It’s time for a tech labor reckoning

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Photo by Nikolai Chernichenko on Unsplash

Apple had a terrible revelation come out at the end of 2020, but thanks to other pressing news like the slow rolling chaos of the pandemic and the recent failed US insurrection, I’m worried that it went unnoticed by too many.

Right at the end of December, the online premium business publication The Information released a report showing that Apple knowingly relied on child labor for three years from one of their MacBook suppliers (roughly 2013–2016) without doing anything meaningful about it. …


Someone please dig me out of this pile of clichés

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Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

Colonists who are the last survivors from a ravaged Earth. A mysterious alien planet with secrets that probes didn’t pick up. Evil black goop that turns living beings into monsters. Freak storms that sometimes kill things and other times imbue them with powers, alongside visions of the future. A benevolent female character introduced in voiceover who might be good or evil. A future war between two competing factions with trenches and high-contrast Terminator-style lighting and smoke. Trucks that magically break down right when the plot needs them to, then magically work right when the plot needs them to. …


A big move for one of the largest gaming peripheral companies

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Photo taken by the author.

Yesterday, Kingston Technology announced that they’ve agreed to sell their HyperX division to HP.

When I first saw this, I was surprised. Kingston built the HyperX brand from the ground-up over the last 18 years, and also changed the way modern gaming headsets were designed. The HyperX Cloud combined a popular headphone, the Takstar Pro 80, with a microphone. It was the brainchild of a company called Qpad originally, but HyperX licensed that concept and then ran with it.

They expanded and iterated on that concept across several generations of excellent products, and created many new in-house designs, including the…


Omega Force has released 22 Dynasty Warriors games since the last Diablo launched

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Official Diablo II Resurrected marketing image, https://us.shop.battle.net/en-us/product/diablo_ii_resurrected

As a huge fan of hack- and- slash action RPG games, Diablo III and the Dynasty Warriors franchise are both on my regular playlist. These games provide dozens of hours of fast-paced action fun, and keep players engaged for months with a combination of experience points, skill trees, and a massive pile of new weapons to find.

If you want some exciting new content, you never have to wait long with the Warriors series. Koei Tecmo, and their internal development team Omega Force, clearly have game production honed down to a science. Between the core games and licensed spin-offs, a…


Budget bass champions with a stellar microphone

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Photo taken by the author.

Razer helped define the early path of the “gaming headset sound” with their original Kraken series. Bold colors and large highly-padded ear cups delivered powerful bass into the ears of gamers everywhere, and won the company an early lead in the market.

Eventually, the bass-heavy sound of the first gaming headsets faded out of popularity. Gamers constantly demand more performance as time goes on, and now want detail, clarity, and soundstage depth to go along with the fun rumbles.

The Razer audio gear lineup has grown up along with the times. They released one of the best-sounding Bluetooth headphones I’ve…


Which budget model deserves your dollars?

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Photos taken by the author.

Way back at the end of 2016, HyperX changed the budget gaming headset market forever by releasing the original Cloud Stinger. This $50 model packed many of the design features from their higher-end products into a price category dominated by cheap simple plastic options.

It was no longer good enough for a budget gaming headset to be made of plastic and spit out some sound. Now, it needed to have premium touches. A whole new wave of competition emerged, and now the lower end of the market is packed with solid choices.

Roccat has always built their products on value…


The two best wireless PC headsets go head-to-head

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Photo taken by the author.

The mainstream gaming headset market is packed with good, competitive choices, and the wireless space is where most of the innovation and focus is right now. Five years ago, it was almost impossible to get a good-sounding wireless gaming headset at a reasonable price, but now the sub-$150 market is riddled with options.

My two favorite wireless headsets in this price category are the HyperX Cloud II Wireless, and the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air, both of which released last year. The Cloud II sells for $150, and offers a sterling blend of build and sound for that price. The Elo…


Speaker tags aren’t worth losing wireless support

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Official SCUF H1 marketing image.

Corsair bought SCUF Gaming, purveyor of premium customizable game controllers, at the beginning of 2020.

One of the first results of that partnership is the new SCUF H1 headset(official site here), and I don’t think it seems like a great buy. The headset starts at $129.99 in its base configuration, but if you kit it out with all of the extra options, it quickly approaches $175. And that’s before shipping.

That puts it within spitting distance of the $179 starting price of the Corsair Virtuoso, the headset that the H1 is based on. At first glance, this seems like a…


Wireless console audio perfected

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Photo taken by the author.

NOTE: Turtle Beach graciously sent me a final retail unit of the Xbox version of this headset to review alongside marketing assets and technical information. No money changed hands and I had full editorial control over this article.

As per my reviews policy, this article will never be monetized, but other additional content about this gaming headset, such as comparison articles I write in the future, might be. My posts contain zero affiliate links as I don’t personally believe in the practice.

A few years ago, I wrote an article praising Turtle Beach for a dramatic shift in their design…


A decent console headset bolstered by bonus features and spatial accuracy

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Photo taken by the author.

NOTE: Turtle Beach kindly sent me a final retail unit of this headset to review alongside marketing assets and technical information. No money changed hands and I had full editorial control over this article.

As per my reviews policy, this article will never be monetized, but other additional content about this gaming headset, such as comparison articles I write in the future, might be. My posts contain zero affiliate links as I don’t personally believe in the practice.

In spite of the “Gen 2” in the name, this new version of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is essentially an all-new…

Alex Rowe

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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