Razer offers free surround-sound virtualization software

Surround sound virtualization allows multichannel audio to be simulated using only two speakers. Most decent sound cards and motherboard audio implementations offer some level of support, though the quality varies somewhat. Now, Razer has a software solution of its own—and it's free until December 31.

Razer Surround promises 7.1-channel speaker virtualization for headphone users. There's no mention of stereo speakers, which means the pseudo-surround algorithms are probably tuned with headgear in mind. The software does, however, offer a calibration routine designed to customize the experience. Razer claims this calibration capability improves positional accuracy and gives gamers an "unfair advantage." PunkBuster probably won't label you a cheater, though.

As with most freebies, there's a string attached. The surround software requires Razer's Synapse 2.0 app and an associated account. Your preferences will then be stored in the cloud, accessible to any machine with the software installed. All things considered, that doesn't sound like too much of a hardship.

And, hey, it's for the children. In lieu of paying for the software, freeloaders are asked to make a contribution to the Child's Play charity. Starting next year, Razer Surround will sell for $20.

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