If you're familiar with Major League Gaming tournaments, you're likely aware that Astro Gaming's Mixamp Pro has been the staple device for providing multi-platform surround sound and team chat to the headset-wearing pros. Things are set to change this fall, however, as Turtle Beach has announced its own partnership with MLG that'll usher in the release of its first ever tournament-focused gaming audio-wares.
To start, the TM1 Tournament Mixer will be the "exclusive" sound hookup for MLG when it hits the streets, effectively replacing the Mixamp. The unit will provide
virtual surround sound game sound chat functionality to any headset with a 3.5mm jack. One TM1 can provide six players with individual sound whether they are on the same team or playing 3 vs. 3, and two devices can be daisy chained to provide a whopping 12 channels of separate audio. Notably, the TM1 can also support a broadcast feed (details below).
On the headset front, TB is blending its programmable audio know-how and recent foray into lifestyle headsets into what's dubbed as the Seven Series. Details are slim, but the first two models set to up the ante on the likes of Astro's A40 and the Sennheiser PC360 will be the Ear Force XP7 and Z7. Each headset features a portable design, detachable microphone and an optional inline remote / mic, so you won't be you stuck to only using 'em in your living room -- unlike pretty much of all the company's past headgear. You'll naturally be able to download your preferred audio settings using TB's Preset Community Portal, which will also include "presets customized for specific [MLG] tournament games."
There's sadly little in the way of pictures at the moment (aside from the TM1), but we'll be getting some hands-on time with prototypes of all the goods at E3 next week. Hit up the press release past the break for further details in the meantime.
Update: We've been informed by a Turtle Beach rep that the TM1 does not provide virtual surround sound. Furthermore, it seems to be an actual mixer, rather than a Mixamp alternative for consumers.
Update 2: We've just gotten a clarification from the company about how the TM1 will work with headsets:
The TM1 provides a closed chat network, like the Mixamp does. It can also pass-through Dolby, but it doesn't process it for stereo headphones. The XP7 comes with a control unit (it has a four-pole headphone jack), which is what processes surround sound. We will be providing MLG with both TM1s and control units for all tourney players to use.
You can output the TM1's chat feed [the broadcasting feature] and mix it into a livestream so viewers can hear what the players are saying. There's also an input so you can feed in whatever audio you choose for all players to hear that are hooked up to that TM1 unit, be it music or even a shoutcaster feed.