Are Surround Gaming Headphones BS?

  • Published on Feb 10, 2019
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    Ever wondered what "virtual 7.1" means? Is "true 7.1" better? Whose is the most convincing? We've got the answer!
    Buy "true 7.1" headsets on Amazon:
    Razer Tiamat 7.1 v2 (10-driver):
    Buy virtual 7.1 headsets on Amazon:
    Razer ManO'War 7.1 (Razer Surround):
    ASUS STRIX Fusion 700 (ASUS proprietary):
    SteelSeries Arctis Pro (DTS Headphone:X 2.0):
    Logitech G933 (DTS Headphone:X):
    Buy surround DACs on Amazon:
    Sennheiser GSX-1200 Pro (Sennheiser proprietary):
    Sound BlasterX AE-5 (BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro):
    Discuss on the forum:
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    Intro Screen Music Credit:
    Title: Laszlo - Supernova
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    Outro Screen Music Credit: Approaching Nirvana - Sugar High
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 3 810

  • Linus Tech Tips
    Linus Tech Tips  10 days ago +148

    CORRECTION: It turns out that the ASUS Fusion 700 uses virtual surround based on Bongiovi Acoustics' Digital Power Station technology, not ASUS' proprietary solution. Sorry for the confusion!

    • Jeremy Bender
      Jeremy Bender 2 days ago

      Hi linus
      Trust you doing well.
      Please could you guys do a review on the plantronic rig 800hd. Would love to see that.
      Thanks team for great work

    • william smith
      william smith 6 days ago

      This would be good for VR.

    • Dataacid
      Dataacid 7 days ago

      Please fix your audio, the sibilance in this one is killing my ears.

    • Steve Thea
      Steve Thea 7 days ago

      +-____- please suggest me best gaming headset

    • HeatWaVe _X
      HeatWaVe _X 8 days ago +2

      how did you guys not test the Astro Headsets?

  • Patrick Perez
    Patrick Perez 23 hours ago

    Grado heaphones for me. Open ear, but very balanced.

  • Oskar Arndt
    Oskar Arndt 23 hours ago

    Oh boi those face distortions

  • Jacob Jones
    Jacob Jones 23 hours ago

    Pro-Tip: Use SteelSeries Arctis Pro headphones on High-Res mode (stereo), use Equalizer APO with the Peace GUI, and download Dolby Atmos. Ta-Da: Audiophile quality headphones with gaming quality microphone.

  • Froggy 565
    Froggy 565 Day ago

    why didnt you have the asus centurion and or strix 7.1? They are really the only other ones with "true" surround

  • Dante Singleton
    Dante Singleton Day ago

    Hmmm... Dolby Access (M 17+) ok...

  • Kojinism
    Kojinism 2 days ago

    What about Windows Sonic?

  • Roberto Fitzhugh
    Roberto Fitzhugh 2 days ago

    My Turtle Beach Elite 800X headset works great for 7.1 surround sound. Worth the $300 price tag. Sounds come from an accurate direction. Even though it is a console headset, to use it properly the dock has to be connected to the source so you can use them on PC.

  • slavegod 22
    slavegod 22 2 days ago

    A have the steelseries arctic 7 gold there pretty Good

  • Fucked Gplus
    Fucked Gplus 2 days ago

    i got atmos and its worth it

  • Siang LiN
    Siang LiN 3 days ago

    U should let Razer see this video.
    really hope they can improve their audio gear

  • Andreas Suojanen
    Andreas Suojanen 3 days ago

    So who remember the Zalman 5.1 headphones from back in the day? :D

  • ARenaissanceishMan
    ARenaissanceishMan 3 days ago

    ok, so what closed back headphones do you recommend then?

  • Yadvendra Meena
    Yadvendra Meena 3 days ago

    If a guy weighting over 100 kg going to talk about computers to me, then hell yeah I'm going to listen to him!

  • SonofRiggnarok
    SonofRiggnarok 3 days ago

    All I know is when I turned on my Playstation Platinum Wireless Headsets Virtual Surround sound my Far Cry Primal gaming experience was enhanced like crazy, I could tell every direction the animals were coming at me from.

  • The Apocalypse Revolution

    Glad i got me a G933 Wireless headset for christmas!

