Are Surround Gaming Headphones BS?

  • Published: 10 February 2019
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    Ever wondered what "virtual 7.1" means? Is "true 7.1" better? Whose is the most convincing? We've got the answer!

    Buy "true 7.1" headsets on Amazon:
    Razer Tiamat 7.1 v2 (10-driver):

    Buy virtual 7.1 headsets on Amazon:
    Razer ManO'War 7.1 (Razer Surround):
    ASUS STRIX Fusion 700 (ASUS proprietary):
    SteelSeries Arctis Pro (DTS Headphone:X 2.0):
    Logitech G933 (DTS Headphone:X):

    Buy surround DACs on Amazon:
    Sennheiser GSX-1200 Pro (Sennheiser proprietary):
    Sound BlasterX AE-5 (BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro):

    Discuss on the forum:

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    Intro Screen Music Credit:
    Title: Laszlo - Supernova
    Video Link:
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    Outro Screen Music Credit: Approaching Nirvana - Sugar High
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 3 891

  • Linus Tech Tips
    Linus Tech Tips   2 months back

    CORRECTION: It turns out that the ASUS Fusion 700 uses virtual surround based on Bongiovi Acoustics' Digital Power Station technology, not ASUS' proprietary solution. Sorry for the confusion!

    • Andrey Kotov
      Andrey Kotov  4 weeks back

      How about testing the razer headset with proper sound card? Most people dont have sand alone around cards, but those headphones shine with a proper sound card.

    • Lil Chicken
      Lil Chicken  2 months back


    • Steve Thea
      Steve Thea  2 months back

      *Every headset/phones ON a PC has Surroundsound!!!!* !!! +Dataacid

    • Jeremy Bender
      Jeremy Bender  2 months back

      Hi linus
      Trust you doing well.

      Please could you guys do a review on the plantronic rig 800hd. Would love to see that.

      Thanks team for great work

    • william smith
      william smith  2 months back

      This would be good for VR.

  • Riot_Pubg Mobile
    Riot_Pubg Mobile  7 hours back

    Whats your opinion on the superlux hd681s?

    • Riot_Pubg Mobile
      Riot_Pubg Mobile  7 hours back

      You insult my HS50s😭

      • Johan Ekstrand
        Johan Ekstrand  1 days back

        What about spdif outputs? :) didnt see if you tried that :D!

        • SHECK
          SHECK  2 days back

          why is he putting on safety goggles

          • Algenhirn
            Algenhirn  2 days back

            I have an Asus ROG StriX Fusion 700 and I love them. I dont care about surround sound i bought them because I tried the 300 version at Gamescom and they where amazing!
            1. Feels really good on your ears
            2. Who needs Noise canceling if they just don't let sound come to your ear!
            3. Sound is... WOW! Just WOW!
            4. Bluetooth for on the go
            5. Touchcontrols (but only on the left side) except for 2 buttons (1. for on/off 2. for Surround Sound on/off)

            • The Blackwood
              The Blackwood  2 days back

              The men shouting .. sounds like they're having BDSM ...

            • Kyle Miskenack
              Kyle Miskenack  2 days back

              What if you guys included Sony 1000xm3 or bose qc35ii into the fight?? Woukd they stand a chance??

              • Rajesh Das
                Rajesh Das  4 days back

                Try it out with Audeze mobius. Heard it’s pretty good

                • dome
                  dome  1 weeks back

                  So a Corsair HS50 with Dolby Atmos is a good deal?

                  • Salahuddin Elias
                    Salahuddin Elias  1 weeks back

                    The dolby atmos ia refer to what model? Corsair void pro?

                    • Jax
                      Jax  1 weeks back

                      Hesuvi - best solution I've found

                      • Dirkaios
                        Dirkaios  1 weeks back

                        If you want to experience the best 7.1 surround on Windows, I suggest to use VB-Cable + Equalizer APO + Hesuvi - this will offer you many HRIR/HRTF from several solutions but in one place.

                        • X Hacker -
                          X Hacker -  2 weeks back

                          Turtlebeach elite 2 is 👌🏻

                          • ForsakenZombi
                            ForsakenZombi  2 weeks back

                            Sooooo... should I set my steel series to stereo vs surround? That’s really the question I’m looking to have answered.

                            • Messed Up
                              Messed Up  2 weeks back

                              would you recommend buying the astro a40 tr + mixamp?

                              • Tony L
                                Tony L  2 weeks back

                                Sorry but headsets designed for dolby will sound good in overwatch. Eg Most astro's, but true 7.1 headsets will sound better on games like Apex legends.
                                I turn off 7.1 in OW using my strix 7.1 but turn it on in Apex and sounds amazing. OW is not the best for testing these sort of headphones.

