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
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    Outro Screen Music Credit: Approaching Nirvana - Sugar High
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 3 808

  • Linus Tech Tips
    Linus Tech Tips   1 weeks 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!

    • Jeremy Bender
      Jeremy Bender  21 hours 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  5 days back

      This would be good for VR.

    • Dataacid
      Dataacid  6 days back

      Please fix your audio, the sibilance in this one is killing my ears.

    • Steve Thea
      Steve Thea  6 days back

      +-____- please suggest me best gaming headset

    • HeatWaVe _X
      HeatWaVe _X  7 days back

      how did you guys not test the Astro Headsets?

  • Froggy 565
    Froggy 565  7 hours back

    why didnt you have the asus centurion and or strix 7.1? They are really the only other ones with "true" surround

    • Dante Singleton
      Dante Singleton  11 hours back

      Hmmm... Dolby Access (M 17+) ok...

      • Kojinism
        Kojinism  13 hours back

        What about Windows Sonic?

        • Roberto Fitzhugh
          Roberto Fitzhugh  18 hours back

          My Turtle Beach Elite 800X headset works great for 7.1 surround sound. Worth the $300 price tag. Sounds come from an accurate direction. Even though it is a console headset, to use it properly the dock has to be connected to the source so you can use them on PC.

          • slavegod 22
            slavegod 22  1 days back

            A have the steelseries arctic 7 gold there pretty Good

            • Fucked Gplus
              Fucked Gplus  1 days back

              i got atmos and its worth it

              • Siang LiN
                Siang LiN  2 days back

                U should let Razer see this video.
                really hope they can improve their audio gear

                • Andreas Suojanen
                  Andreas Suojanen  2 days back

                  So who remember the Zalman 5.1 headphones from back in the day? :D

                  • ARenaissanceishMan
                    ARenaissanceishMan  2 days back

                    ok, so what closed back headphones do you recommend then?

                    • Yadvendra Meena
                      Yadvendra Meena  2 days back

                      If a guy weighting over 100 kg going to talk about computers to me, then hell yeah I'm going to listen to him!

                      • SonofRiggnarok
                        SonofRiggnarok  2 days back

                        All I know is when I turned on my Playstation Platinum Wireless Headsets Virtual Surround sound my Far Cry Primal gaming experience was enhanced like crazy, I could tell every direction the animals were coming at me from.

                        • The Apocalypse Revolution

                          Glad i got me a G933 Wireless headset for christmas!

                          • Rexeit
                            Rexeit  2 days back

                            There's Nahimic too (free with MSI products) that works AF ^^

                            • Hellenden Gamer
                              Hellenden Gamer  2 days back


                              • Kenyan dandy
                                Kenyan dandy  2 days back

                                Razor is garbage. Do yourself a favor and get some audio technica, 150 bucks, sound fantastic.

                                • Aaron Conlon
                                  Aaron Conlon  2 days back

                                  "There's no such thing as gaming headphones" A friggin men. I've been trying to convince people who have spent way too much on gaming headphones of this for a while, and predictably, they typically get mad at me for posing a logical argument, instead of themselves, for wasting their money.

                                  • Javier Schulenburg
                                    Javier Schulenburg  3 days back

                                    I have the Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO, much better for gaming and virtual surround than all the other "gaming headsets" I've owned before and amazing for music (At least for its 120€)

                                    • Derek Fletcher
                                      Derek Fletcher  3 days back

                                      haha yeah when I was young I bought 7.1 tiamats. Even then with no audio exp. and a lot of optimism, I thought they were trash.

                                      • Sly
                                        Sly  3 days back

                                        Anthony is love

                                        • teyler verner
                                          teyler verner  3 days back

                                          Hyper x cloud 2 has surround sound, I don’t use it but the headset is great

                                          • Random Commentor
                                            Random Commentor  3 days back

                                            The best "gaming" headphones are the ones that are rebranded from actual good headphones. Anyone wonder why everyone loves hyperx clouds so much?

