Surround sound headphones have increased dramatically in the last couple of years. Partially because the technology has improved, but also because they offer a greatly improved experience- regardless if you are gaming or listening to music.
The surround sound allows certain directional assignments because humans are able to determine where sounds come from. Does the origin of the sound come from the right, left, in front of, or behind?
It must be pointed out that surround sound can also be played through normal headphones. An AV receiver then prepares the audio tracks accordingly.
If you are looking for the best surround sound headphones, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best and most popular surround sound headphones on the market. In this list, you will find surround headphones that can take your sound experience to the next level.
Our buying guide is available below to help you make your decision and if you are still unsure we have shared some of the most important things to keep in mind when making your pick.
Different techniques can be used for surround headphones. Basically, the sound is split and displayed separately according to treble, bass, and middle using a so-called surround decoder.
Surround headphones have multiple speakers and bass to create a multi-dimensional sound experience.
There are wireless and wired, both have their advantages and disadvantages, it is a matter of taste and preference which one is best for you.
The headphones are available in a wide variety of models, such as over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear, depending on your preference.
Surround headphones are perfect for gamers, and TV lovers, but also for music fans. If you intend to use surround sound headphones for gaming, there should be a microphone for gaming so that you can use it as a headset.
Surround headphones make gaming, watching films, or listening to music a real experience. If you don’t have the space or the wherewithal for a complete surround system, then surround headphones are a great alternative.
With our large surround headphone test, we want to help you find the right surround headphone. We compared the best headphones and have presented our findings below. This should help you to find out which surround headphones suit you best.
Best surround sound headphones
JBL Quantum ONE Over-Ear
The JBL Quantum ONE over-ear headphones are compatible with many different devices. The headphones can be connected to the PC, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, or mobile phone. It is perfect for gaming evenings.
Thanks to 360 technology with an integrated head-tracking sensor, the direction of the sound can be determined precisely. The headset also has noise cancellation so that unnecessary noise can be suppressed.
The ear pads are made of leather and memory foam, which ensures a high level of comfort. Customers rate the headphones very positively, such as the price-performance ratio. On the negative side, the headphones are not wireless.
Sennheiser RS 175
- 100 m wireless range
- 18 hours of battery life
- Switch mode on dynamic bass and virtual surround sound
- usable with and without cable
- expanded with a second pair of Sennheiser HDR 175 headphones and enables simultaneous listening
- wireless design
What we don’t like:
- the automatic volume control can be unfavorable for games
The Sennheiser RS 175 surround headphones come with a matching station. It is in black and the earcups are over-ear.
The connection is wireless, but can also be used with a cable. The battery lasts 18 hours and can then be charged at the station. The wireless connection goes over a distance of 100 m, so you are flexible and can still hear everything even though you are in another room. The weight of the headphones is 500 g.
The station not only serves to charge the headphones but also supplies the headphones with audio signals. You can expand the system with the headphones and the station with additional headphones and share the outstanding soundscape with a second person.
The well-thought-out controls on the headphones make the device very user-friendly. There are Bass Booster and Surround Sound buttons to boost your sound and therefore your video experience.
With the crystal-clear sound, every film and every game is absolutely outstanding and will get a greatly improved experience. You can immerse yourself in it and no ambient noise can stop you.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- can be connected to two Bluetooth devices at the same time
- Speak-to-Chat feature
- Control by touch
- Hands-free calling and voice assistant
- 30 hours battery and fast charging possible
- with connect app
- available in different colors
What we don’t like:
- costs a little more
- Editorial assessment
The WH-1000XM4 headphones from Sony promise you a wireless sound experience like in the cinema, even while you’re on the go. The headphones are available in four different colors. The design is simple and elegant.
The battery life is 30 hours, the headphones are fully charged after 3 hours. But there is a Quick Charge, with which the headphones are charged for 5 hours within 10 minutes. The weight is 254g.
There are many useful features, such as compatibility with Alexa among others. You can then ask the language assistants to play music, read the news, find out about the weather, control the SmartHome, and many other things.
You control the headphones by touch and you can also use them to make calls. There is the Quick Attention mode, so you pause the music by typing to have a conversation in peace. There is a suitable free app associated with the headphones.
Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones with 110Hrs Playtime, OneOdio Wired Gaming Stereo Headsets
- great surround bass when listening to music
- 80 hours of playtime, which is fully charged in 3 hours
- foldable headphones, for better portability
- ergonomic over-ear design
- wireless headphones with built-in 5.0 Bluetooth for PC or smartphone
What we don’t like:
- the microphone is attached to the cable
- Editorial assessment
The Bluetooth surround headphones from OneOdio are available in plain black or with red and black accents.
