Welcome gamers! If you’re looking to take your gaming experience to the next level, then you need a headset with surround sound. Nothing beats the feeling of being completely immersed in a game’s 3D world. But with so many surround sound gaming headsets out there, how do you choose the right one? Don’t worry, I’ve tested and reviewed the top options to help you decide.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about surround sound technology and its benefits for gaming. I’ll explain the key factors to consider when choosing a surround headset for an immersive audio experience. Let’s dive in!
What is Surround Sound and Why Does it Matter for Gaming?
Surround sound refers to a multi-channel audio setup that surrounds the listener with sound coming from multiple directions, just like in real life. Instead of stereo sound from left and right channels, surround sound adds additional channels for audio from the sides, behind, and above.
Gaming headsets can simulate surround sound using multiple drivers in each earcup. This creates a 360-degree soundscape that fully immerses you in the game. With good surround sound, you can pinpoint enemy locations based on subtle audio cues that stereo wouldn’t pick up. It takes your gaming experience to the next level!
Here are some key benefits of surround sound for gaming:
- More immersive audio that makes you feel part of the world
- Increased directionality allows you to pinpoint sound sources
- Hear subtle sounds you’d miss with stereo headsets
- Get a competitive edge by detecting opponents first
- More realism and depth for an epic gaming experience
Surround sound helps you become more aware of your in-game surroundings for a deeply engaging experience. Now let’s look at the key factors to consider when choosing a surround sound gaming headset.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Surround Sound Gaming Headsets
With so many surround sound headsets out there, it can be tough to decide which one is best for your needs. Here are the main factors to keep in mind:
Surround Sound Technology
There are a few competing surround sound technologies used in gaming headsets. The most common are:
- Dolby Atmos – Advanced 3D audio with height/above channels
- DTS Headphone:X – Accurate surround emulation optimized for headphones
- Windows Sonic – Microsoft’s spatial sound format for Xbox & Windows 10
The headset must support formats used on your gaming platforms for proper surround sound.
Open or Closed-Back Design
Open-back headsets allow sound to escape, creating a wide open soundstage. But others can hear what you’re playing.
Closed-back cups contain the audio and prevent sound leak. They offer more privacy and noise isolation but a narrower sound field.
For the most immersive experience, open-back surround sound headsets are ideal if you game alone. Closed-back is better for noisy environments or co-op gaming.
Key sound quality factors include:
- Frequency response – The range of bass, mids, and treble reproduced
- Drivers – Larger high-quality drivers produce fuller sound
- Comfort – Ear cups should fit snugly without causing pain
The best surround gaming headsets have large 50mm drivers or multiple drivers per ear cup. Comfort is also essential for long gaming sessions.
Additional features to look for include:
- Wireless capability – Bluetooth connectivity gives you freedom
- Retractable mic – Mic can retract into the headset when not in use
- Controls – Easy access controls on the ear cup or mic
- RGB lighting – Customizable lights for style points
- Software – For custom audio settings and equalizer
Extra features add functionality and flair. Just make sure the fundamentals like sound quality are also on point.
Ensure the headset works with your gaming platforms. Most surround headsets support:
- PC – For connecting to your Windows 10 desktop or laptop
- PlayStation – PS4 and PS5 consoles
- Xbox – Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
- Nintendo Switch – For gamers on the go
Now let’s look at my top surround sound headset recommendations for an immersive experience.
The 5 Best Surround Sound Gaming Headsets
After extensive testing and research, here are my top picks for surround sound gaming headsets in 2022:
1. Astro A50 – The Gold Standard for Wireless Surround Sound
The Astro A50s remain the gold standard for a premium wireless gaming headset backed by studio-grade surround sound. They deliver an unparalleled immersive experience.
- Dolby Atmos & DTS:X support
- Open-back design with excellent comfort
- 5GHz wireless tech, swappable batteries
- Docking station for wireless charging
- Full audio controls on the headset
- Works on PC, PS, and Xbox
With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X delivering cinema-quality 3D sound, the A50s make you feel like you’re inside the game. The open-back fit and cushy ear pads provide comfort for hours-long gaming. On-earcup controls and wireless charging add convenience. If you want the most immersive wireless surround sound, the A50s are hard to beat.
2. SteelSeries Arctis 7P – Ideal Surround Sound for PS5
Gamers on PS5 need to consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7P. This headset is designed specifically for surround sound on PlayStation consoles.
