updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri May 8, 2009
MSI Syren Audio
MSI today stepped into audio devices with the launch of its Syren line. The series is headlined by the SyrenSound X-Fi, one of the few non-Creative sound cards to use X-Fi hardware. It uses the same technology as Sound Blaster cards to restore missing detail in compressed audio as well as to introduce EAX effects, and supports up to 7.1-channel sound while reducing the CPU overhead versus integrated sound chipsets. The PCI Express-based board currently requires Windows XP or Vista.
More universal are the SyrenPhone Gaming and SyrenSpeaker mini. The SyrenSound is a combination USB headphone and microphone combo meant for VoIP, including in-game chat. It has active noise reduction for input and has in-line controls for volume. The SyrenSpeaker is a basic 2-channel, 2W USB speaker set meant for notebooks which might not have access to a separate power source. Either of these should work through Mac OS X or Windows.
MSI hasn't given prices for any of the Syren hardware but should be shipping it worldwide.