by Robert Tanner on October 1, 2010 in Speakers/Headphones
The gaming market isn’t lacking of quality headsets, but it is lacking of any that seem to do anything unique. Psyko Audio looks to break that mold, by delivering a 5.1 gaming headset that defies convention. The speakers aren’t in the earcups, but rather the headband, and that results in quite an interesting aural experience.
Made sure to read the previous page where we delved into some of the issues in more detail? Good!
After over a month of use (who wouldn’t love to be doing work by playing games?) we began to notice the benefits of these headphones more and more. At first we were disappointed with the initial, slightly tinny sound quality, however, adjusting the sound mixer will quickly offset much of this.
Some games will require mixer tuning for the best effect, while others won’t really need it. Only users that tend to notice sound fidelity will quickly pick up on this in the first place, but we must say for audiophiles it would definitely be an issue.
The only thing better than the Psyko 5.1 PC gaming headset for directional sound would to use a good, sound level calibrated 5.1 speaker setup . After the initial adjustment to the headset the directional cues to were great and did make a difference in games. I could more clearly, and quickly, discern sounds and which direction they originated from.
The Psyko 5.1 gaming headset does not provide sound isolation, and whether this is a good or a bad thing is up to the user. If needed the ear pieces can be opened, which does drop sound volume slightly but provides full hearing to the local area. The lack of sound isolation also works the other way, it won’t take much volume before nearby people will clearly hear your music or become unwilling participants in your game. The best surround-sound experience is at low volume with low bass, so again this is not a major concern. At these settings a gamer will get the most effect from these headphones.
In my opinion the Psyko 5.1 gaming headset was comfortable to wear, was not heavy, and despite its size could be worn for extended gaming sessions without becoming uncomfortable. Microphone quality was to be expected, and the ability to unplug the mic boom if unwanted is a nice touch. The pre-amp makes it easy to adjust bass and volume levels.
That leaves price. In our opinion the single largest issue with the Psyko 5.1 headset is simply that. At $300, these aren’t cheap. If that price seems obscene to you then these headphones may not be for you. The target market for a product like this would have to be the same as those that would buy $500 graphics cards, or even more expensive dual-GPU graphic setups. Newegg recently had these exact headphones on sale for “just” $250 as a one day special, so it doesn’t hurt to look around. We can’t neglect to mention Psyko confidently offers a 15 day full refund policy from receipt on its headset, so if you are not satisfied, you are not simply stuck with it.
All-in-all these headphones are built to serve a single purpose and that purpose is to provide directional 5.1 sound to gamers for total situational awareness and cue them in instantly to all in game sounds. In this purpose they excel and work surprisingly well. The sound fidelity was not as good as a 5.1 speaker setup, but the directional cueing was actually better and clearer to discern as long as background (environmental) noise was kept to a minimum. If you already having a gaming grade mouse, mouse pad, keyboard, and graphics card and are looking to try and take your gaming skills up to another level, then the Psyko 5.1 gaming headset may just be what you were looking for.
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