The headset market’s been discovering new methods to lavish our ears with luxurious for many years now. Cushioned earcups, expertly tuned drivers, encompass sound, twin wi-fi connectivity and numerous different back-of-box boasts have all made life barely extra nice for us as we expertise game audio, however the elementary design of the headset hasn’t modified that a lot. 

That’s definitely not an accusation that might ever be levelled at Panasonic’s SoundSlayer wearable speaker. It’s a radical design that sits over your shoulders like an F1 driver’s HANS system, offering a really literal three-dimensional audio expertise as you play and eradicating the acquainted discomfort that comes with lengthy, sizzling classes carrying chunky headphones. 

Hook up the prolonged cable to your system of selection, sling the SoundSlayer over your shoulders and you’ll game in a chair, on the couch or totally reclined in ‘I pulled a sickie for this game and I’ll be damned if I’ll rise up from this place all day’ mode. 

Talking of modes, Panasonic’s geared up this wearable with six totally different sound modes, three for gaming and three for TV or films. RPG, FPS and Voice modes comprise the previous, and so they have been developed in collaboration with Last Fantasy XIV’s sound staff, an outfit who know a factor or two about game audio. They’ll provide both all-out immersion, pinpoint sound cue accuracy for a aggressive edge or a pleasant flat audio atmosphere for vital Discord comms like “gotta go guys, sorry, my dinner’s prepared” and “How did he even see me from there? B******t. Reported.” 

On that entrance, there’s a noise-cancelling mic geared up right on the wearable, so that you don’t must get further units concerned to make that dialog run each methods. 

A close-up of some of the buttons on the Panasonic SoundSlayer.

(Picture credit score: Panasonic)

Over within the leisure facet, Cinema, Music and Stereo modes provide you with a simple technique to fine-tune the EQ curve to swimsuit that trending Netflix show you’ve had your eye on, your Summer season Belters ‘23 playlist on Spotify, or no matter else you are feeling like listening to while you’re not taking part in. It provides a little bit of a price proposition to the SoundSlayer, which clearly doesn’t need you to place it away simply since you’ve clicked Exit To Desktop. 

You possibly can cycle between all these modes, together with controlling quantity and mic mute standing, through buttons on the SoundSlayer’s edges. They’re tucked away sufficient to not disturb the smooth traces of the unit itself, however nonetheless simply accessible at a second’s discover. We’ve all bought that one mate whose mic is all the time inexplicably up WAY too loud… Critically, kind it out, Tom. 

A woman enjoys playing a game while wearing the Panasonic SoundSlayer wearable speaker.

(Picture credit score: Panasonic)

We’re not usually handled to actual avant-garde pondering and breakthrough designs like this in gaming audio. If you happen to’re uninterested in taking part in it secure with the identical previous headset fashions and also you’re searching for audio that actually surrounds you in a 3D soundscape as a substitute of tinny digital encompass sound, Panasonic’s SoundSlayer may have your present headphones sweating.