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SIMULATING SURROUND SOUND FOR GAMES IN 2 SPEAKERS?

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  • PC gaming
  • Headphones
  • Video Games
Last response: in Video Games
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March 3, 2010 9:29:01 PM

hi all!! :) 

my first post here. :sol: 

i have never used surround sound stuff before. right now i am looking for a new set of headphones for gaming. i play mostly first person shooters like counter strike, call of duty, etc. as a gamer the thought of accessing the surround sound features of these titles seems very advantageous. ;) 

i see a lot of headphones come with simulated 5.1/7.1 surround sound these days. to do this they use add on usb sound cards.

here is an example: http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/pc-gaming-headsets/gamecom-777

i was wondering, instead of paying extra for headphones with a sound card, is there a good piece of software that will do the same job?

i have been searching, but can't find much about this subject? maybe i am looking in the wrong places?

thank you!

More about : simulating surround sound games speakers

March 4, 2010 4:07:40 AM

Trust me, you'll still be able to tell where your enemy is in games like counterstrike, based on their sounds, on even a 2.1 system. Don't bother with USB sound cards, since they add load to your CPU.
March 4, 2010 7:32:56 AM

Ive got the saitek cyborg 5.1 headphones that actually have more than two speakers in the cans, to give the surround sound illusion. with these the usb connection is essential otherwise they only work in stereo, the sound card on these doesnt immitate surround sound it actually drives the multiple speakers correctly. I hate the things!, they break for a pass time, and the sound quality is useless, lacked power and clarity somehow. I think the "vented" design to help keep your ears cool ruined the immersion factor as you get way too much external noise - great you can hold a conversation whilst gaming, but for me headphones are all about immersiveness, and my saitek headphones are worthless for that :fou: .

Despite being happy with my cheap headphones I was lured with the promise of "true" surround sound and greater immersion, I swallowed the bait hook line and sinker.

I've got a couple of pairs of really cheap headphones that apart from slightly too small cans (have to start jiggling them after a few hours to change their positions on my ears for comfort) give the best sound quality and immersion Ive ever had from headphones. Odd really Ive got some relatively nice sennheiser's (£50), Ive got the saitek cyborgs (£60), and I use the £5 pair the most :o . Ive had a LOT of headphones over the years, Ive experienced sound qualities ranging from the absolute dire all the way up to, err, well these £5 pairs :ouch: 

My plain cheapy headphones are also far more immersive than my 7.1 speaker system Ive got the gigaworks 750, find speakers but I really dont find them immersive for gaming, their main use for me is for watching films, and even there, 7.1 is "nice" but really not mind blowing immersion.

The most effective 3d sound Ive heard has came from plain headphones using standard 3d sound software that came with a sound card, THAT really worked. My 5.1 headphones lack the "jump factor" that I only ever get with headphones, when all other sound is blocked out and a sudden unexpected sound can really catch you out. I have no more problems identifying the source of a sound with my cheapy headphones in a game than I do in real life :lol: 

Ive got two pairs of these cheap headphones, both are awesome for gaming, I wouldnt trust the brand name to believe all their headphones are awesome, but THIS model Ive got 2 examples of that are both great for gaming... These are the ones http://www.ebuyer.com/product/111651 although theyve gone up in price slightly. Looking at the reviews Im not the only person to have found these surprisingly good for the money,

from one of the reviews :-

"I was a owner of the fatality gaming headset and dont get me wrong they were great but i gotta say felt a little flimsy hence why they broke, so i bought a pair of these from a recommendation from a friend and all i can say is BLOODY HELL these are fantastic they have better sound quality than fatality, better build quality, more comfortable and a fraction of the price im a real big gamer and the sound quality while playing call of duty, crysis, farcry, guildwars, grid they sound amazing i would buy these even if you dont need right now for 6.99 you cannot go wrong"

I can add to that they are better build, comfort and sound than my saitek cyborg 5.1 headphones. How they managed to turn them out for the £5.09 I paid I really dont know. But two years of heavy use suggests it wasnt by turning down the quality.
March 4, 2010 10:39:04 AM

ah, wow... THANKS GUYS!!!

i have to say those ebuyer cans look fantastic. look at all those reviews lol!! :pt1cable:  hmm... for that price i might invest.

i have been looking at another set of headphones that is 5.1 (6 drivers total) for about £15 less than the plantronics i quoted above. here is a link with customer reviews>

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-5-1-Surround-Headset-HS-6...

they are on ebay for £34 delivered. not bad considering, and i could buy a set of the ebuyer ones as well with the money i save. my dad needs a pair, so i can pass on the ones i dont like to him.

thats a real shame about the saitek cyborg 5.1's mate. i have to say the user reveiws i have seen are not so great great though. they all say similar things to you. :( 


i am still looking for some 3d sound software. i came across this that i will try later today (free 14 day trial). it gets great reviews everywhere. it might use up a little bit of resources though. i will see. srs labs - sandbox. anyone tried it with games? >

https://www.srslabs.com/store/store/comersus_viewItem.a...

