- Page 1 HCT DH-720G Portable Home Theater – Surround Headphones
- Page 2 HCT DH-720G Portable Home Theater
After checking things out with the test signal, I connected the Portable Home Theater system to my Xbox and fired up Halo 2. Both Halo and Halo 2 are great for testing surround sound setups, because the real-time Dolby Digital effects are second to none. Throwing myself into the thick of battle, I cranked the volume up and got down to business. There’s no doubt that the sound stage is less defined than in a proper multi-speaker surround sound setup, but there are definitely coherent directional effects at work, and the overall aural experience is very pleasing.
Next I connected the system up to my DVD player and watched a few choice movie scenes. Again the effect was pretty good, though not as defined as a true multi-speaker system. I tested both Dolby Digital and DTS output streams and the Portable Home Theater system handled both without issue. The headphones are so comfortable, that when watching a long movie, I completely forgot I was wearing them.
Of course using a setup like this in a living room environment is a fairly messy option, that requires cables being draped across your room, as well as a lengthy optical cable. But to be fair, that’s not the environment that this product is aimed at – let’s face it, if you’ve got a big living room with a big TV, you’ve probably got a surround sound setup already. The market that the HCT system addresses is more personal, such as a student in a single room or someone living in a studio flat. What HCT is offering is a decent surround sound experience for those who don’t have the space for a multi-speaker system.
The Portable Home Theater system also lends itself perfectly to PC gaming, where it’s often not practical to have multiple speakers positioned around your desk and chair. And if you happen to use your PC to watch your DVDs as well, then this system makes even more sense.
So, has my opinion changed about surround sound headphones? Definitely, but you need to be aware of what you’re getting. The Dolby Headphone standard works very well, but a system that tries to position multiple channels of audio using only two speakers will always have its limitations. If you accept these limitations, you’ll be in for a real aural treat when playing games or watching movies.
The only problem with this package is the price. I could only find the HCT Portable Home Theater system available at the US based official HCT online shop, where it retails for $179.99 (around £95), which is a lot of money. However, you could pay that much for a very good set of stereo headphones, and the ones bundled with the Portable Home Theater are very good indeed.
HCT has produced an excellent product in the shape of the DH-720G Portable Home Theater package. The surround sound effects achieved are most impressive, giving hope to home cinema enthusiasts who don’t have the space or funds for a full blown multi-speaker system. If the price had been a bit lower HCT might have walked away with an Editor’s Choice award, but even taking the high asking price into account, I can’t help but recommend the DH-720G headphone bundle.