Psyko Audio Labs reveals new surround-sound headsets

About a year ago, we got our first taste of Psyko Audio’s unique 5.1-channel PC gaming headset. Rather than using signal processing to simulate a surround-sound environment, Psyko employs seven individual speakers and a series of waveguides to create the illusion of a 5.1-channel speaker setup. This so-called PsykoWave technology works pretty well, at least when it comes to positional audio in games. However, we weren’t impressed with the headset’s performance with music, which sounded awful. That glaring shortcoming made the $300 asking price particularly hard to swallow.

 

Today, Psyko is back with an improved version of its surround-sound headset that costs much less than the original. The new Psyko Carbon uses the same waveguide technology as its forebear, but the speakers have been upgraded with an eye toward improving sound quality and positional accuracy. Psyko is also positioning the Carbon carefully, noting that "subtle compromises" had to be made with music playback to optimize the headset for game audio.

In addition to receiving upgraded speakers, the Carbon has been restyled in black. Otherwise, there are no changes to report other than a dramatic reduction in the suggested retail price. Psyko will be selling the Carbon for only $200, and there’s a cheaper Krypton model priced at $150. The Krypton looks very much like the original Psyko headset, and it appears to use the same speakers.

Although I have a Carbon headset in the Benchmarking Sweatshop, a nasty cold has my head too plugged with various forms of mucus up to conduct proper listening tests. Look for our impressions of the new headset soon.

Comments closed
    • cybot_x1024
    • 9 years ago

    Id like to know how these compare to the Roccat Kave 5.1 headset. It costs so much less and sounds really good. Was actually plannig to get a set

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    Looking forward to your review Geoff, the original piece was a great read. get well soon!

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t make up my mind between getting these or the “Lady Gaga Red Rose Heartbeat shaped In Ear $100 earphones” yuscott has been promoting on the forums =/

    • RtFusion
    • 9 years ago

    Those cans look like a horror show and nothing more than snake oil when I first read about their first set of cans a while ago. Lots of gimmicks and marketing; makes the cans from Monster look more enticing.

    I’m glad I put good money down on a pair of Shure SRH840s.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Not using signal processing is the error here. You only have two ears yourself. Why do you hear in “3D” then? You hear signals from different positions in the world differently, phased/modulated/distorted or blocked out partially.

    According to the above criteria, the headphone is a static device that must make up for the nonexistent signal warping and processing that such lack of movement creates. It requires some brain work on the manufacturer’s part to program some signal processing, not substitute “brain” with “brawn”-engineering and a thousand speaker sources. They’ll only lengthen the development period, introduce lots of error points, and take forever to achieve a “good enough, we may now sell this” status. And they may not even sound better at all.

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t stand non-full sized cans. Why don’t they just make them not touch your ears. 10 minutes with these and your ears will hurt.

    I wish a good audio company would make ones of these like Beyerdynamic or AKG so we could know if it really was possible to make a good set. If they could make a set that sound like my AKG 701s or my DT 990 Pros I wouldn’t care how much it cost but gimicks with bad audio for $150 and dumb shaped cans are just ridiculous.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 9 years ago

    yawn…how about use two speakers, and do the surround with smart software? you know…like aureal used to. sigh…so much for innovation on the sound front. entire segment is practically dead…it’s a real shame too.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 9 years ago

      That would be the intelligent way to do it, but that would require work that people in the gaming industry apparently don’t want to do.

    • kravo
    • 9 years ago

    Why do these headsets always have to have so clumsy big microphones?

    I’ve got a Sharkoon Xtatic Digital (5.1), and I must say it was really a worthy pick, only the wiring is a bit messed up. But I can unplug (detach) the mic if I don’t need it

    also: first!!!!

    edit: my very first first, I had to do it.

      • StuG
      • 9 years ago

      When is the mic ever an issue? My headset never leaves my laptop, if it does it goes into a backpack. No issue there, as long as it can fold up I’m covered.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        i should say i agree with kravo. big mics are a pain in the ass.

        • kravo
        • 9 years ago

        Good question, probably it’s only my taste. I don’t like the look of them being folded up, most of the time they make the wearer looks as if he/she had he/hers very own colorful lightning rod.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      well, kravo, welcome to the elite “first posters team”. now, the rest of the internet will attack you, out of jealousy. you must ignore them, and push on! these people are nothing, and first posts are everything!

      you get a +1 for first!

        • kravo
        • 9 years ago

        and you get a +1 for supporting me

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