Psyko Audio Carbon 5.1 Headset - Testing and Usage

Article Index
Psyko Audio Carbon 5.1 Headset
Closer Look at the Carbon
Carbon Closer Look Continued
Features and Specifications
Testing and Usage
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Psyko Audio Carbon 5.1 Headset - Testing:

Testing a gaming headset is pretty simple (and fun). The best type of games that demonstrate the advantages of 5.1 sound is FPS games such as Call of Duty Black Ops (which is the game I used for the majority of testing).

Gaming:

Testing of a headset is pretty simple to do, writing about a gaming headset is a much tougher task. Like with any headset most of the "testing" section will mainly be me writing about my experiences with the headset and what I liked and didn't like.

Before we start I should note that I am by no means a professional gamer. I would probably consider myself somewhere above "casual" maybe a little below "avid" as my gaming frequency has dropped over the years as compared to my years past where playing for hours (and days) straight wasn't uncommon. I enjoy games of all types and genres but for the majority of testing I was using Call of Duty" Black Ops as my game of choice.

In the past I've used a 5.1 speaker setup while playing FPS games in order to gain an advantage by being able to determine where sound (and in most cases gunfire) is coming from. While at home this works well, however my neighbors don't appreciate late night gaming as much as I do, so my usage of my speakers is somewhat limited. Due to my neighbors not being understanding and appreciative of late night gaming the Carbon headset really intrigued me.

The Carbon headset is designed for gaming, and that's really what it does best. The ability to hear exactly where a sound is coming from is pretty important in a game like Call of Duty Black Ops where milliseconds can literally be the difference between getting the kill or being dead. Instead of just knowing that the sound is coming from the left or right you can almost pinpoint exactly at what angle the sound is coming from which is really handy and gives you an advantage in reaction times.


Anybody who has ever played video games with a 5.1 speaker setup can testify that the experience is much more immersive using 5.1 audio then using a regular headset, and that gaming experience is what the Carbon headset is able to replicate. There are other headsets that boast 5.1 surround sound, however they are achieving this by using software to "simulate" 5 speakers while the guys at Psyko Audio are actually using 5 speakers (plus 2 subwoofers). In certain cases like movies and music simulated 5.1 sound is acceptable and sounds good, but in gaming you don't want simulated sound, you want actually sound so you can hear exactly what is going on and from what angle.

In the final section of this review I'll recap my gaming experiences, but overall I must say I am very happy with the gaming performance of the Carbon headset and I really enjoyed testing this headset. Even for the casual gamer the Carbon headset really gives you an edge over players using regular headset. While its hard to say "My game play improved 35% (or whatever number you want to insert there)" I can testify that my scores did increase, but I really felt much more immersed in the game thanks to the increased directionality of the sound and it really reminded me of the days when I used a 5.1 speaker setup while gaming (before my neighbors got angry).

Because I didn't want this section to by only text I made a chart which shows my fun and scores increasing after using the Carbon headset. My scores increased from a 12 all the way up to a 17 as well as fun also increased thanks to the higher scores. As you may have already realized this chart is pretty much useless and really means nothing (but my scores and fun level did increase while using the Carbon).

Fun Chart

 

Music/Movies:

One of the biggest complaints about the original Psyko 5.1 headset was music and movies really didn't sound as good as people were expecting from a $200 dollar set of headphones. The Carbon is a bit of an improvement in sound quality, however it's still not designed to make your MP3's sound amazing and it doesn't even try to claim that. The Carbon headset is for gaming and that is what it does well, but with that being said it obviously works with music and movies and isn't terrible just don't expect to be able to compare it with a $200 dollar set of headphones designed specifically for music and movies. Obviously if you want a headset specifically for listening to your favorite tunes the Psyko Audio Carbon isn't a great choice.