If you’re a serious gamer who operates on PC then I expect audio is pretty important to you. The first item in your inventory should be a 7.1 audio headset, wired or wireless, which is capable of giving you the competitive edge needed in order to best your opponents online; allowing you to hear every footstep and helping you eliminate any sneaky stabs to the back.
Recently I was invited by MSI (the computer manufacturer) to a special showcase in the heart of London, set-up to demonstrate the latest advancements within their company. One such advancement, which I was unaware even existed, was a piece of tech that simulates 7.1 audio in standard 2.0 headphones (even your Apple Earbuds can take advantage of this tech). Through the use of complex algorithms, users who own an MSI gaming computer and don’t wish to spend a fortune on expensive headphones, should find this aide quite promising.
Nahimic (Na-He-Mik) are the company responsible for providing this tech and I was lucky enough to get a demonstration. Whilst I donned a pair of basic 2.0 stereo headphones and played a few games on the HTC Vive VR headset, the reps promised “the most immersive 3D sound experience.” I already own a HTC Vive and a pair of wireless 7.1 headphones, so I was eager to see if I could tell the difference. Could a standard set of 2.0 headphones really be transformed to present 7.1 audio by a software patch?
Unfortunately, my demo was situated in a very small, crowded room. I could still hear the bustle of people around me and I found it hard to tell the difference when the software was turned on and off. It didn’t help that the people who demonstrated it didn’t have a mic to clearly signify when the tech was being used and when it wasn’t. Basically, the setting of my demo hampered my experience. I could, to a small degree, tell that the audio had been altered slightly but not to great affect. The rep that demoed it to me even stated that the headphones being used to demonstrated their tech were pretty heavy on the bass, and thus didn’t serve as a great example of how transformative their software can be.
If I was in the peace and quiet of my own home, I’m sure I’d feel different. However, it’s not like I can try out Nahimic’s tech at home, as I don’t own an MSI computer. I feel as though it would be great to have this software open for every PC owner and not shackled behind the gates of MSI hardware. Altering any standard set of 2.0 headphones to simulate a 7.1 interface is an incredibly intriguing idea and I look forward to seeing Nahimic’s future devleopments. I only hope my next tech demo is in a much better setting.