To install the Cyborg Headset, plug the USB cable in, make sure the switch on the inline control is set to 5.1, and place the installation disk into your optical drive. Yes, the headset has software. When the software is installed, an icon appears in the tray. Doubleclick the icon to open the settings screen.
The USB 3D 106 Sound controls the output settings of your onboard sound card. There are two drop-down menus on the main screen, System Input, and Output Mode. There are lots of tweaks here. For gaming, select 8 channel in the System Input menu.
In the Effects tab, you find lots of reverb settings, an effective graphic equalizer, and Environment Size settings. The Environment Size works well too. There are no mic settings in the software, because to use the mic, you have to plug it into your sound card, and use its settings.
Testing - Music
So, how do they sound? First I spent a couple of hours listening to a wide variety of music, and checking out the various frequency responses. The bass was a little shallow with the equalizer flattened, but boosting the 60Hz setting on the equalizer really made some air move, much like a sub. I'm really not into the kicker thing, but those that are should be pleased. The top end was also a little on the light side, but increasing even the 20kHz slider made a significant difference, I usually can't tell much difference over about 13kHz. The overall sound was not at all muddy as with cheap headphones, even in busy pieces everything was very pronounced and clear. Its funny, I heard some in-studio throat-clearing noises on a particular song that I have listened to many times before but never noticed before. Yes, the Cyborg Headset is responsive.
Testing - Gaming
Of course, the FPS is where good surround sound makes a difference. I spent several hours gaming, playing Crysis, CS:S, and America's Army: Special Forces. No, they don't sound quite like real 5.1 or 7.1 speakers, but you do know exactly from what direction everything is happening. Set the Environment Size to the largest setting, making the headphones feel "large", and you not only have a 360 degree soundstage, but you can also pinpoint flying aircraft, even flying insects.
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