Even using 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setting (not windows sonic) changes positioning on soundcards with 5.1/7.1 support so I believe there's more to it than that presentation. And that also happens with music which is stereo if anything, my point is stereo material somehow gets affected by whatever processing Windows does. The problem is the average joe notices the differences SBX, Dolby Atmos etc does because it also affects sound quality/EQ balance quite a lot so if there's only a subtle change to how soundstaging is percieved they are not "registering" the change between exit/starting game up again but probably would spot a subtle change in a direct comparision with my mentioned 5 sec clip comparison from some game played after each other. More experienced headphone listeners should spot the difference more easily that are used to listen to subtle changes in sound. The 7.1/5.1 thing doesn't change frequency response at all which makes it more subtle in nature, only the "in-your-head" soundstage gets more "around-your-head". EDIT: Important thing to note, we're talking DirectSound output here, that's where processing seem to happen, most games rely on that still but not all and if you listen with WASAPI in foobar 5.1 or 7.1 won't make any change to how music sounds like but with DirectSound, music also sounds more out-of-the-head as long as the windows control panel doesn't have "disable enhancements" checked which is why this is something which easily goes unnoticed in a forum like this where typically that's settings that are used by most people due to striving to having as "unprocessed" sound as possible.