Ask the Audiophile Gamers:
Is 7.1 Surround Sound Good for Gaming?

Although many games are compatible with stereo sound, others also support surround audio to give players better in-game conditions. Realizing its advantage, manufacturers also designed audio devices with this feature. However, is 7.1 Surround Sound better than other options? Let our audiophile gamers tackle this debate to confirm if it fits your gaming needs.

What is Surround Sound?

Technically, surround sound originally refers to multi-channel audio systems designed by the tech giant Dolby Laboratories. Owing to its popularity, surround sound became a general term used for audio reproduction that uses multiple speaker channels. 

This type of audio setting creates an effect that the sound surrounds every corner of the room the listener is currently into. The format of this configuration may vary depending on the production methods and the number of channel positioning. 

Advantages of Surround Sound for Gaming

While cinema fans would tell you the perks of surround audio when watching movies [1], is 7.1 Surround Sound good for gaming? The short answer is yes. With this system integrated into your gameplay environment, our resident gamers assure you that you’ll hear movements like your opponent’s footsteps loud and clear.

computer gaming setup

True to its name, the surround sound audio setting allows players to immerse themselves better by adding the virtual or true audio effect. It’ll deliver sound in all directions as if you’re inside the game itself. This immersive audio quality isn’t normally experienced in stereo systems.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 Better for Gaming?

Between the two, the configuration better for gaming is 7.1 surround sound. Compared to the 5.1 channel, this option delivers more accuracy and depth in terms of sound quality. 

If we’re talking about technical configurations, both systems are composed of center, front-right, front-left, rear-right, rear-left, and low-frequency channels. However, on top of that, 7.1 settings have two additional pairs of channels: the surround and the rear surround. 

lady playing a computer game

So, does that make 7.1 Surround Sound good for gaming? The answer is yes. Through these features, our gaming experts enjoy a little more detail in their gaming adventure compared to using audio devices with 5.1 systems.

Games That Support Surround Sound

If you’re a fan of top-rated and popular roleplaying games like Assassin’s Creed by game dev giant Ubisoft, then you’ll be delighted to know that most of its releases support surround sound systems. 

Even Call of Duty, one of the best-selling video games in the world, has its recent releases engineered with native support for surround audio configurations. The same applies to other famous games like Devil May Cry, Command & Conquer, and Dungeons & Dragons. 

Virtual vs. True Surround

When selecting an audio device to enhance your gaming experience, we’re sure you’ll encounter two types of options: the virtual surround and the true surround. Up until now, some people are confused as to what are the differences between the two.

Logitech G432 Wired Gaming

First and foremost, the true surround is engineered with actual speaker drivers. On the other hand, virtual surround audio systems operate with software that mimics surround sound quality on stereo speakers. 

If you’re using a headset for your game, the difference won’t be as noticeable. However, suppose your gaming system is connected to a soundbar or wireless sound system. In that case, our resident experts recommend going for true surround technology to get the in-game audio reproduction you desire.

Options to Get a Surround Sound Ready Gaming Setup

Headphones

The most common gaming setup majority of the gaming community use is headphones. When shopping for one, keep in mind that these audio devices are generally integrated with virtual surround sound technology. It means that it runs with software, but rest assured that it still sounds more three-dimensional than its stereo alternative.

Wireless Surround Sound System

You may not know it, but modern surround systems often come in wireless configurations. Expert gamers often use a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth integrated audio setup composed of a central hub that connects all speakers in the system. 

Enclave CineHome PRO 5.1 HD Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound System

Although a Bluetooth surround system may be easier to incorporate with your gaming system, WiFi transmission delivers audio quality without compression. If you’re playing a game with a wide range of sounds, our experts highly suggest buying a topnotch wireless surround sound system for an awesome gameplay.

Soundbar

When getting a surround sound soundbar, we’ll always advise players to get audio devices specifically dedicated to computer gaming. By doing this, you can be sure that it’ll work in harmony with your unit. These soundbars are also smaller and more portable than usual ones bought for home theaters.

Conclusion

As a gaming enthusiast, we’re sure you’re highly concerned as to how is 7.1 Surround Sound good for gaming than other audio systems out there. Now that our audiophile gamers laid down all the facts about this audio configuration, all you have to do is figure out your gaming setup, and the rest will come easier than you think.  

Back to Top