Published on October 28th, 2011 | by Gaming Mike0
Best 5.1 gaming headsets and headphones available right now
As any gamer with some multiplayer experience will know, the sound you hear can make the difference between winning or losing a game. It can give you the edge in taking out your opponents or it can cost you your round. So this time around we will be taking a short look at what a 5.1 gaming headset can bring to the deal!
The following 5.1 gaming headsets will be fighting for the chance of calmly resting on your head and offer you excellent sound not only in games but in anything else which involves sound – music, multimedia content and the list can go on. Sound quality, build quality and features are the real determining factor here.
Some of the best 5.1 gaming headsets out on the market aren’t using fancy 3D audio tricks via software tweaking but actually pack into their small bodies those 5.1 sound systems. We are also trying to find some of the best alternatives in this field as we don’t want you to end up paying our your nose to be able to afford one of these babies, so let’s get started shall we.
Sharkoon X-Tatic SR – less cables more sound!
When looking for 5.1 gaming headphones for gamers you will stumble across the fine folks at Sharkoon who are offering one of the best gaming headphones out on the market the Sharkoon X-Tatic SR.
The Sharkoon X-Tatic SR comes with a huge variety of features which make it one of the most equipped gaming headset out on the market. The specifications are pretty solid, with the driver diameter being 40 mm with NdFeB magnet, a 32O impedance, sound pressure being at 120dB, frequency response being at 20Hz and power output at 30 mW.
The connector is a 6-pin analog plug which goes nicely into the Sound Control Unit which supports a wide variety of functions and features. Thanks to the SCU you can connect the Sharkoon X-Tatic SR to any console, PC, laptop or tablets or smartphones.
If you are interested in the Sharkoon X-Tatic SR the price tag is roughly around the $130 mark.
Razer Chimaera 5.1 – the ultimate surround sound is here!
Razer is one of those companies which has slowly but surely sneaked into all the aspects of gaming. That’s the situation for the audio market where the Razer Chimaera 5.1 gaming headset is trying to name for itself.
Specifications wise this 5.1 gaming headset comes with 50mm drivers, a frequency response between 20 – 20,000 Hz, impedance is 32O and sensitivity is at 105 dB. The headset is wireless, so power is provided via 2 AAA batteries which can go up to 8 hours of battery life and the charging time is 3 hours. The microphone is also excellently build and is a very nice addition for your gaming sessions.
In order to connect the Razer Chimaera 5.1 gaming headset you’ll just need an optical port on your Xbox 360 or an RCA to 3.5 mm cable for your PC. Pricing for the Razer Chimaera 5.1 varies depending on the source you are buying from varying from $170-$200.
eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 – get your game on in style!
Out next contestant in this lineup of top headphones for gamers is the eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 gaming headset. Although not as known as Razer, Logitech or Zalman in this aspect, eDimensional is really throwing in their best competitor in this small round-up.
The eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 gaming headset is bringing sound to your ears with the help of 50mm drivers, the impedance is at 32O and the sensitivity is 110 dB with frequency going at 20Hz – 20,000Hz. The mic has a sensitivity of 58 dB and a frequency of 20Hz – 16,000Hz.
eDimensional’s AudioFX Pro 5+1 gaming headset is achieving 5.1 with the help of an integrated 5.1 surround sound decoder which connects to your PC USB. In case you are interested in the eDimensional Audio FX Pro 5+1, the price tag is roughly between the $50 and $70 mark, making them one of the cheapest, yet best 5.1 gaming headsets out there.
Tritton AX Pro headset – true 5.1 in your ears!
Tritton’s AX Pro headset is one of those few models out there which really offer excellent 5.1 because they actually have a 5.1 driver setup residing inside them. Not only that, the Tritton AX Pro looks excellently and will feel at home in a gaming environment as well as in a multimedia oriented area!
The Tritton AX Pro comes with 2x 23mm drivers for the center speaker, with a sound pressure of 120 dB and a frequency set at the 130-2.5KHz interval. The 2x front speaker drivers measure 30mm with a frequency of 20-20KHz and a sound pressure of 120 dB, 2x rear speakers with 30mm drivers and 2x 40mm subwoofer drivers.
Tritton’s AX Pro achieves connectivity via an analog 5.1 front, rear and sub output. The audio controller supports a wide variety of features, so make sure to check the full spec list before purchasing. The Tritton AX Pro is one of the more expensive headsets in our little lineup, with pricing sitting around the $170 point, however, for that you do get true 5.1 and plenty functionality added.
