You’re a hardcore gamer and feel the need to hear your games in all their developer intended glory but want to keep the peace at home and with your neighbrours – then you need to get yourself a decent pair of surround sound headphones designed to bring out the sound track of your games in all its glory without disturbing the infrastructure or your relationships in the process.
Sound in video gaming is a vital if often undervalued part of the whole gaming experience. Its no secret that truly great games spend just as much money on sound as they do on programming and graphics engine development. So, if you’re playing games on your TV and listening to them through standard speakers – you’re missing out on a whole dimension of your games. Likewise, most PC speaker set-ups and even home theatre systems can’t get you that intimate and fine sound details that a pair of cans glued to your ears can.
A great pair of surround sound headphones can make a tremendous difference to your gaming experience and can even contribute to you being a more effective gamer – if we take online FPSs for example – sound actualisaiton is paramount in you being able to get that millisecond advantage on your enemy by hearing him first and knowing exactly where he’s coming from.
I’ve gamed on standard TV speakers and on a decent home theatre set-up but nothing come close to the experience I started having when I purchased a great pair of surround sound headphones – I really started hearing things that previously went unheard and started really being able to enjoy online FPS matches as they were intended by the developer. It even helped my kill ratio steadily improve.
So, you want to buy a pair of surround sound gaming headphones and want to know what to pay attention to. Lets go through a few of the most important considerations:
Determine your budget and then search for the best deal online for a headset that takes your fancy. I’d recommend spending a decent amount on a pair of headphones, so don’t buy the cheapest possible if you at all can afford something more expensive because in surround sound headphones world – price generally determines what you get. I’d say from $120-$250 USD would give you a huge range of good headsets whatever your gaming platform of choice.
Your choice of gaming platform will generally drive the type of connectivity that you want from your headset. If you game on a PS3 or an XBox360 then you want a headset with a Digital-to-Analog-Converter (DAC) and an optical connection. These types of headphones offer by far the best sound quality from my experience. You can’t beat optical for sound quality and due to the hardware involved in these types of headphones they tend to be a little pricier, but are definately worth it. If you game predominantly on a PC then you have some decent USB headsets but I’d once again recommend an optical one if your sound card supports an optical out connection.
The main advantage of the optical headsets are the Dobly Digital processing modes which add a little depth and richness to any type of a surround sound set-up in the headphone itself.
Another important consideration is whether or not yoru headset of choice will be comfortable enough for your gaming needs. Some headsets are known to be a little heavier – and although all are extremely comfortable on your ears, having a heavy headset on your head can cause a few neck pains if you game for hours on end. This may not be a deal-breaker for you if you game for short spells only. Also, consider whether the ear cups are closed and made of material that doesn’t breathe – your ears can sweat under some very decent sounding headphones which adds to the irritation and discomfort. So look out for a headset that suits your needs in both the weight and ventilation specs.
4. Surround Sound Quality
Probably the most vital of all of the things to consider is the actual sound quality produced by the headphones. And here the number of speakers built into each ear-cup isn’t actually the deciding factor. I’ve had a surround sound headset that was 7.1 channel with a host of tiny speakers packed into the ear-cup sound nowhere near as good as a top quality headset with one or two speakers and excellent sound processing board. Here is where the big boys differentiate themselves from the wanna-bes. You will really notice top priced headphones with decent connection options to be able to reproduce far better sound quality than the lower priced headsets with a whole heap of individual tiny speakers jammed into them. Its all about components, manufacturer dedication to the headset/headphone market and overall popularity in the market place. Gamers are a very discerning bunch and you can pretty safely follow the most popular choices in the surround sound headphones world and have a peace of mind that its usually the best choice.
So, do yourself a favour and lift your video gaming experience to levels unheard of before – grab yourself a decent pair of surround sound gaming headphones for your gaming platform of choice and hear things you previously didn’t hear, experience all your games in a whole new way and enjoy yourself – because your ears will certainly love all the new game juice that’s being thrown at them in all its surround sound glory.
Before you buy your Surround Sound Headphones make sure you check out my site for all the best Surround Sound Headset Reviews and Information so that you can select the best gaming headset for you. Thanks for reading.