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Best Headphones for the Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset

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Lenovo-Explorer-mixed reality headset

Many people don’t realize that mixed reality and virtual reality are composite experiences in which both the video and the audio play a part in convincing a person that what their senses perceive is ‘real’. We see a considerable effort on the part of MR and VR manufacturers to improve the resolution of the eye screens that provide the video feed.

Mixed reality is a composite experience

This is a fact, and sound is a crucial part of any mixed reality or virtual reality experience. The reason most companies associated with VR do not pay much attention to this side of things is that companies that specialize in audio headsets already have sound quality as idealized by the professional headset more or less locked down.

State of the art headphones today deliver an enviable range and crystal-clear audio

That said, all VR companies have to do is provide a 3.5 mm jack that provides compatibility, and they have the sound effects side of things accounted for.

So here’s a selection of excellent headphones that are compatible with and which fit well with the Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset.


Plantronics Audio 355

Two qualities are of paramount importance in the selection of a good pair of headphones: quality of sound and comfort. Both of these are delivered perfectly by the Plantronics Audio 355 PC.

To provide a comfortable fit, these headphones come with faux leather padding on the ear cups and under the headband. The flexible headband provides exceptional comfort at some cost to its durability, although it should hold together just fine if you don’t put too much stress on it. It comes with a flexible microphone which can be bent to fit best with the Lenovo Explorer headset, and it retains its shape unless moved.

Versatility and High Fidelity

As far as sound quality goes, these headphones boast an audio range of 20-20,000 Hz, which speaks volumes for their versatility and fidelity. It goes without saying that this set can provide reasonable mixed reality immersion and excellent virtual reality gaming audio.

However, there is considerable amount of audio leakage due to the absence of a seal around the ear cups, which means that people outside your mixed reality world might be annoyed at the sounds coming from the headphones.

Nevertheless, the Plantronics Audio 355 remains a reasonably-priced option to use with your Lenovo Explorer headset, and will allow for reasonable immersion in MR or VR.

Click for best Plantronics Audio 355 PC deals

lenovo mixed reality 01


JBL J88i Premium Over-Ear Headphones

JBL has been delivering top notch quality sound to cinemas, theaters, and other professional enterprises for more than half a century. It’s hardly a surprise that the company brings that level of quality sound to VR and MR compatible headphones today.

Sound is clear and resonant, leading to a mixed reality with perfect audio depth perception

The JBL J88i brings you perfect clarity and an extended bass that tends to beat headphones in the same price range, all due to the premium JBL drivers in the set.

You can rotate both the ear cups by 180 degrees allowing you to hear external sounds.This is especially useful in mixed reality.

Looks and Style

When it comes to looks the J88i delivers beautifully, the padding on the ear cups and the headband is both functional and stylish.

The microphone includes a one-sided, flat, tangle free cable, which allows you to communicate and use voice commands in mixed reality. The cable itself is detachable and comes off with a twist lock system on the ear cup. The sound quality is improved by subduing resonance with the help of a strain relief connector.

For excellent quality, rugged good looks and an excellent build, these headphones would be difficult to match.

Click here for best JBL J88i deals


Sennheiser HD 215

The Sennheiser HD 215 is one of the finest headphones on the market today, combining incredible audio quality and an immense frequency range with the exceptional comfort of fit.

While the headband design offers flexibility, it in no way compromises the fit itself. When adjusted according to one’s preferences, it does not slip or slide from its position.

This is rather important in MR, and can be crucial in VR gaming

We tested it out in a rather energetic VR scenario, and there were no signs of it slipping whatsoever.

Ultimate Comfort

Both the headband and the ear cups come with sufficient padding to ensure comfort and prevent any noise leakage.

The padding on the headband is 3/8th of an inch thick and that on the ear cups is half an inch thick, both of which make these headphones comfortable enough to wear for hours to an end without the slightest discomfort.

To say that the audio range and sound quality are more than good would be an understatement.

The audio precision offers a complete soundscape that allows you to pinpoint sound directions and source in a three-dimensional mixed reality or virtual reality environment.

The tone balance on this model is incredible, right from the mid to the high tones, providing a neutral but smooth transition.

All in all, this is a sophisticated audio unit for your MR or VR setup.

Click here for best Sennheiser HD 215 deals

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Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

With regards to performance and durability, these headphones are the best you can come by.

These are built to last… and last!

Unlike most models, the headband sports a sturdy design of plastic and metal reinforcement. The thick plastic ear cups and the headband together prevent most forms of fall damage.This makes them excellent for use, not only in MR, but also in relatively energetic VR gaming.

While the headphones do not come with any controls for the audio, most of it can be handled internally through your MR or VR apps.

