A good headset can do you a lot of good while gaming… However, a great surround sound headset?
That is gaming bliss…
The best 7.1 headsets will leave you fully immersed and can make a surprising amount of difference when playing fast-paced multiplayer games. If you have ever experienced the 7.1 surround sound experience while watching a movie, imagine that replicated while dodging live fire in Black Ops 4.
Let’s pause for a bit and take all that in!
Yes, I agree that there are so many headsets out there all touting “7.1 Surround Sound” that barely scratch the surface in terms of delivering proper surround sound. However, this guide aims to guide you in getting one of the best surround sound gaming headsets that suits your needs and budget.
Best Choice: Sennheiser Game ONE
Pros & Cons
- Felt/memory foam padding is incredibly comfortable
- High-quality microphone
- Balanced sound
- The design is less than subtle
- Sennheiser Transducer Technology
- Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound
- Item Weight 1.38 pounds
- Product Dimensions 2.4 x 2.5 x 9.2 inches
Sennheiser Game ONE Review
The Sennheiser Game ONE is a premium headset, with an accompanying high price tag. Sennheiser is recognized as a brand that builds superior headsets that justify the high price tags they command.
Game ONE is an open-back headset, featuring velvet-wrapped memory foam earcups, a noise-canceling mic affixed to the left drivers and volume controls on the right. The headband also gets the memory foam treatment – the headset is extremely comfortable, especially during long gaming sessions.
The headset sounds superb, allowing you to immerse yourself in the game with an excellent and balanced Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound. The proprietary Sennheiser Transducer Technology lets you hear every detail in the game.
This is just as we expected from Sennheiser.
To conclude, the Sennheiser Game ONE is a great option, primarily if you are concerned with your comfort during gaming. If you are interested, check out our in-depth review of Sennheiser Game ONE.
Premium Pick: SteelSeries Arctis 7
Pros & Cons
- Distinctive design
- Awesome sound quality
- Extremely durable build
- True 7.1 surround
- Detachable Mic
- 24-hrs battery life
- S1 speaker drivers
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a great wireless headset with real surround sound. Dolby’s simulated surround gives right surround a real run for its money these days, but the SteelSeries Arctis 7’s delivery is remarkable. It's safe to say that this is the most popular gaming headset among pro players in the esports.
Arctis 7 delivers 7.1 virtual surround sound via its 2.4G wireless connection, and you can immerse yourself in the gaming world with 360-precision audio that is the trademark of this high-performance gaming headset.
Another great thing about the SteelSeries popular headset is the microphone. It's surprising that it is widely accepted as one of the best microphones for gaming even though it's a built-in feature for a headset.
Overall, tons of hardcore gamers are happy with the SS Arctis 7, and I see no reason why you wouldn't fall in love with it; if you decide to make a purchase.
Best Value: HyperX Cloud II
Pros & Cons
- The high-quality hardware construction
- Excellent connection due to a multichannel radio
- Packed with features & options
- Excellent mic & audio quality
- Limited warranty
- Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound
- Convenient controls
- Detachable microphone
- 53mm Neodymium drivers
- OLED transmitter box
HyperX Cloud II Review
The HyperX Cloud II is a great looking gaming headset that sounds as good as it seems. Its mix of well-executed surround sound, sturdy but plush build, and wireless connectivity make this an excellent choice for any gamer looking to improve their in-game audio experience.
Cloud II is one of the many great headsets produced by the HyperX brand. Its performance is unquestionably fantastic, and so it should be, for the price.
The Dolby 7.1 audio enables the HyperX Cloud II to deliver a rich and immersive audio experience, while also allowing you to add accurate directional positioning to your gaming arsenal. These elements give you an advantage over your opponents every day and twice on Sunday.
The HyperX Cloud II is also quite comfortable - the memory foam on the headband and earcups provide excellent support and comfort, even for those long gaming sessions. In conclusion, the HyperX Cloud II is an exceptional 7.1 gaming headset, with excellent comfort levels. Constrained by budget? Take a look at the SteelSeries Arctis 5, which is our premium pick for the best budget gaming headset.
Best for Consoles: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum
Pros & Cons
- Excellent Microphone
- Great wireless performance
- Very comfortable
- A built bulky
- 7.1 Dolby Surround
- RGB lighting
- Multiple-source usage
Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Review
If you’re looking for one of the best 7.1 wireless gaming headsets, the G933 is definitely one you should consider, especially since Logitech is industry leading in this area.
Obviously the most important thing to start with is the audio, which is an absolute peach. Regardless of what genre you enjoy playing in, even all of them, this headset is going to give you a new and exciting experience each time.
The sounds always crips, clear and just great to listen to, and you’ll probably discover a few new audiotort things you might not have known about before. Gunshots for FPS games sound real, and cinematic games have better voice audio.
