It's been fully five months since Nox Audio's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Admiral Touch headset prototype wowed us at CES 2011, and boy, have things changed. That ugly metal band is gone, replaced by a handsome black and silver rig, with a neatly integrated adjusting strap for a comfortable noggin squeeze. Both sides of the Admiral Touch now sport buttons, including one to add the T-Pain Effect (we kid you not). More after the break.

Nox Audio Admiral and Admiral Touch at E3 2011

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There's a new dial to adjust the mix between the Bluetooth and 2.4GHz audio channels on the fly, a resistive touchscreen and Samsung S3C6410 ARM11 chip that'll eventually run Android 2.3, and an optional Bluetooth dongle that can pipe in Xbox Live voice chat from your game controller -- or dock with the revamped base station to add PC audio. If the Nox designers get their way, you'll even be able to rotate the pull-out microphone to mute it, or tap a key to pipe in ambient audio so you don't miss any of your roommate's hilarious jokes about the touchscreen attached to your ear. But the biggest change to be found in the only Android-equipped wireless noise-canceling virtual surround sound gaming headset the world has seen is this: vastly different audio quality.

Last time, the Admiral had nice clear mids, though the bass was hard to find, so Nox replaced a
pair of transducers, tweaked the virtual 7.1 (Pro Logic IIx + Dolby Headphone 2) mix, and added an optional bass boost to compensate. We definitely appreciated that extra ooomph for movie explosions and the like, but we're sorry to say those clear mids were seemingly sacrificed in the quest for bigger booms -- the slightly muddier mix made it difficult to identify individual instruments and directional audio cues even in Nox's enclosed audio booth. Nox dreams big, and we're hoping the company can pull it all off; the base Admiral is slated to ship in Q4, and the Touch module and bundle early next year.

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Nox Audio Admiral Touch prototype preview redux: now with more clever ideas and some bass