Saturday, 4 January 2014

Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22

Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22

                If you have ever been looking for a headset that will be compatible with both your console, be it either XBOX 360 or PS3, or even both, and your PC, you probably know how hard it is to find one of them that is also comfortable and offers a good audio quality. Well, look no more as Turtle Beach solves your problem with its new release, the Ear Force PX22. As always before buying the actual product, we recommend trying it out yourself in one of the stores.

            The Box

                The package of said headset is something you would expect to see when buying gaming gear. On the front you got a bit of specification, main features, MLG logo, model name and a big picture of the actual headphones. The back contains of a write down of features, what the package contains, and the specification. On the side, you’ve got in-line amp guide. Before you can open the actual box, you got to slid the cover off, and only then you may actually open it. The first thing you is the documentation with a quick start guide, which includes additional stickers, but also cables and accessories hidden in a pretty stylish package. When you remove the next cover, you see the actual product, but also the inline amp, which surprisingly is shipped not connected to the headphones.

            The Specification

                In audio business, the specification may not be so important, but it’s always a good thing to include one. In case you had any doubts earlier, the headphones are of closed build. That means, little sound will be getting in the headphones and little sound will be getting out, resulting in you not being able to hear your surroundings. The connection type is USB, as could be expected by headphone enthusiasms, due to the microphone, which would require 2 jacks in order to work, if 3.5 plug was the connection type of choice. We got 1 driver per each ear, each one being 50mm in diameter, which is rather big, but you don’t have to worry about it that much – it fits perfectly, which we’ve covered later in the review!

            The Comfort

                Very important aspect of the gaming headset is the actual comfort. If you’re planning to spend long hours playing Call of Duty in front of your TV, you don’t want the pleasure being stopped by hurting ears from ear pads or the tip of your head from bad headband of the headset. Nothing of these will happen when your order PX22, but you have to realize they won’t be as comfortable as Razer Tiamar or SteelSeries Sibera V2. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort while using this headset.

            The Features

                Main feature of those headphones is no doubt the inline controller, which seem to be a good move on the Turtle Beach side. It allows you to control volume, bass, treble and even mute your microphone on the go. In addition, it features game and chat volume controls, an Xbox 360 chat input and mobile phone connector. It is definitely a cut above average. The cable is made out of vinyl sheath and is quite long, which has to be noted. The microphone itself is ultra flexible and did well in our tests of voice chat, Skype calls or Teamspeak.

            The Audio

                Equipped with one of the bigger drivers of 50mm, they produce just a fine sound. They also have the stereo type of sound, which isn’t the most desired in gaming gear, because it doesn’t such a fine positioning in online FPS games as Dolby Surround, but thanks to Turtle Beach engineers you can still know where that bullet came from. The PX22 deliver a great audio experience on whatever you plug them into, let it be PC, PS3, Xbox 360 or even your phone. They sound crisp and clear and you hear the nice “thump” of the bass when you expect it. However, you have to keep in mind that those aren’t $300 Hi-Fi audiophile headphones, but that’s probably not something you need when you order PX 22.

            The Design

                Everything comes at the expense, and while Turtle Beach EarForce PX22 delivers great comfort and sound, the materials used had to suffer on this. They feel light, flimsy and give you the impression they could break easily every time you use it. This won’t probably bother you at all because they were designed rather for home use, but given the mobile phone compatibility, it sucks that you probably won’t go out in public.

            The Conclusion

                All in all, for the 70$, you get pretty good audio quality with an average comfort, but also cheap materials. If you’re looking for your first gaming headset, I definitely recommend this. If you’re however looking for something more durable, you should rather look at something at higher price range.

Why Is Bitcoin Gaining Popularity

                Bitcoin popularity has seen a huge rise in past 2 months, mainly due to the price jump which resulted due to China buying huge amount of the first crypto currency. More and more places start to accept bitcoins as a legit payment method, alongside credit cards, cash and PayPal – it has relatively small transaction fees, compared to 2-3% of CC processors, which adds to the incentive. The price is oscillating at the level of 800 USD at the moment, seeing a huge rise since six months ago, when I was barely worth 150$.
                A bit of history first. 3rd January 2009 is the date of introduction of the Bitcoin protocol, done by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. At first, it has been widely recognized as something that criminals used. The famous Silk Road used it as primary currency, but it has been shutdown in 2013 by FBI, who seized what is now estimated to be worth 28.5 million USD of bitcoins. The start of BTC was marked with early technical problems, for example in 2009 an exploit existed, that allowed the creation of unlimited bitcoins. In relation to other currencies, BTC has appreciated rapidly. In 2011, first boom happened, when the value of one coin went from 30 cents to a bit over 30 dollars, then dropped back to 2$.
                One of the reasons Bitcoin is gaining popularity is because of all the fuss media has made in the last months, along with the price jump. Ordinary people, who haven’t heard about it before, suddenly are told that BTC is semi-viable alternative to Euro our British Pound. This contributes to the attention the crypto currency gets, therefore resulting in rise of the value.
                Another reason is because you don’t even have to work to gain the currency. All you have to do is setup your computer to “mine” the coins – there’s zero effort in doing that, and we’ll cover how to do so in future article. Of course, you won’t be gaining 100$ per hour out of nowhere – if you want to start mining seriously, you will need to invest in GPUs suitable to mine.
                Bitcoin is also popular thanks due to the anonymity it provides, while maintaining platform secure enough to prevent chargebacks or frauds. Of course, the platform could be a victim of a hacker attack, but those are pretty rare and success of those depends on how the user secures their own wallet.

                All in all, BTC is gaining popularity because it’s a good alternative to real-world currencies, which are controlled by huge institutions and banks. If only more shops and services supported payments in bitcoins!