The headphones have Bluetooth, which you can connect to your mobile phone or PC. The playing time is up to 80 hours and is fully charged within 3 hours thanks to the 1500 mAh battery capacity. The auricle is 3 cm thick and has a diameter of 9.5 cm.
There is also a 2-meter-long cable with an integrated 360° flexible microphone. A Y splitter cable is included so that you can use the headset for the PC. The headset weighs a total of 240 g.
The headphones are easy to control directly on the ear cup, even without a cable. The most common buttons such as changing music, controlling volume, music on/off, and taking a call are available. In addition, the headphones are foldable and with the storage bag, you can safely store and transport the headphones.
With the convertible headphones for the headset, you have a constant companion and no longer need additional headphones. The clear and powerful surround bass makes your music and games a real experience and only you hear the sound through the over-ear.
A clear recommendation for a music lover and gamer, with the convertible headphones you are always perfectly equipped, no matter what the situation.
Thanks to its low weight (320 grams), the wireless range of up to 30 meters, and the four sound modes for optimal playback of films, games, or sports content, the WH-L600 proves to be particularly user-friendly. In addition, the surround headphones impress with a battery life of up to 17 hours. This is a popular choice for movie-lovers as well as gamers and audiphiles.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless Gaming Headset
If you’re looking for a premium gaming experience, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Wireless Gaming Headset is for you. This powerful headset has a long-lasting battery that lets you play for more than a week on a single charge. The self-adjusting metal headband and rotating hormonal hinges ensure a weightless, dynamic fit.
Plus, premium memory foam padding with the Prospecs goggle relief system relieves pressure on your glasses, while superb 7.1 surround sound with finely tuned 50mm drivers ensures that you can easily locate enemy positions. And as if that wasn’t enough, Turtle Beach’s superhuman audio customization amplifies key in-game sounds to give you the edge. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 will definitely take your gaming experience eeto the next level.
ASUS ROG Theta 7.1
You have to invest over 200 dollars for this wired surround sound headset. But for what they offer, it’s definitely a well-worthy investment.
In addition to 7.1 virtual sound channels, it also comes with AI noise suppression, which is supposed to filter out annoying noises. Its USB-C port allows you to easily connect the model to PC, Macs, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and other devices.
The ROG Hybrid ear cushions are made of a special fast-cooling material that is designed to prevent overheating during long periods of use. The design of the ASUS ROG Theta 7.1 attaches great importance to glasses-friendliness. A total of four headphone drivers were installed in the headset to enable the most lossless sound possible. However, a disadvantage of the surround sound headset is its own weight of 590 grams.
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense
You can buy this wired surround sound headset for just over 100 dollars. In addition to 7.1 virtual sound channels, the headset vibrates for additional haptic feedback during the game. The model’s ear cushions are made from a hybrid fabric of memory foam and synthetic leather to provide good sound isolation combined with comfort.
This is well complemented by the low weight of the headset at 250 grams. This ensures that you don’t feel uncomfortable even with longer use. Its microphone filters out background noise so that your voice is transmitted even more clearly. This effectively counteracts communication problems.
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
This headphone comes at a price of around 100 dollars. It is a wired surround sound headset with 7.1 virtual surround sound channels. The model also has a separate slider for adjusting the bass.
Its basic structure consists of an aluminum frame, while the manufacturer uses a combination of memory foam and synthetic leather for the ear pads. It has an integrated chat mixer, which should provide the necessary balance between conversations and video games. Weighing around 375 grams, it’s not the lightest surround sound headset, but it’s still comfortable to wear for hours.
Regardless of whether you want to immerse yourself in a film or a video game, with the surround headphones you are right in the middle of it. When buying surround headphones, however, you have to pay attention to certain criteria so that you can find the best headphones for you.
How do surround headphones work?
How do surround headphones work in a test and comparison? The surround sound puts the listener right in the middle of the action. This turns musical performances and films into an experience. The system is known from the cinema. There, the sound effects come from several boxes located in front of, behind, and to the side of the viewer.
The performance of surround sound headphones varies a lot. Some have a larger sound body, allow more powerful bass, allow the installation of several loudspeakers, and thus comes closest to a surround sound.
Good surround headphones must at least stand up to comparison with a home cinema system. Technically, every headphone is able to produce a surround sound.
