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The Interview – Part 2

There are some competing 5.1 gaming headphone setups, like the Turtle Beach EarForce HPA2. How would they compare to the Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset System? There are simply massive differences between the Psyko’s and all the rest.  Big difference in the methods and that results in a big difference in the audio experience.Let me get into psychoacoustics for a minute, the technology of how we interpret sound.  When you hear a sound in the room there are 3 parts of the sound that your brain uses to determine location – if those 3 are not done correctly you can’t properly tell sound direction.  1) The timing difference between the left and right ear and 2) the volume difference between left and right tells your brain at what angle the sound is.  But that angle could be from in front of you or from behind you.  The next key is 3) how the sound flows past the front or rear of your ears.  The reflections off the outside of your ear tell you if it is coming from in front or behind you.  So, now let’s compare to how other headphones try to make you think you are hearing surround sound.One classic method is to put multiple speakers around each ear.  The problem with this is two-fold – first, they only play the left sounds in the left ear and right sounds in the right ear.  So, this is unnatural.  Second, they don’t really make a flow of sound from directly in front or behind each ear.  The speakers really just point into your ear.The second classic headphone method is to use Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to alter the sounds.  The sounds from the front are altered to boost some frequencies.  The sounds from the rear have other frequencies boosted.  The problem here is that everyone’s ear shape is as unique as a fingerprint, so the frequencies your brain is used to using to detect direction is unique to you.  If your ear shape matches the ear shape they were designed for they sound ok.  But to the majority of people they don’t sound quite right.Now, how does Psyko do it differently?  Every sound is produced at one of the 5 speakers in the bridge and then travels down waveguides.  The location of the speaker makes the correct timing and volume difference between left and right ears, just like having the room speaker placed in the right spot in the room around you.  Then the waveguides bring the sound to the correct location around BOTH ears so the front sounds flow from the front of your ear, and the rear sounds flow from behind your ear.  The sound reflects off both of your ears the way it does in room and has the correct timing and volume differences between each ear, and sounds completely natural.So, the other headphones methods are missing key parts of what your brain needs to detect sound direction.  Psyko delivers it just the way it flows in the room.Will you release a model that targets the music lover instead of the gaming market?We are really focused on 5.1 gaming.  But, stay tuned.Still can you use your Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset System with your home theater set up?The current version has the connectors for analog input for your 5.1 sound card. We don’t recommend connecting this version to your home theatre because if you turn up the home theatre too much you will overload the Psyko headphones and the Psyko amp. Your résumé says you are an avid PC gamer. So what are your personal favorites? In which have you been testing the Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset System? Unreal Tournament, Battlefield 1942 and Call of Duty are favorites. There have been lots of times I would make a change to a prototype and think I would test them in a game for a few minutes and suddenly 4 hours has gone by and now it is 2am.

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A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.