The microphone is equally great, an important part which isn’t always up to par for all-in-one solutions. Your voice will be pretty clear, being similar to any telephone-quality connection, although it is sometimes prone to picking up background noise, which is a bit disappointing.
That being said, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue unless you’re gaming in an exceptionally noisy environment (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway).
Wireless performance is always the big elephant in the room that needs to be addressed at some point, and I’m glad to say the G933 does wonders. With an indoor distance of around 15 meters, you aren’t likely to hit the edge of the range of this one, and with it’s already great performance, there won’t be much if any jitters and audio loss.
Similarly, you get yourself 12 hours of battery life without lighting and 8 hours with lighting, which isn’t great, but honestly it’s more than enough for most gaming sessions, plus you can charge and play if you like.
All in all the G933 is one of the best wireless headsets out there, only outstripped by considerably more expensive ones. If you’d like a more indepth look, checkout our Logitech G993 review.
Most Comfortable: Creative Sound BlasterX H7
Pros & Cons
- Patented earpiece and frame suspension
- Great comfort & fit
- Good mic quality
- Superb audio experience
- Only one-year warranty
- 7.1 Surround Sound
- Pro G drivers
- 50mm drivers
- Omnidirectional microphone
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Detachable 3.5mm braided cable with inline controls
Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Review
There is no denying the fact that the Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition is a gamers’ headset.
The Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition is an outstanding gaming headset that offers you excellent audio, and couples it with a sleek design and top-notch user comfort. It’s also well designed, sporting a matte finish with soft leatherette padding.
Its 50mm drivers enable you to experience the headset’s compelling 7.1 surround sound. Audio quality is vibrant, alive and gives you a very immersive experience, so you feel like you are right in the action of your game. The H7 is so finely tuned that you can pick out the various sounds distinctly while gaming.
The omnidirectional mic features active noise cancellation, enabling precise and crisp communication with your teammates during multi-player games. The conveniently placed in-line controls also allow you to control the volume easily while gaming. The mic is ultra-flexible and detachable, enabling you to move it in any direction you want.
The H7 is a robustly built, with a steel-reinforced but flexible headband, and memory foam padded ear cups. This is one headset that will allow you to enjoy your long gaming sessions.
7.1 Headsets: Buying Guide
Choosing a good 7.1 surround sound gaming headset can be a bit of a pain, mostly because the tech is still somewhat in its infancy, and quality is generally relegated to the higher end of the monetary spectrum. That being said, most 7.1 gaming headsets are actually pretty excellent and the average user won’t notice too much of a difference. Even so, there are a couple of things you should consider.
Probably the biggest question here is the type of connection you want; wireless or wired. The truth is, while wireless can work great for 2.1 or even 5.1 it can struggle with 7.1, if only because it’s a bit more complicated. If you’re looking for the best 7.1 performance you’re probably going to find it as a wired headset, although thankfully it should be cheaper, so that’s the compromise you deal with.
Drivers are not as important for gaming use as they might be for pure audiophile, music listening or audio production. As such, be aware that a larger driver doesn’t necessarily mean better audio reproduction, since a lot of the gaming aspect relies on the equalization more than driver size. That being said, you will get more bass with bigger drivers, so if that’s important to you, it’s something to consider.
Since 7.1 surround headsets tend to be a bit more expensive and so they generally have more features than the average headset. The most important one though is probably going to be the ability to equalize, and even more important than that is equalizing without the need for a PC (for example with PS4 gaming headsets).
Aside from that, there’s a variety of different features you can look at, such as retract-to-mute microphones, extra buttons for different settings, volume buttons, etc. . Whichever ones you consider most important is completely up to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does 7.1 Surround Sound Make a Difference?
Absolutely, if only because it gives you much more precise positional audio. It adds two extra channels to 5.1 and four extra to the 2.1, so you have more ‘paths’ to represent audio in a given space. While most setups usually use speakers in a room, headsets manage that with speakers placed inside the earcups themselves.
Is DTS Better Than Dolby?
This is a pretty hot-button issue and while I don’t want to get in the frey, a lot of people feel that DTS is better. This is mostly due to DTS being encoded at a higher data rate, and therefore being able to transfer more information. On the other hand, Dolby is much more advanced and has more efficient codecs, and therefore the data transfer, even if less than DTS, is higher quality.
What Is Better Than 7.1 Surround Sound?
As of right now, there’s really nothing that is available for consumers that is better than 7.1 surround. That being said, if you have a lot of money burning through your wallet, you can get yourself 9.1 or even 11.2, but there’s not a ton of support for that in most games (or any as far as I’m aware), so it would be a bit of a waste.
Immersiveness is an important part of any gaming setup, so going for a 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets makes total sense. Unfortunately, the tech is still in its infancy, so the higher quality stuff is relegated to higher budgets. Thankfully though, there are some great options if you don’t want to spend too much, as you’ve seen from the product listed above.
Whichever one you go for though, I wish you the best and most immersive gaming on any side of the audiosphere!