ROCCAT Syva In-Ear Mobile Headset Review

ROCCAT being the amazing sponsor to our society, Sydney Collegiate StarCraft has sent over many sick peripherals such as the Kone Pure which I’ve reviewed and am still using today as my primary gaming mouse, and this year they sent Sense mouse-pads, Kone XTD mice, Kave headsets and finally the product I’m reviewing here, the ROCCAT Syva. I won these in a raffle for those who helped out at O-week this year, Infurneaux handed them over to me and I was curious to see what these headphones would sound like.

The box is made of thick solid card and inside there’s the headset itself with 3 extra sets of ear pieces each set has a different size. Given the contents, ROCCAT could’ve elected to make the package smaller as the box is mostly just thin-air and the thin plastic frame to house the goodies. At the price point of around $39 (price taken from PC Case Gear) it wouldn’t be too much to ask for to include a small carrying pouch as well, and something which puzzled me was the decision to not include an adapter to split the connections to the PC since this product is marketed to gamers who often require separate connectors for headphones and microphones.

The headset looks decent with an angular design, the cables are very lightweight and feel somewhat rubbery to touch and the plastic casing on the monitors are soft-touch coated for a smooth feel to it. I scrunched these up in my hand and they seem to not tangle, however as I was doing this I noticed a clicking sound from the button next to the microphone. Upon closer inspection I could see the seem lines on the plastic from the manufacturing process and there is no volume control.

There’s no sliding cable tie for the headphones themselves which means the two cables leading to the monitors themselves will be prone to twisting and tangles. You will notice the microphone is located on the left cable leading to the left monitor which makes it easy to remember which side is which however I personally would like to see some dimples to be molded on the left monitor so I can easily tell just by touching it.

When I listened to a few tracks to these the first thing I noticed was the very narrow sound-stage which is to be expected from In-ear monitors. The bass was boomy, the trebles were crisp which is good for gamers as it makes it easier to hear the voice-chat while playing games however the mids seem to be somewhat recessed. For gaming these headphones would do the job however for music I’d recommend proper full-sized headphones instead.

Conclusion

While the flat ribbon cable and the aesthetics are definitely a plus however here isn’t much to speak of in terms of features. There’s a lack of volume control which isn’t exactly a negative however comparatively speaking, many lower priced headphones include this feature regardless. There isn’t an audio splitter cable which was somewhat of a deal-breaker for me as a gamer as you should be able to use the microphone on the PC with split audio connections given that this product is advertised for gaming on the go.

The V-shaped frequency response is good for Gaming, Voice chat, Hip-Hop, Rock and Electronic music. Personally I found the mids to be recessed a bit too much for my liking and this should be remedied with an Equalizer when listening to music by boosting the mid to mid-highs just a touch.

The price-point for the ROCCAT Syva is around $39, however if it was lower priced at around $20, it would’ve been a decent low-cost option. It’s definitely a shame that this product isn’t exactly good value for money because of the lack of small additions that could have given it that extra edge over the competition. All-in-all my message to ROCCAT is, for the next In-ear mobile headset, please take more time to improve the design, and include an audio-splitter adapter.

Thank you to ROCCAT and Infurneaux for this headset, despite all the negatives I’ll definitely be able to find a use for these in tournaments. All-in-all I am looking forward to see how ROCCAT will improve their next mobile headset as the Syva is a nice headset that will get the job done however I think it’s a false start because there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement.

Until next time, my dear readers.

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Good Luck, Have Fun!

– Haiji Onii-san

Building my first Minecraft Chunk House with a Modern Flair

A chunk house is basically a house built inside a Minecraft chunk, and one Minecraft chunk is exactly a 16*16 blocks in area. When building a chunk house, it can be as tall and go into the ground deep as you like however it must not step step outside the chunk you’re building in. With this simple restriction it gives you enough creativity to design  and build something inside  a chunk. I’ve never built one before, and I also  never used modern styling on any of my houses in Minecraft so it was time to change that.

I installed Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable shaders and Dokucraft: The Saga Continues Light resource pack and here’s what I came up with.

The Design of the House

Working with a 16*16 area is easy, there’s literally so much space I could use. I knew I wanted a modern looking house so I had a look at a few photos from google, and I tried different building materials. I was aiming for a house that felt open, close to nature, simplistic, has adequate lighting and easy to build. When I finally started, I laid out the foundations using stone brick with the house 12*12 in size in  the center of the chunk.

I didn’t want to use wool for the walls because it would be boring, and so I decided to use nether  quartz, however placing it purely vertically horizontal is too generic so I decided to make it a criss-cross pattern. This gave the walls a nice feel to it and the wall textures weren’t too plain at all thanks to the alternating vertical and horizontal lines.

For the edges, I tried using just pure oak wood at first, however it looked a bit strange, so I decided to switch to dyed clay which I ultimately scrapped in favour of oak wood for pillars and oak planks for horizontal edges which looked quite nice so I kept it. The wood and planks gave the house a bit of natural feel and it fit in with the modern styling.

The lower balcony is made of spruce slabs, while the inside flooring used acacia wood to imitate a varnished look, there’s also a a cobble stone path surrounding the rest of the house. The upper balcony uses dark oak wood for flooring. The use of different woods is an easy way to make a house look stunning without having to change to a different type of material.

For the lighting, I had to somehow integrate glowstone and since this was a modern house, I wanted to avoid using torches entirely. I broke holes in the wall, and filled it in with glowstone to light up the outside as well as the interior. I also broke holes in the roof and floor and also filled these with glowstone so I could light up the ceilings, floors and the top of the entire house.

