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A gamer would know that choosing the best possible sound system can be substantial.

Not only will an excellent audio quality enhance the gaming experience, but it can even give players a competitive edge. 

This means you can hear small details like enemy footsteps.


Therefore, it can be useful to know the difference between stereo and surround sound and which headset type is more suitable for gaming.

In general, surround sound is preferable in terms of creating an immersive audio environment.

But note that stereo can be better at the sound quality and its value for the price.

Table of Contents


Difference Between Stereo and 7.1 Surround Sound Headset?

Is Stereo or Surround Sound Better for Gaming?

Do Pros Use Surround Sound?

Whats Our most recommended Gaming Headphone for 2021/2022?

Difference Between Stereo and 7.1 Surround Sound Headsets?


Stereo is the classic Left & Right (Two sources of audio channels) 

5.1 has Front Left, Front Right + Surround Left, Surround Right, a Center channel and a Sub Woofer.

 7.1 has all of the above plus two more channels Side Left and Side Right.


7.1 headsets are also divided into 2 types, physical engine 7.1 headsets and virtual engine 7.1 headsets. Physical 7.1 uses multiple speakers installed in a headset, so that speakers at different positions form a surround sound field to simulate a state that is closest to reality. Then the more speakers the more surround sound field, the more realistic the simulation of reality.


Virtual engine 7.1 multi-channel is a sound effect positioning algorithm based on HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function). The “same sound source in diffent locations” that people hear will also be different. This is caused by factors such as the physical structure of the human ear and the different speed of sound propagation. This algorithm is developed after careful research on this phenomenon.


In terms of user experience, the virtual 7.1 channel will be more accurate in the direction positioning than the physical 7.1 channel. For example, in the game, there is a sound of explosion from the rear, and sometimes the physical 7.1 channel is difficult to accurately distinguish the specific direction. The virtual 7.1 channel can accurately locate the source of the explosion. However, the physical 7.1 channel headset is more capable of creating space than virtual ones.

Is Stereo or Surround Sound Better for Gaming?


The distinctive feature that sets stereo and surround sound aparts is the number of speakers that each use. 

While stereo has one speaker on the left and right side, surround sound usually has more than two speakers. 

This means that surround sound can create an audio experience that seems to fill up the room for an immersive effect, which could be exciting for gaming.


But the audio quality is even more critical than the surround sound effect, as this could significantly enhance the gameplay.

Surround sound systems generally produce better sound quality than stereo, making the former good for watching movies and gaming.

Meanwhile, we recommend using stereo sound for listening to music as it produces higher sound fidelity.

You may also want to understand various audio configurations, including 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 Stereo, which uses two speakers, is 2.0, which will not give gamers all sound details.

Surround sound is 5.1 or 7.1, which means the system includes either 5 or 7 speakers with one subwoofer. 

These configurations allow you to hear even the most detailed sounds, like footsteps and more.

Although some users have claimed that bad surround sound headsets could give a bathroom sound effect, so be careful when choosing it!


In conclusion, there are several essential differences between stereo and surround sound.

Understanding these can really enhance your gaming skills and allow you to maximaize your gameplay.

Ultimately, surround sound is an incredible effect of making video games more fun and exciting.



Do Pros Use Surround Sound?


It is only natural to ask what the pros are using, especially if your end goal is to compete in professional gaming tournaments or at least come close to it.

Surround sound can obviously provide a more immersive gameplay experience, and feeling as though you have been transported into the fictional world can be good thing.


But then why do a lot of competitive gamers still use stereo headsets during their tournament?

The fact is that a stereo headset, or stereo surround sound, is more than enough to give high-quality and detailed audio.

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