Monday, November 3, 2008

Turtle Beach X3 Wireless Headset - Afterthought

So after a week of putting the X3 wireless headset through it's paces, here is my impression:  While I don't play much multiplayer, I do enjoy playing co-op online so having independent volume control for in-game audio AND online chat was definitely a plus when choosing this headset.  I used the headset this week with Dead Space (no chat), just yesterday with Scene It? Box Office Smash (online chat) and movies/tv (more on that later).  While it doesn't do wireless 5.1, (that's the $200 X4), it has a "stereo expander" option via a switch on the headset to expand the sound.  More info on that feature and others, check here.  

The headset has nice weight to it.  Not too heavy to the point where you get tired of wearing it nor too light that you would forget you have them on after awhile.  Deep ear cup cushion was very welcome but i'm someone that only wears in-ear headphone buds when listening to my ipod so having my ears pressed against my head takes getting used to for me.  The mic is adjusts to move closer or farther from your mouth or have it pointed straight up away from your face if you're not going to use it.  I was impressed with the sound when playing Dead Space as the little creepy sounds from the game were transmitted quite impressively.  I can just imagine how the X4 would sound with 5.1.  It does, however, leave you totally oblivious to your surroundings.  I was playing Dead Space last Monday with a mostly empty apartment.  Everyone but my daughter Angelise was gone for the day.  She stayed home sick and was sleeping while I fired up a round with the headset so as not to disrupt her sleep.  While crawling along a corrider, tense as all hell, here comes Angelise, bolting from her room.  Didn't hear her coming and scared the bejesus out of me.  

Another impressive feature is microphone monitoring.  Ever have headphones on while listening to music and talk to someone very loudly, only because you can't hear your own voice giving you the assumption that the person you're talking to doesn't either?  Well, the boom mic on this headset allows a small amount of your voice volume in so you actually hear yourself in the headset when you chat.  A nice feature considering the people you're chatting with don't have to hear the audio from your game.  Pretty cool.  

The headset isn't without it's drawbacks.  When connected, I get a faint hissing sound which I can only imagine is feedback.  It's all dependent on where I place myself in my home theater room.  It's not obtrusive as it's mostly audible when there isn't any audio coming through the headset, but it's there.  While chatting during my Scene It? session last night, the chat wasn't as good as the xbox 360 wireless controller.  I was told I sounded ok but the other party sounded too muffled.  I didn't think about it at the time but I should've told my opponent (who has the same headset) to pull his boom mic away from his mouth to see if that would clear up the audio.  I'll test it out more this week as I plan on getting in some Vegas action with my brother Jorge and friend Junior.  They'll let me know.  

Finally, since I have all audio from my hd-dvd player, ps3/blu-ray and dvr pumping into my receiver AND the IR transmitter is connected to my receivers headphone jack, I can now enjoy late night movie and tv marathons without disturbing the family.  

One last thing, the headset isn't wireless in the truest sense of the word.  Unlike the Xbox 360 wireless headset, which connects wirelessly with the console, the X3 needs to connect to the 360's controller in order to chat, similar to the original headset that comes with the 360.  But that's only if you want to chat.  The cable that plugs into the controller can be detached from the headset in addition to the controller for it to be truly wireless.  No chat, no cable needed.

If someone wants me to post pics, let me know.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Coming up short...

10 movies. TEN MOVIES!!! That's all I could muster for this years HTF Scary Movie Challenge. I used to watch that many in a week. Oh well, don't have as much time as I used to. Besides, I have a Halloween themed excuse: After 10 chapters, I've put 16 hours (and counting) into Dead Space. Hey, that counts for something... right? 


Anyway, here's the list so critique away:

First time viewings are in bold.
  1. The Thing (1982) [HD-DVD]
  2. Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) [DVD] 1/2
  3. The Wolf Man (1941) [DVD]
  4. An American Werewolf In London (1981) [HD-DVD)
  5. Wolf Creek (2005) [HD-DVD]
  6. Hostel: Part II (2007) [Blu-ray] 1/2
  7. Fright Night (1985) [DVD]
  8. Rest Stop (2006) [Blu-ray] 1/2
  9. The Happening (2008) [Blu-ray]
  10. Prom Night (2008) [Blu-ray] 1/2
I did go to the movies with Jeanette tonight and caught Saw V (enjoyed it although I still haven't seen IV) and could've added it to the list but didn't want to "pad" the list by being dishonest. :)