                                            • Ownscene | Videography & Photography service

                                              What of Windows Sonic?

                                              • Derf Llennod
                                                Derf Llennod  3 days back

                                                I would buy a copy of rainbow six siege for LTT so they can use it for better comparisons because CSS is no joke good for basic testing as it's a well known game. but RSS puts FAR more effort in sound because of it's tactical nature. the only issue is that the gamers of the group has to learn map knowledge to get the best out of it

                                                • Prjndigo
                                                  Prjndigo  3 days back

                                                  virtual surround is 100% bullshit
                                                  2 speakers = stereo only

                                                  • Visal Khim
                                                    Visal Khim  3 days back

                                                    What desk is that in the video?

                                                    • Papelion
                                                      Papelion  3 days back

                                                      If you are looking for good headohones, already have a mic and are on a budget get the status cb-1's they are great, I have had them for 2 months now and the audio is clear. They are also good studio monitor headphones.

                                                      • Martin Pedersen
                                                        Martin Pedersen  3 days back

                                                        Wait wait... what headphones was testet with the dolby app?

                                                        • Brian Nguyen
                                                          Brian Nguyen  3 days back

                                                          I personally use a pair of hd 58X from Sennheiser/Massdrop. And an xlr condenser mic. Probably not worth 200 dollars for most people but you can do a cheaper approach with some akg k240 and a blue snowball or whatever you like.

                                                          • stuart ellis
                                                            stuart ellis  4 days back

                                                            What soundcard did you use for the Tiamat 7.1's? They really need a good soundcard, a lot of motherboard soundcards are just not strong enough to drive them properly.

                                                            • Mike Soda
                                                              Mike Soda  4 days back

                                                              I like my Hyper X Cloud Stingers so I'm fine with these until they go out & or I can afford to go wireless. Originally never wanted to but am finding cords to be more annoying for headphones.

                                                              • SpecialEllio
                                                                SpecialEllio  4 days back

                                                                what about the default spatial sound in windows 10?

                                                                • silly filly
                                                                  silly filly  4 days back

                                                                  02:40 im dying, lmaooo

                                                                  • Tim van Akkeren
                                                                    Tim van Akkeren  4 days back

                                                                    This video really helps me out finding my next pair of headphones. Still rocking my 5 years old Logitech G430 (with some added tape to hold everything together). I'm currently thinking of getting the newer G432 or the G Pro. Another option that I'm looking into is the Beyerdynamic DT 770, possibly with a microphone and a DAC+Amp combo, but that's a bit more expensive. This video made me lean more towards the latter option.

                                                                    • Emil Popovic
                                                                      Emil Popovic  4 days back

                                                                      No, they are not

                                                                      • Scott Hanlon
                                                                        Scott Hanlon  4 days back

                                                                        Utter bull crap! What you didnt actually do is test a game like oh I don't know, WITCHER III that is actually TRUE 7.1 FOR REAL! I have the Tiamat 7.1 v2's and the original version myself and I've tested a heap of headsets to test the "REAL" benefits of digital and analogue headsets myself to make sure I purchased the best "gaming" headset that is available for GAMES! And the Tiamat original and V2 sets far out perform the rest, especially the ROG 7.1 USB set for around the same price! Which yes is digital not analogue either!
                                                                        The whole video was to poo on Razer I get it.
                                                                        The only Razer products I own are the headsets myself. But when even Razer got something right and you have to do the correct testing and setup in the first place you will actually with it properly set up praise it mate!
                                                                        On this one occasion you were completely wrong, sorry.
                                                                        Do a re-test with all of the headsets from this video with Witcher III and do walk arounds where people are talking and literally hear the difference for yourself please!!!!
                                                                        Also the games you tested don't really do 7.1, more spacial stereo, so the test itself was also bull crap too mate.
                                                                        As I said above you got it totally wrong!