A focused soundstage

In most consumer-focused headphone models the soundstage tends to be exaggerated, so, depending on your tastes, you may find the range a trifle narrow.

Nevertheless, the VR soundscape that the ATH-M40x provides will give you a real feeling of depth and distance through the excellent stereo control.

While being comfortable, they do compromise a little in that they allow noise leakage, so, while you’ll enjoy reasonable audio immersion and exclusion of external sounds, the same can’t be said for anyone in your vicinity, who will probably be able to hear some of the audio environment of your MR or VR app.

Click here for best Audio-Technica ATH-M40x deals


One of the Greats – Sony MDR-7520

Finally, if you have money to spare, here are headphones that can truly add to your MR or VR experience.

These are among the elite in Lenovo Explorer compatible headphones

The thick ear cup padding ensures satisfactory sound isolation and little to no leakage. What it compromises on in its looks, it delivers in terms of sheer performance.

Superlative hardware

The 50mm Liquid Crystal Polymer Film dome drivers deliver a high frequency response to up to 80Hz, which can’t be said for the other models in this price range.

The design is such that it offers a light weight, yet a rigid build and the distinct mechanical-audio driver provides both sound fidelity and quality.

A perfect soundscape

The superb sound quality makes it easy to isolate the various sound producing elements in your MR or VR soundscape, allows you to to pick out individual and moving sounds, and ascertain distances in the soundscape with pinpoint accuracy.

While sounds that are ‘nearer’ will be more dominant, you’ll be able to pick out background elements in the MR or VR environment and pick out the direction and distance of those sounds.

The headphones are reasonably comfortable, but they are essentially a no-frills design

They do provide good padding, and are comfortable, but they look simply functional. There are, ironically, none of the LED lights and other effects found on many cheaper headsets.

These headphones deliver excellent, PERFECT sound, period, with a reasonable level of comfort that will allow you to use them in tandem with your Lenovo Explorer for hours on end.

Show? Style? Looks?

Seek elsewhere. Perfect Sound? You can find that here.

Click here for best Sony MDR7520 deals

Best Headphones for the Dell Visor

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Best Headphones for the Dell Visor

The windows mixed reality experience provided by the Dell Visor VR Headset can be considerably enhanced by just the right headphones, as audio really is an important aspect of immersive MR/VR. Here are some headphones that are recommended for the Dell Visor, and which go best with it. All of them, of course, can plug into the 3.5mm jack.

Over the Head Headphones

Over the head headphones really provide the best clarity, and what is more important, perhaps, shutting out of environmental sounds, as this can interfere with the more immersive VR apps, though windows mixed reality is more tolerant. We’ll take a look at some of our options in over the head headphones, before going on to the earbud headphones that many people find to be a more comfortable alternative for mixed reality.

Blue Lola Sealed Over-Ear High-Fidelity Headphones

These are a unique set of over the head headphones, without the commonly seen adjustable headband. Instead, they have a hinge system on each ear cup, which can be used to adjust its position and angle to get a snug fit. While this might seem a little different from the norm, once you get used to them, you will see that they provide a comfortable fit every time. Not only that, but the specialized padding on the cups and the headband make this set of headphones comfortable to wear for hours on end.Blue-Lola Headset

As far as noise cancellation and sound quality are concerned, these do the job perfectly. They are designed to block out most external sounds. While these external sounds are not too much of a problem in mixed reality, they certainly interfere with immersion in VR.

As for the quality of the sound itself, the Lola delivers beautifully. They provide a great soundstage and distinctly allow you to perceive changes in sound panning. They also allow you to perceive distances in MR and VR. This is especially important when you’re listening to a soundscape in either MR or VR. And when we’ve said that, you know that the Lola is also optimally suited forVR gaming, allowing you to perceive sounds in motion around you.

Check out the best Blue Lola deals

Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones

With the natural noise isolation that they provide, their light weight and comfortable fit, Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones are an optimal accessory for your mixed reality headset. The company claims that the HD380 PRO can cancel background noises up to 32dB, with its closed back design and around-the-ear cushioning.

While this claim might be a bit optimistic, the headset does reduce environmental noises significantly. Both the ear cushions and the shape of the ear cups ensure that there is little to no leakage of external sounds while maximizing comfort at the same time. The headphones are sturdy and solidly built, but light enough that they do not add much to the weight of the VR headset itself.

Sennheiser HD 380 PRO

The audio sounds very natural, and the timbre is perfect – and in this we feel that open back headphones are considerably better than closed backs. This model, however, does a decent job here as well. A careful listener might observe a little boosting of the midrange, but it is quite subtle and one gets used to it fairly quickly.

The Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones are a truly professional set of headphones, and you can expect high sound fidelity, quite similar to that of a pair of studio headphones. These headphones provide a wider audio range while retaining perfect clarity, making your VR experience as acoustically realistic as it could possibly get.

Click here for the best Sennheiser HD 380 PRO deals

Earbud headphones

Earbud headphones are actually much to be recommended with a VR headset – they’re lightweight, they’re comfortable, and they can be more or less guaranteed to be compatible with just about any mixed reality headset. The only downside is that they offer far less noise cancellation than a cup headphone, and external noises can seriously affect immersion in VR.

That said, external noises aren’t that much of a problem in mixed reality, so if you intend to use your Dell Visor for what’s it primarily designed for, you don’t really require total cancellation of external sounds. And it goes without saying that some people prefer the comfort and guaranteed ‘fit-compatibility’ of an earbud headphone set over the lack of near-complete noise cancellation. So here are a few earbud headphones that are most compatible with the Dell Visor.

VAVA MOOV 11 In Ear Earbud Headphones

These headphones can take your Mixed Reality or VR experience to the next level with a wide audio range and high sound fidelity, both achieved by a unique driver mechanism. The stereo effects that the VAVA MOOV 11 bring to the table are essential for a convincing and immersive 3D mixed reality or VR experience, while the bass and midrange settings provide a delicate balance and clarity at the same time.

VAVA MOOV 11 a

The ear buds are ingeniously designed to take the shape of your ears and do not fall off easily. These headphones are a strong sell for the comfortable fit, as well as for their sleek exterior, which is semitransparent and shows off the internal hardware.

Click here for the best VAVA MOOV 11 deals

Koss KSC75

These headphones are cheap, durable and sound good. What more could you ask for? These are your classic fallback, cheap headphones in under twenty dollars that give you reasonable sound, are perfectly comfortable, and perfectly compatible with the Dell Visor.

Koss KSC75

These headphones come with ear hooks that keep them from falling off during a particularly exciting MR or VR experience. As far as appearances go, they are purely functional, and they don’t have any external controls for audio, but this isn’t much of an issue in VR, where sound is modulated in the apps anyway. At the minimal price range, the Koss KSC75 certainly delivers sufficiently well as to quality.

Click for the best Koss KSC75 deals

SONY MDR-XB50AP

These are as beautiful as you can possibly get in the low-price bracket. They may be cheap, but they have a sophisticated sci-fi beauty, with a smooth metallic exterior. SONY has obviously gone all-out to make these headphones look anything but low priced, and the three color options they come in (blue, white and black) don’t hurt this one bit.

SONY MDR-XB55AP

Unlike most other headphones in this price range, these come with a strong and durable cable, its serrated design preventing tangling, which solves one of the major issues regarding wired headphones in MR or VR. While the SONY MDR-XB55AP does look good, it also delivers in terms of performance, delivering the audio quality that you expect for a reasonably immersive MR experience, or in a virtual reality game.

Click for the best SONY MDR-XB50AP deals

Sennheiser CX 275

If it is simplicity and practicality you are after, look no further. Sennheiser CX 275 headphones come in a simple black matte, with metallic grey ear pieces. There is an inherent bass boost which will raise the bass and the mid-range of most of the VR or MR audio directed into them. This can be a bit of a problem if you wish to hear the higher notes cleanly, but it’s something that one can get used to quite rapidly, and of course, there are many people who prefer the emphasis on the bass.

Sennheiser CX 275

The Sennheiser CX 275 comes with a built-in microphone, and while it does not have any other controls, delivers seamless audio when used with a Dell Visor. Overall, they are reasonably decent for the extremely competitive price range.

Click here for the best CX 275 deals


All in all, you have quite a range of compatible headphones, from high-definition and noise-canceling cup headphones, to extremely lightweight earbud headphones that allow for maximum compatibility and comfort when you’re actually wearing the Dell Visor.

There’s also quite a difference in price range, from reasonably priced headphones that deliver superb sound quality, to the minimal Koss KSC75, which is a steal in under twenty dollars. You can choose whichever headphones ‘feel’ most right to you – there’s something for everybody.

Top 8 Seated VR Games & Experiences

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The VR has brought with it new worlds to explore, many new experiences for everyone to enjoy, and it also gave us the opportunity to truly traverse while inside them.

But, perhaps you are not a fan of unnecessary workout and you have a better experience while sitting down or you have a limited room to play in. If that’s case, here is our pick of the 8 best seated VR experiences.

Apollo 11

Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut, but discouraging environment and other hindrances have stopped you? Shed no tear, for now, my friend, you can experience the moon landing through the eyes of people who made the greatest journey known to man.

