgrades and tweaks under the hood. The VOID PRO, like the original VOID headset, is available in surround, USB, and wireless versions.These headsets all share the same great basic features: breathable microfiber mesh fabric contoured earcups packed with memory foam for comfort, metal structural components and glass fiber infused plastics for durability, tuned 50mm neodymium drivers for audio quality, a redesigned unidirectional microphone with flexible boom (and included pop filter) for added clarity in-game, and integrated headset volume and microphone controls. The wired and wireless USB versions of the VOID PRO also feature RGB illumination on the CORSAIR logo present on each earcup which can be adjusted in the CORSAIR UTILITY ENGINE (CUE). Additionally, these two versions of the VOID PRO automatically mute the microphone when you lift the mic boom (the base of the microphone will light up in red when it is muted). So, what’s different? The memory foam cushions on the VOID PRO have been adjusted for more comfort while blocking out more outside noise. The drivers of the VOID PRO have also been tweaked for a better audio experience overall. However, the most obvious difference is that the microphone has been redesigned. This new microphone has increased audio capture quality, allowing you to be heard clearly in-game (the included pop filter is also a nice touch) while also being flexible for easy adjustment. With the latest version of CUE (version 2.16 at the time this blog post was written), you’re able to control all the audio and lighting settings of the VOID PRO USB and wireless easily. In CUE, we’ve built-in a selection of common audio EQ presets, but you can also create a custom EQ if you wish. We've also got headset/microphone volume sliders along with the Dolby Surround/Stereo toggle.These settings can also be switched through on the fly with the controls on the VOID PRO itself. Simply short press the volume dial in to switch between different EQ profiles or long press the volume dial to toggle between stereo and Dolby Surround modes. You can also adjust the lighting on the headset to match the rest of your peripherals with the built-in lighting effects. As an added bonus, there are two basic lighting modes that you can apply to any of our CUE-enabled keyboards, VOID PLAYBACK VISUALIZER and VOID MICROPHONE VISUALIZER, which display a customizable audio visualizer effect based on the VOID PRO’s microphone input or audio playback. The VOID PRO is a product refined by the feedback we’ve gathered from users of the original VOID headset line and its improved comfort and audio quality is sure to keep your head in the game. For more information on where to buy, check it out over on our webstore.
  10. CUE2: Software Overview The Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) is the software that drives the complex lighting and other features behind our gaming peripherals. While previous iterations of CUE have served this purpose well, CUE2 refines the user experience to make it easier than ever to jump right in and quickly customize your peripherals. With that in mind, here's an in-depth look at the new and improved CUE2. New User Interface CUE2 features a revamped user interface with hi-resolution images and UI adjustments that allow for the window to be resized to make the most of whatever display you're using. When you first start CUE2, you'll be greeted by the default profile in the top left corner, your devices with global settings, help, and advanced toggles in the center, a shortcut to the latest CUE patch notes at the bottom, and a shortcut back to the homescreen in the form of the Corsair Gaming logo in the top right corner. If you don't have a CUE-enabled peripheral connected, you'll see a series of demo peripherals so you can explore the different configuration and customization options available (this can be disabled in global settings). Profiles in CUE2 Profiles in CUE2 can be customized with a unique profile icon and background. Now you can quickly identify what profile you’re working in as well as show off your favorite characters or games to match with your lighting effects. Profiles contain performance, actions, and lighting information, allowing for a great degree of flexibility between games (especially if you link multiple profiles to a particular game to switch between characters or classes, all with their own unique lighting profiles and actions). Creating Profiles To create a new profile, click on the hamburger icon on the left hand side of CUE and then the plus icon. You can then name the profile and set a custom profile icon and background image (with an option to blur the background image and adjust the transparency of tabs as needed). If you need to tweak these settings again in the future, just click the pencil icon in the hamburger menu while that profile is active. Importing and Exporting Profiles Profiles can be imported and exported by clicking on the icon with left and right facing arrows. You can then choose between import and export via the drop down menu. Please note that CUE2 can only import CUE2 profiles, legacy profiles created in CUE 1.X will not import correctly. Exporting a profile will save the name, lighting effects, and actions in the profile. However, actions may need to be remapped. RGB Share Want to try out a few advanced lighting profiles or want to share one of your own? Corsair RGB Share is a resource we've put together