                                                                        I look forward to a corrected and re-tested video with Witcher III as one of the games tested that actually supports REAL TRUE 7.1SURROUND!!!
                                                                        Make sure you also set the sound stage on the control box on the headset station for the Tiamat V2 headset and or original version also. Don't do a half arsed test next time please.
                                                                        I expect far more from you guys, Linus you especially.
                                                                        Even if it is Razer we're talking about as part of your testing methodology, we know your not a fan of Razer products already, please take out personal bias for the re-test.
                                                                        As the headset clearly wasn't set up correctly (spacially) and the games tested weren't True 7.1 raw audio like Witcher III.
                                                                        I look forward to the re-test video.

                                                                        Here is proof by the way:
                                                                        Start at 8:18 onwards.

                                                                        • nilzr1
                                                                          nilzr1  4 days back

                                                                          I used a Sennheiser game zero for years. After buying a Beyerdynamic DT770 pro 80 ohm for listening music, I've never touched the Sennheiser anymore even for gaming.

                                                                          • Itz.T3nsion
                                                                            Itz.T3nsion  4 days back

                                                                            4:05 his voice is like asmr

                                                                            • L
                                                                              L  4 days back

                                                                              WTF IS THAT ABOMINATION! LINUS WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU

                                                                              • Infn E
                                                                                Infn E  4 days back


                                                                                • Tracy Gossett
                                                                                  Tracy Gossett  4 days back

                                                                                  Turtle Beach had true surround gaming headphones before Razer even existed.

                                                                                  • Demonix Tk
                                                                                    Demonix Tk  4 days back

                                                                                    What about windows sonic xd

                                                                                    • Dispie Dark
                                                                                      Dispie Dark  4 days back

                                                                                      Been using a Logitech G35 for 9 years give or take, its slowly falling apart (fake leather is coming off but the fabric under it is much nicer then the leather.
                                                                                      But the sound is perfect for me, i can pretty accurate tell were people are in games. and even 3d music sounds good in it and gives that wave effect were you hear it go past you.

                                                                                      Sorry but razor is a bad bet in my book there headsets have been cheap shit over the years. Same with there wobbly keys on there keyboards that wrist rest is pretty sweet doh.

                                                                                      • FlyingPinguin88
                                                                                        FlyingPinguin88  4 days back

                                                                                        Doesn't gaming headphones provide a very wide soundstage, good for gaming compared to a "good" headphone like the audio techica m40xs?

                                                                                        • Mister Doctor Professor President plankton

                                                                                          I DONT UNDERSTAND. I have more questions now than I had before. I have the Logitech g430 7.1 surround headset and I use the Logitech app to test the surround sound. It sounds like Linus is saying that there are only two speakers in 7.1 headphones. Are or aren’t there 8 speakers in my headphones?

                                                                                          • DarkVoid Boy
                                                                                            DarkVoid Boy  4 days back

                                                                                            I'd really like you to also address the issues when you turn on positional audio software when the game is _already doing_ positional audio processing. (Example, let's say they download and enable DTS when Atmos is also enabled in Overwatch). I keep seeing people with "cool" 7.1 software and/or headsets that can't figure out where they are getting shot from, and it's just sad. There should be PSAs on what to turn on, and when, for each game.
                                                                                            Until then, my rule of thumb has been, "start by making everything match." For example, if the game is outputting 7.1 source, then Windows should be set to 7.1 speakers, and you should actually have 7.1 speakers. If the game is configured for "stereo headphones" then start by matching that everywhere first, and test it. Then only change one thing at a time. Mismatches can kill your experience worse than cheap hardware.

                                                                                            • Zach - LightSpeedYT
                                                                                              Zach - LightSpeedYT  4 days back

                                                                                              hesuvi for equalizer apo. thank me later

                                                                                              • Megakoresh
                                                                                                Megakoresh  4 days back

                                                                                                Absolutely fascinating and useful too! I love these sort of videos. What about that new Creative tech - SXFI? It actually scans the shape of your head to adjust the sound and apparently a lot of people were impressed considering how many awards it got at CES. With Dolby Atmos enabled on that thing, should SXFI headset be the best setup? I like Creative products, I would be interested to know.