Best Surround Sound Headphones - Audiostance

The 10 Best Surround Sound Headphones

Become immersed in your games, music, or movies by incorporating surround sound headphones into your setup. These headphones use algorithms to craft a virtual surround sound experience, creating a vibrant lifelike experience with deep, powerful bass and clear, defined highs that bring your media to life. In this article, we cover the best surround sound headphones and how they can improve your leisure.

Our Pick!

HyperX Cloud II – Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud II – Gaming Headset

Featuring high-quality 7.1 virtual surround sound, the Cloud II is exceptionally comfortable, durable, and affordable. It is the optimal headset for truly submerging yourself in the gaming experience. 

Quick Pick – Our Awards!

Are These Headphones Really Surround Sound?

Traditionally, surround sound refers to a design where speakers are placed around the listener to improve soundstage and ultimately add to the immersion. Because headphones usually only have two drivers, manufacturers use algorithms to simulate a surround sound experience. These algorithms add small delays and adjust sound frequencies to create the perception of surround sound. This helps to create a broader sense of immersion and detail.

The 10 Best Surround Sound Headphones

The following headphones have been selected for their build, sound quality, microphone performance, and comfort.

1. HyperX Cloud II

HyperX Cloud II – Gaming Headset
  • Excellent build quality
  • Surround sound toggle
  • Comfortable for long usage
  • Limited deep bass

The HyperX Cloud II has been around for a while, yet it remains one of the best surround sound headphones on the market. It’s an affordable option that is a favorite among gamers. With a price tag of under $100, it offers exceptional value for money.

The Cloud II features replaceable memory foam earcups that provide hours of use without discomfort. The cable comprises two parts, with the USB portion acting as a USB sound card. It supports standard USB ports (with the sound card) and 3.5mm outputs (without sound card), providing broader platform support.

The built-in microphone performs extremely well, providing clarity in the most chaotic gaming moments and allowing you to communicate effectively with your squad. The microphone is also detachable and can be replaced.

Overall, the HyperX Cloud II is built to last and offers high-quality surround sound performance in an affordable package. They’ll last for years.

2. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis 7 – Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Great microphone quality
  • Customizable sound
  • Fairly bulky earcups
  • No Bluetooth

The Arctis 7 from Steelseries is a midrange wireless gaming headset that incorporates 7. 1 virtual surround sound. This headset adopts a relatively clean, professional design that is more subtle than some vibrant alternatives on this list. One of its key features is the bidirectional microphone with effective noise cancellation. Whether in Discord with friends or in game with a lobby of strangers, they won’t have to deal with muffled or crackling sound.

The SteelSeries Artics 7 provides a premium steel headband with ski goggle elastic fabric, distributing weight evenly while eliminating pressure points to keep you comfortable throughout the entire day. The air-wave ear cushions keep your ears cool while providing comfort and quality you could only dream of.

The Artics 7 supports lossless wireless audio with low latency, and has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, making it the ultimate game companion for those wanting an ultra-clear audio experience.

The SteelSeries Artics 7 is compatible with PC and Mac, as well as PS4, Xbox One, and VR systems. The DTS Headphone X 7.1 surround sound is available for Windows 7-10 only.

3. Turtle Beach Stealth 700

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Premium Wireless Surround Sound Gaming Headset
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Customizable sound
  • Plastic has a mediocre quality
  • Limited battery life

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 isn’t just for chatting with friends in-game. The Turtle Beach Audio Hub app unlocks its versatility, letting you take calls or listen to music while you play. No more awkward mic leaks – the Stealth 700 features a handy auto-mute mic that mutes when flipped up. With a 10-hour battery life, you can game or multitask for a full day without worry.

Comfort is a priority with the Stealth 700. Plush ear cushions with a ProSpecs design ensure glasses wearers can play in comfort. An adjustable headband and a rubberized top for better grip round out the user-friendly design. The Stealth 700 caters to both casual and competitive gamers. Immerse yourself in 7.1 surround sound and active noise cancellation to eliminate distractions. Multiple EQ presets let you personalize your audio experience.

