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SPEEDLINK Medusa NX SL-8781-SBK Stereo Gaming Headset
This headset is pretty damn good. As my first headset for my gaming PC, I find these are nice. They are built well. They are heavy but not too heavy. Overall pretty good. The adjustable headband is good too. The mic is somewhat short and without mic boost in windows it doesn't really pick up sound at all unless its right in front of your lips; which is only doable if your head is as thin as a sheet of paper. On the other hand, if you turn mic boost on and half the volume slider, it gives a great hearing comfort level and the mic picks up well for others to hear. Not only that but when you listen to music and theres a silence in the song you can hear a faint hiss. To combat this just take a quarter off the volume or half the volume on the in-line control and it sorts this problem. I recommend that anyway because with Mic boost you could defean yourself if you shouted to a team mate in a game lol.
Apart from those minor issues here is the major one for me.
Wearing Comfort. The headband is a tight one. Meaning it tries to push itself together. Basically it feels after a few hours that the headset is actually trying to squeeze your head. This isn't as bad as it sounds. Though one thing I didn't notice until I picked this up is that the ear cups are not made of the leathery type of synthetic material as the head bands, instead its a sort of sponge; which, when your ears get hot - which doesn't take long - starts to cause itching. Annoying thing is, due to it being foam its going to get hotter quicker than the synthetic leather-like fabric on the headband. Why speedlink didn't think of this is beyond me.
Audio quality is supreme!
Bass quality is real bass. It's not just empty thuds, it's geniune bassful beats, rumbles and kicks. This doesn't interfere with singing audio or percussion, with the higher pitch percussion coming through clearly over the top of the bass. The dynamic switching between L & R in the stereo is amazing and sounds great with this sort of audio quality and makes listening to music a joy. More so than speakers! You'd never want to go back to speakers after using these.
The mic is good, but as said it doesn't reach your mouth, so use Mic Boost and turn the in-line volume down a tad first. I don't think you can defean yourself but it depends on your own voice level and the volume of the source music/video/game.
When the Mic is on boost. Pickup is fantastic. It's crisp, clear and so very easy to hear.
Mic Broadcast Quality - 10/10Audio Quality - 10/10Comfort Quality 6.5/10
Hope this helped.
Official Xbox 360 Elite Play & Charge Kit - Black
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The product is great. It may take many hours of charging the first few times to get the full capacity of the battery (which it says in the mini-manual of the Play & Charge Kit). But the battery life is great.
You can also use a USB port from a PC which will then install the drivers (TO WINDOWS) and allow you to charge it. This helps part you from the wires.
The length is helpful for those playing far from their TV's or using larger TV sets. But there is a risk that if someone hits that wire your Xbox is going to get pulled of knocked over - with a disc running it will most likely be fatal.
There are as I've seen no Quick Charge Kit Docks in Black but only the black rechargeable battery packs so the problem here is matching colours. If you want it all in black get a Play and Charge, if you have all white hardware and prefer the convenience of staying completely wireless 100% of the time get the quick charge kit. The battery times are similar. The actual battery life from full charge from this product is 25 hours. (See Manual)
The snug fit is a little too snug and requires a flat-head screw driver to get the play and charge kit off the top of the controller, but eventually it will loosing up. Those who are lucky may not have any problems with it fitting too tightly.
Overall, the product is good. If you prefer to stay wireless completely then go play and charge kit, but if your doing clan games and you run low then play & charge is very handy. Again it is down to preference and colour matching.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (Fear)
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Those who haven't played F.E.A.R are missing out, but even if you don't care for the story the gameplay in F.E.A.R 2 handles itself very well.
First of all the Visuals of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin has taken a great leap and with the grainy textures and dust in the air the environments seems positively gritty.
The Audio aspect of the game is also greatly improved! The level of audio is more balanaced yet more detailed meaning no straining your ears or pumping the volume at ridiculous hours in the morning just to hear the words of the story line. The Voice acting, though good in the first are nothing compared to the great quality of F.E.A.R. 2's voice actors. It helps bring you into the story and feel the pressure of your fellow comrades and other characters.
The music is very well done also and it is perfect for the situation. Slightly pumped up tempos are introduced into the battle elements, whilst calm dark areas get a quieter near non existent level of music with sudden loud, fast paced bursts to put the spook into the situation.
