As noted in the review of the Sony SRS-DZ10 2.1 Speakers, surround sound speakers are a luxury that aren’t always convenient – especially in a desktop PC environment. A set of 2.1 speakers is one solution, but another alternative are surround sound headphones.
What you choose can depend on a variety of factors, with headphones being especially useful for films and gaming where the surround sound can be put to good use. Today we’re looking at a 5.1 headset from Terratec, which features a detachable microphone, USB connection and its own sound card adapter.
Whether this is a good thing depends entirely on the individual. If you have a PC with a dedicated surround sound card, such as a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi, then these certainly aren’t for you. But many won’t have such an advantage, relying instead on the sound hardware built onto their PCs motherboard.
In this scenario a USB powered headset, with its own dedicated sound processing, is a far more attractive option and it’s these people that the Terratec Headset Master is targeted at.
Getting started with the headset is a relative breeze, and should you wish you can just plug in and start using them straightaway. Alternatively, you can install the provided control software, and it’s certainly worthwhile since the software gives you plenty of options for customising the volume, equaliser and environmental settings to your taste.
Regrettably, the initial impressions of the headset itself are not quite as favourable. Since they encompass six speakers it’s to be expected that the headset is bulky – this isn’t a real problem. What is, however, is the rather uncomfortable fit of the headphones.
Despite being advertised as providing excellent comfort, the truth couldn’t much further from this. Rather than wrapping comfortably around your head and covering the ears, it feels like the headphones are clamping onto your head – resulting in an annoying gap between the bottom of each cup and just below the ear.
This poor fit also makes the headphones rather unstable and sudden movement results in substantial slippage. Moreover, the overall feel of the product doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence with flimsy feeling hinges a particular indicator of distinctly average build quality.