Creative SB Inferno Gaming Headset Review

Creative Logo

Earlier in the month on GNC, I reviewed Creative’s E1 Portable Amplifier, which improved the listening experience for headphone wearers. To go with the E1, I have the Creative SB Inferno Gaming Headset, aimed squarely at gamers with a detachable flex mic and in-line controls. Priced at a penny under GB£40, the Inferno sits at the lower end of Creative’s range so expectations need to be set appropriately. With all this in mind, let’s take a look.

The Inferno headset comes inside a mainly black and red box with a transparent window on one side, showing off the goods inside, all held neatly in place with a lightweight plastic moulding.

Creative Inferno Box

Inside the box, there’s the red-infused SB Inferno headset. From the outer shells to the inner driver covers and the audio lead, it’s all red. It’s a good strong red which may not come across in the photos.

Creative SB Inferno in Red

The Inferno has a TRRS 3.5 mm jack (that’s the one with three black bands) and works out of the box with smartphones and tablets. For more old school devices with separate sockets for headphones and microphone, then there’s a splitter in the box too. Sadly, this doesn’t carry the red colouring and is boring black but on the plus side, the Inferno works with Sony’s PS4, connecting into the controllers.

Interrupting the red cable is the in-line control for adjusting the volume and turning the microphone on and off. With no controls for pause / play or FWD / RWD, it reminds us that the Inferno is primarily a headset for gaming rather than music listening.

Inferno Inline Remote

The flexible boom mic plugs into a socket on the left had ear cup and there’s a little shim to ensure correct insertion. It’s easily detached when not required – just pull.

Inferno Flexible Mic

But enough of the features….what is the Creative SB Inferno HyperX like to use? To start with, the headphones are very comfortable to wear. The headband is a little bit too plastic for my taste but it does make the Inferno lightweight and doesn’t exert too much sideways pressure on the head. The cloth padding on the band and the ear cups is good and I wore the Inferno for several extended sessions without ear soreness. The Inferno has what I would describe as “snug” closed cups, meaning that the cups fit neatly over the ears and there’s not much movement inside the cup. I like this but it obviously depends on the relative size of your ears.

Sonically, I used the headphones for gaming, music and IP telephony. Overall, I thought that the Inferno provided even, balanced sound to the extent of being unexciting but the Creative headset is a clear step up from the average junk out there. With music listening, much of the sound came through but it certainly could have been a bit richer – it simply didn’t have the “wow” factor and was too flat for real appreciation. A little bit more bass and more depth across the board would be a big improvement.

As I’ve said in reviews before, these headsets are great in office. One minute you are listening to music, the next minute you are taking a phone call with no need to fumble around taking the headset off while picking up the phone. Voices were clear and callers could hear me well.

For games playing, the headset was good with the action coming across clearly from bullets to bombs. Machinery clanked away and steel screeched against concrete. Again a bit more oomph in the bass department would have been an improvement but there’s enough clarity to hear noises off. For the gamer, this can mean the difference between fragging or being fragged.

Overall, the Creative SB Inferno is right on the money. At an RRP of £39.99, the Inferno delivers nicely to the price point giving a decent gaming headset. It’s not for audiophiles but it doesn’t set out to be sonically superior, so I think the Inferno would have a good claim to be the best entry-level gaming headset.

Thanks to Creative for providing the review headset.

Rovio announces layoffs, calls it a ‘simplified organiztion’

angry birds

Rovio, a game studio based in Finland, is known best for its Angry Birds titles. The games have been a runaway success and run on multiple platforms. However the news coming out of the company isn’t all good. The latest news has nothing do with the games, but instead focuses on some bad things.

Rovio plans to streamline the company, which in effect means a dowsizing. The studio will be laying off as many as 130 employees, which it claims is about 16 percent of its workforce.

In a new statement from CEO Mike Hed, it reads that “We are an entrepreneurial company and have been exploring multiple areas. We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized. As a result, we announced today that we plan to simplify our organization around our three key businesses with the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products”.

This is never an easy decision to make, and is even worse for those affected by it. Hopefully, while it’s a shame for the folks involved, it will help the company do better.

Angry Birds Stella debuts on Android, iOS, Blackberry, Amazon and Nook

Rovio has become synonymous with mobile gaming, thanks to the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise. The Finnish company has released multiple versions of the title, covering everything from Rio to Space, and even Star Wars. Now the long-awaited new one is here, with Angry Birds Stella debuting across multiple platforms — sorry Windows Phone users, but you were left out.

The new game adds a different dimension to Angry Birds (as each has managed to do). “Angry Birds Stella offers a new take on slingshot action. There are stunning visuals and animations, as well as an all-new flock of feisty characters with amazing superpowers. And they all live a previously unseen corner of the Angry Birds universe: Golden Island”, the studio explains.

The game is free on all of platforms, including Android, iOS, Blackberry and Amazon. It’s a fun little time-waster that will likely get the company even more revenue, but time will tell on that one.

stella_Key_Art_C_landscape

 

Angry Birds Go gets multiplayer mode

Angry Birds, the Rovio franchise that brought mobile gaming to the forefront, has released many iterations of its titles, and all continue to be updated with new levels. One of the newest is Go, which takes a different approach to things, bringing Kart racing to the franchise, and lots of interesting features with it.