for the community to easily share their custom profiles with the world. Lighting in CUE2 Lighting effects in CUE2 are split between basic and advanced. Basic mode includes a selection of preset lighting effects that you can modify color, speed, and direction (depending on the effect) while advanced mode allows you to create complex effects from scratch with a greater degree of control. Basic Lighting We include a variety of preset lighting effects for basic mode such as the popular spiral rainbow and type lighting. These effects are applied to the entire keyboard, but can be layered on top of each other to make a rather impressive light show. Visualizer modes and the Lighting Link feature to sync up all connected CUE-enabled peripherals are included in the basic mode. Here’s an example of setting up basic lighting: Create a new profile by clicking the hamburger icon to the right of the profile icons, then click “+” to add a new profile to the list. The "Create Profile" options will appear below the onscreen keyboard preview. You can name the profile, link it to a specific program, and add a custom icon and background for the profile here. Make sure to save. Click on “Lighting Effects” to the left of the preview area, then click “+” to create a new effect. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the current effect preset (default is the spiral rainbow). Make sure to name the effect in case you plan on adding additional effects later. You can change the effect used via the drop down menu and tweak things such as color, speed, and direction depending on the particular effect you’re working with. Again, don’t forget to hit save once you’re done tweaking the effect to your liking. You can add additional layers of lighting effects by repeating the process we just went through. Layers are prioritized from top to bottom, meaning that layers at the top of the “Lighting Effects” bar will be on top of layers that are lower in the chain. Advanced Lighting By toggling the “advanced” switch at the top of CUE2, you enable advanced lighting features that allow you to make your own lighting effects and apply them how you want across your peripherals for a higher degree of customization. Here’s an example of setting up advanced lighting: Toggle the “advanced” switch at the top of CUE to enable advanced mode. Create a new profile by clicking the hamburger icon to the right of the profile icons, then click “+” to add a new profile to the list. Name the profile, link it to a specific program, or add a custom icon and background. Ensure that you save these settings. Click on “Lighting Effects” to the left of the preview area, then click “+” to create a new effect. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the current effect, use the drop down menu to change the effect type as you wish and customize colors, speed, velocity, triggers, etc. as you wish. Name the effect and highlight the keys this effect will apply to (click and drag a box around the keys, or control+click to select individual keys). Make sure to save. Continue adding layers of effects by hitting the “+” icon, or you can duplicate an existing layer or import effects from the library. Effect priority is the same as in basic mode, so layers at the top of the stack will visually be on top of all other effects on your device.Actions in CUE2 Actions in CUE2 are listed on the left hand side with easy to reach controls for creating actions, duplicating actions, saving to library, importing from the library. When you create an action, you can choose between a macro, text, key remapping, media controls, timers, disabling keys, and profile switching. With actions you can do things such as remap a key so that it imitates holding a key, set a key or group of keys to be disabled when the lock is on, or automatically group profiles linked to the same program for easy switching between profiles for different characters or roles. Audio If you've got a VOID RGB headset, you'll be able to quickly toggle EQ settings, switch between stereo and Dolby 7.1, adjust sidetone/mic volume, and manage the InfoMic with ease thanks to the new, streamlined layout. Performance Settings Performance settings in CUE2 allow you to adjust angle snapping and pointer precision for mice and lock button behavior for keyboards. Global Settings CUE2’s global settings can be found by clicking on the gear icon next to the advanced mode toggle. While in global settings, you can update device firmware, adjust the polling rate for mice, check for CUE updates, startup behavior, and enable CUE SDK functionality. You can also turn off demo mode by checking the box to show only connected devices while CUE is running. Need Help? If you find yourself stuck at anytime, try clicking on the help icon just below the settings icon at the top of CUE2, this will trigger a tooltip to guide you through the different options that are available to you. Otherwise, the Corsair User Forums is a valuable resource for tips and tricks from us and the community. Imagination Visualized With CUE2, our goal is to unleash creativity expressed through powerful software and advanced RGB lighting. CUE2 will be supported with regular updates to introduce new features and we're constantly looking for feedback from the community (if you have feedback or feature requests, let us know in the Corsair User Forums). Thank you for all your input and we look forward to seeing how CUE evolves in the future.
