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Gaming headphones following a 5.1 surround?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by aoaaron, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. aoaaron


    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 865

    Okay so my history of audio is a bit weird.

    I've went from

    Laptop speakers to Logitech 50£ PC speakers to some 35£ bluetooth headphones to TV speakers...

    then I thought F*** it and bought a 5.1 surround which involves about 3k worth of audio equipment which is AMAZING. Its for my home theatre setup.

    Anyway, I want to return to desktop gaming eventually. I've come to terms with that I can no longer deal with monitor speakers and even cheap PC speakers will just suck. So I have two options:

    1. Build a NEW surround for my bedroom... possible but expensive AF and logistically probably very stupid given the speaker placement to monitor just seems really weird to work.
    2. Headphones

    My issue is my experience with headphones is poor. Are there good headphones which can replicate or dare I say better a smallish surround setup, I can possible build.

    Any solutions please from any audiphiles or experts? I feel like I've been REALLY spoilt playing video games on a home theatre sound system.
  2. EsaT


    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,373

    Location: Finland

    Yeah, from own experience can tell that positioning of even smaller surround set speakers is pain in the butt...
    Not to mention if room isn't good for acoustics that's further complication.

    Headphones can never create that feel of bass from subwoofer...
    But with binaural signal good headphones can give good directionality and also sense of distance.
    Human hears in "3D" just with two ears, because head&outer ear cause direction dependant changes to signal received by both ears from sound source.
    If those "cues" are in signal of left and right ear and its reproduced accurately enough you'll get very good immersion.
    That's been known for over century with first recording attempts already then.
    For long time technology in both microphones and headphones just wasn't up to the job.

    And while now possible technically lots of headphones still aren't really up to the job...
    Because of being just plain garbage in case of most cheaper especially closed design stuff and especially gaming trinkets.
    While more expensive headphones can have some "music enjoyment" tuning hindering needed accuracy for binaural cues to work best.

    But compared to home theater stuff you really don't need to pay much for good capability for binaural sound.
    AKG K701/K702 would be among absolute top headphones for picking game environment apart from sounds.
    Though neutral bass could feel little unfun.
    AKG K712 or Beyerdynamic DT990 would be better for having more "fun factor", at expense of details like foot steps always being not as easy to distinguish from under lower frequency sounds.

    And with main focus of games being in graphics most games aren't that good, when it comes to actual features of sound engine/renderer.
    Or even if sound engine would support headphones game lacks necessary options for that.
    Again compared to home theaters stuff top level sound card with algorithms for simulating binaural sound from standard 5.1 doesn't cost much: