Victor Tiscareno knows sound. The engineer established a career by crafting high-end music systems. His work drew the notice of Apple's Steve Jobs and it was impressive enough that the Cupertino, Calif., company hired him.
Fast forward several years later and Tiscareno is using his talent in the gaming sphere. The devices he crafts are made for discerning audiophiles, who typically own systems that cost thousands of dollars. His research and development led to several patents, but his latest one, CrossWave technology, could be a game-changer for surround sound in headphones.
It's the centerpiece of the VZR Model 1, a $349 headset aiming to create more realistic sound in closed-back set of cans.
Apertures in the acoustic lens push audio out so that it isn't blasting on the ear, but moves around the ear cup, creating better spatialized sound. Tiscareno and fellow co-founder Mike Henein want to give players more immersion in single-player games and they want the device to give players an edge in multiplayer matches.
A carbon fiber back creates a solid and light support for drivers. The memory foam is soft and creates a tight seal so that the Model 1 doesn't lose the deeper bass frequencies.
At 430 grams, it's a bit heavier than the likes of the Epos GSP 600, but Henein said his headset carries the weight well. A suspension headband lets the Model 1 sit atop the head. Meanwhile, the clamping force creates a good seal while the memory foam doesn't put too much pressure around the ear.
When it comes to the microphone, players can expect a noise-canceling system that focuses on removing excess audio. "We strike a balance of rejecting noise and keeping a vocal timbre," Henein said. The VZR Model 1 is expected to be released later this year.