  11. (This post is for the open beta of CUE2, check out our latest blog post for up-to-date information). The CUE2 open beta is here and brings with it a gigantic overhaul of the Corsair Utility Engine. We’ve listened to your feedback and set out to make CUE2 easier to use so anybody can quickly tweak performance settings, create custom actions, and configure amazing lighting effects. So What’s New? CUE2 has a revamped home screen that puts your devices and profiles front and center. Click on any of the new ultra hi-resolution images for your respective device to quickly configure lighting, actions, and performance. The profile bar on the top left lets you quickly glance to see what profile is currently enabled as well as manage your profile library. Speaking of profiles, you can now assign a custom icon and background image for each individual profile, adding a touch of personality to your CUE experience as well as providing a big visual aid for you to easily identify which of your profiles is active. If we stopped at a new home screen and custom icons/backgrounds, this wouldn’t be much of an update… thankfully, we dug even deeper and overhauled the UI for lighting effects, actions, and audio EQ while we were at it. Lighting effects are now layered with priority placed on the top most effect. You can execute simultaneous standard effects by assigning them to multiple layers and put them in the priority you want with a simple click and drag. Effect timing, triggers, and colors can be readily customized at the bottom of the screen. Actions work similarly to lighting, with all active actions listed on the sidebar and relevant settings on the bottom of the screen. Actions are now easily assigned to a key by selecting the appropriate key on the preview. Some bonus tweaks have been made to actions, such as the ability to imitate holding a key with the remap action, a new option to disable a key if the lock button is on, and new mouse angles to make it easier for you to see where your actions are being mapped onscreen. On the audio side, EQ presets are displayed on the sidebar and can be easily adjusted with the sliders at the bottom of the screen. Sidetone and microphone volumes are also readily available in addition to the virtual surround sound toggle. Take it for a Test Drive! Don’t have a Corsair device, but want to try out CUE2 for yourself? Awesome! CUE2 has a demo mode so that you can take it for a test drive with a selection of devices available for you to virtually customize. If you’ve already got one of our CUE enabled peripherals, you can disable demo mode in the settings menu by checking the option to “show only connected devices.” Try out the future of CUE by joining the open beta and letting us know what you think in the Corsair Forums. Note: Lighting profiles and actions from previous versions of CUE are currently incompatible with CUE2 and will require modification in "advanced" mode to work within CUE2. It is recommended that users remain on the latest version of CUE 1.X if they wish to keep their current lighting profiles and actions.
  12. Last time we took a look at some of VOID’s features and CUE capabilities. Today, I’ll be diving into everything you need to know about InfoMic, CUE Control, and how to use CUE to create and assign EQ settings. In our previous blog post, we mentioned InfoMic and CUE control being VOID’s solution to control virtually every aspect of the audio from the headset itself, while offering a visual feedback system. CUE Control Functions To review what CUE control does. Adjust Volume - Turn dial for volume control. Change EQ Profile - A quick press will cycle through 5 EQ profiles. EQ profiles can be changed in the CUE software. Toggle Dolby 7.1 - Pressing and holding the dial will toggle Dolby on and off. Mute Button Mute toggle - a short key press toggles the mic on and off. Toggle Sidetone - If the mute button is press and held, you can enable or disable sidetone. When sidetone is on, sound from the mic is sent to the ear cups, so users can hear themselves. Power Button On/off – a short key press of the power button to turn the headset on and off. As VOID Wireless is powering off, the ear cup will pulse either green, amber, or red depending on the battery level. Pairing – pressing and holding the power button for 10 seconds will put Void Wireless into Pairing mode. Note: headset should be powered off before trying to pair the headset to the dongle. InfoMic InfoMic provides a visual indicator providing mic status, Dolby status, battery levels, and connectivity status. Here the different LEDs tells us: LED 1 – Mic Status LED off: Mic unmuted Red: Mic muted LED 2 – Battery