Now the game is finally receiving multiplayer mode, allowing gamers to test their skills against others. “This is the first part of Angry Birds Go! Multiplayer, and brings the quick race mode where you’re matched against the performance of three other players. Will you come out on top and leave them in your dust? For an even more personal experience connect to Facebook and you’ll be pitted against your friends to show them who’s the boss”, the official announcement states.

angry-birds-go

You can grab the update now, though if you already have the game installed, then you should get it automatically. It’s free, but there are in-game purchases that can be made.

Angry Birds Epic launches across all mobile platforms

The Angry Birds franchise has proven to be one of the biggest mobile gaming hits in the world, with multiple versions available for play, regardless if you use Android, iOS or Windows Phone. Regardless of which version you prefer, and they range from Rio to Star Wars, there is one that almost anyone will enjoy.

Now a new one has launched, though it’s a bit different from what gamers have come to expect. Angry Birds Epic is a role-playing game (RPG) and it had a simultaneous launch across all platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

In this all-new role-playing game, you lead your heroic flock into battle against the green snout-nosed scoundrels in a fantasy Piggy Island. From tribal villages and frosty mountains to tropical beaches and mysterious caves, get ready to navigate your way through this treacherous land and meet all kinds of wacky and offbeat characters”, the Finnish game studio states.

All platform versions are free to grab and play, so get ready to line up your birds, head after the pigs and enjoy some good fun during your next break.

Rovio teases upcoming Angry Birds Stella

Rovio, the wildly successful game studio behind Angry Birds, has begun to tease a new offering. With the first Angry Birds Star Wars now complete — yes, there will be no more updates — the company needed a “latest and greatest” to get the attention of the masses again.

Today the company teases “Angry Birds Stella”. “Get ready to meet Stella and her friends! Stella may be pink, but she’s definitely one of the Angry Birds, a fierce and a feisty character with a great group of friends. Of course no story is complete without some interesting (fr)enemies”, Rovio announces today.

The Finnish company give precious little in the way of detail, but did provide a screenshot to get everyone’s imagination working. You’ll have a while to wait, as the game won’t hit app stores until the fall of 2014.

angry-birds-stella

Ouya gets an operating system update

Ouya, the Android gaming console that was once the darling of Kickstarter, has largely sunk into anonymity since its actual launch. However the little device continues to launch new games and update its operating system to improve both performance and user interface.

Now the company is rolling out its latest update, this one taking the OS to a version known as “Jackalope”. The update contains a number of improvements, including a new 5-star rating system for all games, the ability to postpone system updates, altered functionality of the “O” and “U” buttons on the controller, better support for navigation with Bluetooth and IR remotes, rank numbers for the “Now Trending”, and a number of bug fixes.

If you don’t get this update right away, please go to MANAGE -> SYSTEM -> SYSTEM UPDATES to grab it. You can also watch the video below to get an idea of what to expect.

Angry Birds Star Wars gets final update

Rovio has rolled out version two of its Star Wars iteration of the popular Angry Birds game. With that now firmly in the market, and receiving updates, it seems the company is going to be killing off the first version. Today the Finnish game maker has released what it claims is the final installment for the first game.

Thirty new levels were pushed out, with the final fifteen of them including battles fought at the Death Star. “Fight through the Death Star and engage in the biggest ever multi-level boss fight against Darth Vader and the Emperor that builds up to the dramatic reveal: who’s behind Darth Vader’s mask?” the company announced.

Beyond this news, Rovio has also announced it will be closing down Angry Birds Star Wars on Facebook on March 3rd, 2014. Don’t worry, though, you can still get the game for your mobile device.

Angry Birds Star Wars 2 visits Naboo

angry birds star wars 2Angry Birds Star Wars 2 is the latest member of the family of popular games produced by Rovio. The game maker has been on a roll recently with updates to several of its titles, including the original game and also Seasons. Now the Finnish company has launched a new batch of levels for the newest game.

This time Rovio is adding 44 new levels, 20 for the Bird Side and 20 for the Pork Side, plus two secret levels for each. These levels add Naboo to the game. “Get ready for the Battle of Naboo – the third chapter of Angry Birds Star Wars II that takes you to the epic conclusion of the first Star Wars movie, Episode I”, the game maker announces.

Customer will be able to use Naboo’s giant trees and nature against the Pork Side high-tech army before facing the epic battleship blockade in space. Or, conversely, choose the Pork Side and conquer Theed City by using underwater gameplay.

The new update is available for both Android and iOS, but if you prefer, you can also purchase PC-based version that Rovio sells for only $4.95.

Angry Birds Seasons gets in the holiday spirit

With Thanksgiving having now past, we reach the heart of the holiday season, with cold weather and frantic shoppers. There are a number of ways to get into the spirit of the season, including the music you listen to and themes for your desktop and web browser. But, you can also look to mobile gaming as an option.

For the second time in less than a week, Rovio has pushed an update to its popular Angry Birds series of games. While the last one was for the original version, this new update is for Seasons, which generally gets new sections that are based on the current time of year. This update is no exception — “This all-new Angry Birds Seasons episode brings 25 festive, frosty and fun-filled levels, plus another 4 bonus levels”, to Finnish company claims.

angry birds seasons

The new levels bring a change of pace, in that you can now fling the birds down into the water, in an attempt to have them rise back up and attack the pigs in a new way.