  • Rexeit
    Rexeit 3 days ago

    There's Nahimic too (free with MSI products) that works AF ^^

  • Hellenden Gamer
    Hellenden Gamer 3 days ago


  • Kenyan dandy
    Kenyan dandy 3 days ago

    Razor is garbage. Do yourself a favor and get some audio technica, 150 bucks, sound fantastic.

  • Aaron Conlon
    Aaron Conlon 3 days ago +1

    "There's no such thing as gaming headphones" A friggin men. I've been trying to convince people who have spent way too much on gaming headphones of this for a while, and predictably, they typically get mad at me for posing a logical argument, instead of themselves, for wasting their money.

  • Javier Schulenburg
    Javier Schulenburg 4 days ago

    I have the Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO, much better for gaming and virtual surround than all the other "gaming headsets" I've owned before and amazing for music (At least for its 120€)

  • Derek Fletcher
    Derek Fletcher 4 days ago

    haha yeah when I was young I bought 7.1 tiamats. Even then with no audio exp. and a lot of optimism, I thought they were trash.

  • Sly
    Sly 4 days ago

    Anthony is love

  • teyler verner
    teyler verner 4 days ago

    Hyper x cloud 2 has surround sound, I don’t use it but the headset is great

  • Random Commentor
    Random Commentor 4 days ago

    The best "gaming" headphones are the ones that are rebranded from actual good headphones. Anyone wonder why everyone loves hyperx clouds so much?

  • Ownscene | Videography & Photography service

    What of Windows Sonic?

  • Derf Llennod
    Derf Llennod 4 days ago

    I would buy a copy of rainbow six siege for LTT so they can use it for better comparisons because CSS is no joke good for basic testing as it's a well known game. but RSS puts FAR more effort in sound because of it's tactical nature. the only issue is that the gamers of the group has to learn map knowledge to get the best out of it

  • Prjndigo
    Prjndigo 4 days ago

    virtual surround is 100% bullshit
    2 speakers = stereo only

  • Visal Khim
    Visal Khim 4 days ago

    What desk is that in the video?

  • Papelion
    Papelion 4 days ago

    If you are looking for good headohones, already have a mic and are on a budget get the status cb-1's they are great, I have had them for 2 months now and the audio is clear. They are also good studio monitor headphones.

  • Martin Pedersen
    Martin Pedersen 4 days ago

    Wait wait... what headphones was testet with the dolby app?

  • Brian Nguyen
    Brian Nguyen 4 days ago

    I personally use a pair of hd 58X from Sennheiser/Massdrop. And an xlr condenser mic. Probably not worth 200 dollars for most people but you can do a cheaper approach with some akg k240 and a blue snowball or whatever you like.

  • stuart ellis
    stuart ellis 5 days ago

    What soundcard did you use for the Tiamat 7.1's? They really need a good soundcard, a lot of motherboard soundcards are just not strong enough to drive them properly.

  • Mike Soda
    Mike Soda 5 days ago +1

    I like my Hyper X Cloud Stingers so I'm fine with these until they go out & or I can afford to go wireless. Originally never wanted to but am finding cords to be more annoying for headphones.

  • SpecialEllio
    SpecialEllio 5 days ago

    what about the default spatial sound in windows 10?

  • silly filly
    silly filly 5 days ago

    02:40 im dying, lmaooo

  • Tim van Akkeren
    Tim van Akkeren 5 days ago

    This video really helps me out finding my next pair of headphones. Still rocking my 5 years old Logitech G430 (with some added tape to hold everything together). I'm currently thinking of getting the newer G432 or the G Pro. Another option that I'm looking into is the Beyerdynamic DT 770, possibly with a microphone and a DAC+Amp combo, but that's a bit more expensive. This video made me lean more towards the latter option.

