The Psyko Audio Labs is different from most 5.1 headsets in that it has multi-channel cables and requires surround sound capable audio hardware. Rather than draw power through a USB interface, it also features a separate amplifier box with AC adapter cord. A detachable boom microphone and user instruction manual round out the rest of the package.
The mic plugs into the bottom of the right side ear cup, and can rotate either in or out, but not up and down for adjustment. The first thing you will likely notice upon picking up the headset is the weight. They're about a pound and a half, which may not sound like much, but that's easily a pound heavier than the TekNmotion headset I had been using. The Psyko is slightly top-heavy as well, thanks to the placement of the five full-range speakers in the headband. These are housed in divided chambers visible through the clear plastic window along the top surface. Sound is channeled from here through the WaveGuide tubes into either the front or rear of each ear cup.
The ear cups are heavily padded as is the inside of the headband. In addition to the five channel sound from the headband, each ear cup houses a woofer to drive the low bass notes. The outside of each ear cup is a panel of clear plastic that can be angled open, either to provide cooling air to the ear or to allow for better peripheral hearing. Each ear cup can also slide up or down on the WaveGuide tubes to adjust for height.
The front of the amplifier unit has a combination on/off/volume as well as a bass adjustment knob. LEDs indicate power and sound activity for each of the full range channels, FR, FL, C, RR and RL. The rear of the amp has four separate jacks for the audio cable connection to the headset, as well as a single cable output with four plugs that goes to your sound card. Additionally an AC adapter plug goes here to provide the amp with power.
Continue as we install the Psyko 5.1 and test it out.