Looking for a wireless audio solution?  After hours and hours of research spanning both audiophile and gamer communities, I found the best way to get quality sound from my theater system delivered in 5.1 Dolby to my favorite pair of headphones: The Astro Mixamp 5.8 ($140), a system consisting of a base unit and a small receiver that connects to any set of headphones or a gaming-specific headset.

The things I love most about the Mixamp versus other options in my consideration set:

(1) It streams audio over the 5.8GHz frequency, so it avoids interference from the host of wireless devices in my apartment complex (unlike the Turtle Beach PX-5’s).  This was a must, as I abhor static and audio drop-outs.

(2) I have the ability to connect any type of headphones/headset, so I can use my preferred pair of the day versus getting stuck with an included set forever.  This feature saved me money (The Sennheiser RS-180 system I wanted was $300) while allowing me to enjoy the bliss of my Bose QC-15s in Dolby for the first time ever. Furthermore, the fact that I can change the headphones that I connect to the Mixamp’s receiver unit also means that I can continue updating my headphones without having to replace the whole system. Future-proof?

(3) The packaging is awesome, and the product is sleek.  In addition to being the leading gaming headset manufacturer, Astro works as a creative studio that has designed products like the Xbox 360 and the Zune HD.  The result is a friendly and simple user experience.

And lastly: (4) While the Mixamp 5.8 doesn’t include Bluetooth functionality like the PX-5’s, its 2011 release means that it’s up-to-date.  It accepts a digital/optical audio input and keeps 2 USB slots to adapt for future expansions.  The RS-180s, on the other hand, did not think to include a digital audio input on their release in late 2009 (I have to think that Sennheiser will be releasing a new product soon?).

I have no credibility to be supported by Astro, so I sadly did not get sponsored in any way to write this review.  I am just so happy with this product after a week of testing even though it is not completely wireless (see Receiver unit).  I usually end up purchasing the elite, expensive option when I go on these technology research tirades, but this time the cheapest option best fit my audio lifestyle.

Gaming Essentials: Stereo Sound

Gaming Essentials: Stereo Sound

Gaming is by no means a cheap lifestyle. Between $400 dollar systems or even more expensive gaming PC’s, $60 games, and maybe even monthly subscription fees, you’re definitely going to be spending a pretty penny. So you’ve got your system and you’ve got your games, what else could you possibly need? Well, it is in my humble opinion that to complete the experience you should invest in a great…

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ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro Kit

ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro Kit

  • DOLBY DIGITAL 7.1 Plug into an ASTRO MixAmp and immerse yourself in the audio of your favorite games. Use every gunshot and footstep to pinpoint exactly where the fight is and get the drop on your opponents before they hear you.
  • MULTI-SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY ASTRO MixAmps ensure compatibility with any major platform you choose to game on. Whether you’re gaming on an Xbox 360, a PS3, a PC, or a…

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Astro Gaming Announces New Patent

.@ASTROGaming Announces New Patent. Find out what it is here:

Today, Astro Gaming, a subsidiarity of Skull Candy Inc., announced that they have acquired a new patent for in their ongoing effort to improve communication between gamers in a multiplayer, Local Access Network setting. The new patent, numbered 8,602,892 by the US Patent Office, was awarded for use in the company’s Game Communications Exchange, or Team MixAmp as it is sometimes known. “We’re…

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Astro Gaming Announces Sixth Patent

Latest Patented Technology Greatly Facilitates Team Communication During Professional Gaming Competitions

Skullcandy, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKUL), the original lifestyle and performance audio brand, and its division ASTRO Gaming, creators of premium video gaming equipment, today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent Number 8,602,892 directed to technology used in team-based LAN communication, which is used in gaming competitions and professional gaming circuits.  The patented technology is employed in ASTRO Gaming’s Game Communications Exchange, more commonly known as the Team MixAmp.

“We’re thrilled to once again be recognized for our continued delivery of technological innovation and ongoing contribution to the world of professional gaming.  The Team MixAmp represents one of our earliest innovations and remains one of our most important gaming solutions to date,” said Jordan Reiss, co-Founder & General Manager of ASTRO Gaming.  “The ASTRO Gaming Team MixAmp was a true game changer in competitive LAN gaming, literally transforming the playing field for both players and spectators alike.”

First introduced in 2007, the Team MixAmp facilitates team communication at professional LAN gaming competitions by providing teammates with zero-lag, full-duplex voice communication seamlessly mixed in with each gamer’s individual game audio.  Prior to the invention of the Team MixAmp, pro teams were dependent upon less-than-optimal solutions, including lag-prone Voice-Over IP communication or good old-fashioned shouting.  The Team MixAmp also provides broadcasters and tournament hosts with the ability to tap into and broadcast to their viewers live team chat and game audio during gaming competitions as popularized by the “Listen-In with Astro” segments seen at many gaming tournaments over the years.

In addition to the Team MixAmp, Astro Gaming has also developed a family of industry leading, innovative gaming products including the MixAmp Pro, the Wireless MixAmp™ used in the A50 Wireless Gaming Headset, and the legendary A40 and A30 Gaming Headsets.  These products may be covered by one or more of Astro Gaming’s other patents in the U.S. and abroad, including U.S. Patent Numbers 8,571,695; 8,491,386; 8,355,335; 8,139,807, and D613,266.  Astro Gaming’s team of engineers and designers is focused on creating the innovation future for video gaming and remains committed to protecting its intellectual property at home and abroad.