  • Emil Popovic
    Emil Popovic 5 days ago

    No, they are not

  • Scott Hanlon
    Scott Hanlon 5 days ago

    Utter bull crap! What you didnt actually do is test a game like oh I don't know, WITCHER III that is actually TRUE 7.1 FOR REAL! I have the Tiamat 7.1 v2's and the original version myself and I've tested a heap of headsets to test the "REAL" benefits of digital and analogue headsets myself to make sure I purchased the best "gaming" headset that is available for GAMES! And the Tiamat original and V2 sets far out perform the rest, especially the ROG 7.1 USB set for around the same price! Which yes is digital not analogue either!
    The whole video was to poo on Razer I get it.
    The only Razer products I own are the headsets myself. But when even Razer got something right and you have to do the correct testing and setup in the first place you will actually with it properly set up praise it mate!
    On this one occasion you were completely wrong, sorry.
    Do a re-test with all of the headsets from this video with Witcher III and do walk arounds where people are talking and literally hear the difference for yourself please!!!!
    Also the games you tested don't really do 7.1, more spacial stereo, so the test itself was also bull crap too mate.
    As I said above you got it totally wrong!
    I look forward to a corrected and re-tested video with Witcher III as one of the games tested that actually supports REAL TRUE 7.1SURROUND!!!
    Make sure you also set the sound stage on the control box on the headset station for the Tiamat V2 headset and or original version also. Don't do a half arsed test next time please.
    I expect far more from you guys, Linus you especially.
    Even if it is Razer we're talking about as part of your testing methodology, we know your not a fan of Razer products already, please take out personal bias for the re-test.
    As the headset clearly wasn't set up correctly (spacially) and the games tested weren't True 7.1 raw audio like Witcher III.
    I look forward to the re-test video.
    Here is proof by the way:
    Start at 8:18 onwards.

  • nilzr1
    nilzr1 5 days ago

    I used a Sennheiser game zero for years. After buying a Beyerdynamic DT770 pro 80 ohm for listening music, I've never touched the Sennheiser anymore even for gaming.

  • Itz.T3nsion
    Itz.T3nsion 5 days ago

    4:05 his voice is like asmr

  • L
    L 5 days ago


  • Infn E
    Infn E 5 days ago


  • Tracy Gossett
    Tracy Gossett 5 days ago

    Turtle Beach had true surround gaming headphones before Razer even existed.

  • Demonix Tk
    Demonix Tk 5 days ago

    What about windows sonic xd

  • Dispie Dark
    Dispie Dark 5 days ago

    Been using a Logitech G35 for 9 years give or take, its slowly falling apart (fake leather is coming off but the fabric under it is much nicer then the leather.
    But the sound is perfect for me, i can pretty accurate tell were people are in games. and even 3d music sounds good in it and gives that wave effect were you hear it go past you.

    Sorry but razor is a bad bet in my book there headsets have been cheap shit over the years. Same with there wobbly keys on there keyboards that wrist rest is pretty sweet doh.

  • FlyingPinguin88
    FlyingPinguin88 5 days ago

    Doesn't gaming headphones provide a very wide soundstage, good for gaming compared to a "good" headphone like the audio techica m40xs?

  • Mister Doctor Professor President plankton

    I DONT UNDERSTAND. I have more questions now than I had before. I have the Logitech g430 7.1 surround headset and I use the Logitech app to test the surround sound. It sounds like Linus is saying that there are only two speakers in 7.1 headphones. Are or aren’t there 8 speakers in my headphones?

  • DarkVoid Boy
    DarkVoid Boy 5 days ago

    I'd really like you to also address the issues when you turn on positional audio software when the game is _already doing_ positional audio processing. (Example, let's say they download and enable DTS when Atmos is also enabled in Overwatch). I keep seeing people with "cool" 7.1 software and/or headsets that can't figure out where they are getting shot from, and it's just sad. There should be PSAs on what to turn on, and when, for each game.
    Until then, my rule of thumb has been, "start by making everything match." For example, if the game is outputting 7.1 source, then Windows should be set to 7.1 speakers, and you should actually have 7.1 speakers. If the game is configured for "stereo headphones" then start by matching that everywhere first, and test it. Then only change one thing at a time. Mismatches can kill your experience worse than cheap hardware.

  • Zach - LightSpeedYT
    Zach - LightSpeedYT 5 days ago +1

    hesuvi for equalizer apo. thank me later

  • Megakoresh
    Megakoresh 5 days ago

    Absolutely fascinating and useful too! I love these sort of videos. What about that new Creative tech - SXFI? It actually scans the shape of your head to adjust the sound and apparently a lot of people were impressed considering how many awards it got at CES. With Dolby Atmos enabled on that thing, should SXFI headset be the best setup? I like Creative products, I would be interested to know.

  • Arda Çalışkan
    Arda Çalışkan 6 days ago

    i am searching for a dolby atmos crack right now
    if you find it pls comment it

  • Joeri
    Joeri 6 days ago

    Got a corsair void and it is just the best !!

