Overview of the Best Surround Sound Headphones

Surround sound headphones can enhance any home theater, gaming, and music experience. Surround sound headphones designed for cross-platform use, like with the PC, Mac, DVD player, Blu-Ray player, your favorite gaming console, and digital TV, are a great investment in your entertainment experience and enjoyment for years to come.

If you live alone as a bachelor, an awesome surround speaker system attached to your TV or gaming machine is the ultimate way to enjoy the latest action flick or a new game you’ve been dying to play. Positional audio is a wonderful thing. It adds to the entertainment factor, and it can also help you play better.

Sadly, most of us do not live alone, and it is hard to pump up the volume to full-scale surround sound without angering everyone around you (especially if you game at night). The solution for most people is a headset, and the best kind of headset is the one that simulates the surround sound you’re missing out on.

Perhaps its helpful to explain how surround sound headphones work and why they’re different and special (why you would want to buy them). Since the sound generated from stereo headphones begins near the ears and not from the TV set, the audio can have kind of a detached, strange quality to it. To lots of listeners, there is a sort of separation between what is happening on the screen and the sound coming into the ear canal. This is one of the main problems that surround sound headphones try to fix. True surround sound headphones have lots of speakers broadcasting at different angles, and virtual surround sound uses just two speakers that incorporate complex sound processing to recreate the effect of a multiple-directional experience.

One pair of surround sound headphones might work by surrounding each ear with special chambers, creating the sensation that each and every sound is coming from a certain direction – not all of them work this way, but the feeling of being totally immersed in the sound, like it is all around you, is shared by each pair we described on the list below.

Ultrasone HFI-580 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones

Ultrasone HFI-580

With a stellar rating of 4.5, 65 customer reviews, and a price tag of around $200, the professional surround sound headphones from Ultrasone are well worth your investment.

The brand HFI-580 is the most popular pair from Ultrasone right now. It is a robust, popular, and versatile headphone set with a price tag that won’t set you back too much. These closed-back, foldable, and extremely high-quality headphones (just look at the 4.6-star rating) have a unique, exclusive design with amazing sound, and they offer the highest level of technology.

The reviews are just glowing on Amazon. There are dozens of them that show just how popular these headphones are. One user wrote, “Wicked fun”, another wrote, “Fantastic pair of high-end headphones”, and one another called them “Absolutely amazing”.

>> Click here to see them on Amazon << Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset With Dolby 7.1 Technology Logitech G430 Surround A 4.1-star rating, more than 475 reviews, and a price of around $80 makes this surround sound gaming headset from Logitech very appealing. The slick black and blue design helps too. The Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset with Dolby 7.1 technology is a surround sound gaming headset that has it all. From immersive 7.1 surround sound to comfortable swivel earcups to a lightweight design that won’t get in the way of your gaming experience and so much more. The list of features on this pair of headphones will make gamers salivate. The price tag is unbelievable for the feature set and high-quality design. Other smart features include a folding, noise-cancelling microphone, on-cable sound controls, and compatibility with the PS4. >> View more reviews on Amazon << Plantronics GameCom 780 Surround Sound Stereo PC Gaming Headset Plantronics GameCom 780 This surround sound stereo headset has been vetted thoroughly. Plantronics really pulled it off with this pair, and they are quite popular. More than 1,645 reviews on Amazon alone attest to just how well these puppies work. Plus, they only cost around $80, and you have the option to order them in frustration-free packaging. You will enjoy amazing sound quality, whether you’re playing your favorite video game, listening to your favorite album, or making a VoIP call. This headset is equipped with rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound. A noise-cancelling microphone will let you communicate clearly with whomever you need to, whether opponents or teammates. The on-ear controls let you adjust the volume easily and keep your focus on the game. The ear cushions and padded headband will help keep you comfortable for a very long gaming session. >> Click here to see them on Amazon << ARCTIC P531 Gaming Stereo USB Headphones, True 5.1 Surround Sound ARCTIC P531 A 4.0-star rating is very respectable, and at around $50, it is the best price you’re going to find for this level of quality. Arctic Sound really pulled off something wonderful here, with a surround sound gaming headset that is affordable and functional. These headphones are set apart because of the rich Dolby 5.1 3D surround sound. It is an excellent pair of headphones for hardcore PC gamers and music enthusiasts alike. This pair of headphones comes with its very own inline remote that will give you complete control over each channel. Unique vibration units support a powerful sub-woofer in the ear cups for an excellent audio experience. The audio experience is extremely realistic and true-to-life. The super-thick cushioned cups offer the best in noise isolation and comfort, so you get the best surround sound experience. There is even a USB connection port. One reviewer wrote, ”Best gaming headset I have ever tried!”. Think about that. It just might be worth a try.

