Apple's former acoustics engineer has developed premium gaming headphones

VZR Model One
(Image credit: VZR (via YouTube))

If you're trying to make a pair of headphones that'll garner interest both from dedicated gaming fans and seasoned audiophiles alike, you'd better have someone with a proven track record at the helm. VZR is one such company: its co-founder is former lead acoustics engineer at Apple, Vic Tiscareno.

Tiscareno was hired by Steve Jobs himself, giving any new headphones shaped by his hand considerable status – even before you see them. And then there's the fact that one of the headphones' early adopters (as featured in the video below) is Anthony Ray, aka Sir Mix-a-Lot. 

Could VZR have unveiled a new contender for best gaming headset on the market, then?

The Model One is a closed-back headphone (early reports suggesting an open backed design have recently been corrected) and it'll be the first to feature the company’s new CrossWave technology, which Tiscareno says has been years in the making and uses an acoustic filter to “selectively and strategically reshape audio waves to emulate the way one would perceive the sound in real life without headphones”. 

VZR promises this is a headset with the fidelity of a studio reference speaker system, and accurate 3D spatial positioning (to rival Apple's own spatial audio tech) when playing your favourite games. The wired headset features sizeable earcups with carbon fibre rings to reduce resonance, plus a detachable boom mic, too.

We shouldn't have to wait long for them either. The Model One should be with us between April and June of this year, priced $349 (so around £250, AU$450). Ready to buy? You're not alone; the product has been enjoying plenty of attention. VZR says it will open pre-orders on its website soon and release more news on the headset ahead of its official launch later in the year.


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.