The control scheme is some-what confusing amongst the other FPS's out there. It almost seems as if they have tried to take Call of Duty's simple aiming system and mix it around with the likes of Vegas and Half Life 2. Though that may seem a bad point, once you get used to it the controls are very nice and it feels very well done. The firing of the weapons is beautiful and the vibration fits every round that is shot. This makes the weapon feel a lot more "real" in your hands and thus makes the game itself feel more realistic.
The sound effects for the game are well, top notch. Spooky lil noises well tense you up, and the sound of the guns goes nicely with it's feel. The odd Can may be knocked over from time to time and it'll get you turning around. My suggestion would be 5.1 surround sound for this game, though Stereo or 2.1 is perfectly adequate.
Scariness. Well, I have to admit though I'm not a mad fan of horror titles simply because I prefer laughs or action over scary. I have to admit F.E.A.R 2 is not as scary primarily because you know what to expect - that being if you had played the first F.E.A.R title. Now this'll go up 1 mark for those who haven't played F.E.A.R but F.E.A.R. 2 just doesn't keep the scary factor compared to the original. The game still is scary at many points and is worth every penny but I think the spookiness will be a lot higher for those who haven't played the first.
Interating with the environment is a nice addition and it was clearly expected by those who had played the first F.E.A.R. Enemies grabbing objects and toppling them over into adequate pieces of inpenetrability to save their wicked souls did seem quite unfair so it was kind of expected to be in F.E.A.R 2. So yes, they did allow you to interact more with your environement which is a very good idea. You can flip over tables, chairs, vending machines, bins, and numerous other objects and use them as cover; as well as the enemy of course. Scary moments will involve you to battle face 2 face with a foe and press B to stop yourself getting seriously hurt but it fits in so well because it adds alot of tension to the game an a bit o' feel good once you defeat the enemy.
The Multiplayer isn't - in my opinion - as good as the first. Should be a little lighter on resources but there isn't any lag. Practice makes perfect but it doesn't score too well for me.
Achievements are finally alot better. You will recieve achievements for completing a chapter. Just like in the first. But this time there are a lot less multiplayer achievements and they do not consist of the millions of 5 GS achievements that F.E.A.R annoyingly had.
Hope this review HELPED!
Xbox 360 Elite Console
My first Xbox premium broke 9 days after purchase... faulty laser. My second Xbox premium lasted almost 2 years, but broke 3 times in 5 months in the middle of 2008. It died the final time in January 2009. That model was OLD!
The Elite however (Falcon* / Newer Jasper* Models) are a massive improvement. The Falcon uses a 90nm GPU and a 65nm CPU chip. Using less power. The end result is a cooler Xbox. The power brick is also cooler since it doesn't have to dish out as much power too. The Jasper though not widely available yet, uses 65nm GPU and CPU chips and is said to be the eradicator of the RROD completely, though for the older Falcon Elite stock wait a good few months for most stock to be replaced with the latest Xbox 360 models.
The Elite overall is very good (later models). The HDMI is a big improvement from Component (depending on your HDTV model) and the audio is better through the cable as well. Less cables need to be used and since it is a single plug-in you don't have a web of cables dangling from the back of your precious TV.
The Elite does run quieter too. Though some may say it seems louder I'm betting they didn't put the surface into account. Think for a moment... put your finger on a bell and ring it. Doesn't ring clearly! Now take your finger off? See my point. So the Elite is quieter.
The Extra space means that you can pre-install many games to your 120HDD for that extra quietness for those spooky titles and slightly better load times.
The Matte Black Finish to the Xbox is well n' truely what it deserves. The grey tinge to the controller, heatset and cables goes well with it. The chrome-look drive looks nice amongst the black on the console too.
Overall the product is a massive improvement. With the later Falcons and the newer Jaspers. You are less likely if not at all to get RROD. So sit back and game for hours. An with getting more for your money for Xbox Live these days, you seriously cannot go wrong!
The price of this console is considered a bargain and with free delivery now is the time to get it. Don't put this great piece of kit on hold!
*Note: names are codenames for the chipset/mobo used - Jasper models Ampage 12.1 amps (read near Serial to identify Jasper model)