There’s a new name entering the gaming headphone space: VZR. The audio company aims to bring audiophile quality to gamers at a reasonable cost with its new VZR Model One headphones.
Preorders for the VZR Mode One open today and the headphones are expected to ship out in Q2 2021. The device costs $349, with VZR saying that it’s aiming for the kind of audio quality available in headphones in the $4,000 range.
The big draw of the audio device is its patented CrossWave technology, which is designed to more accurately render 3D audio. It accomplishes that with acoustic lenses that actually reshape sound waves, rather than digitally alter the audio source.
That selling point is especially notable at the start of a brand new console generation, where 3D audio is a PlayStation 5 selling point. Digital Trends tested the headphones on several games, including Resident Evil Village’s Maiden demo, and found that they provided natural and detailed spatial sound that made it easy to pinpoint directionality.
VZR says that the CrossWave tech is meant to future-proof its open-backed headphones in order to keep up with a rapidly changing technology landscape. Rather than relying on a DSP chip that could become obsolete in a few years, the Model One’s focus on acoustics. While the headphones especially take advantage of new gaming tech, they’re built as a robust, all-around option that works for movies, music, and any other audio application.
The Model One come with a patent-pending, noise-canceling boom microphone that’s designed to keep its foam covering from pressing on the mic itself and muffling sound. The package includes an additional in-line microphone on the headphone cables as well.
VZR was founded by former Apple lead acoustics engineer Victor Tiscareno. The team includes several industry veterans from both the video game and audio industry. VZR says it used that collection of expertise to predict where audio technology was heading and develop a pair of headphones to match that trend.
Based on our time with the VZR Model One so far, the headphones deliver both highly detailed sound and a comfortable, but sturdy design. For the level of quality the headphones deliver, that balance paired with the $349 price point makes the VZR Model Ones feel like a perfect match for gaming audiophiles who want to get the most out of spatial audio in games like Call of Duty: Warzone.