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7.1 Surround through headphones, questions on the basics

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I was hoping the wonderful community here could help clear up some issues that I think should be obvious but for whatever reason aren't to me.

 

As far as I can tell, 7.1 surround through headphones must be virtual, since there aren't 8 "speakers" but two.

 

A lot of gaming headphones are coming with a usb attachment that boasts 7.1 surround. Is virtual 7.1 surround not possible through on-board sound cards + headphones already?

 

Do discrete sound cards offer this functionality as well, bypassing the need for the usb thingy?

 

Are there some on-board sound cards that can do this already?

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorfa View Post
 

I was hoping the wonderful community here could help clear up some issues that I think should be obvious but for whatever reason aren't to me.

As far as I can tell, 7.1 surround through headphones must be virtual, since there aren't 8 "speakers" but two.

A lot of gaming headphones are coming with a usb attachment that boasts 7.1 surround. Is virtual 7.1 surround not possible through on-board sound cards + headphones already?

Do discrete sound cards offer this functionality as well, bypassing the need for the USB thingy?

Are there some on-board sound cards that can do this already?

The "USB attachment" is an external USB sound card.

post #3 of 9

Yes, there are sound cards that do the same thing. The Creative Sound Blaster Z, Zx, and ZxR all have whats called SBX Pro Studio, The ASUS line of cards use Dolby Headphone. Alternatively you could use Razor Surround which is software base and seems to work pretty well with just about any pair of headphones.

post #4 of 9

It's fully possible to have 7.1 surround sound via headphones.

 

Headphones only have two speakers; you also only have two ears.  It is the way in which the audio is presented to your ears that creates the illusion of surround.

post #5 of 9

Don't use all this stuff ....get a Quadraphonic headphone if you want real surround and also good luck finding all the essentials for a Quad setup 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The "USB attachment" is an external USB sound card.

 

Ok, but why is it necessary?

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorfa View Post
 

 

Ok, but why is it necessary?

Wow, not sure who to answer that?

You would think that headphone surround sound could be fully processed by a modern computer's CPU.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Wow, not sure who to answer that?

You would think that headphone surround sound could be fully processed by a modern computer's CPU.

 

That's why I'm asking.

 

I have a friend who is working on a new PC build, and he's worried that will not be able to get 7.1 surround.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorfa View Post
 

 

That's why I'm asking.

 

I have a friend who is working on a new PC build, and he's worried that will not be able to get 7.1 surround.

An Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $60), with a Magni head amp ($99), will give him virtual 7.1 surround sound for headphones, plus you can use just about any headphone made in the world with a Xonar/Magni combo.

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