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Corsair Vengeance 1500 Headphones

By Matt Simpson - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many people use their PC’s for more than just productivity. Many people play games on their PC’s and still more use them to watch movies. One of the most important things to adding to the immersion of a game or improving the experience of a movie is the sound. PC sound has traditionally been a weak link. Over the last decade or so, sound quality on the PC has improved dramatically with the use of sound cards, digital outputs, and even onboard sound that is approaching home theater quality.

However, many people fail to consider the big picture. Anytime there are multiple components involved in a result, the output can only be as good as the weakest link in the chain. There are many examples of high quality internal sound being ruined by cheap amplification or speakers. This is compounded with surround sound where there are multiple speakers and additional channels of amplification that are involved.

Surround Sound

Having a full surround sound system hooked up to your PC is a sure bet to get the most enjoyment from any media you will be playing on the PC. Games will have a rich, full sound and most games these days have some form of positional audio that will actually let you determine the position of sounds in the game world. Gunshots that are fired behind the player will actually sound like they are coming from behind you. This is especially useful in first person shooter games where you can determine the location of enemies in the game world simply by hearing where their shots are coming from.

Movies are created with surround sound in mind. Most home theaters have either 5 or 7 channels. Each channel has its own speaker and amplification. Movies are encoded with the information to tell the PC or home theater receiver which channel should receive which sounds to reproduce the sounds in the movie the way the director intended.

The Problems

If you live by yourself or are fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for your PC system that allows you to run a full home theater system without interrupting what’s going on in other rooms of the home then a full blown home theater system may be an excellent addition to your PC. For most people however, there will be others that will not want to be bothered by the sound of your movies or games, especially when others may be sleeping.

The acceptance factor of your late night gaming isn’t the only problem with a home theater as a PC accessory. There is the cost to consider. A full home theater requires the use of a receiver or at least an amplifier that can power 5 or 7 channels, then 5 or 7 speakers and in most cases a subwoofer to reproduce the bass or lower frequencies that are in most games and all modern movies. This adds up to a very large amount of money simply for the sound in a PC rig.

Vengeance 1500

Dolby Labs has introduced new methods that allow headphones to reproduce most of the effect of surround sound simply by using delay and reverb in the two channel headphone. There are headphones that actually have multiple drivers built in to actually reproduce the surround sound, but the Dolby system is considered to be as good in most cases. One of the best models of surround sound headphones available today is the Vengeance 1500 made by Corsair.

These may not reproduce the surround sound at the same quality of a full home theater, but then again, they cost 85 bucks and they don’t require everyone in your home to hear what you are listening to. They use large 50mm drivers and provide very good sound quality. The Dolby system can be adjusted to mimic either 5.1 or 7.1 surround and the headphones can reproduce sounds from 20 Hz-20 kHz, basically the same range and the human ear can hear.

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