New Alienware 7.1 Surround Wireless Gaming Headset - AW988

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by FrgMstr, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    We have the new Alienware Wireless Gaming Headset, model number AW988, in hand and took the time to show it off in the video below before we started testing. It will get a good workout this weekend playing some Hunt Showdown.

    Check out the video.

    The dial on the headset that I could not identify in the video is the "Chat Balance." You use the Chat Balance control to find a preferred balance between chat audio and in-game audio. Nifty.
     
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  2. Luke Wells

    Luke Wells n00b

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    Pardon my ignorance but isn't every headset "surround"?
     
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  3. bristol16

    bristol16 n00b

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    Surround sound is generally referring to 5.1 channels or more. You can still get 2 or 2.1 channel headsets which are stereo and not surround sound.
     
  4. Luke Wells

    Luke Wells n00b

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    I'm aware of that. However, this naming convention doesn't make sense in the headphone world...

    The logic behind the name:
    The ".1" refers to a woofer. The integer before it refers to number of speaker cabinets in the setup. (i.e. 5.1 = center, front_left, front_right, rear_left, rear_right plus one woofer)

    However, a headset is always 'two cabinets'; one over each ear. Putting multiple speakers in a cabinet doesn't make it multiple cabinets, nor does it make it 'surround'.

    By this gamer-logic, my IEMs with multiple balanced drivers are surround sound? lame.
     
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  5. bristol16

    bristol16 n00b

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    Your first post says all headsets are surround sound and your second post says they aren’t actually surround sound...so they’re both in your mind?

    I’m well aware of what the numbers mean. If you just want to argue the semantics of the definition of “surround sound” you are on your own because I don’t care. If you want to learn more about surround sound headsets, both multiple speaker and simulated, there is plenty of info on the net, I’d recommend starting here:

    https://www.howtogeek.com/295722/wh...tual-and-true-surround-sound-gaming-headsets/
     
  6. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Did you decide to go with this headset, Kyle?
     
  7. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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    All my cans are fugly, i may have to get these. :LOL:
     
  8. Rahh

    Rahh [H]ard|Gawd

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    At the end of the day it's a Dell headset. Partially correct anyways...
     
  9. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Well, I just took it out of the box to review last night, so no, I have not come to any conclusion yet.
     
  10. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Well guess I can throw my DT880s with mod mic in the trash and grab these.
     
  11. Chimay

    Chimay Limp Gawd

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    Any opinion on the mysterious "audio recon" feature?
     
  12. Tweak155

    Tweak155 Gawd

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    Any experience with the wireless Astro A50's? How is the sound on these AW's compared to those?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  13. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    Luke Wells I was thinking along the same lines as you before. But I've seen some cut away diagrams and instead of just a "speaker" facing your ear hole, newer setups actually do have multiple or angled little speakers in the can housing (at least some do). So I'm guessing that's how they are using the name / numbering scheme.

    <Snip> Here it is: http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/08/02/surround-sound-headphones-explained
     
  14. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    More of a gimmick than anything. Asus has had this app in its Sonic Studio for years. Supposed to show you where the sound is coming from on a minimap. Quite the perf hog in terms of resources and did not really work that well. And besides, a good 7.1 headset is supposed to "tell you" where the sound came from with your ears.
     
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  15. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    No.
     
  16. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    So far, I think the sound has been excellent.
     
  17. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    All the audiophile posturing is just precious.

    Kyle, these can obviously play via wireless and 3.5mm, but can you play them with the USB cable or is that charge only?
     
  18. ricson

    ricson [H]Lite

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    I am very interested in how these sound and if they are comfortable, looking forward to the full review, the "pneumatic" headband looks comfortable, but I am worried it will be hot on the head, curious how it feels.
    Thanks for doing the review Kyle.
     
  19. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    USB is charge only.
     
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  20. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    The clamping force was too high for my melon head, so I left them stretched out over the back of my chair last night to get them to give a bit. They were pressing too hard UNDER my ears only my jaw muscles. After a big of stretching (8 hours) these are fitting a lot better. Not a bad stress test either.

    The sound on these is pretty damn good. Been using these all day for videos and music and I am very impressed. Games Saturday. Hunt Showdown will nail these down quickly on the 7.1 Surround and if it is worth a damn.

    IMG_20180608_013314.jpg
     
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  21. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    I have read that the synthetic surround is done my taking the incoming sound streams and changing the volume and timing such that anything rear right is slightly softer and 1 millisecond or whatever it should be delayed as if it were coming from a different location.

    It is just a matter of math to play all the separate channels as if they were in the 5 specific locations plus the subwoofer. Adding multiple speakers to the headset would - I am guessing, not an audiophile- help keep the separate channels clearer but who knows? I dont.

    What is the difference if the headset/software/driver is faking the surround and if the speakers are really in the specific locations so long as only 1 person is listening? (Other then the size of the speakers with associated specifics)
     
  22. bos

    bos Limp Gawd

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    Yeah but if it doesn't have superhuman mode for hearing enemy movements what good is it.
     
  23. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's a bit more complex than that.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function
     
  24. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

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    Damn leave Kyle alone so he can work evaluating the cans and write his review instead of writing responses to yall :D looking forward to the review!!!
     
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  25. likeman

    likeman Gawd

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    always been interested in 5.1 headphones as it should increase directional finding of people but never had the money to really try one (more then likely would just fall back to my actual 5.1 system, but the other people who live in the house don't always like explosions happening)

    i can work out with a fairly high certainty the direction and height of footsteps and shots with the creative AE5 and scout mode enabled with normal headphones (been called wallhacker a number of times is amusing), and on my older system that had the X-FI in it i been banned of loads of servers

    the scout radar would be helpful if the dot stayed on for slightly longer than the audio que has ended, as the moment soon as someone stops shooting the dot disappears so its limited usefulness as i more or less know where they are just off the sound
     
  26. Jon855

    Jon855 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm waiting for my SONY MDR-7506 to come in tomorrow. For those who knows me - I'm deaf and before you go wut?!... It helps me in gaming in particular to at least directing me where the sounds are coming from and whether if I'm being shot at... I don't hear everything and yes, I usually crank the volume up... I'm hoping the 7506 will do me a better job than the Razer Kraken Pro v2. I'll find out.