Razer, a company known for its gaming accessories and Blade laptops, is now offering audio software that aims to recreate the surround sound experience. The new software is currently being offered free of charge; however, the company hopes that you will instead send donations to the Child’s Play charity. As of January 2014, the program will retail for $19.99.
The goal of Razer Surround is to transform an inexpensive pair of $10 stereo headphones into an impressive audio output. Using a series of tests, the program will identify and then calibrate the headphones to the best possible settings, hopefully recreating a 7.1 surround sound setup. Sometimes this process won’t work out perfectly, but Razer claims that the software has a 70% success rate.
Additional sound and voice options are also included, such as Bass Boost and a setting which enhances voice clarification on both incoming and outgoing communications.
According to Polygon, which did a test drive of the software, Razer Surround made good use of the seven possible audio directions contained in their pair of Etymotic headphones. After testing the virtualization program in the game Alan Wake and flipping on the in-game radio, it was evident whether the radio was located to the player’s left or right. It was also easy to determine the proximity to the sound source, as the volume appropriately rose or faded depending on the circumstances.
Unfortunately, there was no way to differentiate between sound coming from directly behind or in front of the user, although this should be of little concern as one rarely plays blindfolded.
The Razer Surround software is currently compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. For those wanting to download the program, you can visit the official website.