Gain a competitive edge with the Stealth 700’s Superhuman Hearing Technology, which amplifies key audio cues. The 50mm cups deliver a wide soundstage with powerful bass and clear treble, ensuring you hear everything on the battlefield. The Stealth 700 offers both wireless and wired connectivity. Choose wireless for convenience, or use the optical jack for additional features on PS4. Finally, the headset boasts multi-platform compatibility, working with Windows/Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and mobile devices.

4. HyperX Cloud Alpha S

HyperX Cloud Alpha S – PC Gaming Headset
  • Dual chamber drivers
  • Detachable mics
  • Durable build quality
  • The cable can’t be replaced
  • Boomy bass that won’t appease balanced sound lovers

The Cloud Alpha S prioritizes enhanced gaming audio with 7.1 surround sound and minimal distortion. Sliders let you adjust bass for a personalized experience. The durable, comfortable design with a detachable microphone is great for everyday PC and PS4 use. Memory foam padding makes it comfortable, but the leatherette ear cups can get warm.

The Cloud Alpha S boasts wider sound and more control compared to the Cloud Stinger. The bass gets a boost, so if you prefer a neutral sound this isn’t ideal. It works well with mids and highs for a balanced sound overall. Dual-chamber drivers reduce distortion for clear audio even at high volumes.

The 3.5mm connection allows easy connection to various devices. It includes an extension cord for PC with volume and mute controls. The Cloud Alpha S is compatible with PC and PS4.

5. Razer Kraken Tournament Edition THX

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition THX 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
  • Built-in volume and mic control
  • Clear microphone quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Mic can’t be replaced

The THX Razer Kraken Tournament Edition, priced under $100, features THX Spatial Audio for a 360° sound experience. With 50mm drivers and cooling gel-infused cushions, it offers day-long comfort and clear communication via its cardioid microphone. This headset is compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices.

Comfort is key, making it ideal for marathon gaming. Although bulky like previous Razer headsets, it is sturdy and comfortable. The padded headband and gel-infused ear cushions reduce heat buildup, provide noise cancellation, and ensure sound isolation, perfect for long or short gaming sessions.

The gel cushions help with heat buildup and can be chilled in the fridge for extra cooling. The thick metal headband and robust earcups ensure durability and comfort with ample foam padding. The 360° THX Spatial Audio, powered by magnet drivers, delivers deep bass, warm mids, and clear highs.

The left side features a Bass toggle function for adjusting bass levels, while the right side has controls for enabling THX Spatial Audio and a chat mixer for easy sound personalization mid-game.

Using a 3.5mm audio jack, the headset offers cross-platform compatibility and includes a second cable with a sound card for Razer Synapse software add-ons and THX Spatial Audio. The audio enhancer DAC connects via USB, with THX Spatial Audio available on Windows 10 64-bit only.

6. Corsair VOID RGB Elite

Corsair VOID RGB Elite Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Long lasting battery
  • Custom RGB
  • Comfortable earcups
  • Futuristic design can be polarizing
  • Fairly expensive

For just under $100, the Corsair VOID RGB Elite Gaming Headset offers 7.1 surround sound. Similar to the Corsair Void Pro RGB, this newer version is completely wireless with a 40-foot range and 16-hour battery life. It has an expanded frequency range up to 30kHz, which helps prevent audio distortion.

This stylish headset features customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup. It also includes a Discord-certified omnidirectional microphone for clear communication. The microfiber mesh fabric and memory foam earpads ensure comfort, while the aluminum yokes provide durability.

The Corsair VOID RGB Elite delivers warm sound with decent bass depth, though the mids and highs are adequate for gaming rather than music. The expanded frequency range (20Hz to 30kHz) and high-density drivers enhance the gaming audio experience, with virtual surround sound available when connected to a PC.

The omnidirectional mic swings down for use and includes a windbreak to reduce popping noises. The headset connects wirelessly to your PC or PS4 using the low-latency 2.4GHz wireless USB adapter dongle, allowing for easy pairing.

7. Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset

Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Comfortable fit
  • Clear microphone
  • Wireless capabilities
  • The build feels a little plasticky
  • Lacks console support

The Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset, priced around $74, is a standout wireless option from Logitech. Released in 2017, it features Pro-G audio drivers with DTS 7.1 surround sound. It offers a wireless range of up to 15 meters and up to 15 hours of battery life, making it suitable for all-day use.

The headset is built from standard plastic and weighs 12.5 oz, but the weight is evenly distributed for comfort. The joints are slightly loose, so handling with care and storing in a separate case is recommended. The G533 includes a boom mic, on-ear volume, and mute controls, making it a budget-friendly wireless option.

Design-wise, the G533 is larger with a glossy finish and the “G” logo on each ear cup. It has a functional, non-extravagant look without any RGB lighting, appealing to gamers who prefer a simpler aesthetic. The ear cups are made of lightweight sports mesh material, removable, and washable, ensuring comfort and cleanliness.

The headset offers various audio and equalization options for different genres, with the 7.1 surround sound providing immersive gameplay by highlighting directional audio cues. The Pro-G audio drivers deliver clear high frequencies and deep bass, recreating in-depth game audio effects. Compared to the G933, the G533 is simpler but offers a great experience at a better price.

The Logitech G533 is compatible with PC and PS4 via a USB connection, making it unsuitable for public use but perfect for home gaming setups.

8. Logitech G935 Wireless

Logitech G935 Wireless
  • Wireless support
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Customizable EQ
  • RGB adds flare
  • Futuristic design won’t appeal to all
  • Mediocre mic quality

The Logitech G935 is a continuation of the G9 series, featuring a similar design but with a cleaner, glossier finish and a personalized G935 logo. This headset balances between premium and affordable, offering quality and style. It connects to various devices using a 3.5mm jack but primarily uses a 2.4GHz wireless setup with a 12-hour battery life, making it a versatile PC gaming headset priced just above $100.

The G935 boasts rectangular, closed-ear cups made of proprietary woven hybrid mesh with leatherette padding. This design, along with a durable padded steel headband, ensures comfort and durability for daily use. Though bulky, it suits a stationary gaming setup, with swiveling ear cups for easy customization and an LED strip with the G branding on each cup.

Customizable volume, EQ, and surround sound settings per game, combined with next-gen 7.1 surround sound technology (X 2.0), deliver precise positional audio. The headset features Logitech’s most expansive audio driver, offering increased bass response and accuracy with a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response for minimal distortion.

The microphone, while slightly over-saturated for recordings, is adequate for gaming. It conveniently extends from the left ear cup for clear communication. The G935 is compatible with PCs via the Logitech G Hub and wireless USB adapter, and can also connect to other audio sources like smartphones using a 3.5mm cable. Note that the 7.1 surround sound feature is only available with a USB connection.

9. Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset

Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset
  • Broad platform support
  • Extremely affordable
  • Comfortable clamping pressure
  • Mic can’t be detached
  • Lacks deep bass

The Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset offers excellent features for under $50. The analog audio controls for volume and mic mute/unmute are conveniently located behind the left ear cup. It includes a flexible cardioid microphone, which cannot be detached but can be adjusted for comfort.

Despite its low price, the Kraken X Ultralight is of high quality, providing great comfort for long gaming sessions. Weighing only 8.8 ounces, it is extremely lightweight and comfortable, making it suitable for users who wear glasses. This budget-friendly headset is compatible with multiple platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and more.

The Kraken X Ultralight features 7.1 surround sound and custom-tuned 40mm drivers for powerful, clear sound. Its minimalist design comes in classic black or black and blue, with a sleek look and the Razer logo on each ear cup. The headset has oval ear cushions, a durable and flexible headband slider, and a swivel mechanism for easy adjustment.

With a wide frequency response of 12Hz to 28kHz, the Kraken X Ultralight delivers high-quality, immersive audio. The custom-tuned 40mm drivers and sound-isolating ear cups limit external noise, making it ideal for gaming. While it excels in treble and voice work, it may not satisfy audiophiles seeking strong bass for music.

The Razer Kraken X Ultralight connects via a 3.5mm audio jack, making it compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and other mobile devices.

