Why your gaming headset is worried about Panasonic’s SoundSlayer wearable speaker

The headset market’s been finding new ways to lavish our ears with luxury for decades now. Cushioned earcups, expertly tuned drivers, surround sound, dual wireless connectivity and countless other back-of-box boasts have all made life slightly more pleasant for us as we experience game audio, but the fundamental design of the headset hasn’t changed that much. 

That’s certainly not an accusation that could ever be levelled at Panasonic’s SoundSlayer wearable speaker (opens in new tab). It’s a radical design that sits over your shoulders like an F1 driver’s HANS device, providing a very literal three-dimensional audio experience as you play and eradicating the familiar discomfort that comes with long, hot sessions wearing chunky headphones. 

Hook up the lengthy cable to your device of choice, sling the SoundSlayer (opens in new tab) over your shoulders and you can game in a chair, on the sofa or fully reclined in ‘I pulled a sickie for this game and I’ll be damned if I’ll get up from this position all day’ mode. 

Speaking of modes, Panasonic’s equipped this wearable with six different sound modes, three for gaming and three for TV or movies. RPG, FPS and Voice modes comprise the former, and they were developed in collaboration with Final Fantasy XIV’s sound team, an outfit who know a thing or two about game audio. They can offer either all-out immersion, pinpoint sound cue accuracy for a competitive edge or a nice flat audio environment for important Discord comms like “gotta go guys, sorry, my dinner’s ready” and “How did he even see me from there? B******t. Reported.” 

On that front, there’s a noise-cancelling mic equipped right on the wearable, so you don’t need to get additional devices involved to make that conversation run both ways. 

Over in the entertainment side, Cinema, Music and Stereo modes give you an easy way to fine-tune the EQ curve to suit that trending Netflix show you’ve had your eye on, your Summer Belters ‘23 playlist on Spotify, or whatever else you feel like listening to when you’re not playing. It adds a bit of a value proposition to the SoundSlayer, which obviously doesn’t want you to put it away just because you’ve clicked Exit To Desktop. 

You can cycle between all those modes, along with controlling volume and mic mute status, via buttons on the SoundSlayer’s edges. They’re tucked away enough not to disturb the sleek lines of the unit itself, but still easily accessible at a moment’s notice. We’ve all got that one mate whose mic is always inexplicably up WAY too loud… Seriously, sort it out, Tom. 

We’re not often treated to real avant-garde thinking and breakthrough designs like this in gaming audio. If you’re tired of playing it safe with the same old headset models and you’re looking for audio that literally surrounds you in a 3D soundscape instead of tinny digital surround sound, Panasonic’s SoundSlayer could have your current headphones sweating.

Source: PC Gamer

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