At EPOS, we know only too well that a gamer’s experience of sound will only be as good as the weakest link in the audio chain.
This is why our engineers always wish for as much control as possible over the entire audio chain – that is, from the moment the digital audio data is handed over to the audio driver through to the moment it comes out of the speakers in your headset.
For products like our wireless gaming headset solutions running in Windows 10, our engineers get their wish! In this case, we have our own Windows 10 audio driver; we have our custom EPOS 3D audio engine which powers the EPOS Gaming Suite, allowing control over the virtual surround sound implementation. We build the dongle that transfers the audio wirelessly to the headset, with a customised low latency solution. We choose the speakers in the headset, balance them, construct them to tight manufacturing tolerances and with a strict testing regime.
Can you imagine how difficult it is for those same engineers to accept that our carefully designed and manufactured wired headsets are often plugged into audio ports on the front of a gaming PC case? With the audio signal delivered to those ports along inadequately shielded cables, connected to underpowered on-board audio systems with bad distortion characteristics and poorly performing audio drivers?
This is why EPOS designed its external audio amplifier units, most recently the GSX 300 external sound card – designed as a cost effective solution for the gamer who is currently let down by noisy audio buried inside the PC case. It takes the digital to analogue audio conversion process outside of box, and makes sure high quality, well designed hardware components are matched with high performance software to improve the audio quality vastly
The inside of a PC is not a great place for an audio signal. On board sound cards pick up interference from high powered components such as the video card and the PC’s own power supply unit. If cables carrying the analogue signal through the case are not routed properly or are poorly shielded, the signal degrades even further. And often the amplification solution is not powered adequately to drive headsets properly without adding high levels of distortion.
The GSX 300 on the other hand suffers none of these issues. Connected via USB to the PC, the audio makes its journey to the outside of the PC case entirely in the digital domain, untainted. It’s powered by our own Windows 10 driver, and with full 7.1 virtual surround sound courtesy of the EPOS 3D audio engine, controlled by the gamer using the EPOS Gaming Suite. It gives access to the same software benefits enjoyed by our high end GSP 670 wireless headset.
The GSX 300 itself has a high quality digital to analogue audio conversion chipset and associated circuitry capable of audiophile levels of stereo performance and full bandwidth 7.1 surround sound. There are “quality of life” features such as a smooth dedicated volume dial - no need to fiddle with a tiny on screen slider or a keypress combination. A smart button can switch modes from stereo to surround, or switch through EQ pre-sets.
All the game amplifiers we produce share the same principle – get the audio outside the PC and convert it using the best possible components for the price point. With the high end GSX 1000 and 1200, we target competitive gamers who need ultimate flexibility and fingertip control; and the simpler surround dongle is our most compact, cost effective converter, ideal for the laptop gamer. The GSX 300 is the perfect upgrade for the gamer wanting to escape the poor quality audio built into their gaming PC.
The EPOS engineering team is committed to improving access to great audio for all gamers. For wired headset users, this is a sure-fire way to get better audio performance from your existing equipment.