Are surround gaming headphones BS?
What is that? Surround sound in a headset? I can get into that but hold on a minute you still only got two speakers. Is it even any good? What is that? Is that true 7.1 surround sound? Look, these have got so many drivers in it. What is the best way to get surround sound out of a headset? There is only one way to find out, by comparing them all.
Surround sound is nothing new we have had quadrophonic records since the 70s and there is nothing special just add more speakers and boom the sound is all around you. Easy except not really. Unless the audio was recorded binaurally with dual microphones positioned like human ears. They are special processing required in the studio to convert the mono audio that is typically recorded in sound booths and movie sets or in YouTube videos into stereo or surround and traditionally this conversion has been a highly manual and artistic process that takes a lot of time and effort and locks down the number of audio channels that are available but current generation surround sound technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS X get around this channel hard lock limitation. You can easily buy these headphones online using Paytm Cashback with great deals.
They actually process where a sound should be in 3d space at the studio allowing your receiver to take this information and then approximate that location as best it can be using whatever speakers it has available. This technology is called object-based surround and I am bringing it up because it just so happens to very similar to how many games have processed their games for years.
So nearly all of our surround sound headsets are doing is taking our game audio or at minimum a surround audio stream with this positional data and using what is called a head-related transfer function or HRTF for short to process it in such a way as to mimic the way that your ears perceive the directionality of the sound which is super complicated by the way and it has to do with the curvatures of the growths on the side of your head and all that kind of stuff. That is not the only way to do it though.
Brute force method
Brute force method gives five drivers per ear to actually provide the front, rear, side, center, and subwoofer channels that you would expect in a straight surround sound system firing directly into your earballs.
Now the question is which one of these solutions is better. A chart CF-based surround sound makes a lot of sense as long as your head is roughly the same size as of the head it was coded for and meanwhile true 7.1 methods like razors TM at 7.1 are potentially agnostic to the shape of your head but all those extra speakers limit the maximum size of the individual drivers and they add weight and complexity to our setup besides we do not know yet if these methods actually work.
It is now time to test the headsets
In order to test the headsets, we have got we are going to use Overwatch thanks to its excellent surround mix. The setup is simple, set up the shooting range then grab soldier 76 and sprint next to BOTS that shoots periodically. We blindfolded our participants and choose a headset at random and then have the test subject to point out where they think the sound is coming from. Once that is done we will have them take the mouse and blindly aim at the bots.
Dolby Atmos did the job
After the results came out it seemed relatively random whether or not most of the participants picked the right direction when it came time said to actually aim but there are at least a few takeaways here and that is what actually that matters. Dolby Atmos for headphones which is a software ended solution ended up with more direct hits than any other combination while the razer man-of-war came in second. Also, the clear loser here is the Razer TM 7.1. Maybe there is nothing like the true 7.1 things after all.
Logitech G933 and the ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700
When it came to pointing out the source of the sound, the best results came from the Logitech G933 and the ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700 with an average variation of only 6 percent across all of the tests. Dolby Atmos here ended up being the worst.
According to the tests, most surround gaming headsets are BS. The most successful things we tried were all either Dolby or DTS based so done in software which tells us that there is no such thing as a good surround gaming headset. ASUS comes with ROG motherboard and you can also buy Dolby Atmos for headphones on the windows store with a DTS option coming soon and those can be applied to any headphone which means, in the end, it comes to just good audio and there is nothing like good gaming audio.