Showing Results: Most Recent
This review is from: SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Mobile 3.5mm Connector Canal Headset
Pros: - Decent passive noise isolation (I wouldn't call it noise cancellation because these aren't actively cancelling anything) thanks to the snug fit cups
- Flat cord design prevents a lot of tangles and twists
- Integrated microphone and control switch makes this a very versatile headset for two-way communication
- Good audio quality once you get the right size cups fitted. Otherwise, you will have a complete loss of mid and bass frequencies
Cons: - HORRIBLE MICRO-PHONICS!! (This is the sound transmitted to your ear by mechanical vibrations when the headset cord is making contact with solid object)
- Carry pouch is somewhat small. Have to cram the headset into the pouch which takes is fairly difficult unless you tie-wrap the cord first (no integrated tie-wrap on the cord, so carry a bread-tie in the pouch with you)
- No way to secure the headset to your person or clothing during activities like jogging, biking. Also, not enough cord length from the V split to your ears to allow for looping the cord over your ears
Other Thoughts: I decided to give these a try for a variety of tasks while on the road. The first thing I noticed was the incredible amount of noise transferred from the cord banging around or “micro-phonics.” Typically, headphones will have a shirt-clip or be long enough to wrap the cord around your ear to minimize the effect. Neither was true in this case. Using these headphones while running or riding a bike was almost unbearable, not to mention I couldn't keep them from falling out of my ear regardless of which interchangeable tip I used. The flat cord was a nice feature though, since it minimized tangling. Moving on to music, I’m the kind of guy who believes a good headset will really add to the sound. These headphones did a decent job of noise isolation, which allowed me to hear a decent range of highs and lows.
After making several phone calls, I can say that I had no problem hearing or speaking into the microphone which fell conveniently near my mouth. The callers were sometimes able to tell when I was wearing them and could pick up on the road-noise while driving in my car, but it was not unbearable. Lastly, since these headphones are advertised for “gaming,” I was excited to put them to the test. From the short length of the cord, I can only assume the manufacturer meant they were for gaming on a laptop. Just like when listening to music, the in-ear microphones did a decent job of noise isolation, but that’s about it for the positives.
As an avid PC gamer and music lover, I’ve tried numerous sets of headphones but I confess that I prefer the full sized around-ear headsets. My overall opinion is that if you are going to invest this kind of money and willing to forgo the portability, you’re better off getting a good entry level full-size headset or just stick with using the earbuds that came with your mobile device.
This review is from: SteelSeries Siberia v2 Full-Size Headset Heat Orange Edition
Pros: The standard USB drivers are built into the headset, so they should just be plug-n-play on your Windows device. I did not have any issues getting some basic audio into and out of this headset.
The “heat orange” LED illumination is kind of exciting at first. With the built-in drivers, the LEDs glow brightly and make the headset really stand out. They definitely give a red hot glowing effect as the LEDs are behind a honeycomb mesh that resembles a glass stovetop turned up to full power.
The downloadable USB drivers and software utility allow you to choose some preset equalizer settings that do actually bring out the audio fairly well. Music sounded more vibrant on that preset, and voice chat stood out very well from other sounds using the voice equalizer preset. You can also create a SteelSeries Cloudsync account which would allow you to carry your custom configurations with you if you jump around to various PCs… I didn’t actually find this practical but you might. The SteelSeries control panel allows you to set the LEDs for either always on or off, breathe mode, or pulse (to audio).
The overall build quality is not bad, but since everything is plastic I feel I must be a little delicate when tossing the headset onto my desk or into my bag.
I have no complaints about the audio quality. I enjoyed listening to music, watching movies, and playing games with the Siberia V2. The equalizer presets came in handy. The hard switch for the microphone was handy during gaming to avoid transmitting when speaking to someone nearby.
Cons: This is going to be a slightly longer list than the Pros I mentioned above…
My biggest complaint is the lack of support for 3.5mm only devices. Therefore I still need a separate headset when traveling with my Droid phone and iPad only.
While I did enjoy the LED light effects at first, I found myself turning them off in public. I am nearly 30 years old, and getting funny looks from people around me in public was a little awkward.
The headset is rather large and not incredibly adjustable. They just did not fit snugly on my head and I continuously was adjusting them back into position. Also, the ear cups are rather poor at blocking outside noises. Nearby conversations can easily bleed through into your audio.
Being that the Siberia V2 is USB driven, if you disconnect the headset while running an application, you may have to kill said application and relaunch it to regain audio. Also, if you plug in the headset after you've already launched an application, it may not detect the new audio device, and you’ll have to manually switch to it and set it as the default device. An issue not typically seen with using a 3.5mm device.
While gaming with this headset, I had complaints from fellow gamers that my mic audio sounded “thin” or “hollow”. I interpreted this to mean that the treble was much higher than the mid and bass levels, but there was not much that I could do for them. This was probably caused by the built-in noise-cancelling feature.
I would really have liked a travel bag included with this headset or at least a way to manage the cables without tying them into a knot!
Other Thoughts: At the time of this review, the SteelSeries Siberia V2 Heat Orange was priced at $79.99. For that price, I would personally keep shopping, but that doesn't mean to rule out SteelSeries altogether. I believe this headset does represent the excellent build quality that this company is capable of, but this model just doesn't have the features that I am looking for as a 30-YO part-time gamer with many different tech devices and a busy travel schedule.
If my product review has helped you in your decision making process, please check “Yes” below. Thanks!
Thank you to Newegg.com and SteelSeries for the review sample.
This review is from: EnGenius EGS2108P 8-Port Gigabit Smart Switch with 4 PoE ports
Pros: I am rather impressed by this simple to manage, yet robust little switch. It will make a good upgrade from my 10/100 HP ProCurve non PoE switch that I am currently using. Here are the finer points:
Relatively small form factor will fit on a desktop compared to a typical business class switch.
Stamped steel casing is durable with a protective powder coated finish.
Separate LEDs for data activity and PoE status on each port. Different color represents different connection speed.
All 8 ports are gigabit speed, while the first four ports are PoE as well.
The web GUI is simple to navigate. It’s broken down into 4 categories – Basic system settings, 2nd level advanced settings, VLAN settings, and QoS.
Have a total PoE overhead potential of 62 watts, with 15 watt limit per port, which should be plenty for most applications like IR IP cams and wireless access points. My total power draw for two such devices was a measly 6 watts.
Ability to individually set each PoE port for Priority (low/medium/high/critical), Class, Power Draw Limit, and State (on/off).
Built in Cable Diagnostic tool for troubleshooting cable breaks and length of cable.
Supports Windows Bonjour Zero Configuration.
Advanced features include Port Trunking, IGMP Snooping for Multicast broadcasting, Port Mirroring, and Static MAC filtering for an extra layer of security.
The wall mount kit includes 4 screws and 4 sheetrock anchors.
Fair price to pay for a solid managed gigabit PoE switch.
Cons: Not very attractive design. Resembles backroom equipment, yet made for the desk?
Small font on the front makes reading LED labels difficult from more than a foot or so.
There is no help menu built into the web GUI (minus 1 egg). There are some acronyms mentioned in the various settings windows that you may end up Googling for an explanation if you are not a highly experienced network administrator. Then actually using the feature is another challenge, but I was able to work my way through them with some trial and error.
No rack mount adapter brackets included... so I guess its staying on the desk. It's about 2.5" longer than my 8-port ProCurve which fits snugly next to my modem and router, so I'll have to find a new location for it.
Other Thoughts: PoE tested with a Buffalo Air Station Pro access point and a generic model outdoor IP bullet camera.
Thank you Newegg.com and EnGenius for providing the review product!