We hope that you’ll make the wise decision of purchasing one of the items above. If you live with someone else, and you don’t want to diminish your film-watching or gaming experience, then nothing beats a pair of the best surround sound headphones.

Choosing the Right Rifle Scope


These days, most firearm enthusiasts use some kind of optical sighting device on most of their guns. Not just rifles, but shotguns and handguns as well.

There’s a great reason for this. Simplicity. Aiming through a scope or a red dot sight completely eliminates one third of the complexity of lining up iron sights. With metallic sights you are required to line up the rear sight with the front sight and your target. With a scope, you simply have to line up your crosshairs (reticle) with your target. It’s much easier to learn to shoot with a scope than iron sights, and since most rifle scopes also magnify, your target appears closer, and therefore easier to see, enabling you to place a more precise shot on your target. People with less than perfect vision are able to adjust the reticle focus at the eyepiece (ocular) for their particular eyes for a clear, crisp sight picture. Older eyes often have a difficult, if not impossible time trying to switch their focus from a rear sight to a front sight to a target as required without a scope, and it’s frustrating to say the least. Scopes eliminate this frustration.

You don’t use a seven ounce claw hammer to pound in sixteen penny nails, or a baby sledge hammer for finishing nails.

Magnumitis sinks its ugly claws into greater numbers of hunters every year. Cartridges and scopes get more powerful annually, and uninformed nimrods often use these combinations for whitetail deer where almost all shots are well under a hundred yards. Magnum cartridges and powerful scopes account for more missed and wounded game than standard loads with appropriate scopes. More does not mean you can shoot any farther. Bullets go faster and optics magnify more because they sell. Manufacturers will make anything they think enough people want. Pink scopes? Start a petition. Square main tubes? Have enough people phone. This is fine. Some people might call this progress. But use the right tool for the job.

The average deer rifle used to wear a 3-9 scope, and for good reason. Three power is low enough, with a large enough exit pupil and field of view for close shots in most applications, and nine power gives you plenty of magnification for longer shots. A major percentage of people now want to choose scopes for whitetail deer with top magnifications of fourteen, or twenty, or even more. This is, more often than not, a mistake. Less is more. Use the kiss principle. Bells and whistles like giant turrets, lighted reticles, and bubble levels are often a waste, particularly in lower priced offerings. To have them in a scope costs more and gives you a less usable, less reliable, and more complicated product. You have enough to do without troubling over how to work your scope. Quality scopes have quality attributes that can be relied on.

Not only does higher magnification subtract from your exit pupil size and available light, the low end of a high magnification scope is much too high to take a very close shot. Your scope on a whitetail rifle should almost always be kept at its lowest power. If that power happens to be five or six, many times your deer, only yards away, appears as a hairy patch through your scope, or your field of view is so narrow you can’t find him, or it’s so dark you can’t make him out.

Just as those bold Navy pilots, it’s prudent to know how low a scope goes, not how high. Low is more important in most cases. You can always shoot far with low power, or have time to turn the scope up, but you can’t shoot close with high power because your field of view (FOV) is too small and exit pupil is small.

I might be getting ahead of some folks with my descriptions.


Test Your Webcam


If you are trying to use your webcam for video chat, IM, or for recording yourself – with no success, or if you want to know how many frames per second your camera is recording:

Here’s a quick and easy web cam test, no need to leave the browser.

“How to test my webcam?”

If this is the first time you’re here, your browser will ask you if you allow this site access to your webcam.

Allow it.

You should see this question near the browser’s address bar and back button. After you allow wait a few seconds, and then you should see yourself (or whatever your camera is pointed at right now), plus some numbers on the side indicating the number of FPS (Frames Per Second) that are recorded.

If you see yourself and the FPS count, then, hooray – your camera passed the test.

If you don’t see anything after confirming the browser message (if you had one) then your camera hasn’t passed the test and there’s a problem.

Use this online test to check if your web camera is working and properly set up.

If your web camera didn’t pass the test, here are some things you should check:

  • Check that it is connected to the USB socket.
  • If the webcam IS already connected, try disconnecting it and connecting it again.
    You should see something pop up on your computer screen, or hear a sound, when you connect the webcam again.
  • Some webcam models have an “ON/OFF” switch – make sure that if yours has one – it is set to “ON”.
  • Try downloading the latest drivers for your webcam. Search the box or the camera itself for the
    name/number of the model, and then search google for “NAME OF MODEL driver”. That should take you
    to a page where you can download and install new drivers.

