Audio technologies are often overlooked in the pro-gaming scene, and therefore, technology delivery is currently occupied by new and unknown audio manufacturers or known gaming brands taking a punt at the concept. The demand for nuanced and curated audio reproduction in this field has never been higher, and the big boys have now come out to play…
Harman, Shure, Sennheiser… these are names known to the pro audio well as stalwart audio manufacturers, whether in performance, broadcast or corporate – these are the names we know, love and trust.
After a year where everyone has a new-found appreciation for audio reproduction, we look at the pro trends in gaming and streaming audio from home.
With AKG having been the go-to headsets for game developers when streaming test content via multiple platforms, the development of new essential bundles for audio reproduction was almost an inevitable move. AKG’s Podcaster Essentials, Home studio and Project Studio bundles take care of much of the hard work for the audio-sensitive gamer or frustrated homeworker. Although reliant upon some audio basics to operate efficiently, bundles such as the podcaster kit comes complete with software based training and introductory walkthroughs.
As another successful Harman brand, JBL was not going to be outdone by a sibling in the marketplace and has recently launched an entire gaming range: JBL Quantum. These headsets fit into the casual streaming/gaming market with some incredible sound reproduction generating a surround sound quality that has an AI driver to adapt audio output to the position of your head. This headset comes with a unidirectional mic and noise suppression technology in-built, as such the voice reproduction is crystal clear and unintelligible noise is filtered out. For most multiplayer games on the current market, sound delivery is key to performance – this headset will deliver time and time again.
EPOS | Sennheiser
Renowned by DJs worldwide, Sennheiser had already smashed the consumer market when their wireless mic range began to take on a marketplace previously owned by Shure’s SM58s. Presently, Sennheiser has a good position within the heavily saturated headphones industry, their microphones are still some of the best available and they are certainly a pro-option for most performance broadcasts. Sennheiser was one of the first pro-audio giants moved to bring their prowess to the gaming market by partnering up with EPOS to generate their EPOS range. EPOS’ GSP 600 range has even been taken up by many pro-gamers and their GSX range of amplifiers act as a solid intermediary between headset and onboard sound card. Although EPOS has now announced that it has parted ways with Sennheiser, we are still excited to see the next generation of EPOS gaming technology.
For the Homeworker, Sennheiser’s VOIP, Bluetooth and DECT headsets are performing in an unparalleled manner by comparison to similar telephony headsets. Pricing for some of this range is a little steep but considering quality and peace of mind, these are a value offering.
The Shure streaming range goes a step further than most by packaging together video with its audio offering, providing an all in one streaming solution in the MV88+ Video kit. Shure have focused heavily on their live streaming offerings, providing a plethora of mics, including the infamous SM58. Some of these mic offerings require more knowledge and hardware to ensure the correct set-up and certainly are not the plug and play solution for the streaming novice; but whether USB or XLR connectivity, all deliver Shure’s excellence in audio reproduction quality. For anyone wishing to add to their streaming studio arsenal with a quick and easy USB mic, Shure’s MV51 would be a great addition and for on-the-move content, the MV5 will deliver a similar level of quality. For those wishing to stream regularly, podcast, produce mobile content or just to upgrade their home video conferencing set up, the MV88+ is one of the most powerful all in tools available on the market.