Here at Zath, we have looked at quite a few gaming headsets in the past such as the impressive Zowie Hammer and SteelSeries Siberia v2 but now one of the biggest names in the consumer electronics world have come up with their own two offerings for the gaming world: the Sony DR-GA500 and DR-GA200 Gaming Headsets.
Combining the latest in a whole range of sound technologies both of these have been designed from ‘extensive’ research into the market that they hope to make a mark on and so in theory these should closely resemble what people want from an ideal headset.
Firstly we’ll look at the DR-GA500 which is really the flagship model and the one that boasts the most impressive specifications, though I’m afraid you will have to excuse the mostly pointless jargon… this model combines a ‘Dolby Pro Logic IIx’ decoder with Sony’s own ‘Virtual Phones Technology’ (also known as VPT) to create “convincing 7.1 channel 3D surround effects”.
To put this into more layman’s terms these headphones make the most of a significant amount of technology to create a very rich and detailed sound that allows you to create a very good audio environment which, as we’ve discussed before, is vital in FPS games which is exactly what the DR-GA500s are designed for.
A good measure of the amount of effort that goes into creating the perfect sound is that the signal processing hardware is in fact stored in an external unit which although could prove to be a little annoying would be worth the bother if you are a serious gamer.
Another crucial factor when deciding what headphones to buy is how comfortable they are to whereas you could well find yourself with them on for hours at a time. Fortuitously Sony has thought of that and has created a ‘triple enfolding’ design with both the DR-GA500 and DR-GA200 to aid in comfort for the gamer.
Unfortunately, the press release from Sony offers nothing in the way of explaining why they are ‘triple enfolding’, but the main focus would appear to be to include ventilation and reduce ear pressure which are the two main problems that poor headphone will exacerbate.
So are these really the ideal headphones for gamers? Well, the DR-GA500s are definitely up there in contention with the best, although one imagines that the price tag is likely to be significantly higher than the likes of the Hammer which may limit their market to the real ‘hardcore’ gamers.
But for those who are looking for something a little cheaper the DR-GA200s could well help: they share the same design and 40mm drive units in the headset but do not have the 7.1 channel digital surround compression that the DR-GA500s offer and thus does not need the separate unit probably saving you quite a bit of money (no prices have been released as of yet).
Of course this would mean compromising on sound quality (and you will not have an FPS mode or the option for compression) but for the casual gamer these could be a lot more suited for you, but this would possibly put them into a similar price band to the aforementioned Zowie Hammer headset which offers them some stiff competition.
We will have to wait and see what the prices have to offer when they are released, and then see how well these Sony gaming headsets actually fare in real life, but on paper at least they look very impressive and certainly look like a step up from the Sony DR-350USB ‘Dual Use’ headsets that we recently featured on Zath.
What do you think to these new Sony gaming headsets? Would you be interested in getting these over some from the more specific gaming peripheral manufacturers?