CS:GO Cross Hairs


Given its team-oriented nature, CS:GO naturally rewards those who are better-organized than their opponents. Having a good cross hair is eseential for good aim. I personally use crosshairtools.com to customize my crosshair. Those familiar with the professional and competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene know that in every highly-skilled/successful 5-person team, there are certain roles players fulfill in order to best advance the common cause. While in less success-focused settings (such as in a regular match-making situation) these roles aren’t as clearly defined as they are on the professional level, most more or less experienced CS:GO players find themselves gravitating towards one or more of these roles. Here’s a closer look at some of these roles and some advice to go with it.

Quite possibly the most popular role is that of the Lurker. The reason for the popularity of this position is its appealing nature. Pro players tend to be highly skilled at lurking, and the shady/stealthy nature of this play-style is naturally attractive to most CS:GOers. Seeing their heroes single-handedly win rounds as lurkers makes the position still more attractive for rank-and-file players. The Lurker is a loner in the sense that he takes things into his own hands, his primary goal to flank opponents and to take them by surprise. Someone who is good at lurking is a real nightmare to play against, and he will keep the entire opposition on their toes at all times, popping up in the most unexpected locations, claiming his kills and then moving on to pop up elsewhere. A good Lurker helps his team far above and beyond simply killing opponents: the information he generates is also immensely important. A truly good Lurker also knows exactly when it’s time to ditch the sneakiness and to stop trying to outplay the opposition in favor of simply falling into line and helping out his teammates.

If/when you find yourself playing against a skilled Lurker, make sure you let your teammates know what you’re up against and watch those flanks.

Crucial for the success of every CS:GO team is the Strat Caller, who is essentially the captain of the team and who is charged with devising and calling out the strategy he deems most appropriate for a given situation. The role of a Strat Caller in a professional team goes above and beyond strategy though: he is the one directly impacting the morale of the team, by exuding confidence and giving everyone a sense of purpose in pursuit of the common goal.

In match-making situations, Strat Callers tend to emerge naturally. A Strat Caller is a must, especially if you find yourself on the T side, so don’t try to antagonize a team member who takes the role upon himself. It’s not a matter of being bossy, it’s a matter of basic efficiency…

Nerf Guns

As a kid, I strapped a Nerf gun to my bicycle so I could dive bomb the neighborhood kids, while traveling—I imagined—at five times the speed of sound. As an adult, I’ve carried a foam-firing blaster to no fewer than three jobs. But a funny thing happened last year: I realized my old guns weren’t any good anymore.

They hadn’t worn out. (Well, most of them anyways; my Sharpshooter II was toast.) It was just that toy blasters had evolved when I wasn’t looking. Now, they shoot farther, faster, and lay down more fire than ever before. You can buy a freaking fully-automatic Nerf machine gun now. I clearly needed to up my game. But how to arm myself?


War has changed. I’ve found that whether you’re wresting control of the office from nefarious colleagues or dominating friends at the park, a single-shot sidearm won’t cut it anymore. The wonderful part about foam warfare is that you can dodge bullets like Neo in The Matrix. The hard part: so can anyone else. Since statistically, you’re going to miss most of the time, you need a blaster with lots of shots, or one that can pick off foes before they get close. So I went looking for the fastest, most accurate Nerf guns that don’t require constant reloading.

n 1969, a games inventor by the name of Reyn Guyer approached Parker Brothers,
a toy company known for creating board games such as Monopoly and Clue,
with an indoor volleyball game. After reviewing the product, the Parker
Brothers decided to scrap the game and produce the four-inch foam ball;
they created the Nerf brand under their company name. This ball was
sold as the Nerf Ball in 1970
and was advertised that players can “Throw it indoors; you can’t damage
lamps or break windows. You can’t hurt babies or old people.” The
product was a hit and sold more than four million units by the end of
the year.
Following the Nerf Ball’s success, Nerf released a larger version of the ball called the Super Nerf Ball in the same year. In 1972, the Nerfoop
was created, which allowed people to play a pseudo-game of basketball
in their own homes. In the same year, the first Nerf football product
was released, which quickly became the most popular form of Nerf ball.

In 1991, Nerf was merged with Kenner Products, a toy company known for action figures. However, shortly after, Hasbro
purchased Kenner Products and gained the rights to sell all Nerf
products. During this time, Larami Toys was also allowed to produce Nerf
products and had a focus on the SuperMAXX series of blasters.

In 2002, Hasbro purchased out the Super Soaker series and merged it with Nerf.

In 2011, Nerf won the awards for “Boy Toy of the Year” with the Stampede ECS and the “Outdoor Toy of Year” with the Shot Blast from the 11th Annual Toy of the Year Awards, held at the American International Toy Fair held in New York City.

