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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm completely new to 5.1 surround-sound headphones so I don't really know what to do with them. Particularly in games- do I put the settings as "Headphones" or "5.1 Surround Sound Speakers", as a rule of thumb? Are there any other things I need to know about surround headphones?
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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You would set games to 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers, heaphones would just give you common Stereo.
You would also have to configure the drivers of your onboard or discrete sound card to output 5.1 sound though, or your headset itself if it has drivers.
 

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Hey bobrocks, I'm going to hijack your thread for a second:

Are surround-sound headphones good? As-in, do they really sound like a decent surround sound system? Is there any that can easily hook up to a DVD player or gaming console? (With a long cable and optical audio jack preferably).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My $50 headset seems nice so far with the surround sound. Probably not as good as an actual high-quality $200 surround-sound speaker system as that would have good-sized and quality speakers for each channel/position, not to mention that they're further away from you and thus the changes in position are more noticeable. I can't think of a console that has a 3.5mm audio jack on it, so unless you got some kind of converter I can't imagine that working necessarily. It may be able to hook up to a DVD player but I'm not sure if it would be true surround-sound unless you hooked it up to a surround-sound system. I'll have to try it on a simple DVD player that has a headphone jack.
 

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BigIg 90% percent arent good since they are stereo and others are stereo with sub drivers and just simulate (rather badly) 5.1 (think those crappy usb sound cards which only have a stereo audio plug but has the ability simulate 5.1, most of them use the same crappy chinese and cheap technology)....

there are a couple of good ones but dont produce anywhere as good sound as you get with the logitech x-530 5.1 speakers which can be bought for au$70, you may say they are more discrete since it is headphone therefore its worthg paying a minimum double the price, ill say yes if they were discrfete but all true 5.1 headphones dont have all the speakers internally, actually some are external like the center speaker or the subs therefore eliminates the discrete sound...

all is not lost there is one where the speakers are in the headband, the top of your head and its tubed to your ears, its the only true discrete 5.1 but initial designs suggest that all the auido from the speakers get mixed together while its sent to you ear meaning it eliminates true positional sound, also i meant initial designs is meaning its bieng prototyed and isnt available for retail but i wont consider it even if it was on retail and offered slightly superior sounds to the logitech x-530 because it will cost more than us$500.

if you still intend to get one, dont cheap out on one, avoid usb ones as its most likely the chinese usb sound card integrated into the headphone, otherwise its a slightly improved one, so try to get ones with connecters for front, rear and sub/center. also check for reviews and user comments. lastly for the love of god please avoid the wireless ones...

if you must ask which one i might consider, it will be zalmain 5.1 ones, its old but that means it can be picked up quite cheaply, but it offers true 5.1... if really wanted to get it ill get it with the intergrated mike version which is useful for online gaming
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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You have $100 set bobrocks, remember? You said you had gotten yourself a special.

Anyways I am afraid I don't think any surround sound headset/headphones would work with a console or DVD players as most of them (well all that I know of) require PC configurability (driver adjustment etc.) to work propperly.

As for how good they are...well as bobrocks said probably not quite as good as the real thing, but certainly more fun than just regular old Stereo.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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if you must ask which one i might consider, it will be zalmain 5.1 ones, its old but that means it can be picked up quite cheaply, but it offers true 5.1... if really wanted to get it ill get it with the intergrated mike version which is useful for online gaming
It's no integrated mic, it's a $7 attachment which actually proves quite conventient cuz you can get just that attachment and turn any pair of headphones into a headset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You have $100 set bobrocks, remember? You said you had gotten yourself a special.

Anyways I am afraid I don't think any surround sound headset/headphones would work with a console or DVD players as most of them (well all that I know of) require PC configurability (driver adjustment etc.) to work propperly.

As for how good they are...well as bobrocks said probably not quite as good as the real thing, but certainly more fun than just regular old Stereo.
Oh yeah, they were 51% off on Amazon. MSRP is a bit over $100. Definitely better than stereo but probably not as perfect as an actual 5.1 speaker set.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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Hey bobrocks, I'm going to hijack your thread for a second:

Are surround-sound headphones good? As-in, do they really sound like a decent surround sound system? Is there any that can easily hook up to a DVD player or gaming console? (With a long cable and optical audio jack preferably).
After lagunareturns mentioned the Zalman I discovered this review which indicates that with an additonal ampliefier it can be used with gaming consoles.
MODTHEBOX.COM - Canada's Premier Case Modding Source - Reviews - Zalman ZM-RS6F Theatre 6 Headphones Review
::: Zalman, leading the world of Quiet Computing Solutions :::

That makes it the only 5.1 pair of headphones I know of that works with gaming consoles or a DVD player.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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but all true 5.1 headphones dont have all the speakers internally
Is that so?
CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 Pro Surround Sound Headset

I have one of those them, yes it's USB and uses the C-Media card which is built-in you can see in that review, but it does have the required number of speakers and get's brilliant reviews. It's surround sound is also pretty good, rear audio is not perfect (and honestly it's the hardest to do) but side audio is great, especially in movies I find my eyes automatically moving to the side when there's sound on the sides and it even works well enough in games.
 

