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Stereo Headphones Vs. Surround Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Autopilot, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Autopilot

    Autopilot
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    I'm in the market for some decent headphones and i am thinking of getting some surround headphones. Mainly for gaming and music, but also for the odd movie. I have never tried any but I am worried that they will be too bulky and most I have seen look a bit tacky - is the quality there?. Also how good exactly do they sound? do you think they are worth buying or should I just get some decent stereo ones?

    I'm a headphone newbie, so what are a few decent sourround and stereo models worth looking at?
     
  2. Dr_Mike

    Dr_Mike
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    The headphones themselves in a surround headphone set are not really any different from normal stereo ones. What is different is the digital processing done "upstream" to create the illusion of surround sound.

    http://www.dolby.com/consumer/technology/headphone.html

    If your gaming is PC based then I think you can get software which will do the Dolby processsing creating the surround effect with any stereo headphones. The only all-in surround phones I know about are not cheap (£200 to £300) but they combine the surround processing with cordless digital transmission. Pioneer, Philips, Sony and probably others do them. If you search this forum for those brands you should find plenty of stuff.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. akerman

    akerman
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    Get a stereo set.. you'll get much better sound quality for the price. Surround sound does not really work well in headphones, because the drivers are too close to each other to create real surround.
     
  4. Carl Ed

    Carl Ed
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    Ultimately all hearing is done binaurally, so the headphones are going to be the same no matter what. Just get a good pair that suits your taste and budget.

    The question is, do you want to put some kind of digital signal processing upstream of the headphones to give you a virtual surround effect. Because of the way hearing works, these effects can get pretty - though not completely - convincing, and a lot of people swear by them. They can definatly sound better than a surround system with the volume turned right down, at least. That said, not everyone appricate the effect, and many headphone fans prefer the sound without it. All a matter of personal preferance.

    There are several models of headphone surround systems on the market. You'll probably be best off with ones using Dolby Headphone, which doesn't have the same problem with head-related transfer functions that other virtual headphones technolgies tend to suffer from. All implementations of DH are the same [at least as far as hardware implementations go], so what matters is hardware quality, headphone quality, wireless transmission quality [if used], feature set, etc.

    The Philips HD/HP 1500s and Pioneer 800/1000s are the most popular units amoung those looking for quality products. They're fairly pricey, though.
     
  5. Autopilot

    Autopilot
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    cheers for all the advice, stereo pair it is then :)
     

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