  • HeyDan1983
    HeyDan1983 6 days ago

    So I made a shitty investment with my Razer man owar?

  • Vita86
    Vita86 6 days ago

    Sennheiser PC363D

  • HappyBuggy
    HappyBuggy 6 days ago +1

    I own a Tiamet but this is completely wrong. RAZER TIAMET requires proper tuning for your sound card and the software to reach its full potential. A tuned Tiamet is far better than any DTS/Adolby surround in terms of quality and directional accuracy.

  • Will Lee
    Will Lee 6 days ago

    Where can I find that screaming soundboard? That was hilarious!

  • Ash Ketchum
    Ash Ketchum 6 days ago

    I have a pair of stereo headphones, but I still cant distinguish it someone is above or below me. Also I have windows 8.1 pro and can't upgrade to 10 for some reason. Any tips?

    • I Drink Lava
      I Drink Lava Day ago

      7.1 surround signals do not carry elevation data. You would need "object-based surround" in Dolby Atmos or a native headphone HRTF mixer for something like that.

  • JiYung
    JiYung 6 days ago

    2:40 holy fk

  • Phoelee
    Phoelee 6 days ago

    Just get HyperX Cloud Alpha... i had over 10 headphones with similar price range and these guys are best.. Most probably for their dual-chamber stereo drivers... 10 / 10...

  • Jacob Hanna
    Jacob Hanna 6 days ago

    i love my razer Tiamat 7.1 headset, not super great for music, even in stereo mode, but for gaming i think they are great

    • Jacob Hanna
      Jacob Hanna 6 days ago

      though mine are the original version, so i've had them for roughly 7 years, even with daily use they have held up

  • Kartereo
    Kartereo 6 days ago

    Fidelio x27 with Dolby 😘

  • user9727653
    user9727653 7 days ago

    The difference between Stereo and Dolby Surround is crazy! I am using the Corsair Void Wireless Headset for some years now and I honestly cannot enjoy my PC with Stereo audio anymore. I always activate Dolby Surround for anything inside the Corsair Software. The difference is day and night, especially for videos and gaming! Wouldnt want to miss this anymore.

  • Stiggy
    Stiggy 7 days ago

    I want a headset that has a speaker that presses against the back of your head and pumps sound directly into your skull

  • Khola
    Khola 7 days ago

    I would have liked to see how windows sonic stacks up. I've had it enabled for a while and don't see a huge difference tbh.

  • Luka Kraljić
    Luka Kraljić 7 days ago

    Roccat Kave true analog 5.1 surround sound all the way
    the OG not the XTD version

  • gameflux
    gameflux 7 days ago

    No thank you !

  • Frederik Rösch
    Frederik Rösch 7 days ago +1

    I like the idea of the video, but using only 4 people to perform such a test is complete bullshit and does not provide any kind of relevant data.

  • Shelly
    Shelly 7 days ago

    RGB lighting = bigger soundstage

  • Jib Scam
    Jib Scam 7 days ago


  • Elijah
    Elijah 7 days ago +1

    2:38 I absolutely lost it

  • Brandon Hoffman
    Brandon Hoffman 7 days ago

    lol Linus your too much! just nonchalantly sliding on some goggles as your talking. Round of applause sir.

  • Gyan Saxena
    Gyan Saxena 7 days ago +9

    Thx ima gonna get a senhiser 660s

  • Peter Thomson
    Peter Thomson 7 days ago

    A true surround sound headphones would have 4 audio cables with 4 speakers in each can like the old Turtle Beaches. If it has a usb cable then it will be software.

  • Old Foil
    Old Foil 7 days ago

    Could've left the game and finish the video

  • fade2black001
    fade2black001 7 days ago

    Razer is pure shit

  • XDLugia
    XDLugia 7 days ago

    Too bad you didn't include Windows Sonic spatial audio which is free and included with Windows 10.

  • Bestest Kitty
    Bestest Kitty 7 days ago

    huh, so I did make the right choice to buy the G933s

  • Dipankar Sen
    Dipankar Sen 7 days ago

    This is Mini Toslink Male to Male Digital Optical Audio Cable SPDIF Optical Fiber 2 Meter (6.4 Feet). Can you tell me what is the application area for this as both the ends does look like 3.5mm ep-ep but doesnt work with any head phone which I checked out. Would this work with a DAC? If you could kindly let me know its usage. Take care buddy !

