No matter the fidelity, visuals in VR do a solid job of immersing users in their virtual worlds but audio is the way a good experience turns into a truly incredible one. Even with pure darkness, well designed audio can be as or even more impactful than what’s seen in these digital spaces. Sony recently unveiled a headset that brings the 3D audio of PS VR games to their other content and projects like DearVR are enhancing efficiency with audio driven tools. Announced at CES 2017, we have a couple new headphone solutions on the market that are specifically geared toward VR: iSINE from Audeze and in-ear or on-ear options from JBL.
Audeze was started in 2008 and is considered a leader in premium audio that’s responsible for a couple award winning headsets. The iSINE is a pointed effort for VR gaming and Audeze CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram, via a press release, notes that the new headphones mean “more realistic battlefield play, longer playing time without listener fatigue, and a more realistic VR experience overall” for gamers. The headset was tested and built using the HTC Vive, but will come with connectors for Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and StarVR headsets and will be available later this month for $399.
Similarly, the Oculus Rift compatible JBL OR300 (on-ear) and OR100 (in-ear) headsets were built “to deliver immersive sound to consumers seeking an unparalleled virtual reality experience” as so put by HARMAN’s SVP of consumer audio Dave Rodgers in their press release. The OR300 will be priced at $149.99 with the OR100 at $79.99 and both will feature JBL’s Pure Bass and sealing ear tips and cushion design to immerse users as much as possible. Both will be available for purchase in March of this year. Hopefully this is only the beginning of major companies creating high-quality accessories for the VR market.
We’ll keep you updated on all of the latest news and announcements from CES 2017 in Las Vegas.