Why you shouldn’t buy a 5.1/7.1 channel USB/Bluetooth gaming headset
Find out why you shouldn’t buy a 5.1 or 7.1 channel USB or Bluetooth gaming headset. In most cases, they will not bring a cost-effective benefit, the famous cost-benefit.
- Why you shouldn't buy a 5.1/7.1 channel USB/Bluetooth gaming headset
- Why you shouldn't buy a gaming headset
- Why You Shouldn't Buy a USB Gamer Headset
- Why You Shouldn't Buy a Bluetooth Gamer Headset
- Why you shouldn't buy a 5.1 or 7.1 channel gaming headset
- Some indications of headsets
Nowadays many gamers, streamers, and YouTubers want a quality headset. However, because of the marketing of gamer peripheral companies, these people end up buying USB or Bluetooth gamer headsets with 5.1 or 7.1 channels. This unfortunately will not bring a benefit befitting the cost, the famous cost-benefit, and thinking about it, I’ll talk about the reasons why you shouldn’t invest in headphones of this type.
Why you shouldn’t buy a gaming headset
In most cases, rare exceptions, gaming headsets have a poor quality microphone. For this reason, it is ideal, if possible, to buy a headphone and a microphone separately, in order to obtain high quality in both the audio you hear and the audio that is output.
It is important to point out that this factor alone increases the value of the product considerably. Proof of this is the Sennheiser Game One and Game Zero headsets, which have the same headphone driver as the Sennheiser HD598 (or HD599), or the Audio Technica ATH-PDG1a headset which is the same as the ATH-AD700X. In other words, buying the headphone and microphone separately is cheaper and delivers better quality.
The best options for microphones are tabletop and detachable/detachable microphones.
Examples of desktop microphones:
- blue yeti
- Audio Technica AT2020
- Shure MV5
Examples of detachable/detachable microphones:
- V-FASHION BoomPro
- Antlion Modmic
- Antlion ModMic Wireless
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a USB Gamer Headset
A gaming headset with a USB cable is limited to what the manufacturer designed, making it impossible to significantly improve its performance. This is due to the fact that when using a digital cable, there is a need to implement a signal converter, the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). Per table, in addition to the addition of a DAC, an amp (amplifier) is also needed, as the signal necessarily needs to be amplified for the headphone diaphragm to move.
When adding a DAC and amp in the USB cable or in the earpiece body, nothing guarantees that the components and the design are of poor quality, after all, this increases the final cost of the headset. For this reason, it is preferable to purchase a headphone with a 3.5mm or 6.35mm analog jack, which allows connection to a quality amplifier or a better-designed integrated DAC/amp solution. This will make it possible to extract the most that the headset has to offer.
Examples of DAC/amp with microphone input:
- Schiit Audio Fulla 3
- Schit Audio Hel
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Bluetooth Gamer Headset
Unfortunately, Bluetooth technology is still limited in terms of transferring audio data, transmitting sound from the headphone and microphone. This happens due to the lack of bandwidth for the emission (microphone) and reception (headphone) of the audio signals. In an attempt to maintain overall quality, manufacturers often end up sacrificing microphone bandwidth and leaving most of it to headphone audio.
Because of this, there are two choices you can make to keep audio quality to a minimum:
– Use a Bluetooth headset with a microphone purchased separately;
– Use a headset with cable;
Why you shouldn’t buy a 5.1 or 7.1 channel gaming headset
Before talking about why it doesn’t pay to buy 5.1 or 7.1 channel gaming headsets, it’s necessary to explain what multichannel audio is, also known as surround sound.
Surround Sound or Multichannel Audio
Surround sound, also known as multi-channel audio, is a type of sound that was created with the goal of making the sound appear to “enclose the listener” in 360 degrees. The intention of this type of technology is that the person has the impression that the generated sounds are coming from all possible directions.
Multichannel audio was created in an attempt to reproduce an experience that is more realistic and immersive for the listener. Aside from the technical aspects, this type of audio works through several audio channels that are reproduced through speakers positioned in strategic places in the room. This is created from the source (audio file) which are then decoded by different technologies such as Dolby.
Surround sound can be created if there are at least four channels of audio, for example up to seven channels. It is usually described by two digits separated by a decimal point (4.1,5.1,6.1,7.1, etc) to know how many speakers make up the system.
What you need to have surround sound or multichannel audio
To be able to reproduce surround sound, you need a circuit that supports a system of at least four channels, an audio processor (DAC) with a multichannel amplifier ( AV preamp/processor), and drivers (speakers).
7.1 channel box system
The number and type of speakers, as well as their placement and distance, are only part of the equation. In order to be able to get this kind of sound, you will also need to have audio content compatible with what the circuit supports in order to be able to process and reproduce it.
Virtual surround or virtual multichannel
In order to be able to decode and process the surround audio, mentioned above, by soundbars or pair of speakers or headphones, something different needs to be developed.
Virtual multichannel audio is unfortunately not actually surround sound, but the use of various technologies that employ phase shift, sound delay, sound reflection (reverb) among other techniques, to fool the ears, making the person think you are actually hearing surround sound.
Virtual surround can be reproduced in two ways: receiving a stereo signal and providing processing similar to multichannel audio, or receiving a multichannel audio signal (5.1 or 7.1, for example) and “mixing” it into two channels (stereo sound ) trying to simulate surround sound with just a pair of speakers.
Surround sound or true multi-channel audio in headphones
It’s been a few years since computer parts manufacturing companies decided to develop or pay third-party companies to create headphones for PC or console gaming. To convince gamers that these “dedicated to gaming” headphones were worth it, the manufacturers needed something to convince them and through research came to the conclusion that what this audience most wanted was a greater immersion in the game and the at the same time a headphone that achieves a better ability to position/direct the sounds.
Taking advantage of the fact that multichannel audio played through home theaters was increasingly common in people’s homes and that it promised exactly what the “gamer audience” wanted, the industry created one of the greatest marketing ploys ever created in history (along with Beats headphones), the multi-channel “gamer headphones” headphones.
The idea of trying to recreate the multi-channel audio played by speakers in a headset sounds great for a layperson. This is exactly the point of view of manufacturers who now charge a very high value because their headphones have such technology, but what really happened is that unfortunately, the promised benefit was not what was actually delivered.
If you, the reader, have carefully read everything that was said and shown above in this article, you will find that the real reproduction of surround audio in a headphone is physically impossible due to space, angulation, and positioning between the speakers. . And consequently, because of this, the result that one has with the technology implemented by the manufacturers in the development of the “gamer headphones” is an expensive headphone with an inferior sound performance.
Compared to stereo headphones, “gamer headphones” end up having, most of the time, when they have “multichannel audio”, a lower performance compared to the same price range. The headphones with two channels are able to provide superior audio quality and at the same time supply what the gamer public so much craves in games, which is spatiality, sound positioning, and better definition.
Some indications of headsets
Thinking about giving a direction to people who despite the tips above to buy a separate headphone and microphone, still want a headset, I made a small selection of good headsets. Check out the list (I’m open to suggestions):
- Cooler Master MH-751
- Cougar Phontum S
- Havit HV2002D
- Hyperx Orbit
- Sennheiser GSP300
- Sennheiser PC37X
- Artistic Steelseries 5
- Xanova Juturna
Unfortunately, the vast majority of gaming headsets are not worth what they charge. However, I see that this is starting to change with the coming of models made by manufacturers such as Audeze (Mobius, LCD-GX), Kingston HyperX (Cloud Orbit), and Audio Technica (ATH-PDG1a, ATH- G1). I hope that there are more and more models that are made with quality in mind and not “perfumery” items to market the product.
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