Apollo 11 is more of an experience than a game, and a thrilling one at that, for the first time with the help of VR technology, you can visualize all the little intricacies that go together with being an astronaut.
From the devices they used to the to the rocket itself, Apollo 11 make the journey alive and you a part of it.

You can choose betw3een two modes, first one is more of a cinema experience and the other is a bit more interactive where you have to take care of the different tools onboard to make sure that everything is functioning properly.
Either way, you choose, you’re in for a thrill.

DOWNLOAD: Steam | PSVR

theBlu

From the vast emptiness of space, we come to the almost limitless ocean and all the hidden secrets underneath the surface.

If you have wanted to swim with the blue whales, the largest of animals on the planet, or have wanted to relax in the depths of the coral reef in the company of colorful fishes, dive into the sea with theBlu.

DOWNLOAD: Steam

Guided Meditation VR

This is the best meditation experience on VR headsets out there. Now you don’t have to climb the Himalayas in search of Tibetan monks to unlock your hidden abilities buried within, you can simply choose between the imagery that best suits you and listen to the soothing voice while the sea crashed on the surface and guides you in the most hidden areas of yourself, all in plain sight for you to explore.

DOWNLOAD: Steam

Elite: Dangerous

Once you had enough of the more visually stunning, relaxing experiences and are in need of something that will get your blood pumping, pick up this fantastic space simulator. You pilot your own ship and take care of everything that goes with it from trading, pirating and taking down enemies in this massive sandbox placed in the vastness of space.

Elite Dangerous has existed for quite a while before being released for VR, and the fact that it is not built from the ground up with the VR headset in mind comes with some problems as well. Mainly, the huge draw distance where you can spot enemies kilometres away, coupled with the limited graphics of HMDs’ will turn enemies on the horizon to blurry spots and will have you guessing.

Other than that, the gameplay is incredibly immersive (you can even download a voice pack that lets you talk to the computer directly) and quite challenging. Even docking your ship will take a significant amount of practice, but that is also a part of the charm.

DOWNLOAD: Steam

EVE: Valkyrie

When looked upon for the first time you might say that EVE and Elite are quite similar, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The only similarity is that both games are set in space.

While Elite is the sandbox game that features many different operations carried out by the owner of a spaceship, EVE: Valkyrie focuses exclusively on the dog fighting and the thrill of outmaneuvering your opponent to get the best out of him.

It is simply the best experience for anyone in love with the science fiction games and a star wars franchize. You truly feel as a pilot of a spaceship while you dodge and shoot at your many opponents.

DOWNLOAD: Steam | PSVR

Dirt Rally

If piloting spaceships is not your cup of tea and you prefer a more grounded experience, pick up Dirt Rally from the shelves and join the ranks of professional auto drivers in this driving simulator.

Unlike your typical car driving game, where you have to unlock race types and different vehicles, this game requires proper team management, as well as ensuring that sufficient level of detail was paid in repairing your car between races. With that taken into consideration, it may be the most accurate simulation of real rally experience.

In addition to the carer mode, Dirt Rally presents far more wealth in its game modes. You can choose player vs player online racing, multiplayer tournaments, as well as a co-op mode. You might say that VR was built for this. Strap on your buckle, put on your headset and watch those turns cowboy, you’re in for a ride!

DOWNLOAD: Steam | PSVR

Star Trek: The Bridge Crew

Yet another game on our list which is best played in a party of friends, Star Trek is a treat for any Trekkie, or for anyone for that matter, in love with the thought of humanity traveling across the stars.
Team up with friends in co-op mode or choose between different players in multiplayer modes and choose your role on AES Aegis, on your mission to go boldly where no man has gone before.
Fight space pirates, explore new stars, meet interesting and strange civilizations, the space is the final frontier.

DOWNLOAD: Steam | PSVR

Chronos

Chronos is an Oculus Rift RPG exclusive that utilizes the vastness of environments and the level of immersion only capable of VR. It is a mix of puzzle game adventure and classical RPG dungeon crawling game, peppered with a unique mechanic of aging.

Each time you die, your character forcibly ages one yea. With this aging comes the change in gameplay, since your once teen is forced to rely more on arcane knowledge. This becomes the only way to best his opponents as he turns into an old man.

The formula is simple – kill the guards, eliminate the boss. However, there are countless hours of wonder-inducing gameplay as you traverse across the fantasy-filled world and journey into the unknown realms through inter-dimensional gates.
The items you found in one level will prove to be useful in the next world, so don’t be confused at first, the entire world is one big puzzle waiting for you to solve its mystery.

DOWNLOAD: Oculus Store


If playing while seated is your choice, be it because you get motion sickness faster or are other side unwilling to play games while jumping or dodging, this list has a wide array of experiences for you to choose from many of which will have you glued for hours.
Try them yourself!