Level Amber pulse: >20% battery Red pulse: >10% battery EQ profiles and Dolby Status While CUE is running, short key presses the dial on CUE Control will change profiles, InfoMic LED 2 will indicate which profile is active with a series of blinking lights and beep. The number of blinks and beeps and will equal the profile number. Profile 1: 1 blink + 1 beep Profile 2: 2 blinks + 2 beeps Etc The color of the blinks on LED 2 during switching of profiles will indicated Dolby status. Green – Dolby enabled Red – Dolby disabledIntervals between each pulse and brightness intensity level can be adjusted using CUE. Wireless pairing indicators LED 2 Red rapid blinking – Wireless headset not synced with dongle LED 1 and LED 2 blinking red and green – pairing mode. LED 2 will display long green pulse when pairing is successful. Configuring EQ Profiles Void uses CUE or Corsair Utility Engine to adjust mic levels, Dolby on/off, sidetone on/off, and EQ. CUE comes 5 EQ profiles (Pure Direct, Bass Boost, FPS Competition Mode, Clear Chat, Movie Theater). You can customize your own EQ profile and set up to 5 on the fly profiles that can be controlled through CUE control. To create and assign a new EQ profile: Click the “Advanced Mode” button. Click to the right and click on “new” to create a new profile From here, you will be able to adjust the EQ to taste. Clicking on the slider outside the circle will move that individual slider. Clicking on the circle inside the slider will adjust that slider and adjacent sliders. New EQ profile “custom”(can be renamed) will now be assigned to Profile #1 You can move profiles by clicking on the vertical bar next to the profile name dragging it to any of the 5 profiles or by using the drop down menu. You can also disable profiles by unselecting the profiles using the check box. Configuring RGB Lighting VOID and its RGB lighting is fully compatible with CUE and all other Corsair RGB products. The headset, by default on startup, will use the “Single Blink” effect in red. We have included other patterns selectable through the dropdown menu. Some patterns will have addition options to toggle the speed of the lights and/or color of the pattern. CUE LINK CUE LINK is a feature available for those who have Corsair RGB keyboards and want to synchronize RGB lighting across all Corsair RGB products. How to set up CUE LINK: Click the keyboard icon at the bottom Select one of the 5 preset CUE LINK modes. Each mode can be customized by clicking on the pencil icon. InfoMic Notifications InfoMic can also be customized through Brightness levels, intervals between blinks for mic status and battery level. You will be able to adjust brightness and intervals by moving the sliders. Creating CUE Profiles With the latest version of CUE you will be able to create profiles that unify all RGB devices in addition to synchronized lighting with CUE Link. Like with previous CUE enabled products, you will be able to create profiles for different applications. For example: users can create profiles with different keyboard macros, audio EQ profiles, different mouse button assignments for MOBA, FPS, MMOs, RTS, etc. Profiles can also be linked to a specific game program or application so that the profile is loaded automatically when the program launches. To create a profile: Click the “New…” under the Profiles tab. In the window the profile settings window, enter a name for the profile. Under “Program” you will be able to link profile to any program. To do so click the check box and click “Browse” to find the .exe file to link to the CUE profile. To activate or edit the profile, use the Profile dropdown to select a profile. With this in depth look at the headset and software functionality, you should be able to jump right into CUE and customize your VOID headset the way you want it!
  13. The Corsair Gaming VOID gaming headsets is the newest addition to our gaming headset peripherals. When paired with CUE – you can craft your own dynamic lighting configurations as well as create and program EQ settings. VOID is designed for gamers with game-enhancing sound, a modern ultra-comfortable design, and on-headset-controls that provide instant one-hand adjustment to key audio settings. Features Dolby 7.1 Dolby Pro Logic llx will enable multi-channel surround for accurate positional audio. RGB Lighting Each ear cup is equipped with RGB LEDs for individual customization or synchronization with other Corsair RGB devices using CUE LINK. CUE Control There was a conscious effort to bring controls up to the left side of the headset, enabling quick changes without having to find a cord-based volume/mute control or button, so players could keep their finger on the trigger – or their mouse in most cases. InfoMic InfoMic is a new feature for our headsets, it provides a visual indicator providing mic status, Dolby status, battery levels, and connectivity status. Unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone makes gamers’ voices loud and clear. Microfiber-wrapped memory foam ear pads VOID was intended for long gaming sessions and the memory foam ear pads add extra comfort. 