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Day: June 6, 2019

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Sennheiser debuts its first wireless gaming headset, the GSP 670

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During Computex last week, Sennheiser gave media a sneak peek at its first wireless gaming headset, the GSP 670, slated to ship starting at the beginning of next month.

The GSP 670 retails for €349 (about $393), significantly pricier then other popular wireless gaming headsets (as well as its wired predecessor, the Sennheiser GSP 600, priced at $249.95). Sennheiser is hoping its features, as well as the company’s reputation for excellent sound quality and comfortable headsets, will convince gamers to take the plunge. (When I tried on a pair at Computex, it delivered on wearability, connection speeds and audio quality, but of course it is hard to tell how headsets will feel and sound after hours of gaming, versus a few minutes of testing).

Despite the freedom afforded by wireless, many gamers stick with wired headsets to avoid reductions in sound quality and connection speeds or having to worry about battery levels, issues that Sennheiser addresses with the GSP 670’s features. Like other wireless headsets, the GSP 670 needs to be connected to a wireless dongle. Each one comes with a GSA 70 compact USB dongle with proprietary technology that Sennheiser developed to ensure a low-latency connection it promises transmits sounds with “near-zero delay.” The USB is compatible with PCs and the Sony Playstation 4. The GSP 670 also has Bluetooth, so users can pair it with their smartphones and tablets as well.

The GSP 670’s microphone is noise-cancelling and can be muted by raising the boom arm. The headset has two volume wheels to allow users to control chat audio and game audio separately. Gamers can also adjust the audio on the GSP 670 with Sennheiser’s Gaming Suite for Windows, a software tool that lets users switch between audio presets or customize sound levels, and also includes surround sound modes and an equalizer.

In terms of battery, Sennheiser claims the GSP 670’s quick-charging battery can run for two hours after a seven minute charge. When fully charged, it says the battery can last for up to 20 hours on Bluetooth and 16 hours when connected via the GSA 70 dongle. The headset has automatic shutdown to save power.

The GSP 670 is currently available for pre-order on Sennheiser’s website and will ship beginning on July 1.

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Here’s how Google Stadia performs depending on your internet connection

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Google is introducing more about the launch of its Stadia streaming gaming service today, and VP Phil Harrison gave us performance specifics today so you can see exactly how the company thinks the service will perform based on what kind of internet connection you have. It tops out at an impress 4K resolution, with HDR color, 60fps frame rate and 5.1 surround sound, but you’ll have to have at least a 35 Mbps connection to get that level of quality.

Meanwhile, at 20 Mbps you’ll get full HD 1080p output, while retaining HDR video, 60fps and 5.1 surround. And Google has optimized for smoothness of stream by retaining 60 fps all the way down to its recommended minimum bandwidth connection quality of 10 Mbps (and even potentially below that based on this chart). You’ll only get 720p streams at that level, however, and stereo instead of surround sound.

“With Stadia, our goal is to make gaming more accessible for everyone,” is how Harrison framed it, and that applies to its range of connection support as well as its device availability. At launch you’ll be able to play stadia games on your TV (via Chromecast Ultra), desktop, laptop, and tablet (via browsers) and on smartphones, though only Pixel phones to begin with starting with Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a (via dedicated Stadia app).

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