Gaming experiences and da MIC
Testing out the Tunguska heaedsets, we used a few games, Portal 2, Metro Last Light, and Dirt 3.
First up, lets get to Portal 2. The first game, Portal, was a classic, spawning meme after meme, and not to mention a fine line of products that you can actually buy.
Portal 2 does everything the first game does, only better in about every way, including sound. The headset actually does a very nice job of presenting environment detail, and in the FPS gaming mode the bass gave some nice oomph to the periodic music and environmental sounds. Intelligibility plays very importantly in Portal 2, because you have to listen to the voices to find out what the next clue is. The 2.0 was good, the V7.1 however did require a bit messing arround with the EQ, and adds a little too much reverb for my taste.
Metro Last light
Metro Last Light is a great game that has so much to get immersed in, great atmosphere, eye popping graphics, and beautiful sound design. I feel like Im giving it an award just for all that. Sound wise it is very impressive. Though there are some minor quibbles here and there, Metro 2033 uses sound as part of the game itself, part of (or a character in itself) the character. Both headsets are very good at immersing you into the space of the game, into the world. The clarity of the 2.0 does not make any illusions, you feel like you are inside the dark nature of the game. The V7.1 however again has a little too much echo and we can hear a bit more noise.
Overall we notice excellent bass, almost like that thumping sound you get in a movie theatre. The dialog in Metro Last light came through fine as did the environment sounds. But in the rear part of the audio environment you miss out on real environmental positioned noises.
See, the Tunguska really is not a real 7.1 channel headset, it simply emulates surround by widening up 2-channel stereo. That might be the biggest caveat for this headset. It's advertised as Virtual 7.1, though it's merely trying to simulate a similar effect. And while it isn't bad at it, it simply isn't 7.1 channel sound.
Rally racing games have just about everything you could want if you're not into hardcore simulation. Dirt has some very good sound, especially engine and gear noise, which are the heart and soul of a car.
Both the 2.0 and 7.1 headsets are real good on Dirt3, I didn't miss anything. Well, beside perhaps apexes and gear shifts ;) Okay, and a bridge or two + a corner I jammed myself into.
Now we do need to mention 7.1 surround sound again. You can hear simulated sounds behind you but emulating just isn't real 7.1. So if a driver is behind you to the left then you'd expect the motor sound in that position. That just isn't happening. Really, as good as the headset is sounding I tend to prefer the Tunguska 2.0. Surround aside, the headset does deliver great bass. Seriously good bass really as that V8 has a growl my man.
As part of our protocol we tested the microphones out with a number of applications, Skype and some co-op play, playing back the sound samples with Audacity.
The headsets have a great microphone, plenty of gain and very good clarity. The Tunguska's also have very low noise and hum, as well as very good noise (echo) cancellation. Pretty much it seems to be on par and similar to the Vengeance 1500. Noise (echo) cancellation actually works surprisingly well.
Alright, that's how far we're going with games, the Tunguskas really are nice sounding, but that 7.1 USB model really isn't a true 5.1 or 7.1 headset. It does sound fine overall in all the games we threw at it, the virtualized Xear surround really isn't bad. But for the Counter-Striker's out there, the lack of real multi-channel surround could be an issue for them.