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yes but since it is usb you are stuck with windows period, but where is the brilliant reviews, the link you gave says it gives off average sound (where as logitech x-530 speakers cost less and offer great sound, i guess that isnt a factor to some people), probably due to crappy c-media card it uses and the usual poor drivers associated to them, especially in regards to surround sound

even the latest model c-media sound card you get on motherboards as well as usb still has an xp 32bit issue where the drivers made the frount speakers have their sound swapped... i guess you can make your decision on c-media but i always hated them, i hate them when i got a soublaster 5.1 soundcard for au$20 (because it is very old) and offers problem free drivers, clear sound, proper surround sound and creative provided a working vista driver (i would like to see an old c-media card work on vista, because i remember mine didnt and i got soundblaster 5.1 card to fix the issue)

look i see the point for surround sound headphones but if they offer average sound, why pay that much when you can pay for the same amount for stereo headphones, heck i got inter cranials from schniesser and they offer great bass, sound that is clearer than logitech x-530 and the best sound seperation that is superior than any 5.1 headset ive seen yet, okay ill admit the sound seperation is not 100% like cybersnipa but it is very close (but it is better than those with simulated 5.1 and 7.1 and even dolby 5.1 simulation they did for a fatality one) and hey at least mine can work with mp3 players and my psp at least now produces good, loud sound, heck not many headphones can do that with a psp
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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Average sound? in the final verdict they say it gives off "a rocking dynamic sound" and they also "offer a snappy sound" and then after everything they give it a Great Value value mark.
I linked to one single review and honestly one of the least flattering ones, there's lots more shining ones, the easiest way to link you to most of them without gving you 10+ seperate links is to just link you to the homepage for the Sonar 5.1 as Cyber Snipa list many of the reviews there.
Sonar 5.1 Gaming Headset | Cyber Snipa

It's also quite interesting that you find the notoriously horrible Creative Vista support as having fixed the issue...my Sound Blaster Audigy Value had quite a few problems in Vista...for instance at 3/4 RAM full the sound would become staticky and break...not to mention mic detection was awfull (although that was mainly Vista's fault) and it was almost impossible to get the card to change sound profiles....not so now that my Cyber Snipa's C-Media chip is doing all the sound. Yes I will give you that a dedicated discrete Sound Card as well as Surround Sound Speaker set will be better...but the Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 only costs $50...that combination costs a lot more.
 

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well that was retarded.. since the audigy 2 is better all over then the X-Fi.....
 

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I have a set of Logitech G35's and although i can't compair them to others myself being my first pair I noticed similar issues to Schumi with mine!

My G35's are 7.1 and I get a very clear centre speaker that sounds like its within my own head!

Front is decent, but rear audio is not perfect, but the side ones are very clear and there could be a bit more BASS for explosive bits in movies I feel

I paid $155AUS for mine about 6 weeks ago and am loving them, LMN (My other half) loves them even more then me but she is not the sort of person to notice flaws unless they are pointed out so I save her the distress by not doing as such!

When switched to Stereo mode for music they sound incredible and I find it hard for me to believe that many headsets would sound better as they truly put out a great sound!

The G35's are a USB connecting set which is a bit disappointing but I am very happy with them!

I have had about 7 people listen to mine with a movie and ALL have said its the best Headphones they have ever seen/used before, but admittedly none of them has any idea of high end gear and there is nothing I have that does not impress them!

1 of them even calls my G9 a "James Bond Mouse" cause they see it as so fancy!

So its all a matter of opinion but I honestly think nothing is perfect and we may still be quite a few years away from decent portable 5.7/7.1 sound but I am sure it will happen one day.

Its all a matter of time
 

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This is very interesting. I bought a 5.1 ages ago, and it felt awesome (specially with DOOM3 and CoD2 back then) but lately I've been mostly using my headphones.

I really didn't have a clue such headphones existed. I've probably overlooked them thinking it was just a fake surround effect. Anyhow, thanks for the info!

#Edit: After some IMs...

I remember doing some test of CMSS 3D for headphones using the modded drivers for Audigy (to X-Fi), against the 5.1.... and it wasn't good. Does someone know how do this proper surround headphones compare against the CMSS-3D on proper X-Fi hardware?
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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They all override CMSS-3D...and many will render your Audigy useless.

I would also like to say one more thing about the USB connection...it's actually a good thing, I don't know what's up but more and more 3.5mm jacks are being badly made and make a poor connection to most headphones causing them for instance to become very right dominant or even just not outputting anything on the left side so a USB set gets around whatever is going wrong in the industry there.
 

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I ment, (Common headphones + CMSS-3D on proper X-Fi) vs Surround Headphones.

I already stopped using the Audigy... still some issues since Vista. Also, since this Surround headphones come with their own sound device, and I see no connection to use a sound card's output; using them renders any other sound device useless, right?
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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Yes it does. It will basically take over as your system's default sound device.

As for me when I used CMSS-3D + my regular headset + my Audigy Value...well I was not impressed...I much prefer my Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 Surround Sound headset...not to mention there's no driver issues.
 

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Call me crazy, but I'm happy with these:
MDR-G45LP | Behind the Neck Headphones | Sony | Sony Style USA

Now, I've been wondering, would it be worth it going for some more advanced(and possibly tackier and heavier) headphones? I love quality sound, and even when comparing my current headphones to my 2.1 speaker set, the headphones aren't that much worse.
 
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