Bad news, gamers. Your speakers suck.
Want proof? Go and look at your TV right now. There's a reason you can't see its speakers: to keep your telly looking svelte they're small, slim, and hidden in the back of the case, which means you have a nice-looking piece of furniture that sounds – and we really are sorry to tell you this – terrible.
Don’t underestimate the power of good sound design in modern gaming. Game studios put huge effort into creating realistic soundscapes, sound effects and complementary soundtracks that conjure rich, immersive environments. Although we’ll never quite have our fill of HDR landscapes, eerily accurate ragdoll characters and explosions so real you can feel the heat coming off them, without great sound your games won’t play as their developers intended.
Fortunately, Canadian speaker specialist PSB Speakers has the answer, regardless of whether you play games on PC, a console or on your smartphone. Its family of speakers is designed to a standard worthy of AAA releases, classic titles and, most critically, your precious ears. Wherever you play, PSB has you surrounded.
The PSB M4U 2 headphones offer gamer-pleasing sound on the move
Mobile gamers first. Often forgotten, derided by your console and PC brethren, with your tiny screens and relatively petite processing power. The joke’s on them: your games are just as engrossing, plus you don’t need to stare balefully out of the train window hoping to see a particularly interesting tree.
For maximum immersion you’ll need some decent cans: forget the tinny, leaky, uncomfortable in-ear ’phones that came with your handset, and instead, have a look at PSB’s M4U lineup. The M4U 2 headphones, for instance, have active noise cancelling, offering up to 55 hours of proven noise blockage, and the ability to choose between active noise cancellation and passive cancellation means you can use the M4Us without any batteries. And you can stay lost in the game for longer in comfort, thanks to their gyro-suspended adjustable earcups.
Meanwhile, PSB’s RoomFeel (TM) technology is designed to make you feel as if you’re at home and listening to your favourite speakers, instead of on board the W7 to Finsbury Park. Both Stuff and What Hi-Fi? have awarded the M4U 2s a full five stars - so say no more.
PC gone mad
The PSB Alpha 110 speakers are a great choice for PC gamers
PC gamers – you loveable rogues, with your 3200dpi mice and your multi-monitor rigs – will benefit even more from having the right speaker setup. What you need is accuracy, with a heavy dose of realism, so you can pinpoint exactly where the enemy fire is coming from and get a visceral thrill from diving in the opposite direction to it. What you might not have is a vast amount of space, or the desire for a whole bunch of new wires.
Enter the PSB Alpha PS1, a pair of gloss-finished stereo speakers that build in 20mm aluminium tweeters, 70mm metallised polypropylene woofers and that integrate their own 2 x 20W amplifier, allowing you to create a mighty soundscape without an external amp. Sound dispersal is designed to be the same whether you sit in front or to the side of the speakers, so they should sonically disappear – meaning it's just you and the gaming environment.
For those looking for even more room-shaking, the compact SubSeries 100 subwoofer can add 100-watts of bass rumble to your gun battles. It’s Class-D amplifier and specially designed long throw woofer join forces to deliver the powerful, detailed bass of a big subwoofer in a small discrete package. It’s the perfect playing partner for the PS1s.
The PSB Imagine X family of speakers
Console gamers are a tricky breed – you appreciate an explosion as much as the next person, but the speakers in your living room also need to sound great for classic films, pop music and virtually anything else you can throw at them. That means flexibility is the name of the game – and PSB’s Imagine X range is more flexible than Stretch Armstrong after a minute in the microwave.
It’s a modular home theatre speaker system, encompassing – among others – the X2T floorstanders and XB bookshelves. The Imagine X range also includes PSB’s first Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker: the upward-firing Imagine XA is designed to be the elevated speaker in a 5.1.2 speaker setup. The idea is simple: the titanium-dome tweeters and 10cm clay/ceramic-reinforced polypropylene woofers are precisely angled to bounce audio off your ceiling, giving 'surround sound' a whole new meaning. It’s designed to make you feel like you're inside the action as the sounds of trees, rain, and any other natural game elements and move throughout your room. The XA is designed to sit perfectly on top of other members of the Imagine X range, but they'll work with any quality speaker brand - and can even be wall-mounted.
Of course, speakers for all tastes are one thing, but without a bit of science behind them your ears are unlikely to be in for a great time. PSB is a company run by true hi-fi fanatics, who make sure that each speaker it builds is an exactingly crafted labour of love. So whether this Christmas sees you gaming from a purpose-built rig, your phone, or booting your family out of the front room so you can fire up a console, your ears can finally have the gaming experience they deserve.
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