In an industry as competitive as video games, companies look for ways to differentiate themselves from everyone else in the marketplace. There are really only three ways to do that these days; make something really cheap, or make something really good, or make something really different. Some companies pull off the rare feat of getting two of three, and that’s what we have with the Psyko Audio 5.1 Gaming Headset; a product that is both good and different.
With all the reviews I’ve done on 5.1 headsets, sometimes it can start to feel like I’ve already reviewed the product I’m looking at. Most of the high end headsets have basically the same features at basically the same price. It’s got to be hard to find ways to differentiate outside of form factor and brand unless you’ve got a truly innovative product.
What struck me first about the Psyko is the form factor. It’s got a unique look that stands out from most of the other headsets on the market. The bridge of the headset is significantly wider than the other headsets on the market. I wasn’t aware of it at the time I looked into doing the review, but the form factor of this product is an integral part of the design.
What makes this product so different is that the speakers of the headset are why the bridge is so wide. Instead of being contained within the ear cones as in many of it’s competitors, the audio drivers of the Psyko are contained within the bridge. This allows for an entirely different way of providing sound to the ears in order to do a better job of creating a surround sound environment for the users ears.
By placing the drivers in the bridge, the Psyko uses tubes to relay the sound to the ear cones. The positioning of each driver within the bridge determines how the sound reaches the ear. The sound from the front drivers are pushed through tubes that deliver sound into the front of the ear cones. Similarly, the rear drivers push sound through the rear of the ear cones. The right and left front drivers are offset in their placement so that the right driver is closer to the right ear, and the left driver closer to the left. This means that the sound has to travel farther to the opposite ear.
What does all this mean? It means that because of the placement of the speakers and the use of front and rear tubes, the Psyko allows the brain to assist in creating the surround sound environment. The front sounds are delivered in a way where they are allowed to bounce off the inside of the ear in the same way sound does that truly emanates from in front of the listener. The same thing occurs with the rear sounds bouncing of the inside of the front of the ear. There’s a little difference with how left and right sounds differentiate. The fact that the sound arrives slightly delayed in the opposite ear helps the brain register that the sound is coming from one side as opposed to the other. The sub-woofers are actually in the ears, because subwoofer sound isn’t used directionally.
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