We found that overall the eSPORTS Shock One Headset offers an impressive simulated surround sound experience to the user. The headset sounds quite dynamic with strong low end performance and a nice balanced high end. The ability of the DTS Sensation processing set to be used to expand the signal allows for a wide range of applications.
We found the high end reproduction of the Shock One to be modest and well controlled overall - which is what we look for here. High end detail sounds nicely balanced within the overall mix, but does suffer a small amount from the limitations of USB for transmitting a signal. This is noticeable with the extreme high end upwards of 16KHz.
The mid range sounded full and reasonably well balanced during our testing, with a smooth transition between the high and low end. However, we did notice a slight loss of detail which is once again associated with the limitations of USB and also to a heavy amount of processing being done. Opting to bypass the DTS Sensation stage should help with this a little bit.
At first we were not impressed at all with the way the low end sounded. However, once swapping the ear pads over to the fabric set also included, things were instantly a lot better. Bass became controlled and much more audible in the form of notes rather than 'boom'. We instantly became involved in the action on screen, and were quite impressed by the feeling of being 'in' the sound stage.
The use of the either the DTS Sensation processing or the Environment pre sets in conjuction with the sixteen band EQ should provide enough scope for building an immersive surround gaming experience.
Is this a better suited headset for gaming than some of the others out there at the moment? - That is going to depend on whether a simulated surround experience is enough or not. For the most part, though, simulated surround is going to sound great and provide more than enough to be considered highly immersive.
The DTS Sensation processing has two modes of operation; movie mode and music mode. Both sound quite similar to us, but we still recommend using the applicable setting, as DTS would also recommend. When listening to normal stereo music with the processing turned on, a lot of mid range transients seem to be stacked up to create a sense of space and depth. This can be heard quite clearly when the processing is cycled on/off during playback. Bottom line, though, it sounds great, and is one of the best examples of this sort of processing we have heard.
What we also like is that DTS Sensation never really tries to trick your brain into thinking there are six speakers in the mix. After all, it's called 'Sensation' and that's the beauty of it. It's an enhanced stereo experience, which is really all that can be hoped for realistically with a headset that contains only two speaker drivers. And as we have seen in the past, even some that have multiple drivers don't always sound like it.