Volume controller and USB cable
The Medusa 5.1 USB scores erratically for its sound performance. The surround sound quality in a game is brilliant and equally on a par with its older brother and you can instinctively tell where sounds are coming from. However, when you fire up some music or a DVD things go rather downhill. For one the volume and bass on the headset need to be carefully calibrated or you can lose an ear in the process of attempting to watch Saving Private Ryan.
The headset also has trouble when a lot of things are happening at once. For example we were watching the run into the Deathstar in Return of the Jedi, in which there is a lot of things going on at once with the music and the action. While the set's bigger brother could pick up all the sounds and transmit them as well as our 5.1 speaker system, the 5.1 USB failed miserably: at times either the music or dialog was inaudible.
The same was true for music, which seemed rather deadpan and flat compared to a speaker system, and the in-built audio presets with the driver software simply did not cut it compared to the presets we had been using before with the Creative EAX Console.
The microphone performed perfectly online and offered crisp, clear sound though it was a different story when speaking through VoIP to landlines, where the speaker could be barely made out.
The Medusa 5.1 USB headset is clearly not the all-rounder that its bigger brother is but the portable USB nature of the headset as well as the driver based nature of the sound does make it an excellent choice none the less for anyone looking to head off to LANs or just play generally with their laptop. However if the wiring that comes with the vanilla Medusa 5.1 headset does not turn you off and you have a 5.1 soundcard then we'd recommend that as the superior choice between the two headsets - it's even similarly priced.