  • Karol Wróbel
    Karol Wróbel 7 days ago

    Anthony's voice was surprisingly soothing

  • TechNick
    TechNick 8 days ago

    What about the HyperX Cloud II?

  • HappyBuggy
    HappyBuggy 8 days ago

    Overwatch has Adolby Atmos Option.
    Basically what I learned from this video is I could just use a crap headphone with Adobe Atmos and still beat a real or fake 7.1 headphone LMAO

  • Haze
    Haze 8 days ago

    No Audeze Mobius Linus? Okay it costs as much as a games console but it's worth testing the highest end option.

  • Wolf Reicherter
    Wolf Reicherter 8 days ago

    WHY do you guys promote PIA? I thook out a subscripton based on your promotion and it turns out its absolutely WORTHLESS to me. USELESS!!!!! Just a load of technobabble and USELESS for anyhting that is more than "protection". USELESS!!!!!! shows me that one has to always double tripple quadrupple check for the nitty gritty. Tech recommendations from Linus just gotten a whole lot less trustworthy. Shame

  • Brendan Lee
    Brendan Lee 8 days ago

    wow, calling out all the gaming companies producing headphones, great video! this is why most gaming pros would prefer senheissers!

  • tonytober
    tonytober 8 days ago +1

    4:44 Box plot stats huh. Jon Martin much?

  • Jarkko Aitti
    Jarkko Aitti 8 days ago

    Just for horizontal "aiming", normal stereo should do just fine (and you can use eyes). To find out where those bullets are coming from (up/down/back etc..), some kind of surround system helps. So that horizontal aiming test and putting some weight to is a bit smelly thing to do.

  • Noscopes Allowed
    Noscopes Allowed 8 days ago

    10/10 for Loud Nigra

  • boi cry
    boi cry 8 days ago

    linus is literally afk-ing smh

  • Stormchaser Elite
    Stormchaser Elite 8 days ago

    Linus. Did you set up razer surround? Its NOT AUTOMATIC. There is a setup process which is necessary for each person to do otherwise they flat out dont work. My Razer Kracken 7.1 V2 Let me dam near play CS GO and OW with my eyes closed. Their set up tool plays a continues sound and lets you calibrate it manually unlike most other 7.1 software. Additionally the Razer Titmat dont function at all without first doing the set up. The sounds are played randomly hence why you had a 0% acc rate in most occasions.

    If you dont set them up properly dont even test them! - Link for the software you need to use those headsets properly

  • Крысик
    Крысик 8 days ago

    I can't notice difference from same game sound coming from left front of my character, and left rear behind my character. Same for sounds playing above and under my character, i don't know is the guy walking by upper or lower floor from where i am. I though real multi-driver solutions can help me with more correct identifying, aren't they?

  • kilobits
    kilobits 8 days ago +1

    >excellent sound design
    top lol

  • AbdulKareem Muhammad

    The silly face editing always gets me 😂😂😂

  • cole lyons
    cole lyons 8 days ago

    Corsair Void?

  • Soaringkiwi1
    Soaringkiwi1 8 days ago

    You should do this with stereo headsets. Like AKG K712, HD800, LCD-2

  • a430vaudiguy
    a430vaudiguy 8 days ago

    I have used a set of Zalman 5.1 surround headphones for years, they have 3 speakers per ear. They are attached to a computer with a 5.1 onboard soundcard and it has 3 outputs for surround sound and they work great. I tried the virtual surround headphones and they were garbage. The positioning was not very accurate compared to the Zalman headphones and they sounded like everything was taking place in a long warehouse. True surround is much better then the virtual systems on the market. I also had my computer setup with a true 5.1 speaker setup, but that was annoying to setup the rear speakers every time I wanted to play a game.

  • Ladie From Hell
    Ladie From Hell 8 days ago

    FYI - Anthony should do More Voice overs , he has that voice !

  • Mr. K
    Mr. K 8 days ago

    Where is Asus Rog Centuriuon

  • Oehr64
    Oehr64 8 days ago

    Don't play CSGO in ultra wide. Its broken and causes stutter

  • xMineGijsiex Gaming
    xMineGijsiex Gaming 8 days ago

    Ayy that’s my headset boys!! The razer man o war..