March 4, 2010 11:05:09 AM

Really, if you want 5.1, there are two rules:

1: Get a soundcard
2: Avoid USB headsets (which ignore soundcards, using their own audio drivers)

Simulated surround sound (Dolby Headphone/Speaker) does the job very well, although as a consequence, you do have a more...echoey[?] overall effect.

That being said, a few headsets actually use multiple speakers (I know Tritton does this a lot). I've had good experiances with this type setup, although I always found the jump from front->side speakers was a bit overdone...

I'm currently ignoring my own advice and using a set of Logitech G35's for gaming, which uses an enhanced Dolby Headphone tech to simulate a 7.1 stream on a 2.1 headset. Works very well in getting teh 7.1 effect, but has a lower overall quality then my older Tritton AX Pro (using Optical) did.
March 4, 2010 11:27:24 AM

thanks gamerk.

for me the issue is cost. i don't really want to spend over £45. all the sets i look at around this price are not perfect. most have a usb card or if they are true 5.1 (with 3 jack inputs for 6 audio drivers) they have some kind of issues.

i am currently using my on board sound card which has 7.1 hd inputs. i would prefer a set of headphones with 3 jacks to just plug straight into the back, but i cant find anything decent at this price. i was looking at the Zalman ZM-RS6FM > http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-ZM-RS6FM-5-1-channel-headp... but this gets mixed reviews. it has no bass, and can get a little hot and sticky wearing it for long periods.

i do have an older 'creative audigy 2' soundcard with a break out box and stuff. i could put that in i guess, but for me it just seems more drain on power. the on-board card i have is more than enough for what i need at the moment. i just can't find any simulated 3d effects in the software/drivers.

can you explain further why it is bad to have a headset that uses its own driver? i am total newb when it comes to this stuff. performance drain? effects on games in other ways etc?

ideally i would love the trust headset (i mentioned above) but with 3 audio jacks instead of usb plug, but they don't make it :(  anyone have any true 5.1 headset suggestions at this price? i have been looking for a few weeks now, but i find im going round in circles lol xD
March 5, 2010 8:50:15 AM

c t e said:
thanks gamerk.

for me the issue is cost. i don't really want to spend over £45. all the sets i look at around this price are not perfect. most have a usb card or if they are true 5.1 (with 3 jack inputs for 6 audio drivers) they have some kind of issues.

i am currently using my on board sound card which has 7.1 hd inputs. i would prefer a set of headphones with 3 jacks to just plug straight into the back, but i cant find anything decent at this price. i was looking at the Zalman ZM-RS6FM > http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-ZM-RS6FM-5-1-channel-headp... but this gets mixed reviews. it has no bass, and can get a little hot and sticky wearing it for long periods.

i do have an older 'creative audigy 2' soundcard with a break out box and stuff. i could put that in i guess, but for me it just seems more drain on power. the on-board card i have is more than enough for what i need at the moment. i just can't find any simulated 3d effects in the software/drivers.

can you explain further why it is bad to have a headset that uses its own driver? i am total newb when it comes to this stuff. performance drain? effects on games in other ways etc?

ideally i would love the trust headset (i mentioned above) but with 3 audio jacks instead of usb plug, but they don't make it :(  anyone have any true 5.1 headset suggestions at this price? i have been looking for a few weeks now, but i find im going round in circles lol xD


I have those Zalman headsets. They actual have an updated version w/ USB, but im sure you can still get the 3 jack. The headphones are not bad at all for the price. As for the Bass i have forgotten what it sounds like because its on my secondary computer. The headphones on my primary computer are Logitech G35's which are more pricey. The Bass on those make my pants went when playing BC2.

If you are debating on those Zalmans and really havnt found anything else, i doubt you will be dissatisfied with your choice. As far as getting hot and sticky, yes they do get a little sweaty. It just means you need to get a fan or take a break :whistle: 
March 6, 2010 2:24:12 PM

thank you BroHamBone, and thank you all...

i ended up ordering the trust 5.1 headset. i have the option to return them if i don't like them so that is sweet with me :sol:  i will make a quick post of my thoughts.
!