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Watch Sony’s PlayStation 5 showcase here at 4PM ET

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Watch Sony's PlayStation 5 showcase here at 4PM ET

Sony’s latest PlayStation 5 showcase kicks off today at 4PM ET. We expect the company may finally reveal when it plans to release the PS5, as well as how much the two different versions of the console will cost. Sony is also likely to provide updates on games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which is coming out in the system’s “launch window.”

As always, if you can’t watch the showcase, we’ll have you covered shortly after the fact.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Roland’s TR-6S recreates the classic sounds of its ’80s drum machines

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Roland's TR-6S recreates the classic sounds of its '80s drum machines

Roland

The TR-06 Drumatix is what Roland calls a “detailed replica of the Roland TR-606 Drumatix from the ‘80s,” albeit with some modern upgrades. It retains the tone of the original, which was originally a commercial failure but became a cult item in the ‘90s, appearing on albums like Massive Attack’s Protection. However, it’s been updated with features like effects, an onboard compressor, tempo delay and the ability to control tuning, decay and pan for each instrument.

It also uses a step sequencers, but it’s been updated with sub-steps for ratcheted parts, step-loops and other advanced features. It has five trigger outputs and a trigger input, along with a high-quality USB audio interface and battery operation for mobile productions. The TR-06 also costs $400 and arrives in late October.

On top of the two drum machines, Roland also unveiled the TR-606 software rhythm composer. It works as a plug-in for DAW productions and has the same sound and behavior as the original, while adding features that allow for “more sound choices and faster, more fluid programming,” Roland said. It’s now available via Roland Cloud.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Astro’s $49.99 A03 is its first set of in-ear headphones made for gaming

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Astro’s $49.99 A03 is its first set of in-ear headphones made for gaming

Astro is debuting its first set of in-ear headphones, the A03. It’s an unexpected step for the company, which traditionally makes over-ear gaming headsets, like the new A20 Gen 2 and the mainstay A40. They’re $49.99, so while not the most affordable wired option, it’s a reasonable price considering they offer punchy sound, and a snug fit with three sets of silicon tips included, each of which provide quality sound isolation. And if you want to use them to listen to music, or stay on the phone, while you game with an over-ear headset, the A03 has a flat cable to sit comfortably between your skin and the ear cup.

The A03 plugs in via 3.5mm, so another perk is that it’s compatible with every current platform, like the PC, PS4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, as well as Android and iOS devices — assuming you have a dongle to convert from USB-C or Lightning to 3.5mm. It’s also compatible with the Xbox Series X and S controllers, as well as the PS5’s DualSense controller. As for inline controls and microphone support, the A03’s plug is built for the CTIA standard. And while that means the microphone will work with mobile and on the likes of the Switch and first-party Xbox One and PS4 controllers, Astro says the inline buttons won’t be functional.

Astro

Astro says each of the A03’s earbuds houses two drivers: one focused on the bass and lows, and another targeting the mids and highs. The company says the dual driver setup in each bud “delivers a powerful audio experience with a rich soundscape, revealing every detail of game environments and clearly separating voice chat.”

Interestingly, these look very similar to Logitech’s $49.99 G333 in-ear headphones that are certified for use with the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. The aluminum housing that contains the drivers and the flat cable is a match. This is strange, but it’s not a complete shock since Logitech owns Astro.

In terms of differences, the A03 has an in-line microphone, a soft case for storage, and comes in two different colors; purple buds with a white cable or red buds with a navy-colored cable. Since the A03 wasn’t made expressly for VR, it doesn’t come with the Velcro ties to shorten the cable, like the G333 does, though there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to use these.

It makes sense to offer something more compact like this to gamers, who normally have to leave their big headsets at home when it’s time to hit the road. If you’re looking for a new set of in-ear headphones that were made for making your games sound good, these might be worth considering.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Astro’s first wired earbuds are aimed at mobile gamers

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Astro's first wired earbuds are aimed at mobile gamers

Kris Naudus / Engadget

The in-ear monitors use a metal bullet-like form factor, so they’re sturdy and sleek, but also not very secure in your ear canal. I wore them while washing dishes only to have one fall completely out, so these won’t be very good for any kind of physical activity like jogging or even just a brisk walk. Let’s hope you aren’t prone to moving about wildly when you’re in the middle of a match.

As a pair of earbuds dedicated to gaming, Astro built the A03 slightly differently, packing two drivers into each ear: one for bass, and the other for mids and highs. In games like Fall Guys and Persona 5 the music was perfectly balanced, with the bass present but not overwhelming. However, the tangle-free cord generates a lot of noise when it brushes against something, which carries to your ears. All wired headphones have this to some degree, but it seemed louder than usual with the A03. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s still something to be aware of if, again, you’re moving around a lot.

Astro A03

Kris Naudus / Engadget

The cord is, of course, packed with a built-in mic and in-line controls. The three-button control panel is made of plastic and feels a bit cheap not only in contrast to the aluminum ear pieces, but also in comparison to some of the plastic headsets I have on hand. It’s still perfectly serviceable, but it doesn’t feel as premium as it could.

And how it feels will matter, given that wired earbuds are becoming increasingly passé when true wireless sets are getting better and cheaper. Even Razer sells a pair for $100 that it claims has low latency for gaming. But still, Astro’s A03 IEM is a good first try for the company, offering high-quality game audio in a pocketable package. It’s available today in red or purple color schemes for $50.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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