If you remember back to last year, we reviewed one of the craziest-looking headsets on the market from Psyko Audio. What made this stand out so much were the five speakers located on the top of the headset, with copper pipes running to each ear cup. At the time, I said that the were “probably the best thing you can do to change your gaming experience.” My only complaints were the high prices, and less-than-stellar performance when listening to music and movies.
Psyko listens to their customers, and when they sat down to design their next generation of headsets, they took both of the issues I mentioned into consideration. The result was the Psyko Carbon 5.1 headset, which I’m reviewing today.
These look remarkably similar to the original 5.1 that was released by Psyko, with some minor changes. This time around you’ll find a more discreet color scheme, consisting primarily of black, with red accents. You’ll also find that the majority of the headset is covered in rubber, which gives it a more durable feel. Finally, they have chosen to use braided cables and gold-plated connectors to give it a more high-end feel.
Other than the cosmetic changes I noted above, the headset has remained largely unchanged. So rather than simply repeating myself, I’ll just defer to my previous review. The short of it is that while they are a bit on the heavy side, I can wear these for hours without any real discomfort.
When playing games, I would say that these new Carbons perform roughly the same as their predecessor. And to be perfectly honest, that’s a good thing. The patented Psykowave technology comes through and delivers true 5.1 surround sound. This means I know exactly where bullets are coming from, or where someone is running before I even see them.
I’ve tested a number of 5.1 headsets, but all of them merely simulate the effects, except those from Psyko. I will say that there is a real difference between having a couple of drivers in the ear cups, and having the audio piped down to various parts of the cups. I feel like the directional sound is more accurate, which is what matters most when you’re immersing yourself in a game.
One of my big complaints with the original 5.1 headset was that it didn’t perform well with music and movies. This is one of the areas where Psyko has worked on, and it does show. While I still wouldn’t put these in the same category as a pair of audiophile headphones, I’m more happy using these as an all-around device, rather than only gaming.
This review is a bit shorter than usual, but in most respects, these are almost identical to Pysko’s first headset. It’s really a case of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” The things that they did fix, were necessary. I’m happier being able to listen to music and movies through the headset, and not feeling like I need to keep a second one around just for that. The other issue they worked on was price. $300 for a headset that was only good for gaming seemed a little salty for most people. But $200 for the new Carbons is perfectly reasonable for what they provide. This brings it closer to other high-end headsets that are on the market.