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

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.

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

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.

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.

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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    topcat903 Ben's cred: 11
    Posted 9:12 pm PDT 05/16/08

    Thanks #12 for the best joke of the day.

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    wokwithpda Ben's cred: 57
    Posted 12:35 am PDT 05/19/08

    #12. I could imagine.
    #16 Worst post Ever.

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    Flork Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 12:43 pm PDT 05/19/08

    I know no one cares, but I actually have a pair of these and like them. They rumble a lot while I'm flying my flight sims. Plus I can't hear my wife when she's yelling at me to do work. That being said, I don't really know jack about headphones.

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    lostemple Ben's cred: 30
    Posted 5:53 pm PDT 05/19/08

    Get the Tritton AXPC. Daddy like!

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    andyoura12 Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 11:08 am PDT 05/25/08

    good headphones but no good deals

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    wayway2fetch Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 7:39 am PDT 07/20/08

    These look comfrotable! I would want them but not sure if I game exactly that much! Could you use these with Mp3 players?

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