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Psyko 5.1 Gaming Headset

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Posted September 28, 2010 by Jake in PC Audio
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by Jake
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Introduction

We all know that graphics get most of the attention where gaming is concerned. New game engines and better graphics may make headlines, but have you ever stopped for a minute and turned off the sound in one of those fancy games? Think about it for a second, when was the last time (if ever) that you simply unplugged your headset or turned off your speakers when gaming? I’m willing to wager you haven’t done it, and if you have, then it didn’t last long. Why not? I’m also willing to wager that it was because the game wasn’t as fun anymore, you couldn’t follow the storyline, or more than likely you just got your ass kicked by some noob because you couldn’t hear him coming when he shot you.

Yes, much as graphics may get most of the attention, it is arguably the sound that makes a game immersive or memorable in many ways. Who doesn’t remember jumping out of your seat in Half Life 2 when Alyx scared you? It is that special audio connection that sets the atmosphere and transports you elsewhere. It is also that audio that can mean the difference between life or death in an online multiplayer gaming environment. And it is this latter scenario that we are most interested in today.

Let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a 5.1 surround speaker system to pump the adrenaline and hear where your enemies are lurking in Call of Duty or Counter Strike. But a loud speaker system isn’t always possible, and for those situations we all use a headset, plain and simple. But it’s not so plain and simple, is it? They come in various shapes, sizes, fits, features, and capabilities. One of the most critical properties in multiplayer gaming is being able to detect where your enemies are; that is, 3D positional sound. A great sound card and stereo headset can work wonders, but it still cannot match the accuracy of a true surround speaker system. But what about 5.1 surround in a headset?

Yes, such claims usually elicit guffaws and curse words, and something along the lines that it’s a gimmick. And largely, I will admit, that is true. But today brings a horse of a different colour that promises to change the game, so to speak, where surround sound is concerned: the Psyko Audio Labs 5.1 gaming headset. Boasting technology that some may say is just this side of audio voodoo, the Psyko headset makes bold claims that it creates 3D sound the same way a room system does; in essence, the "perfect room". Tall order for a headset, to be sure.

Frankly, I am a skeptic, and I’ll admit that right now. I don’t really buy into the 5.1 headset voodoo, and I have to admit that I am very attached to my Beyer Dynamic cans for gaming. So, l am going to put this Psyko headset to the test against my 770’s and see if this 5.1 headset stuff is shaman or schwing.

"Psyko Audio Labs is a Calgary, AB, Canada based technology group focused on commercializing innovative audio technologies for the consumer markets. Led by HeadPsyko and Inventor James Hildebrandt, Psyko is focused on introducing new and innovative surround sound audio products to the gaming community. PsykoAudio Labs is the result of eight years of innovation and development led by James. Using the patent pending PsykoWave? technology, James has reconfigured headphone design in order to deliver to the user a richer, more accurate, and precise surround sound audio experience. Based on psychoacoustic science, the PsykoWave technology is what fuels the Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset and what sets it apart from its competition."

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