PC Hardware: Sony DR-GA500 7.1 Surround Sound Headset

Is this the headset of the future for PC gaming?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been playing PC games and watching films with Sony DR-GA500, a gaming headset capable of 7.1 surround sound. I was excited to finally see what the fuss is about with 7.1, since I’m stuck with a 5.1 surround sound setup. So what was my reaction?

First of all, here’s some specs:

Effects/Special Features: 40mm drive units (Headset)
7.1ch digital surround; compression (Processor)
FPS mode; compression on/off; volume; microphone mute
PC Interface: Analogue (7.1ch)/USB
Cable Information: Headphones to signal processor 1.5M; processor to PC, 7.1ch multi analogue :1.8M or USB 1.5M

The headset comes with a box that is essentially the hub for the 7.1 which plugs into the PC through a number of different cables, while the headset itself plugs directly into the box. If there’s a major complaint to be had, it’s that you don’t get nearly enough cable with the headset. I’m about 3-4 meters away from my TV and sadly, the length of the cable is only around half of that…so for me to use it, I’ve had to re-arrange my setup. I wonder why Sony chose such a small amount of cable?

The box itself looks very sleek and you can put the headset into different modes of sound, which all sound brilliant. The quality of superb, even for listening to things that aren’t 7.1 supported. The headset looks nice, but does feel a bit weird when you wear it. Also, the microphone is concealed away and took quite some time to find, plus it also looks like it could quite easily snap off if left out.

The Verdict

On the whole, the DR-GA500 7.1 headset is a nice bit of kit, but the cable is far too small for a lot of gamers. The headset feels weird and the design is a bit odd, but the sound quality is superb. It’s pretty pricey, but more than worth it for those that have the right setup.