Admit it, regardless of your musical tastes, there's at least one song you love to blast in the car but are thoroughly embarrassed when it comes up at a stoplight with the windows down. I can't tell you how many times I've laughed my head off because the person dancing to Britney Spears in the muscle car with tinted windows turns out to be a gruff looking middle-aged man. Music is a weird thing. It doesn't seem to matter where, when or by whom you were raised, there's no predicting what each person's tastes will really be. Mine have been all over the spectrum. As a young child, I was only allowed to listen to classical and country so when I hit middle school and could get stuff from friends, I started getting into pop because that's what they were listening to. In high school, I was exposed to metal and found out that the hard-hitting instrumentals had some appeal to me, but I couldn't stand the harsh vocals. It wasn't until college that I learned about bands like Nightwish and HB which have become the core of my musical library. In the last couple years, I've now come full circle to really appreciate the classical roots my parents gave me as I learn to see its influence in the music that I enjoy.

Thermaltake eSports Level 10 M Gaming Headset


It's also weird because when you listen to a piece of music enough it stays with you for years. When a specific song that played at a pivotal moment in your life comes up, you can be instantly swept back to that moment. This is one of those challenges faced by game designers. They have to build a game so that not only is it fun to play, it is also totally immersive. To accomplish this, they make extensive use of music to affect the mood and memory of the situation. While the chances aren't very high that hearing a specific song will cause you to replay a particularly epic moment of game play, the music will keep you playing and heighten the euphoric feeling of the moment. There are a lot of things that go into designing a good soundscape, so you want some equipment which will enable you to fully enjoy it.

Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Headset


Thermaltake's eSports Level 10 M is the next entry in their Level 10 project. The Level 10 M a stereo headset targeted at competitive gamers. It weighs in at only 300 grams, or just under two-thirds of a pound, and still boasts a solid construction thanks to its aluminum frame. There's also lots of freedom with this headset as you have not only a 3 meter long cable, but the option of which side it plugs into with the Bilateral USB Connectivity. Padding on the ear cups is ample and on the headband it's firm yet still soft to stay comfy. The microphone has noise-canceling built in and doesn't stick so far in front of your face as to prevent snacking during long gaming sessions. Priced at $99.99, there are a lot of features and quality at a reasonable price.