10. Razer BlackShark V2 X

  • Lightweight design
  • Balanced mids with powerful bass
  • Great microphone quality
  • Can’t replace the cable
  • No RGB options

The Razer BlackShark V2, released in mid-2020, is a popular sub-$100 gaming headset, rivaling higher-priced models like the Cloud Alpha. It offers premium features and performance typical of $150 alternatives.

Weighing just 262g, the BlackShark V2 is lightweight yet durable, though it requires gentle handling around the hinges. The sleek black design with green accents avoids flashy RGB lighting. The oval-shaped earcups, a departure from Razer’s usual circular designs, improve fit and comfort. Ultra-soft, breathable memory foam earcups, and a padded headband enhance comfort and reduce heat, making it suitable for long gaming sessions. Passive noise cancellation effectively blocks ambient noise.

Featuring 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers, the BlackShark V2 provides a balanced sound with enhanced low-end response and brightness in the lower treble. The audio performance is impressive, delivering immersive explosions in FPS games and enjoyable music listening, especially in EDM and hip-hop. The driver design aids frequency separation, improving in-game audio cue detection.

The detachable microphone offers clear audio, flexible for positioning, and is of high quality for its price range, though it may lack some depth.

Simple, intuitive controls include a microphone mute button and a volume dial. The wired headset has a built-in cable, which can’t be replaced but is durable. The USB soundcard dongle allows compatibility with PlayStation 4 and 5, though it’s primarily for PC users. For Xbox One or Series X, it connects via a 1/8″ TRRS connection to the controller.

Overall, the Razer BlackShark V2 is an excellent gaming headset under $100, offering impressive sound quality, a good microphone, and exceptional comfort.

A Buyer’s Guide To Surround Sound Headphones

In order to buy the best surround-sound headphones, it’s useful to understand what separates them and what traits to consider when weighing their differences.


Microphones aren’t too useful for single-player gamers or for watching movies or listening to music. However, they are essential for competitive multiplayer games where you’re required to communicate with a team to achieve your objectives.
Microphones tend to have a shorter lifespan than the drivers themselves, so opting for a surround sound headset with a removable/replaceable microphone is a good idea. This lets you swap it out should it break down the line and not require you to buy a new headset.


Pay attention to cable length and quality. Weak cable design is typically the weakest point in a headset design and over time, the twisting and bending can cause the connections to come loose, cause spotty audio or a complete lack of audio from one or both sides of the headset. Durable cabling is essential for any surround sound headphones, and making sure its long enough for your setup is also an important consideration.

Sound Signature & Frequency Response

Are you a bit of a bass head? Or do you prefer a balanced, natural sound? We all have our own preferences on what sounds best, and this plays into the type of headphones you should buy. When it comes to surround sound headphones, you’ll find most models adopt a slightly elevated bass, which is great for watching movies and gaming but isn’t ideal for music. That’s because music is produced in a way where a balanced sound gives the best representation of the producer’s intent. Frequency response refers to the tuning of the headphones and relates to the emphasis on different frequency ranges. A frequency response range indicates the range of frequencies that the headphones can reproduce.


Drivers are sometimes referred to as speakers, which makes sense in surround sound headphones. However, there is a difference, as the term speaker includes an enclosure and its impact on the sound. A driver on the other hand, is the small (typically magnet) device inside each earcup where the sound comes from. Surround sound headphones typically feature either 40mm or 50mm drivers, with a larger driver size being associated with an increased potential for deeper bass.


Whether you’re gaming or listening to music, you may have your headset on for hours at a time. Comfort is essential for long listening sessions and is typically influenced by a few things: the clamping force, the stiffness of the cup padding, the size of the inner earcup area and the headband.
Comfort is slightly subjective though, and some people prefer extremely plush earcups while others like them a bit more firm. Make sure the headphones you buy have positive feedback around their comfort.


There are two main types of surround sound headphones: wired and wireless. Wireless headphones use either RF or Bluetooth and offer more flexibility than wired options. Though they come with their own concerns. Battery life becomes a crucial consideration, as the last thing you want is to have your headphones die in the middle of a game, and believe me, it happens. Still, many new headphones can be used either wireless or plugged in. This feature is something to look out for if you’re prone to going wireless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are surround sound headphones better than stereo headphones?

