In my column I told you about a lot of gaming headsets from various manufacturers, but never in my arms did not get the products of the legendary Japanese company . I think that it is time to correct this unfortunate omission. When you select the device for review, I literally was torn between two models: an open ATH-ADG1X and closed ATH-AG1X. In the end, decided to choose the closed model, just because gaming headset needs to isolate us from the external world, but also to protect others from the loud sounds of the virtual world.
A Few words should be put in about the history of the manufacturer. Company Audio-Technica was established in Tokyo in 1962 year, the Japanese Hideo Matsushita and mainly engaged in the production of pickups for phonograph records. Quality pickups so glorified the company that orders poured in from all sides, and in the end, it is possible to expand the range of products. In 1974, there appeared the first earphone line AT-700. And in 1978, the Audio-Technica started selling its first microphones. From time to time, the company has launched a highly unusual and even experimental products. For example, in the ' 80s, went on sale a hybrid of portable and cassette player — Mister Disc, battery operated.
By the early ' 90s about companies have heard almost all lovers of quality sound and reliable equipment. For example, during the Olympic games of 1996 in the U.S. city of Atlanta all the microphones and headphones, used for broadcasting, was made by Audio-Technica. The situation was repeated in the Sydney Olympic games in 2000, and then in salt lake city (2002) and Beijing (2008). The company's products are used by such famous musicians as Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, as well as Slipknot and Metallica. Yes what there to speak, even if at the meetings of the Senate and house of representatives of the U.S. Congress are exclusively used Audio-Technica microphones? While the Japanese manufacturer is not forgetting about the expanding range of goods and for mere mortals like you and me.
For fans of video games, for example, engineers and designers to Audio-Technica has developed a line of Hi-Fi headsets with one box of which was in my hands. Packed headset ATH-AG1X tasteful. I have said repeatedly and not get tired of repeating it, what with the packing begins, our communication with the new technology. And on this issue in a Japanese company probably has a team of specialists, including designers and marketers. White box with minimal text and a huge image of one of the cups of the headset – that's what meets us packaging. Particularly in large letters declared the word ISOLATION, emphasizing that we face headset closed.
On the reverse side of the box you can find a description of the main features of the headset in ten languages, as well as a photo of the famous American composer Frank klepacki, who wrote the soundtracks to a huge number of video games. It is his music you can hear in the strategy Command & Conquer, quests series The Legend of Kyrandia and so my beloved Dune II: Battle for Arrakis. As it turned out, Frank has for many years partnered with Audio-Technica and strongly recommends its products to gamers. Honestly, I did not know, so the portrait is one of the favourite composers of my childhood on the back of the box was a pleasant surprise for me.
In the upper corner of one of the side walls of the box are the indication that the headset is compatible not only with personal computers but also game consoles. For example with the PlayStation 4, which for me is very important, as most of the time I play it.
In the box I was waiting for this picture. Headset neatly arranged in a plastic form, is laid a thin soft black fabric. For reliability, the headband is supported by two struts of polyurethane foam.
Design headset ATH-AG1X may seem a bit unusual. Largely due to the fact that instead of the traditional headband used here is the 3D system Wing Support. Two small soft "wing" around its head from two sides and do not allow the headset to slide down. This creates an unusual effect of lightness and freedom, because at the top of the head there is no extra pressure. Headset, like hovering over your head. Another incomparable advantage of this system is its ability to automatically adjust to head size. No longer have to adjust the height of the headband with your hands. Headset will do everything for you myself. This mechanism is found only in very expensive and professional set, so it was somewhat unusual to see it in the design of the device for gamers.
At first glance, the headset appears bulky, but took it in my hands, you know that it weighs nothing at all. And a feeling of excessive massiveness instantly disappears.
The Body is made of black and red plastic. Fortunately, it is not hackneyed soft touch, but a normal smooth plastic, not collecting fingerprints and dust. The outer surface of the headset beautifully shimmers in the light by small sparks, creating a feeling that is hidden inside the material universe with its myriads of stars. For 40 years, not changing the strict geometric company logo Audio-Technica emphasizes consistency and loyalty to tradition.
Cup headsets have multiple degrees of freedom. As they rotate around a vertical axis and around a horizontal. This is very important, as the shape of the head all people are different and the location of the cups directly depends on comfort and fit.
If you look at the headset from the bottom, catches the eye one detail. The ear pads are located at a slight angle relative to the cups. Just below I'll explain to you what's going on here and why this is so.
And here is the same 3D wings. Plastic plates with pads can be turned freely in any direction, and the arch of the wings is provided with a strong spring that allows the headset to slide off your head. Of course, if you're struggling to shake head, the headset may slightly slide down. But I don't think that during online battles many of us actively move, run and jump.
The Headband is made of two metal arches, covered with thin soft plastic. Absolutely, without a headband to do was impossible, since something has to connect the two cups of the headset with each other, to pull them.
The Microphone the Audio-Technica ATH-AG1X deserves a separate description. It is made in the form factor of the gooseneck (gooseneck — eng.), allowing you to bend it in any direction. You can also raise and lower it relative to the point of attachment to the headset in the range of 100°. The microphone in this model is unidirectional, or, as they are called "cardioid". In the case of ATH-AG1X Japanese engineers maximally narrowed the focus, so the microphone has become a "supercardioid". In practice, this allows almost completely cutting all other sounds except your voice. You can knock with your fingers on a mechanical keyboard, it can arbitrarily clicking the mouse, but your network friends will hear only what you say without any extraneous noise. And included with the microphone is wind protection, which reduces the noise of your breathing or the sound of the wind from working in the fan room. The microphone is so well conveys the subtle nuances of the human voice, using this headset you can easily record podcasts, or to stream games on Twitch. In this case your listeners or viewers, it may seem that you're using expensive professional equipment. The only downside of the MIC, in my opinion is that you cannot remove it completely. Edge of left eye it is constantly seen. And although this you can gradually get used to, I think it's a defect.
Removing the ear pads from the cups, I understand why they have an asymmetrical form. 53-millimeter dynamic transducers are installed at an angle. I remembered that I had already seen this approach in a headset from another manufacturer. The reason for the unusual speaker placement is that it allows you to accurately convey the location of sound sources in three-dimensional space. This point is critical for online shooters, where you need as soon as possible to hear the creeping steps of the opponent and determine the correct direction.
The ear pads are very soft, but, as you know, your ears will slightly fog up. But the noise of the model ATH-AG1X just amazing. Once I played at night on low volume and not be heard beside him on the sofa toiling my smartphone. Ear pads muffle human speech and other extraneous sounds that might distract you from the game or destroy the fragile environment of virtual reality. Outside the sounds of the speakers are also almost inaudible, which is a plus for family gamers like me.
The headset cable is equipped with a convenient remote control with on-off switch for enabling and disabling the built-in microphone. The sound is governed by the wheel projecting from the housing remote from the side.
The Cable is stripped cloth braid, but instead covered with a thick layer of tough protective material. And this is both his advantage and disadvantage. Even after three weeks of use the wire seeks its original shape. At every opportunity he tries to curl up in some rings that I find a little annoying. However, I think that with time it will pass. The length of the wire of the headset itself is 1.2 meters, and it ends gold plated 4-pin plug. The short length is due to the fact that the headset is very comfortable to use in conjunction with the controller of the game console PlayStation 4 and mobile gadgets (unless you are too shy to walk on the streets...
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