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Psyko Audio Labs 5.1 PC Gaming Headphones - Technical Overview

Following on from our interview last year with James Hildebrandt, we now at last have the headset itself to test out today.

| Headsets in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jul 29, 2010 3:46 pm
TweakTown Rating: 89%      Manufacturer: Psyko

Technical Overview

 

Speaking technically, let's start by looking at some specifications.

 

Headset:

 

Impedance: 32O front, rear, center channels
90-120O Subwoofer (per ear cup)
Output SPL: 103dB at 1kHz, 2 channels active, below distortion limit
Weight: 1.2lb

Psyko Amplifier:

 

Input Impedance: 1kO nominal, 950O minimum
Output Impedance: < 1O
Power Level: 125 mW per channel minimum, all channels active, 1 KHz
425 mW minimum any single active channel, 1 KHz below distortion limit into 32 Ohm impedance levels
Input Signal Limit : ± 3V (6V p-p)

 

The flagship piece of innovation that sets apart the Psyko headset from others is known as 'Psyko Waveguide Technology'. What this technology does is to re-create in miniature the same environment that would be experienced with a properly setup 5.1 channel system in a dedicated room.

 

The way the system accomplishes this is by introducing small plastic channels in the chassis of the headset that act to funnel sound down from the speakers themselves located in the top of the headset.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_01.jpg

 

Facing parallel to one another on either side of the headset, these 'channels' take sound information down in front and behind of the users ears. Once this important stage has been passed, the sound information sent from the top of the headset to the ears gets mixed with the low frequency information being produced by the adjoining subwoofers in the chassis of each ear cup.

 

Another important aspect to this process is the way this system uses physical channeling of audio to distribute surround information rather than relying on algorithm based methods.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_10.jpg

 

The reason this is key is because of something called latency, which basically is any real world time loss experienced by equipment processing times and or signal traveling times through cable networks aside from simply sending the appropriate information for surround sound to the users ears in a manor not seen before.

 

Another key to this whole process is the timing of the information being delivered. Because of the symmetrical nature of the Psyko headset, sound from all channels is delivered with perfect timing to the users ears along with providing perfect directionality when required.

 

When we start to bring all of these totally new innovations together at once, a new sense of special awareness is created for the gamer.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_19.jpg

 

If this were to be discussed in audio/visual terms, we would throw about such terms as 'perfect room' and 'sound treatments'. Whether you're a gamer looking for a half second advantage on an opponent or an audiophile looking for accurate reproduction of your favorite album, a poor sounding room can make a bad experience of even a great system.

 

We think that what has been offered here today (technically speaking) by Psyko Audio Labs is a real injection of fresh thought and innovation in a landscape clouded with a lot of (algorithm driven) headsets of which claim to offer a rivalry to a proper surround system, but never really deliver anything substantial.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_05.jpg

 

No, the Psyko system is truly original in its conception and will hopefully open others eyes to the potential on offer outside of boring old software (which has become the leaning post of many a shortcut taker). Surely there will still be some bewilderment as to how this system works, as there inevitably is whenever something with a totally new design is introduced.

 

Below is an image from Psyko demonstrating exactly the placement of the five speakers and two subwoofers; this is relative to the chassis of the headset as a whole.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_26.jpg

 

Moving over quickly to paper specs and interestingly enough Psyko have only given a 'skeleton staff' of specs to accompany the headset. Not that this bothers us, because we all know how much specs can be overblown and wholly irrelevant beasts at times. We do, however, have power levels given, which are an indication that this headset does have some grunt. A better one, though, is the great big pre amp they ship with!

 

Impendence/sensitivity specs for the headset given at 103db @1KHz are perfectly acceptable. The included mic seemed to be of a high quality and connected rather firmly to the headset chassis.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3424_15.jpg

 

Although, as is usually the case with these mics, it seems quite small and rugged and is perhaps a slight after the fact inclusion to be built in, although that's only an opinion.

 

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