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We first saw the Psyko 5.1 PC gaming headset at CES 2009 and were intrigued by the device's unique take on delivering surround sound. Instead of placing speakers in the earcups, the Psyko puts them strategically along the headband.
There's no doubt the Psyko 5.1 headset is innovative, and we were overall impressed with the device's audio performance. There are a few details we're concerned about, but both competitive and hard-core PC gamers definitely have another legitimate option in the quest for the ultimate PC gaming headset.
Before we get started, we have to mention that we've never seen a pair of headphones like the Psyko 5.1. Taking conventional headset design and tossing it out the window, the Psyko approaches surround sound from a completely different, out-of-the-box angle. By placing all five speakers along the headband, the idea is that sound will travel to your ears with natural timing delays, thus creating the most realistic experience possible. Sounds from the front speakers travel down a front tube; rear ones travel down the tube that's positioned at the back of your ear.
We really liked the unique styling of the Psyko 5.1 gaming headset. It's accented with gray and red highlights and is mostly covered in a smooth, rubberized plastic coating. The earcups have clear windows and a series of five cushioned pads falls below the meat and potatoes of the headset: the headband.
Never before has a headband been so vital to a headset. It's here where all five speakers are housed, all geographically placed for 5.1 surround. The sides of the headset are responsible for carrying audio down to the earcups, which terminate with two tubes in each cup. Besides that, there is only a subwoofer speaker on each side. The see-through windows can be opened up for ventilation, but we found them great for being able to hear your surroundings outside of the game world.
Because all of the speakers are in the headset's headband, it does make it a bit heavier than you might be used to. It's a lot heavier than what we felt when using the Razer Megalodon, but about on par with the weight of the Tritton AX Pro. Though we were able to forget about the weight of the headphones during an extended gaming session, we also felt relieved to take off the device.
It does have a certain cumbersome helmet quality to it, but we were overall happy with the amount of padding and cushioning found inside.
The detachable boom mic plugs in right below the right earcup. It can swivel around a complete 360 degrees, though the boom itself does not allow for any adjustments. However, we didn't find this to be a problem, as positioning the mic in front of our mouth was not an issue.