- Tempest 3D positional audio for PS5
- Closed-back design with noise isolation
- Retractable Discord-certified microphone
- Intuitive on-earcup controls
- 24-hour battery life
- Ideal for PS VR headset
With customized drivers for the PS5’s 3D Tempest Audio, the Arctis 7P delivers stunning surround sound on PlayStation. A Discord-certified mic ensures clear voice chat. The closed-back design provides sound isolation for immersive gaming. For PS5 gamers wanting surround sound, the 7P is a top choice.
3. Logitech G Pro X – Feature-Packed & Customizable
Serious gamers need to check out the Logitech G Pro X. It packs in a ton of features while delivering excellent surround sound.
- DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound
- Blue VO!CE software for mic tuning
- Open and closed ear cup options
- LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting
- Comfortable memory foam pads
- PC, console, and mobile compatible
With Blue VO!CE software, you can finely tune the mic to sound perfectly clear. The LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting lets you customize the look. Open or closed ear cups provide sound preference options. With crisp DTS:X surround and tons of tuning, it’s a gamer’s paradise.
4. Corsair Virtuoso – High-End Option with Bluetooth
For audiophile-grade sound in a gaming headset, Corsair’s Virtuoso is a strong contender. It adds Bluetooth into the mix.
- Slipstream wireless and Bluetooth 5
- High-fidelity audio with wide soundstage
- Broadcast-quality detachable microphone
- 20 hour battery life
- Works with PC, PS4, Xbox One & Switch
- Beautiful premium design
The Virtuoso sounds incredible thanks to large 50mm drivers and premium construction. You get a wide soundstage perfect for immersive surround sound. Bluetooth lets you take calls while gaming. The broadcast-grade mic picks up your voice clearly. If you want gorgeous design with no compromises on sound, the Virtuoso is for you.
5. HyperX Cloud Orbit S – Plug & Play Surround Sound
The HyperX Cloud Orbit S makes experiencing surround sound easy. It works out of the box with any gaming platform.
- 100mm Audeze planar magnetic drivers
- Waves Nx 3D audio tech built-in
- Convenient on-headset controls
- Detachable mic with pop filter
- Supports PC, Mac, PS4, VR headsets
- Cushy memory foam ear cups
With massive 100mm drivers for booming sound paired with Waves Nx 3D audio, the Cloud Orbit delivers cinematic surround sound on any device. The mic produces crisp voice pickup. The comfortable fit is great for extended gaming sessions. For an easy plug-and-play surround sound experience, the Cloud Orbit S is a great choice.
FAQ About Surround Sound Gaming Headsets
If you’re still not sure about getting a surround sound gaming headset, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q: Is surround sound worth it for gaming?
A: Absolutely – it takes your immersion and awareness to the next level. Pinpoint enemy locations, hear subtle cues, and fully experience the game’s world.
Q: What’s the difference between surround and stereo gaming headsets?
A: Stereo has left and right channel sound. Surround adds more channels for 360 degree directional audio. You feel inside the game.
Q: Do I need surround sound if I mostly play single player games?
A: Surround can make any game more immersive. But it really enhances multiplayer titles where detecting opponents first gives a competitive edge.
Q: What is virtual surround sound vs. real surround sound?
A: Virtual uses software and drivers to simulate surround. Real surround has individual speakers built into each ear cup. Virtual surround is more common in gaming headsets.
Q: How many speakers are needed for true surround sound?
A: Usually 5-7 speakers minimum placed around the listener. Gaming headsets cram drivers into the ear cups to create a surround effect.
Q: Can consoles like PS and Xbox deliver proper surround sound?
A: Yes, consoles support surround formats like Dolby Atmos. Make sure to get a compatible headset.
Q: Are wireless or open-back surround headsets not as good?
A: Premium wireless and open-back models can deliver excellent surround quality on par with wired and closed-back designs.
I hope these FAQs help summarize the key benefits of surround sound! Let’s recap everything we learned.
Get Immersed with an Awesome Surround Sound Gaming Headset
If you want to take your gaming experience to the next dimension, then getting a quality surround sound headset is a must. Surround audio makes you feel transported inside sprawling game worlds while also improving your gaming performance.
But with so many surround sound headsets out there, make sure to consider the sound technology, design, sound quality, features, and compatibility to find the best match. Do your research to pick a comfortable headset with immersive surround capabilities for your budget.
The five headsets I recommended above rank as top choices to deliver an epic surround sound experience. With your new headset, you’ll get lost for hours exploring rich worlds, engaging foes, and becoming part of captivating stories. Game on!