Are simulated 7.1 headphones inferior to 5.1?

Amywalker730

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Hello everyone!

I'm in the market for a high-end pair of headphones and have run across a few claims that simulated 7.1 headphones are inferior to 5.1 and that there are trade-offs for each. Is this true?
 

warhead0

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I would agree, they are inferior.

All you need is headphones with Left and Right channel, no need for any of the surround sound crap, a good pair of headphones will be very capable of creating a surround sound effect.
 

warhead0

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Actual 5.1 speaker setup is great.

My beef is with headphones that try to do it.

I would say your actual surround sound speaker system (assuming the speakers are well positioned) would beat 7.1 headphones. easy.

You just cant beat the real deal.
 

Spectre694

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I don't have them myself but I wold say something with actual 5.1 (5 physical speakers and a sub) would beat something that simulates 7.1 (7 simulatred not physical speakers)
 

shotgunz

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It really depends on what you want to achieve and your budget. If you have around $1000 to spend, Sennheiser's HD800 will beat any 7.1 speaker setup at letting you hear the direction and distance of footsteps. They are extremely clear sounding with a fast and clean transient response, great directionality and the largest sound stage of any headphone.

In short, these were made to let one listen very deeply into music and hear all the little details you can't hear with most headphones/speakers so excel at letting you hear everything in games too. I own a pair so I'm not basing this on marketing fluff I've read.

As for how "surrounding" they sound, these two verdicts from CNET and Trusted Reviews sum it up nicely.

"The Bottom Line, Sennheiser's exquisite HD 800s sound more like listening to full-size speakers than any other headphones we've heard to date."

"With a gigantic sound stage, they can make music sound as if it is coming out of speakers nearby more than almost any other set we’ve heard."

No, they won't beat speakers in how surrounding they sound, but when paired with a sound card with virtual surround technologies, they can come very close.
 

Amywalker730

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My goodness those are expensive! I confess that I'm not very knowledgeable of audio. It may be worth the investment, but I also tend to ruin my headphones within two years. In-fact every pair that I have ever owned has lasted just a year before the wire inside of the cord broke, except my current pair which took two years to end its life in the same way. It makes me hesitant to invest in such quality when they would likewise be worn down.

- What could you say about the build quality around the ear cup - cord?

- Could I return them to be serviced and repaired over the years?

- Would a similar quality headphones exist in wireless form?
 
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