In essence, using surround sound headphones instead of stereo might not make you a better gamer, but it can make the experience more enjoyable. Surround sound is also platform dependent. Not all consoles support this function, which is important to note before purchasing.
Surround sound headphones can definitely provide a more immersive experience for gaming purposes, though I would say that it is smart to try it out before purchasing. In some cases, the surround sound may not even be noticeable – and in that case, a stereo headset could prove to be just as good. 

What’s the difference between virtual and ‘true’ surround sound 

Having your own surround sound system is great, but it’s also expensive and takes away the fun of chatting to friends while gaming. This is when surround sound headphones come into the picture. The more established 7.1 surround sound refers to a home theatre configuration of an 8 channel audio system, and this is what is meant by true surround sound.
When we speak of surround sound headphones with virtual surround sound, we talk about the experience of surround sound, rather than an actual 8 channel system. By adding small fractions of delay and other processing, we create an experience of surround sound with only 2 speakers. 

How do surround sound headphones actually work?

In essence, surround sound headphones use algorithms, as well as different software, to simulate more channels. This increases the directionality and precision from which direction the sound comes. It creates space and helps you determine from which angles your opponents come. This can be useful when gaming.
7.1 headphones include extra left-surround and right-surround channels for sounds coming from directly left and right in a game or movie. The methods used to create this virtual surround sound experience basically trick your brain into thinking that the sound is coming from more than 2 sources, through using effects and processing.

What should I look for in surround sound headphones?

There are so many different options it is sometimes hard to choose the right product for your needs. It can be made easier though, by knowing what you should look out for. Some things to consider are whether you want a wireless headset, surround sound capabilities,  and what applications you will be using your headphones for.
Most 7.1 surround sound headphones do not work as standard on every console, so reading the specifications of the product before purchasing is therefore essential. Another good spec is noise cancellation so that you can hear clearly in your headset despite a noisy environment. If you are looking to chat to your game buddies or co-workers, then consider the mic specs as well. Do not overlook the importance of a decent microphone with your headset. 
Comfort and durability should also be amongst the main considerations, as well as the headphone driver quality and size – these specifications are all vital to consider when looking for surround sound headphones. Consider purchasing cups with skin-friendly fabrics and with thick padding, to create space for the sound waves and to not pin the ears to your head.

Is the frequency response important?

Frequency response relates to how well the speakers or headphones can reproduce the frequencies in question. A boost in the mid-range frequencies (around 4kHz) can make a difference for good clarity when chatting to your teammates or even for watching movies on the headphones. 

Does 7.1 surround sound make a difference?

Virtual 7.1 surround sound can make a difference if the feature is noticeable enough in your headset. Its purpose is to add to the in-game immersion, which is what we want. If your game is encoded for 7.1 and you have a pair of 7.1 surround sound headphones, it hopefully means the sound experience will be of greater quality and depth.
You can get more “positioned” audio with surround sound – meaning you can experience sound from more angles than the left and right configuration. While an actual physical 7.1 surround sound setup is the optimal option, the virtual 7.1 surround sound can get pretty close, fooling our ear brain into hearing audio from more directions. 

Is surround sound good for gaming?

Most of us are already convinced that surround sound can be amazing for watching movies. It helps us immerse ourselves in the movie, not missing a beat of the storyline. We hear sounds in larger dimensions than we do with normal stereo. Gamers can make use of surround sound in the same way. Helping you hear where opponents are on the map, as well as increase the ability to immerse yourself in the game – which in turn can help you play the game better. 

Avatar photo
Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn De Kocks is the lead editor for Audiostance, as well as one of our trusted reviewers. He has more than 15 years of experience in online publication and stands firm in being transparent with both the benefits and drawbacks of the products he reviews. Outside of editorial work, Bryn has been an avid online gamer and casual digital music producer since his teenage years, bringing his understanding of audio and especially headphones to the table. His daily driver is a humble pair of Fidelio X2HRs powered by a Fiio E10K. In his spare time he enjoys nature photography.

View all articles
Leave a reply

1 comment