Good virtual surround capable stereo headphones

ashish18

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Feb 20, 2014
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Hi. I wanted to know what kinds of headphones are better capable of creating virtual surround with sound cards that support Dolby Headphone.

I bought a Xonar U3 for virtual surround and played BF4 in surround sound mode with my card set up but I didn't experience it as others say surround sound is like. I didn't feel if explosions were happening 'behind me' when they did in the game, etc.

My headphones are bassy cans with low impedance and closed back design.
What factors affect a headphone's virtual surround capability?

Thanks.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
first: both "true" and "virtual" surround sound variations for headphones are gimmicky and have flaws. virtual distorts audio in tone and magnitude to make it appear as if it is directional. true uses multiple drivers however you can easily point out which driver it comes from and it sounds very strange. neither is perfect though virtual is a bit easier to get used to. with that said, if the game audio is programmed right you do not need virtual and a good pair of headphones will work fine in stereo.

second: for pinpoint location for gaming it is ideal to have a wide soundstage. closed headphones generally have a small soundstage. what headphones do you have? things like the M50 have extremely small soundstages even compared to other closed cans. soundstage is how much depth or variation in distance sound appears to be from the focal point (your person in games or your ears in practice). combined with this, positional accuracy / imaging refers to how good headphones appear to be with 360 degree and vertical spatial appearance of sound.

third: did you test with virtual on and virtual off? did you notice a difference? in some cases there is a slider to adjust how much virtual applies to the audio. did you change this? what game are you playing? some games like CS-GO are horrible for audio.

best headphones for advantageous gaming? ad-500x or ad-700x since they have a massive soundstage, good positional audio and bass-light sound so footsteps are easily heard and not covered up by explosions. if you want something more exciting, any headphone with a wide soundstage and good positional audio would be a good choice - this generally means using open cans. need closed? perhaps the dt770 since although being closed it has a fair soundstage for being thus (although of course its not going to be the same as open cans.. but may be better than what you have now).
 

sizzling

Distinguished
Oct 18, 2006
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19,260
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Virtual surround sound is a gimmick in my personal experience and just does not work, its nothing like surround sound. Used many headsets and none work. Virtual surround sound doesn't need a 5.1 or 7.1 soundcard as the sound is just altered by software but is still stereo. You can download Razor's virtual surround sound software and use it on any stereo headset setup.

I have Tiamat 7.1 which actually have 5 drivers in each can and even they give a very limited directional sound. With these I have taught myself how to interpret the sound and which direction it should be coming from as the direction is still not accurate.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
first: both "true" and "virtual" surround sound variations for headphones are gimmicky and have flaws. virtual distorts audio in tone and magnitude to make it appear as if it is directional. true uses multiple drivers however you can easily point out which driver it comes from and it sounds very strange. neither is perfect though virtual is a bit easier to get used to. with that said, if the game audio is programmed right you do not need virtual and a good pair of headphones will work fine in stereo.

second: for pinpoint location for gaming it is ideal to have a wide soundstage. closed headphones generally have a small soundstage. what headphones do you have? things like the M50 have extremely small soundstages even compared to other closed cans. soundstage is how much depth or variation in distance sound appears to be from the focal point (your person in games or your ears in practice). combined with this, positional accuracy / imaging refers to how good headphones appear to be with 360 degree and vertical spatial appearance of sound.

third: did you test with virtual on and virtual off? did you notice a difference? in some cases there is a slider to adjust how much virtual applies to the audio. did you change this? what game are you playing? some games like CS-GO are horrible for audio.

best headphones for advantageous gaming? ad-500x or ad-700x since they have a massive soundstage, good positional audio and bass-light sound so footsteps are easily heard and not covered up by explosions. if you want something more exciting, any headphone with a wide soundstage and good positional audio would be a good choice - this generally means using open cans. need closed? perhaps the dt770 since although being closed it has a fair soundstage for being thus (although of course its not going to be the same as open cans.. but may be better than what you have now).
 

ashish18

Estimable
Feb 20, 2014
22
0
4,560
0


Thank you for such a detailed and fair answer. That's what I was hoping for. Thanks.
 
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