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Review: MMGear MCH-MMS100-B

by David Ross on 31 July 2003, 00:00 4.5

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The Problem

So what? We are all used to surround sound and the benefits it brings. But what happens when you want to watch a film or play that computer game when having lots of physical speakers around you is just not possible? What do you do when the rest of the family are asleep or when you go to a LAN party and speakers are BANNED?

Well if you're like me you either turn the volume right down, which means you can't hear properly or you reach for a set of headphones. Headphones are great as you can still fully immerse yourself, but they only have two speakers and all that surround sound gets lost.

There are two solutions to this problem. Firstly, software solutions have been developed that attempt to simulate surround sound. These basically attempt to convert front and rear sounds into patterns of left and right. This can produce a similar overall spatial sound environment, but the detailed sounds of say footsteps creeping up from behind just do not work. A good game player will suffer more deaths using headphones with software surround sound than with speakers.

The second solution is provided by taking a radical, but simple approach to the problem. MMGear have developed a set of headphones which they claim provide true surround sound. Their solution is physical rather than software; it involves placing two speakers, instead of the usual one, over each ear.