                                • ForsakenZombi
                                  ForsakenZombi  2 weeks back

                                  Tony L Steelseries artis 7 2019 version. I notice unlike every video I can find on YouTube that the DTS in Steelseries says v2 as in version 2. All the videos on here say it’s garbage but they all show the old GUI and it doesn’t have v2 so I’m trying to get some opinions on if v2 is better and no longer a mess like the complaints of the old version.

                                • Tony L
                                  Tony L  2 weeks back

                                  +ForsakenZombi yep. what headset are you using? i have about 7 pairs of headphones, wireless n non plus 5.1-7.1 headphones

                                • ForsakenZombi
                                  ForsakenZombi  2 weeks back

                                  Tony L so you use DTS X2 in apex? Works well?

                              • Freddy Calloway
                                Freddy Calloway  2 weeks back

                                I noticed what you did with that sound effect. You've seen the video too huh?

                                • Jarod Skaff
                                  Jarod Skaff  3 weeks back

                                  Are Dolby Headphones so terrible that I could get something better at a cheaper price? Or should I just try it out and see if it's really much better than my BASS controlling stereo headphones? (which I just now broke off a piece of plastic so I'm sort of worried).

                                  • Jarod Skaff
                                    Jarod Skaff  3 weeks back

                                    I know a couple of games that make the best use of Dolby Digital. Mechassault from OG Xbox, and Dungeon Defenders from Xbox 360. Halo 2 and 3 do have fairly good enough use of it though you're mostly IN-FRONT of the enemies.

                                    • Jarod Skaff
                                      Jarod Skaff  3 weeks back

                                      Actually the approximation using whatever speakers are available only applies to DTS X. Dolby Atmos requires specific speakers and placements.

                                      • Jarod Skaff
                                        Jarod Skaff  3 weeks back

                                        Best intro everherherherherr! This is like Little Apple playing the wacky School Simulator all over again you should look it up>Little Apple School Simulator.

                                        • Jarod Skaff
                                          Jarod Skaff  3 weeks back

                                          If you wanted to hear where he was, you should've gotten Dolby Headphones or something like SBX.

                                          • Rommel Celedonio
                                            Rommel Celedonio  3 weeks back

                                            Did linus killed by a bot???

                                            • BC A
                                              BC A  3 weeks back

                                              Enjoy Somic G954 gaming headphone.
                                              Vibration, cool design

                                              • Trex
                                                Trex  3 weeks back

                                                Hyper X cloud 2?

                                                • Hudson Mckenna
                                                  Hudson Mckenna  3 weeks back

                                                  I love it how he just completely fucked over his team in csgo by going afk
                                                  I realised they are all bots so yeah who cares

                                                  • Jacob Andersen
                                                    Jacob Andersen  4 weeks back

                                                    In short: surround sound headsets are a scam. good stereo headphones will always be better

                                                    • t0fu.K
                                                      t0fu.K  4 weeks back

                                                      I use McDonalds headphones and I still drop 30 bombs.

                                                      • Andrey Kotov
                                                        Andrey Kotov  4 weeks back

                                                        Got Tiamat 7.1 v1 and now bought the Tiamat 7.1 v2... best headphones I have ever owned... if you tried them and dont like it but have not tried them with a real sound card, your opinion is invalid.

                                                        • neyon3D
                                                          neyon3D  4 weeks back

                                                          +Andrey Kotov Yea most people have no idea how good directional sound is on some *true* surround headsets + a creative card, but I'm glad I do. I'll never use a 2.0 headset for gaming again. I'd bet Linus didn't even have the Tiamat's set up correctly. Honestly, i'm glad most people don't know about true's. Better for us.

                                                        • keepsii
                                                          keepsii  4 weeks back

                                                          +Andrey Kotov No I bought my pc parts built my pc got a pair of sr850 and am enjoying them ALOT

                                                        • Andrey Kotov
                                                          Andrey Kotov  4 weeks back

                                                          +keepsii you do realize Linus used them with built in sound output from the mobo right? People like yourself that have never tried them and trust ppl online without doing your own testing, again, your opinion is INVALID. Run along. You probably use your moms credit card to buy a prebuilt desktop from best buy and watch videos like these to drool over good tech.

                                                        • keepsii
                                                          keepsii  4 weeks back

                                                          just because you waste money on trash headphones doesnt mean that you have to defend them

                                                      • Raj Van Sluytman
                                                        Raj Van Sluytman  4 weeks back

                                                        Aw, I miss you, Trans-obstacle-passage-Ursine. You were just so much cuter.