Patent lawsuit
In 2010, Hasbro sued its rival companies Lanard Toys and Buzz Bee Toys for patent violation for Super Soakers and Nerf-brand blasters[1].
Hasbro accused Lanard’s Total X-Stream Air Fire Shot, Total X-Stream
Air Ring Accelerator, and Air Zone Ring Accelerator products of
infringing two patents licensed to Hasbro. Lanard also infringed the
N-Strike Disk Shot set, while Buzz Bee infringed on various Super Soaker blasters.

Hasbro won the lawsuit against Buzz Bee, who was banned from producing any sort of water blaster.

The lawsuit between Hasbro and Lanard was settled after an
agreement where Hasbro would drop charges if Lanard would stop producing
and selling the patent-violating products.[2]

Nerf blaster history
Ball blasters
The first Nerf blaster was made in 1989, nineteen years after the creation of the Nerf Ball. The Blast-a-Ball fired balls
by pumping the carrying handle forwards. Nerf packaged two of these
blasters together, knowing that their products sold well as a form of
game or sport. The product was a success; Nerf released a sequel blaster in the next year, which held more balls than the Blast-a-Ball. Ball blasters became a staple of the Nerf arsenal at that point in time; in more recent times, they would be phased out almost completely.

Arrow and missile blasters
Arrows were introduced in 1990 with the release of the Bow ‘n’ Arrow. The blaster was a huge success. Nerf made a few successors to the popular Bow ‘n’ Arrow over the years, including the Sonic Stinger Bow ‘n’ Arrow and the Big Bad Bow. Other arrow-firing blasters would include the Arrowstorm, Triple Torch, and the fan-favorite Crossbow.

Missiles had less of an impact on the company. Very few blasters, such as the Missilestorm, NB-1 Missile Blaster, and the 1994 Nerf Action Switchfire,
were compatible with missiles. The majority of these blasters received
very negative reviews, possibly leading to their demise and shelving in
favor of arrow-firing blasters.

Dart blasters
The first Nerf blaster to use a form of dart was the Sharpshooter, which fired foam darts that had small fins on its ends. Released in 1992, it proved to be incredibly popular and began Nerf’s production of dart blasters.

Over time, new dart types were introduced. Following the Mega Darts packaged with the Sharpshooter were Micro Darts,
which were smaller and ended up being the most well-known kind of dart.
Even then, other forms of Micro Darts were released, such as the Whistler Dart and the Tagger Micro Dart.

Streamline Darts were introduced with the Longshot CS-6 as the first clip system blaster. These would become incredibly popular with the N-Strike series. These darts featured no suction cup, making them much different than Micro Darts.

In 2012, Hasbro released N-Strike Elite,
a series featuring upgraded version of N-Strike blasters. Along with
the upgraded blasters, the Streamline Dart was given an upgrade as well
in the form of the Elite Dart.
The Elite Dart is meant to serve as a universal dart for all current
Nerf N-Strike blasters, as well as a replacement for the Streamline
Dart, Whistler and Micro Dart.

Disc blasters
Disc blasters were first introduced with the SuperMAXX Disc Shooter in 1998.
The blaster was poorly received, which caused Nerf to drop the idea of
disc blasters. However, 2011 saw the re-emergence of disc blasters with
the Vortex series.

New Sniper Scope Works Like a Human Eye


Conventional sniper scopes may allow for superlatively long shots but they are far from perfect, requiring a time-consuming refocusing of the sights should the target (or shooter) have to move position. But with the new RAZAR scope from Sandia National Labs, that refocus is handled almost instantly with the push of a button.

Conventional long-range rifle scopes adjust the focal point by sliding one or more lenses back and forth within the scope assembly—like a telescope. The RAZAR (Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles), on the other hand, works more like the human eye. Its optics can deform—that is, change the degree of curvature—growing flatter or rounder depending on the need, much as ocular muscles press and pull on the eye’s lens to focus our vision to various distances.

“The impetus behind the idea of push-button zoom is you can acquire what you’re interested in at low magnification and, without getting lost, zoom in for more clarity,” Sandia National Laboratories optical engineer Brett Bagwell said in a press statement.

According to Sandia Labs:

The U.S. Military requested a compact zoom riflescope, capable of rapidly toggling between magnification at the push of a button without changing the grip on the weapon or losing sight picture. The Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) filled this request. RAZAR can zoom in milliseconds and perform 10,000 actuations on two AA batteries. The weight, power, and speed requirements for mechanical zoom make them prohibitive. RAZAR allows target engagement at diverse ranges and provides several distinct advantages including speed and high resolution at varying distances.

This offers a faster and easier function compared to traditional mechanical scopes and higher clarity than digital zooms. The only real drawback is that the scope will lock into a single focal point if the batteries die, though that can be quickly rectified by swapping in a fresh pair.

Sandia hopes that this technology will find its way not just to the battlefield but to a variety of civilian uses as well from consumer-grade adaptive optic binoculars to long-range sports photography.