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Product: eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 Headset by BenHeck (no relation)
Manufacturer: eDimensional
MSRP: $80 [BizRate]
Lowest Historical Price: $36 [History]

Introduction
Stereo headsets are a great way to enjoy your music, games or movies without disturbing those around you. But with surround sound and all the 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 home theater systems that exist these days, a mere stereo headset seems to be an inadequate replacement. Over the past few years several manufacturers have tried (and mostly failed) to produce quality 5.1 headphones. So how did the eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 Headset sound to our iPod-deafened ears? Click through to find out.


Specs
Model: AudioFX Pro 5+1 by BenHeck
Hardware Platform: PC, Mac
Connectivity: USB with integrated 5.1 decoder
Color: Black and Brown
Mic: Teamspeak Certified, 58 dB+/-3dB sensitivity
Driver Unit: 50mm, 110 dB+/-3dB sensitivity, 20Hz - 20kHz frequency
Force Feedback: Present



Setup
The headset comes with software that allows you to customize audio position, equalization and special effects. There is an in-line control switch that allows you to easily change the volume, vibration and force feedback settings. You can also swivel the mic about 135 degrees, so it can be adjusted to be on your left or your right side. The headset can be adjusted for various head sizes, with numbered notches on each side so you won't end up with a lopsided headset (unless you have a lopsided head). There is also an LED level meter that measures how loud the sound is- and possibly to show you how close you are to damaging your hearing.

Review
The first thing that caught my attention was the size. It's huge! It reminded me of my old 6.3mm mono headphones, which were also brown in color, except they weren't as comfy as the AudioFX.

I began my testing on a multiplayer match of Unreal 2004. It sounded great, with booming explosions and clear higher frequency sounds from the lightning gun and link gun. My teammates (and opponents) were able to hear me well. After several minutes of playing and trash-talking, I noticed my ears getting warm. This is a problem I've always had with circumaural headphones. The padded ear cups create a nice seal around your ear to keep out background noise, but it also results in making your ears hot. I didn't notice much force feedback going on, but that's because I don't usually have the volume turned up too high. More on that later. With this headset, I was able to successfully determine (based on sound) which direction my opponents were coming from, but not any more so than if I had been using a normal pair of stereo headphones.

I then tested the audio with various music types, including rock, metal, pop, rap, house and even salsa music. The mid-range seemed to be more prominent with this headset than other headphones I have used. The bass was booming as usual, the guitar riffs were crystal clear, and the trumpets sounded amazing. I also tried the headset in a video iChat, which resulted in a few giggles from the other party. The audio quality was good, and my voice came through clearly in the mic, but this headset is clearly not a chick magnet.



Now that I had established that the mic and speakers work very well, I had to test the two features that didn't seem as noticeable: force feedback and the LEDs. As it turns out, these two things are only apparent when you really crank up the volume. I tried to keep them on as long as I could, but I couldn't get the first level of LEDs to register before I had to take them off. After I took them off, I turned up the volume all the way and watched the LEDs light up as the bass and force feedback boomed, which allowed me to make another observation: there was absolutely no discernable distortion, even at the maximum volume.

Conclusion
Given all this testing, I'd have to conclude that although this headset is pretty amazing, I couldn't really tell that it was a 5.1 headset. True, in a game, I can figure out the source of a sound with this headset, but I did that just as well using standard earbud headphones. Despite that, I'd still recommend this headset for your computer because the sound and mic quality are great. I was able to turn up the sound without any distortion at all, and the bass is phenomenal. The mic was very responsive and allowed me to communicate clearly and effectively with whoever I was talking to. Although you may look pretty silly using these in a video chat, the sound quality and mic clarity are worth the slight (okay, maybe major) embarrassment, especially at a price point of about $70.


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    Towncivilian Ben's cred: 125
    Posted 2:36 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Ben, you probably couldn't tell that it was a 5.1 "speaker" headset because your sound card most likely does not support EAX (so you don't get surround sound in games) and you probably did not listen to any 5.1 audio content. Maybe try a movie and then you'd hear it in all its glory.

    And lol @ BenHeck.

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    CerPrime Ben's cred: 15
    Posted 2:41 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Actually - this is a USB interface headset and it states on the packaging (pretty clearly) "Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound" - Now if it actually did 5.1 decoding, why would it be advertised as 'virtual' surround? - pass.

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    banderon Ben's cred: 12
    Posted 2:52 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Nice review, but no deals. It's over $60 at all the sites I checked. I would buy them for the $36 (AR) that they were posted for back in September.

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    garville Ben's cred: 10
    Posted 3:04 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Ben, What the Heck?

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    speedywoody Ben's cred: 25
    Posted 3:04 pm PDT 05/15/08

    what my twin said, in the above. This is a review, not a "deal".

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    Strike Ben's cred: 34
    Posted 3:05 pm PDT 05/15/08

    .....ummmmm, Ben - this looks like dog poopie with wires and metal coming out of it....

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    banderon Ben's cred: 12
    Posted 3:07 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Will this work with my PS3? I need something like this for GTA.

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    the lawyer Ben's cred: 435
    Posted 3:24 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Will these work with an xbox 360? They sure look cozey.

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    Statler Ben's cred: 36
    Posted 4:16 pm PDT 05/15/08

    #6, True. I don't think they could have used a more hideous color, aside from baby-baconnaise yellow.

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    superman2005 Ben's cred: 97
    Posted 4:22 pm PDT 05/15/08

    I would buy this if it came in black and was <$50. The cushioning looks very comfortable.
    No messing with front-out and mic-in jacks Smile

    "(no relation)" Smile

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    the lawyer Ben's cred: 435
    Posted 4:37 pm PDT 05/15/08

    I guess the issue would the USB interface.

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    Bad_CRC Ben's cred: 74
    Posted 4:39 pm PDT 05/15/08

    when I saw this thumbnail I thought it was the back of Mr. Potatohead in a thong.

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    jpsmitty14 Ben's cred: 8
    Posted 5:20 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Best post #12

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    jlc_38 Ben's cred: 29
    Posted 6:12 pm PDT 05/15/08

    So is this site now becoming a review site? And who did the review?
    Sound is a very subjective thing to review. Just look at any Amazon headphone review and you'll see everyone has their own opinion about how a headphone,earbud, or a set of speakers sound. I come here to find bargains. If I need a review on something I'll go somewhere else.

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    rkirkpat Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 6:55 pm PDT 05/15/08

    #12:

    Best. Post. Ever.

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    rkirkpat Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 7:03 pm PDT 05/15/08

    #12:

    Best. Post. Ever.

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    SuprDave89 Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 7:52 pm PDT 05/15/08

    Very detailed review....thanks!! helpful!

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    australopithecus Ben's cred: 207
    Posted 8:36 pm PDT 05/15/08

    This product as just about as useful as the ever growing popular single speaker that can replaces the entire home theater speaker system. I don't believe it really works that well.

    It's more important parents here watch out for pedoph!le nuisance_sucks. Interpol released his photo.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/08/interpol.manhunt.ap/index.html

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    juzdyn Ben's cred: 25
    Posted 7:30 am PDT 05/16/08

    i should have bought these back when they were all in black and for 40 bucks max. but holy crap they look like...crap...but i've heard a lot of good things about these but i settled for icemat syberias -.- which btw don't get your ears hot cause its an open headset. which is good in my case so i can hear my gf yelling at me while i'm playing games Very Happy

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    Chrisman Ben's cred: 371
    Posted 6:23 pm PDT 05/16/08

    Nicely done, #12. I had to re-look at the picture, but I'm pickin' up what you're layin' down...

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