By Chris Scott Barr
Being a PC gamer, I’m no stranger to headphones. Whenever a new pair comes out, there are generally wild claims that accompany the release. Phrases like “most comfortable,” “clearest sound” and many others get tossed around. Sure, some of them have an innovative feature or two, but it’s rare to find one that seems truly innovative. The Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset falls into that very small group.
It’s not uncommon to find a headset that promises 5.1 surround sound capabilities. But with all of the speakers right there in your ear, it’s hard to really get a true 5.1 sound. Psyko takes a new approach to this by placing all five speakers on top of your head, leaving only a pair of subwoofers in your ears. Now what good does having speakers on top of your head do? Quite a lot, if the sound is actually piped down to the front and back of your ears.
The sound is carried from the speakers to the front and rear of your ears by “PsykoWave guides.” These look like little tubes, and carry audio waves rather well. Doing this allows you to hear the sounds from exactly where they originate inside the game. To take things a step further, you actually hear it at the right time as well. This means an explosion on your right side will reach your right ear slightly before it reaches your left.
I got my hands on a pair of these briefly at CES, and while playing a bit of CoD I could definitely tell a difference from some of the other headphones I’ve worn. It was easier to pinpoint enemy fire simply by where I heard it, rather than by looking for someone.
The Psyko 5.1 headset also has a few other notable features. You can actually choose whether or not you want to block out external sounds by opening or closing a set of ear vents (which also helps to keep your ears from getting sweaty). The headset also comes with an in-line amplifier, which will give you control over bass and audio volume. The headset will go on sale sometime early this year for $299.
[ Psyko ]