This requires an AV receiver that processes the sounds. In the test, however, the reproductions sometimes appear different than with the home cinema system. In contrast, surround headphones that have a digital input appear to be recommended. In the test, they allow a sound experience that is familiar from a conventional surround system. Functional requirements are a SPDIF and HDMI input.
Advantages and areas of application
Surround headphones have many advantages. Probably the biggest plus point according to many users is mobile usability.
Compared to home cinema systems and stereo systems, surround headphones can be used on the go without any problems. It packs easily into a pocket and requires little power input. Professionals in particular appreciate the surround headphones.
Because it allows you to concentrate on yourself after stressful situations and in a busy environment. You can easily escape a stressful and annoying environment with such a system.
However, the sound transducers worn on the ears allow much more because they can be used to hear sound reproductions in great detail. Ambient noise has no chance of disturbing the perception. The systems are also usually compatible with many devices. This allows users to create playbacks from any memory such as a smartphone.
As the name suggests, the headphones should also produce a surround sound. Powerful and implosive reproductions, as known from the cinema, are thus possible. The user is drawn into the action of a Hollywood film for an improved experience. A thrill should set in with a horror strip. In a Western, the pistol bang should come from a remote direction. Surround headphones can be connected to a television without any problems.
In comparison to the home cinema system, however, they reduce sound reproduction to the perception of one person. Roommates or neighbors can go about their lives undisturbed. Surround headphones are therefore indispensable, especially in tight spaces.
What types of surround headphones are there?
Surround headphones should create an all-round sound that draws the user even more intensely into what is happening. To what extent this is even possible with two sound sources is disputed after many reviews by consumer portals.
Because most experts assume that at least five playback sources are required for a surround experience. Basically, surround headphones can be differentiated according to their design, their connection, and their area of application.
Surround headphones can be worn around the ear (over-ear), on the ear (on-ear), and in the ear (in-ear). Which of these is the best ultimately depends on your preference and use area so there’s no right or wrong here. However, on-ear and over-ear tend to be the most popular for the best experience.
The most portable models are naturally those that are worn in the ear. They weigh the least compared to the other models but hardly shield against ambient noise. They must fit well; otherwise, they may fall out in motion.
Today, there is now also a range of wireless headphones. The playback is transmitted via Bluetooth. These are often the most expensive, but they are also the most practical as they are wireless.
The area of application
Many manufacturers indicate the area of application in their advertisements and product descriptions. Naturally, this is an important part to consider as different applications will require different types of headphones.
In particular, wireless headphones that are worn in the ear are considered ideal for athletes. In comparison, those who move around in noisy environments should be happy with surround headphones that wrap around their ears. There is a separate market for gamers. You get headphones in the form of a headset and can also use a voice function.
Wireless or wired
Wireless headphones are becoming more and more popular. As such, more people now opt for Bluetooth headphones – or headphones that can use both wire or Bluetooth. Whether or not you want wired or wireless depends on how you intend to use them and where.
With wireless, you have more freedom of movement because the cable is not in the way or can get tangled. There will always be a limit to the range, but in most cases, it is sufficient. Wireless headphones don’t usually have the same sound quality as wired ones, but the gap between them is getting smaller and smaller in terms of audio quality.
The wired ones have a better sound quality and you don’t have to pay attention to the battery, but a lot of people are tired of using a cable as it limits their freedom and can get in the way.
Type of system
Headphones can be worn around the ear, on the ear and in the ear. On and in-ear headphones are larger due to the increased number of speakers per ear. However, the other models are also able to produce surround sound. Together with an AV receiver, they allow a home cinema experience in front of the television.
Protection from dust and water
Not all headphones are protected from external influences such as dust or water. But whether or not this is important to you ultimately depends on how you intend to use them and where.
However, depending on the model, the protection ranges from light splashing water to submersion. Prospective buyers should therefore check the manufacturer’s information beforehand and compare it with their intended use. This is the only way to ensure that you can enjoy a product for a long time.
What are surround sound headphones?
Surround sound headphones create a special sound experience when watching TV, playing video games, or listening to music. The sound not only comes from the left or right like with normal headphones but also from the front and back, so you can completely immerse yourself in the action.
How do surround headphones work?
The technology of surround headphones is different but generally the same, the audio signals are split and played back separately via a surround decoder. This gives you the feeling that the sound is coming from one or more directions. This can be really useful in some cases, such as when gaming and listening to the footsteps of an enemy. Or, they may just enhance your audio experience when watching a movie.
Mostly, surround headphones differ in the number of speakers in the ear cups and other sound chips that produce better sound, so the surround headphones are larger than normal headphones.