We've covered various headsets on this site before, something we feel is pretty important to cooperative gaming. Sound quality aside, we think voice capability and functionality is a big part of what makes headsets the ideal choice for online co-op gamers. Headsets are adding more and more features, and becoming more and more versatile.
The biggest advantage a headset has over a surround sound system in your living room, is it being a closed environment, you can fine tune and control your experience. You can actually achieve a deeper and richer positional audio experience. So while we've seen headsets that simulate surround sound through two speakers, there are few that actually contain drivers for a 5.1 setup. Enter the first headset by Psyko Labs called the Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset.
The biggest and most unique feature is the fact the speakers are actually in the TOP of the headset, instead of the ears. The sound then travels down and into the ear cups just as it would in a room setup for 5.1 surround sound. It's hard to explain, and easier to see in the diagram.
Feature wise you have a removable microphone, a amplifier for mixing sound channels, and customizable ear cups for open or closed sound options.
Obviously something like this a direct competitor to Astro in the high end gaming headset market. Currently though, these headsets are only compatible with a PC, though, it shouldn't take much to hook them up to a receiver's analog outputs.
The price? $299, about $50 more than Astro's A40 headset/Mix Amp combo.
The Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming headset is out now and available from retailers like NewEgg.com.