Want surround sound? Razer launches free software to mimic the experience

By on June 26, 2013, 5:45 PM
razer, surround sound, audio sofware, stereo headphones, etymotic

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.




User Comments: 18

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JC713 JC713 said:

I tried this yesterday and it actually works. It isnt as good as hardware 7.1 surround sound, but this emulation made my $30 stereo headphones into a awesome headset.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

If this actually works (Im going to DL it now), this is awesome.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

"Unfortunately, there was no way to differentiate between sound coming from directly behind or in front of the user,"

Us, isn't that the point of 'surround sound'? General headphone sets are stereo, so the ability to differentiate "player?s left or right" and "determine the proximity to the sound source, as the volume appropriately rose or faded depending on the circumstances." That's a given.

By the way, Realtek has had this feature since forever.

JC713 JC713 said:

"Unfortunately, there was no way to differentiate between sound coming from directly behind or in front of the user,"

Us, isn't that the point of 'surround sound'? General headphone sets are stereo, so the ability to differentiate "player?s left or right" and "determine the proximity to the sound source, as the volume appropriately rose or faded depending on the circumstances." That's a given.

By the way, Realtek has had this feature since forever.

Realtek's way is not as good and is not as easy.

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Not as good? This article quoted people who reviewed it - they had stereo sound only. Ergo, the program is doing nothing at all.

Here is what the Realtek implementation looks like. Either On or Off.

Edit: Oh.. and it actually works.

1 person liked this | Arris Arris said:

Sounds like a PR exercise.

Nobina Nobina said:

I'm using it right now, seems like it's working.

whiteandnerdy said:

I just tried it...it seems to work well. going to try in on BF3 now

nismo91 said:

Im not a headphone / earphone user, but I appreciate this free software. simply because sometimes I watch videos without my speakers. I have tried various surround emulating software in the past, and I can frankly say dolby headphone is the better one. there's a caveat though: you must set your game or video software to output 6-channel sound so DH can process it into correct algorithm. it's still garbage for music listening so far.

JC713 JC713 said:

I just tried it...it seems to work well. going to try in on BF3 now

I play FPS games and this works awesome.

Guest said:

Rant/ Razer, pffffft! Had three products from them and all three died within 1 year and customer support was absolutely terrible. Tried to return 1 of the items under warranty but spun me around for 2 weeks until I was 1 year over my warranty then said that it was out of warranty and I would have to spend money to get it fixed.

Also, I could care less to do business with a company that partnered with another who has a shady past of blatant intellectual property stealing (Malwarebytes anyone?) and was hosting porn in its subpages of their site - very professional from the ground-up! /rant

Guest said:

Nice, thank you Razor!

Guest said:

Yep, this works, but it also makes more expensive headphones sound like arse

Guest said:

Hardware 5.1-7.1 is a joke. If this is anything like Dolby Headphone then it will be really nice!

havok585 havok585 said:

After testing this new addition from razer I found that the headphones deliver more detailed sounds (like the sound of wind in the leaves from a tree is very perceivable as before it didnt) BUT this comes at a price: IT gives hard-locks on my system, for a couple of seconds, u cant move your mouse or anything, just freezes for 5-10 seconds then it reverts back to normal, this happens on the desktop, browsing.

After I got RID of it, problems dissappeared.

Faulty software from razer.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Hardware 5.1-7.1 is a joke. If this is anything like Dolby Headphone then it will be really nice!

So dedicated 5-channel audio setup is a joke, while a software virtual surround isn't? Okay...

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

My sound card already does this, but it's nice to see a piece of 'free' software bring this kind of technology to others that don't actually spend money on a sound card, which is everyone buying prebuilt machines..

IMBACORE said:

It's good. Not as good as my Logitech X-530 of course but if you want to raise hell in the middle of the night and don't want the entire neighborhood doing the same to you, plug in your headphones/earphones (works flawlessly with my Sony MDR-XB300), login to your Razer Synapse account and play away!

It doesn't work as well if you just want to listen to music though; it messes up audio clarity where songs and beats are concerned. Here's a guide on how to revert from using Razer Surround to the default Windows 7 speakers and back:

[video embed]

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