2.4 GHz wireless and battery We have improved our wireless chipset which uses less power (up to a battery life of 16 hours) and still provides cordless freedom up to 40 feet. Efficient 50mm neodymium drivers VOID is using new custom 50mm neodymium drivers to deliver immersive audio. USB extension dock for wireless receiver VOID Yellowjacket comes with a USB extension dock and could be used as a phone cradle as well. Corsair Utility Engine The VOID gaming headset can be programmed and controlled with CUE (Corsair Utility Engine), the same software used for Corsair’s RGB keyboards and mice. CUE allows users to configure the ear cup lighting, InfoMic LED notifications for mic status and battery status, and create up to 5 different EQ profiles. Gamers can also use our newest feature “CUE Link” which allows lighting effects to synchronize over all Corsair RGB devices. CUE customization will be available meaning you’ll be able to adjust the RGB back-lighting on the ear cups to Solid, Pulses, Flashing, and color shifts similar to our mice. When you first install CUE, you’ll be able to select pre-set lighting patterns such as Rainbow Pulse (ear cups will “breathe” different colors of the rainbow). Users will also be able to adjust the speeds and color of each lighting effects. In addition to lighting, Void uses CUE or Corsair Utility Engine to adjust mic levels, Dolby on/off, sidetone on/off, and EQ. CUE comes 5 EQ profiles (Pure Direct, Bass Boost, FPS Competition Mode, Clear Chat, Movie Theater). Advance Users can customize their own EQ profile and set up to 5 on the fly profiles that can be controlled through CUE control. CUE Control functions CUE Control allows users to make adjustments to CUE without having to leave the game and enter the software. Adjust Volume - Turn dial upwards to increase volume. Turn dial downward to decrease volume. Change EQ Profile - A quick press will cycle through 5 EQ profiles. EQ profiles can be changed in the CUE software. Toggle Dolby 7.1 - Pressing and holding the dial will toggle Dolby on and off.We’re very excited to add VOID to the RGB family. VOID represents our attempts to create the most advanced gaming headset with a focus on sound, comfort, and ease-of-use. We are constantly improving CUE, and there may be additional features that were not covered in this guide. We encourage all of our reviewers to spend some time using the various headset settings, especially the lighting and EQ profiles, to get a thorough sense of the near-limitless capabilities of this product. Also, try to get familiar with our CUE ecosystem since this version of the software will allow profiles and lighting options across all platforms (headset, mouse, and keyboard). Specifications: Model Void Wireless SE Void Wireless Void USB Type 2.4 GHz Wireless (USB 2.0 receiver) 2.4 GHz Wireless (USB 2.0 receiver) Wired USB 2.0 Available Colors Yellow Jacket Carbon Carbon Backlight Ear cups (RGB) Ear cups (RGB) Ear cups (RGB) Audio Dolby 7.1 Dolby 7.1 Dolby 7.1 Driver 50mm Neodymium 50mm Neodymium 50mm Neodymium Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz 20Hz – 20kHz 20Hz – 20kHz Impedance 32 Ohms @ 1kHz 32 Ohms @ 1kHz 32 Ohms @ 1kHz Mic Type Unidirectional noise cancelling Unidirectional noise cancelling Unidirectional noise cancelling Mic Impedance 2.2k Ohms 2.2k Ohms 2.2k Ohms Mic Frequency Response 100Hz – 10kHz 100Hz – 10kHz 100Hz – 10kHz Mic Sensitivity -37 dB (± 3 dB) -37 dB (± 3 dB) -37 dB (± 3 dB) Dimensions 228mm(L) x 242mm(W) x 108mm(H) 228mm(L) x 242mm(W) x 108mm(H) 228mm(L) x 242mm(W) x 108mm(H) Product Weight 388g / 0.85lb 388g / 0.85lb 388g / 0.85lb Warranty 2 years 2 years 2 years MSRP $149.99 $129.99 $99.99