With loads of glass, I used glass panes for small windows on the  lower floor and on the second floor I used  them for big windows and fences and there’s dyed blue glass for the balcony roof as well. Glass is mostly transparent so it gives an illusion of a  wide open space if used correctly. Speaking of wide open spaces, A high ceiling in the in the living/dining room gives the house a nice open feeling to it.

For decorations, I didn’t want to go overboard, I placed a few paintings, used book shelves, a couple of pot plants, sugar cane, and instead of a chandelier, I used leaves since I had no where to put them and I wanted  to use leaves somewhere. I added vines to the leaves just to add a bit of extra detail. With all those indoor plants, it gives off a nature vibe without too much clutter, and clutter always ruins the openness. I placed just enough  plants to give a good sense of nature without impeding on the openness of the house.

Finally there has to be a water feature somewhere, and so under the glass flooring I placed a pool of water which doubles as lighting. It has mossy cobblestone and it’s like a watery closed terrarium. On top of this is a glass flooring which supports tables made of fences and  stone pressure places, and chairs made of birch stairs.

I hope you like my modern style chunk house! Until next time.

Good  Luck, Have Fun!

-Haiji Onii-san

Dear the People who designed the Jungle Speed packaging

Let me get straight to the point, the box is huge. So huge that it doesn’t need to be. I was expecting a box that was frankly half its size, since the contents of box only should contain a deck of cards, the totem, an instruction manual and a pouch. I was surprised by the sheer size of it, if that was your goal you indeed have fulfilled it however did you think about how much wasted cardboard and plastic you’re going to use to make the packaging? You literally could have made the box compact, and space efficient so it wouldn’t be a hassle to lug around when you first take it home.

The box really doesn’t have to be that big, it’s highly inefficient. There’s all this empty space inside the box that isn’t filled, in fact it’s enough room to fit an average size paper back novel. You could have made the box thinner or even smaller so that you can store more boxes in a given space, instead we get a box that the inside is practically half filled with air. Do you really think this is a good idea considering how huge empty boxes can be easily crushed? With the materials you use to make this 1 huge box, you could literally make almost 2 smaller boxes that can still get the job done.

With the amount of space inside the box, you could literally fit 2 Jungle speed sets inside. So I’m just saying that you could possibly save a bit of money on the materials, and shipping and allow the re-sellers to store more of your product before they sell them to the consumer.

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The contents don’t even take up half of the box’s available real estate.

One last thing – YOU MERE MORTALS DARE DESECRATE THE SACRED DUELS WITH FLIMSY PLASTIC? BRING BACK THAT WOODEN TOTEM, OR I SHALL SMITE YOU WITH MY SWORD.

To all my dear readers living in Australia, you can purchase the exact same edition of Jungle Speed I have at “Good Games” for $28. You can get it shipped or you can drop into one of their stores, and they’ll take care of you.

Click here to go to the Good Games Website.

Good Luck, Have fun!

– Haiji Onii-san

Hearthstone is an awesome game to play with friends

Hearthstone is completely free, easy to get into and it’s the next most addicting game to Flappy Bird and 2048.  A thing to try would be, wandering around with an tablet strapped to your arm and a shirt that says something like “I challenge you to a game of Hearthstone” so you can go around playing against random people. Given that you can carry around on your iPad (and soon on Android tablets), you’ll soon be playing this while riding in on a motorcycle (shout out to Yu-gi-oh) which is slightly less cool than board games on hang gliders but nevertheless still awesome.

To play traditional trading card games like “Magic: The Gathering” , you would have to buy all the cards yourself and spend considerable amounts of time trying to trade for the cards you want which you could potentially lose if you’re not careful. However all the cards you own in Hearthstone are saved to your Battle.Net account which means you won’t accidentally leave your cards behind somewhere and instead of waiting for some one to trade the cards off you, you can just disenchant them for Arcane dust which you can use to craft new cards. Given you don’t need to buy any cards, and won’t accidentally lose them or have to go through the hassle of trading your cards for the ones you want, it’s easier for new players to get into.

Speaking of new players, this is a great game to introduce to the gamer and non-gamer crowd alike. It’s an eSport without much pressure to to actively play in real time like in StarCraft II, DoTA 2 or League of Legends since it’s turn based so there’s no pressure of micro-management to speak of, you don’t have to think on your feet or multi-task so it gives you more time to think. For non-gamers, having to go through the amount of competitive pressure in the RTS, FPS and MOBA genres is overwhelming and it will take time for them a few weeks to actually pick the game up and a few months before they can kick your ass. Hearthstone only takes a few days and a little bit of effort to explain how the game works, how to gain card advantage, explain a few basic gamer lingo and before you know it, you’ll be in a social group playing Hearthstone.

A few of my friends from SUAnime (the anime society from the University of Sydney) were already playing the game when I first started, I’ve challenged a few of them to a few matches and we had a great time. Apart from KuroKitsune, I’ve played against Elton in a Best of 5, got wrecked in the first 2 games and won 3 games in the end, his “YOLO” Druid deck either wins hard or loses hard.

Yeah, [Elton] why are you so crap? – Events Director of SUAnime
Hmmm… The game’s quite fun – Micvic

Another friend of mine, Micvic who’s the president of SUAnime only started a few days ago, and already she could play at a reasonable skill level. With a bit more practice and a bit of help building her decks, she’ll be winning games in no time. Though I kinda feel bad winning the game against her using my Paladin deck that has expert set and rare cards in it when she has only basic cards in her Druid deck. Given the amount of fun I had, I think it’s safe to say I would love to play Hearthstone more with them. In the future I want to challenge Otahku and spyodus123 to a duel and play against KuroKitsune, Elton and Micvic more.

Good Luck, Have Fun!

– Haiji Onii-san