Sony’s official surround cans sound really, really good. Yeah, the 7.1 surround sound is “virtual”, in that you aren’t actually surrounded by seven speakers and a subwoofer. But playing the Battlefield 3 beta with these things strapped on made me a better player, period — you can hear things better and then kill them, and then coordinate killing the next one with the built-in mic. The locational audio under the fluffy puffy headphones is wonderfully accurate, and besides that, the thrill of explosions, bullets and exit wound screams circling you is a hell of a thrill. What do you want in a game peripheral? You want it to make your games more fun or for you to play them better. These headphones do both, wirelessly and comfortably.
The controls suck. The volume slider is tucked awkwardly behind a piece of side panelling, making it difficult to find, let alone adjust. I often found myself taking off the headphones to adjust the volume, which, yeah, is not what you want to be doing in the middle of a firefight. The surround on/off button is equally difficult to toggle, and equally a battlefield hamstring. Finally, I understand Sony wanting to avoid shitty Bluetooth audio and go with a USB dongle to relay sound instead, but losing a USB port isn’t great.
Should I Buy It?
For $US100, you’re getting terrific gaming (or music! or Blu-ray!) sound for a fraction of what a huge speaker system would cost. A very, very small fraction. Not only are you cutting costs, but you’re cutting the cord, neighbour annoyance and bulk associated with room-quaking, bullet-slinging sound. Bullets inside your head. [Sony]