  14. It’s been a little while since we’ve hit you with a review roundup. We’re in the calm before the storm: in just a couple short weeks, CES 2015 will be upon us, and the industry will spin up to full tilt again. But for now, we still have a doozy of a review roundup for you. The Corsair Gaming umbrella continues to gain traction with the series of high quality peripherals being released under it, while reviews still trickle in for our HXi power supplies. Corsair Gaming H1500 and H2100 We’ll start with reviews of our USB-based gaming headset, the Corsair Gaming H1500. Guru3D, eTeknix, and Benchmark Reviews all gave it a listen, and every last one came away impressed. Guru3D’s Hilbert Hagedoorn said “The Corsair Gaming H1500 shines in a nice deep and dynamic sounding bass, clear voices, and the treble that we increased a notch totally fits my personal sound flavor. These factors combined satisfy my personal audio flavor real fast.” He gave it a Recommended award. While we’re at Guru3D, Hilbert also tried out our higher end wireless Corsair Gaming H2100 headset and gave it a Top Pick award, saying “For straight up gaming, the H2100 is tough to beat, the overall clarity and nice bass make it a killer headset.” The reviewer at eTeknix shared a similar sentiment before giving it the Editor’s Choice award: “The Corsair Gaming H1500 is one of the best mid-budget gaming headsets available. It’s lightweight and comfortable to use for long gaming sessions, it has powerful and clear audio and it also has one of the best microphones I’ve tested. A solid all-round performance from Corsair.” Finally, our friends at Benchmark Reviews called it “a lot of headset for the price” and “just what the doctor ordered for the budget gamer.” The H1500 walked away with their Golden Tachometer. Corsair Gaming Mice and Keyboards While I can’t technically say our keyboards are the best in the business, they have a habit of getting some pretty high accolades, and they’re being joined by our new RGB mice. We’ll start with Slashgear, which took a pretty comprehensive look at our RGB keyboards along with our M65 RGB mouse and came away smiling, saying: “We came for the colorful madness of the RGB hook, we stayed for the highest-end precision delivered in-game. Both the keyboard collection and the mouse usher in Corsair Gaming with a bang.” Next, Erik Fredriksen at TechnoBuffalo had this to say about our K70 RGB: “The customization options presented by the software put the K70 and its bigger and smaller siblings in a class of their own. If you want to do anything beyond simply typing, not much else can compare. The possibilities Corsair’s software presents are virtually endless in the hands of a creative user.” Over at Vortez, Tony Le Bourne got his game on with the M65 RGB and found it worthy of a Gold award: “After spending some time with the Corsair Gaming M65 RGB, the performance has proved to be strong and satisfying, making a trusted weapon for all FPS enthusiasts.” Finally, the optical version of our brand new Sabre RGB gaming mouse (a hit in its own right in the office) was reviewed at both Tweak.dk and Hardware Heaven and in both cases left with an award, with Tweak.dk giving it their “Great Product” award and Hardware Heaven giving it their Recommended award. With the rash of quality Corsair Gaming hardware out of the way, we turn our attention to reviews of our HX1000i power supplies. Corsair HX1000i Power Supply The 1,000-watt, 80 Plus Platinum, Corsair Link-enabled beast that is the HX1000i was reviewed by both eTeknix and Hardwareluxx, and in both reviews, walked away an award-winner. eTeknix’s Ryan Martin specifically concluded, “With silent operation, impressive performance and a selection of digital controls and monitoring the HX1000i offers a great cheaper alternative to Corsair’s premium AXi series.” Corsair Cases We also had three of our cases – including the recently launched Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition – go out for review. The new 330R Titanium adds an attractive new gunmetal-colored brushed aluminum finish to the door of the 330R along with built-in fan control, and Technic3D was happy enough with it to give it their Silver award. The Tech Report revisited the Air 240 and discovered something you and I already knew: “With all of its stock fan mounts populated, the Carbide Series Air 240 delivers superb cooling performance.” That superb cooling performance, coupled with the killer feature set, earned our Air 240 a “Recommended” award. Rounding out our case reviews, TechPowerUp goes hands on with our Obsidian Series 250D. They called it a “small chassis with a huge punch” and gave it a 9.5 score and an Editor’s Choice award. Finally, the best of the rest: ConseilConfig.com reviewed our popular Hydro Series H75 liquid cooler (a perfect match for the HG10 bracket if ever there were one) and gave it a score of 4.1 out of five stars. …and last but not least, the crew over at Madshrimps put the screws to our Vengeance LPX DDR4 and made it sing. They said “Tweaking potential is more than present and this kit can compete with other high end kits, which might be higher priced.” For that potential, it earned a Performance award.