                                                        • G T
                                                          G T  1 months back

                                                          Linus - would you be able to create an updated video on surround sound gaming and include the much-hyped Audeze Mobius, please??

                                                          • The 10xHustler
                                                            The 10xHustler  1 months back

                                                            How about predator headset?

                                                            • Supgamer
                                                              Supgamer  1 months back

                                                              the loud nigra caught me off guard. didnt expect it to pop up here.

                                                              • Manuel85
                                                                Manuel85  1 months back

                                                                I hate how most headsets comes with mic, i honestly dont need mic for anything even if i am a gamer, my native is not english so it would sound horrible if i try to "yell" at some kids...
                                                                real players can do it oldschool and type! or even have basic words in macro buttons... macro button 1: F**K YOU YOU SUCK!, and you get the drift :)

                                                                • Jeff Playz
                                                                  Jeff Playz  1 months back

                                                                  I mean i have a semi surround sound headset

                                                                  ( It was 4$ cad :p )

                                                                  • Faisal_ Sama
                                                                    Faisal_ Sama  1 months back

                                                                    What about console gamers i dont know if games on ps4 and xbox have dts or good sound and I cant buy amplifier or open back headphone becuse ps4 controller amplifier cant drive them what i can really do?? Buy high end gaming headset or what

                                                                    • CeleTiXx
                                                                      CeleTiXx  1 months back

                                                                      I still have and use a Tritton 720+ from 2012 and it still fucking kicks ass in 2019. 😎

                                                                      • Zenn.P #63
                                                                        Zenn.P #63  1 months back

                                                                        so should i use my Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro
                                                                        with a Sound BlasterX AE-5 or Sennheiser GSX 1200 PRO
                                                                        for Gaming??

                                                                        • UNSEEABLE NINJA
                                                                          UNSEEABLE NINJA  2 months back

                                                                          Platinum headphones are ligit surrounds sound

                                                                          • Mike P
                                                                            Mike P  2 months back

                                                                            i love my Razer Tiamat 7.1 v2

                                                                            • neyon3D
                                                                              neyon3D  1 months back

                                                                              Yea, I kinda think they didn't even do this test properly, because I find *true* surround headsets to be way better at localizing sounds, especially ones directly in front of me. I'd imagine they didn't turn off surround software when testing the Razer's or something.

                                                                          • GabaGoul
                                                                            GabaGoul  2 months back

                                                                            1 gripe that I have cause your team kinda dropped the ball choosing a game that has built in Dolby surround. If you left that setting on then your experiment is a fail unfortunately due to the sound being altered. Being somewhat of a gamer audiophile I've tried every single brand of headphones such as razer, corsair, cheap Amazon pos', hyper x and logitech. Overall logitech headphones suck. Incredibly uncomfortable and sound weird plus their software is garbage. Corsair voids and h series are excellent comfortable and great sound quality. Hyperx is a joke honestly. Poor construction tiny sounding drivers and incredibly uncomfortable. Razer on the other hand blows all the rest away. I currently own the tiamat 7.1 and they are incredible. You can easily distinguish directional sounds, changing your gameplay. The cups are perfect I do have very small ears thankfully otherwise someone with larger ears might have theirs touch the edges of the cup slightly. The design is wicked and definitely stands out. It's just sad razer discontinued them. But the debate of surround is just like the debate of fps/refresh rate, that the human eye can see.

                                                                            • Bagha Shams
                                                                              Bagha Shams  2 months back

                                                                              I wish you guys had tried Spatial Sound Card, I find it be way better than Dolby or any other virtual surround software. It's the only software I've tried that actually sounds like prerecorded binaural audio, and sounds eerily sound like they're coming from their real directions.

                                                                              • F.B.I.
                                                                                F.B.I.  2 months back

                                                                                *buys Razer phone*
                                                                       comes with fully integrated Dolby Atmos? Bitchin.

                                                                                • 〉〉cerebral_malfunction

                                                                                  Didnt test the Audeze Mobius PepeHands

                                                                                  • Valarius J.
                                                                                    Valarius J.  2 months back

                                                                                    Does anyone in this day and age still really believe that 5 tiny drivers to your immediate left and right are going to provide surround sound all on their own? It should seem obvious that only physical speakers or drivers surrounding you or so sort of software processing is going to provide this. Razer's 7.1 headsets are garbage cash grabs for stupid people, but Razer's surround sound software that exists independently of this hardware isn't that bad.

                                                                                    • Marcos
                                                                                      Marcos  2 months back

                                                                                      Dolby Atmos for headphones is amazing

                                                                                      • dave rich
                                                                                        dave rich  2 months back

                                                                                        my roccat 5.1 analog gets me accused of hacking i disable hrtf in csgo.