Cooler Master Storm Sirius – true 5.1 gaming headsets!
After the Tritton AX Pro 5.1 gaming headsets we are facing the Cooler Master Storm Sirius which is another pair of 5.1 gaming headsets which come with true 5.1 surround sound.
As such, the Cooler Master Storm Sirius has 30mm drivers for the front, rear and center speakers and a 40mm driver for the subwoofer. The impedance for front, rear and center is at 32O while the impedance for the subwoofer is at 16O. When taking a look at sensitivity we are crossing the 105 dB boundary and the frequency response sits calmly between 10Hz – 20,000Hz.
Unlike most of the devices in this small gathering of the best 5.1 gaming headphones right now, the Cooler Master Storm Sirius just barely hit the market and the pricing for this is at the $130 from a number of online retailers.
Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 gaming headset – be very very quiet, I’m huntin’ !
Another company which made quite a name for itself in the world of gaming peripherals is Cyber Snipa. The company is throwing the Sonar 5.1 gaming headset into their lineup of gaming peripherals, so let’s take a look at what this baby can do!
The Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 headset comes with true 5.1 support. The Front and rear drivers have a diameter of 30mm while the center speaker comes with a 40mm diameter. The subwoofer driver sits at 27mm. Impedance is at 32O for the front, center and rear drivers while the subwoofer is at 8O. The sensitivity of the speakers is at 108 dB.
Cyber Snipa’s Sonar 5.1 headset is probably the cheapest 5.1 gaming headset in this list, as you can get your hands on one of these gaming headsets for as low as $50, making them pack quite the punch for that small price point.
Zalman ZM-RS6F – the granddad of 5.1 gaming!
Well I wouldn’t actually go as far as saying that the Zalman ZM-RS6F is their granddad but saying that this almost 8 year old 5.1 headset isn’t close enough to that would be silly. So let’s get this started shall we!
The Zalman ZM-RS6F is coming with a frequency response situated between 50Hz – 20,000Hz with a sound pressure level at 89 dB. The impedance is at 16O at 1KHz. Unlike most other competitors out there, the ZM-RS6F is a pretty bulky headset weighing in at 11.24 ounces (that’s almost 317 grams) so despite the padding you will feel the pressure of this sitting on your head.
Note that there are two versions of the Zalman ZM-RS6F one of them coming with USB connectivity, which would make it a better choice for those of you who will be using this with a laptop and a standard version which comes with the 3 headphone jacks (3.5mm jacks). Finding this model is somewhat difficult, but when you do stumble upon it you can get it for roughly $50, which might seem a little bit much for a headset of this age, but you have to keep in mind that you can get better information on it.
Plantronics GameCom 777 – soundcard thrown into the mix!
One of the well-known brands when it comes to audio hardware as well as gaming in general is represented in this corner by the folks at Plantronics. Their Plantronics GameCom 777 5.1 gaming headset is one of the best out there, but let’s take a brief look at some of them specs!
The Plantronics GameCom 777 comes with a bag of pretty nifty features. The frequency response is situated between 20Hz – 20,000Hz, the drivers measure in at 40mm and the technology hiding behind all this is really mind blowing. You get a Dolby USB sound card to get the 5-channel audio experience which you want, while the open-ear design allows you to stay in touch with your surroundings. The noise-cancelling mic keeps your voice crisp and clean and the overall design and build quality are top of the line.
The folks at Plantronics have a wicked sense of humor, so the Plantronics GameCom 777 comes in two varieties, a version with 5.1 Dolby Surround adapter or another one with 7.1 Dolby Surround adapter. Make sure you check that before going in for a purchase. If you plan on buying the 5.1 version of this gaming headset, you won’t have to reach that deeply into your pockets as the price tag is floating at around $60.
The best 5.1 gaming headset cannot be determined simply by saying that the true 5.1 gaming headsets are better than the ones which achieve this effect via software, because that usually comes at a price. A good example is the very pricy Razer Chimaera, yet this small round-up showed anyone that you can get a pair of 5.1 gaming headphones for roughly $40 and those should do their job adequately.
Of course there are better and more expensive alternatives, yet if you are not “THAT” hardcore about your sound, then you can go for one of these software manipulated versions which will still deliver excellent performance in both games and media content.
Although some models might be a little bit old or use different connectivity, thanks to the wide array of choices available in the 5.1 gaming headset market, you can find anything really to fit your needs. The best of these? Read through the specs and make a decision for yourself, since all of them deliver excellent bang for your buck. Stay tuned!