  15. The Corsair Raptor HS30 has long been a popular headset of ours for PC gamers who want a comfortable closed-back analog gaming headset. We have now improved the analog to add additional compatibility with your PS4 and other mobile devices using a single 3.5mm connector. /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-1.jpg What is the Corsair Raptor HS30 Analog Gaming Headset? /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-2.png/corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-3.png The HS30 headset is designed to be a plug and play analog gaming headset. Featuring 40mm Neodymium audio drivers, the HS30 provides great audio sound quality and extra padded earcups lets you enjoy long wearing comfort. It also comes with a noise-cancelling microphone for crystal clear voice communication and an in-line controller for on the fly volume control and mic mute on/off. /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-4.png What did you change on this headset update? /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-5.png/corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-6.PNG Previously, the Raptor HS30 had dual 3.5mm connectors, one for audio and the other for the microphone. While this worked well for PC systems, gaming consoles and mobile devices only have a single 3.5mm connector. This meant that you could enjoy using the headset, but you would lose the microphone functionality. In essence, you would only get one half functionality from your HS30 without a special adapter. To expand on the headset compatibility, we refreshed it with a single 3.5mm cable that delivers both audio AND microphone capability so you can utilize 100% of the headset features when using with a console or mobile device. An included Y-cable will be included, however, for users who still require 2 separate 3.5mm connectors. For those users who have our original HS30, we will make available an opposite type of Y-cable so you can retrofit your HS30 for use with a single 3.5mm connector used on systems like the Sony Playstation 4. How do I configure this headset for the PS4? To address this, Phi Keo from Product Marketing wrote up this guide to help you set it up: [indent] Step 1 – Go to setting in the main dashboard /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-7.jpg Step 2 – Go to sounds and screens /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-8.jpg Step 3 – Go to Audio Output setting /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-9.jpg Step 4 – Go to output to headphones /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-10.jpg Step 5 – Select All Audio /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-11.jpg Step 6 – Go to Devices /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-12.jpg Step 7 – Go to Audio Devices /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-13.jpg Step8 – Turn up Volume control to Max (around 80% by default) /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-14.jpg Step 9 – Turn Down Microphone level to 25-30% (Around 50% by default) /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_Raptor-HS30-Refresh-Content-15.jpg [/indent] The Sony Playstation 4 is just one example of what the Raptor HS30 has for compatibility. With a single 3.5mm cable now, you can enjoy it on any other platform that supports this functionality and enjoy it with quality audio and a great microphone!
  16. I love gadgets. Always have. If there's something out there that I think fills a need, I run right out and buy it. Mini speakers are not new to me. For the last decade, they've essentially replaced the boom box in my house (though I think I have a couple Sony boom boxes laying around "just in case"). But I could never really say I've been 100% happy with mini-speakers unless they're just big enough that they're too inconvenient for me to just throw in my backpack for a quick trip half way around the world. The speakers need to be small. Not only do I have to travel with the speakers, but I carry them around the house, office or hotel. And I don't always have somewhere to plug speakers in, so they need to have a good battery. And they need to be loud. Shower radio? Who needs a shower radio when you can just set up a mini speaker and crank it up. But it has to be loud enough to hear over the shower without distortion. Last year, Corsair became the parent company of the Scottish audio manufacturer, "Simple Audio". One of the products from them that caught my eye was the "Go" Bluetooth speaker. The Go arrives in a small cube shaped box. Around the back of the box, we're told that there are three drivers. Wow! Three drivers in a 120 x 60 x 65 mm housing? That sounds hard to believe. The speaker also supports Bluetooth 3. Bluetooth 4 devices work perfectly with the Go speakers and actually, the improvements made to Bluetooth 4 don't really apply to this type of device. If you use a BT4 device to stream to these speakers, that just means the device thats doing the streaming is not going to kill its battery as quickly as if you were using a BT3 device. The final paragraph on this panel of the box, and I'm sorry it's difficult to read in the above picture, talks about the fact that this speaker also has a microphone and allows the user to answer calls while streaming. If a call comes in, you can answer it and talk through the Go. When you're done, just hang up and your music will start back up automatically. So now let's dig into this packaging. Pulling off the sleeve reveals a yellow box. Opening the box reveals a very well protected speaker in one half. The other half of the box contains all of the accessories. All unpacked and almost ready to go.... We have our speaker, a small carry bag, a little manual, a USB charger and two cables. The cables are a USB-A to micro-USB for charging (the kind most cell phones use for charging) and a 1/8th to 1/8th audio cable to connect the Go to virtually any audio device with a headphone jack. Note that the audio jack has two black rings that