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Surround Headphones: Where Are We Today ... Really?

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holland123

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
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Location
detroit, michigan.usa
Does anyone here have any experience with either the; Sony HW700DS surround processing headphones or the Sennheiser RS 170/175 surround headphones. I would love to get something like this if they provide enjoyable surround and sonic listening and, yes I know the Smyth - Realiser is supposed to be the best out there but I can't spend $3,000 for the 8's or $1500 for the 16's due out in 2017, (my old lady would quite rightly shoot me).

So has anyone tried either of these phones and if so what did/do yours ears have to say??
 

Don C

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
143
Location
Santa Rosa CA
I heard some Sony surround sound headphones at the AIX stand at a recent audio show. I don't recall the model number. They were not effective at producing any directional cues.
 

PodCat

Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
849
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
dts Headphone
dts Headphone:X (simulates 12 -- yes 12 channels)
Dolby Headphone
Dolby Atmos for Headphones


Does any of this shit work?
Not just at the CES demo booth, but in real life?
Not just for laser guns and explosions, but real 5.1 music?

If so, what do I have to buy?
Unacceptable answers include "a new receiver" and "new headphones".
 

zfox

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
46
Location
Salonica, GR, EU
PowerDVD simulates Dolby headphones using a DLL that is provided by Dolby. Foobar2000 can also use this library with the appropriate plugin.
 

Kal Rubinson

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,839
Location
NYC/CT
dts Headphone
dts Headphone:X (simulates 12 -- yes 12 channels)
Dolby Headphone
Dolby Atmos for Headphones

Does any of this shit work?
Not just at the CES demo booth, but in real life?
Not just for laser guns and explosions, but real 5.1 music?

If so, what do I have to buy?
Unacceptable answers include "a new receiver" and "new headphones".
Also, Smyth Realiser A8 and A16 as well as a new product from Dirac Research.
 

jimfisheye

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,337
dts Headphone
dts Headphone:X (simulates 12 -- yes 12 channels)
Dolby Headphone
Dolby Atmos for Headphones


Does any of this shit work?
Not just at the CES demo booth, but in real life?
Not just for laser guns and explosions, but real 5.1 music?

If so, what do I have to buy?
Unacceptable answers include "a new receiver" and "new headphones".
Short answer is no.

You're asking the right questions.
It DOES work for movies, games, etc where the content is obvious and even at a startling level of realism sometimes. But for dense music surround mixes and where you are looking for audiophile level of accuracy with a system, then no.

Nor can you create a stereo image that conveys surround content without cheating. There are a couple ambiguous spots where we can't discern front from behind purely from the stereo image we hear (with all the reflection cues our perception uses). You need to turn your head a little for it to snap into front vs. rear focus. Can't do that with headphones! Those recordings you hear with the fly buzzing around your head or the keys rattling around your head? They cheat by adding reverb to give you the perceptual cues you need. Can't very well start adding reverb to music mixes to do that without making mud so - the short answer is this truly doesn't work and never will be possible (with a stereo image)*.

The gamer headphones with multiple speaker drivers in them have a literal 5.1 speaker array in the headphones. Problem is these are crude. Great for movies or games but far too crude for music.

* I have read about the concept for motion detection headphones that would read your head motion and "work" the surround content into the stereo image as you turn your head from side to side. Not sure where this is at yet but I feel safe to guess nowhere near audiophile music system standards.
 
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