Tech writing is a filthy trade, with crap gussied up as treasure, marketing sleaze, lies, corporate dinner dates, favoritism, and plenty of capitalist lucre. CES is the prom of it all, so we figured, why not just make an open trade: rub me and I'll write about you.
It was the penultimate day of CES and my body was full of poisons and my frail skeleton buckling after miles walked through a 4K hellscape. My neck hurt, my back hurt, everything hurt. I was tired, sore, and quickly losing my shit. So I asked for help:
TECH COMPANIES AT CES: I will post about your product/service if you send someone to the press room and give me a shoulder rub. Not joking— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) January 10, 2013
A few exchanged tweets later, and I was sitting in the Turtle Beach booth, sandwiched between a block of massage chairs and some Chinese company I forgot already, showing off its new gaming headphones. The deal was simple, the deal was fair: they'd rub my shoulders for two minutes, and I'd write about their headphones.
Turtle Beach upheld their end of the dark bargain, and so we will too. Here we go.
Turtle Beach's wireless Ear Force PX51 headset is very expensive ($270), but it sounded very nice while playing Black Ops II multiplayer on a PS3. The headset itself is comfortable, and a neat feature I enjoyed is the option to switch between different sound emphasis modes. What's that mean? Here's what it means: in a game like Call of Duty, you can hit a button on the side of the headset to switch between modes that will make certain parts of the game louder (or softer), like footsteps, gunfire, explosions, perhaps giving you a tactical edge in multiplayer, or just tailoring the game to your ears' liking. All of the violence sounded very satisfying. These things are too expensive for anyone who isn't a hardcore gamer, but if you are, they'll probably suit your lifestyle of virtual carnage and inevitable hearing loss pretty well. They sure sounded better than Sony's official gaming headset.
And there we have it, PR distilled to its purest form.