separate the jack into three conductors. This tells us that the jack supports audio output, but doesn't support the microphone input. For charging purposes, the Go comes with a little 5W AC adapter, not unlike the adapter that comes with many smartphones. The Go can also charge via a computer's USB port, so you may use whatever method is most convenient for you. So here's our little Go speaker. Measuring 120mm wide, 60mm tall and 65mm deep. It's difficult to see the two speakers through the grill, but there are two 1.5", 4W, 8ohm paper cone drivers in there. On the top, we have a volume down (-) button, a volume up (+) button and a BT pairing (o) button that also doubles as a pause/play button. On the back, we have our line in port, so devices that do not support Bluetooth capability can work with the Go, we have our micro-USB port, for charging, and a simple "OFF/ON" switch. Finally, here's a shot of the underside. What?! The bottom of a product? Why am I showing you the bottom of a product? Two reasons. One, see that horizontal hole? That's the bass port. Inside there is a 2" passive radiator. Second, see those rubber pads? Well, they're not really "rubber". if you've seen that commercial where the guy sticks the cell phone to the phone holder and then sticks it out the window of a moving car... that's the same tacky substance. It accounts for the Go's unreal ability to stay put. Having a party on your yacht in the middle of a hurricane? NO PROBLEM! The Go isn't going to slide off the deck. It's good to know that animated GIFs can still be fun. Above is the pulsating light you see when your Go is charging. It blinks red during BT pair up. Speaking of pairing up... Just turn on Bluetooth and there's "Go". Click it and you're connected. But what are the settings for? If you uncheck "phone audio", unfortunately, that doesn't mean you can play music for your friends at a party and then run off to the bathroom to play Candy Crush with the sound on and nobody will hear it. As long as "media audio" is checked, ALL of the phone's sounds will be heard. BUT, if the phone rings and you answer it, the phone call won't be broadcast to the Go for all to hear if you have "phone audio" unchecked. The music will stop until you're done with your call. Using Go is about as straight forward as it gets. No special apps are needed. You don't need to "tell" your phone or tablet where to send audio. Once Bluetooth is paired up, it just works. Fire up whatever media player you want to use and hit "play". In the shot above, you can see that I'm using Google's Play Music on my Nexus 5 (yes, I cracked the screen already). I've also tested it with Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Amazon MP3. Essentially, anything that you can play on your Bluetooth enabled phone or tablet is going to come out of these speakers. And the range is good too! Bluetooth specification states that these two devices will stay paired for up to 100 meters (33 feet). I found that they nailed that spec down to a tee. I walked 33 feet away from the speaker and the music sounded just as good as if I was standing three feet from the speaker. After that, the music started to cut in and out as the signal dropped out. 33 feet is pretty far, actually. I don't think I'd want better range because beyond that, I can barely see the Go sitting on the park bench and that's inviting for someone to run up and snap it up. The volume of this little guy is amazing. With a maximum output of 85dBSL @ 1kHz, the term "room filling" is an understatement. And the frequency response is impressive despite the small drivers. While the specifications state that the frequency response is 130Hz - 20kHz [+/- 10dB] , I used a frequency generator app on my phone and found that the Go was able to accurately reproduce tones as low as 20 Hz, at lower volumes, without distortion. At higher volumes, 50 Hz tones came across perfectly clear. Overall, the Simple Audio Go packs more power per square inch than anything else out there. It's loud, it sounds great and the battery lasts a very long time on a single charge. For a retail price of $99.99, you'll be hard pressed to find something that sounds this good and is this feature rich.
  17. For those of you considering a new headset, keep in mind that the new Gaming Audio Series HS1A gaming headset sounds great with MP3 players and mobile phones too. Due to a recent iPod tragedy, I am currently using my Droid X for all my mobile music. As I was loading the MP3s into my phone, I had a brief flashback to the recent PAX East gaming event. We had one of our new HS1A analog headsets set up at our booth for people to sample. We had some good lossless MP3s playing and quite a few people listened and were very impressed with them. What stuck with me was how many people said “Wow, is this a noise cancelling headset too?” In fact, the cans are not noise cancelling. However, we specifically designed the ear pieces for the HS1 USB and HS1A to fully enclose the entire ear. This feature, coupled with the excellent padding in the ear pads, does result in great external sound isolation. So, in fact, there is a noise cancelling effect of sorts. This led me to try the HS1As out with my Droid X. I was not overly impressed with the default music player that came with my phone. It was adequate but I wanted more bells and whistles. After a bit of reading I decided to try the PowerAMP player. I was very surprised and impressed by how clean and clear the playback was using this combination. The volume was not quite as loud as what I normally get with smaller ear bud type headphones. But, it’s plenty loud for my old ears and the noise reduction of the cans on the HS1As more than makes up for the lack of sheer volume. So, for those of you considering a new headset, keep in mind that HS1As sound great with MP3 players and mobile phones. I’m definitely going to use them with my iPod Touch when it comes back from having the screen replaced!
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