Posts Tagged headset

Virtual Reality was a major theme at GDC this year, but Seebright’s prototype head-mounted display (HMD) stood out to me for one very important reason: it’s not a gadget-filled headset, but rather a frame to hold your iOS device and turn it into an affordable, self-contained VR headset.

The device is still in the preliminary stages, and as such will undoubtedly be seeing some deign tweaks in the future, but what I was able to see during my hands-on demo was quite promising. Using special software, the iOS device will display two separate images at slightly different angles. Once it’s placed into the headset interchangeable mirrors (one for a translucent heads-up display and another for a more solid image meant for gaming) reflect the images back to the user’s eyes and create the 3D image. What’s more, it’s able to use the device’s own motion tracking technology in order to allow users to look around in their virtual environment.

Personally I’m quite interested to see what Seebright does with their prototype in the coming months. The combination of accessibility (due to pricing) and the fact that it use preexisting iOS technology certainly opens it up to all manner of possibilities.

SeebrightHMDPrototype

via: Seebright
Developer: I-MEGO
Price: $129.99
Device Reviewed With: iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad 3

Usability Rating: ★★★★½
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Sound Quality Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Pros
+ Incredibly comfortable
+ Great sound isolation
+ Brilliant clarity

Cons
- A bit ostentatious looking
- In-line mic needs volume/skip ability

Headphones are a funny thing. One listener’s sweet spot is another’s bass-heavy muddiness. The I-MEGO Throne headphones come in two flavors: Gold (bass heavy) and Poison (balanced clarity). I am reviewing the second model, which is a pretty purple linen underneath a silver-toned grille on each over-ear cup.

I prefer headphones that I can plug into my iPhone, use as a microphone, listen to music, and–of course–game with. To this end, the I-MEGO Throne Poison headset is ideal. These are by far the most comfortable headphones I’ve worn to date, with a soft, leather over-the-head band that never hurts, even after a couple of hours of use. Ditto the soft leather, sound-isolating ear cups, which only become uncomfortable after a long gaming session due to my upper ear piercings.

The clarity of the sound on these babies is something to experience. I dislike overly-bassy headphone like Beats as they tend to overpower the rest of the sound in the mid and high frequencies. Too high-frequency, however, leads to a tinny sound, and overly mid-range response makes things sound muddy. The I-MEGO Throne Poison headphones have an excellent, across-the-board clear sound, which makes all sorts of music delightful to listen to, including, acoustic, jazz, pop, and rock.

I was surprised by the excellent sound isolation properties of the headphones, as well. I took them on a plane recently, and figured I’d have to crank up the sound as I do with most other over-the-ear styles I’ve used. Not so, at all. I even left them on during the flight without music or games on, just to decrease the ambient noise of the jet engines. The music I listened to, Steve Martin’s banjo-tastic album, Rare Bird Alert, came through loud and clear, without having to crank up the iPhone volume beyond my usual loudness preference. These are fantastic headphones.

The only quibble I have is that the in-line mic only has one button, which lets me start and stop music playback, and answer and hand up the phone. There’s no way to use it to control volume or skip songs, like the Apple Earpods do. It’s a small thing, to be sure, but it would make an already great set of headphones even better. I also wish they came in a less “look at me” style, like a less ostentation solid black, or even white.

Bottom line, the I-MEGO Throne Poison headset is now my favorite set of phones to wear, in all sorts of settings where sound isolation and amazing clarity of sound is required. They’re well worth the price tag, and compete with much more expensive units that have a far less delightful audio response.

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