Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset Reviewhardnrg - November 1, 2010
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The front of the amp is deceptively minimal. The left side has five LED indicators for the corresponding intensity of sound for each channel apart from the subwoofer. There is another LED indicator for the power-on status. The central knob controls the amount of bass sent to each channel. As you increase the bass amplification, you start to decrease your ability to perceive the direction of sounds. So, all the way to the left, this control has no bass emphasis and the clearest direction; this is what the "dir." refers to on the dial. The knob on the right is a volume control that doubles as the power switch.
The red corners continue the "form and function" concept of the headset, reflecting the WaveGuides prominent appearance as well as serving a purpose. In this case, they prevent the amp enclosure from being scratched if it is moved across the desk, even upside-down.
Okay, so, round to the back, and you can see where the four jacks from the headset plug in. The headset is therefore driven by these amplified outputs (the microphone signal is a simple pass-through). This amplification requires power, so there is a DC power socket on the right of the picture. The audio connection cable that carries sound between the amp and the soundcard is hard-wired to the enclosure, and is terminated and colour-coded in the same way as the headset.
In case you haven't used an amplified headset before, here is a photo to illustrate how you would connect it. The audio connectors from the amp go to your soundcard, and the AC/DC adaptor goes to a wall socket or power strip. With the amp powered up and switched on, the power LED illuminates.
The five other LEDs remain dim until there is a sound signal present. Each LED operates independently and varies in brightness to show the intensity of the sound from each channel. It's sort of hard to explain how a single round LED can be a level meter, so I made a short video with my digital camera to show what they look like when supplied with some 5.1 sound. The audio you can hear in the video is the sound coming from the headset (away from the camera). If I wanted to be really snazzy I would have done a Picture-In-Picture showing the live action on-screen and the amplifier LEDs at the same time, but I didn't want to be that snazzy. Okay, I don't actually know how to do that. Just watch the damn video, haha.