Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Headset

Posted on January 4, 2008
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Saitek was founded in 1979, and entered the PC gaming controller market in 1993. All these products are designed by gamers for gamers, to help them get the best out of their favorite PC games. A few days ago, we looked at their Obsidian Wireless Mouse, and today we're looking at one of its latest products: the Cyborg 5.1 Headset. The Cyborg range is the latest in their gamer-centric product line, using the slogan "the ultimate man/machine interface".

Specifications, Features, and Packaging

Almost any current first-person shooter (FPS) game supports surround sound. As in-game worlds become more and more realistic, gamers become more and more dependent on the use of their hearing to listen for enemies. Enter surround sound gaming. A proper system could lead you directly to where a trickle of water is coming out of a wall, or a cave where the enemies are currently hiding.

PC surround sound has not only made a hit in the gaming realm, but also in the latest high-fidelity music codecs and movies. Provided you have the proper media player, you should be able to use the Cyborg 5.1 Headset to enjoy the surround sound of movies and music as well. Let's take a peek at what sets the Cyborg 5.1 Headset apart from other headsets:
  • True 5.1 Surround sound using integrated USB sound card with in-line volume/mute controls
  • Low profile, rotating cans and adjustable headband for total comfort and portability
  • Detachable noise-cancelling boom microphone
  • Six sonic drivers deliver precise directional audio
  • Unique styling - "Cyborg" logo illuminates when 5.1 sound is selected
  • 3.5mm jack included for use with MP3/CD/Handheld devices (in stereo)
  • VoIP ready
The six sonic drivers are divided up as three on either side. In a typical 5.1 setup, you have five speakers and a subwoofer. The speakers are divided up in 5 channels: front, front left, front right, rear left, and rear right. Meanwhile, the subwoofer is used to output the low-frequency sounds that you normally feel as vibrations; typically, the subwoofer is what really makes you feel that you're "in" the movie.

The Cyborg 5.1 Headset also gives you two options to connect to the PC: two 3.5mm jacks for stereo output and microphone input, or USB for surround sound.

In addition to this, the microphone is also removable, sporting a smaller 2.5mm jack that fits on the left ear. It's adjustable, but it also features noise-canceling technology so you're not breathing wind into your VoIP session while gaming. It's convenient to have a removable microphone, as it won't be in your way if you're eating, laying down, or, uh... well, we all have significant others, right? Right!

Since the Cyborg 5.1 Headset requires the use of it's own "inegrated soundcard", or DAC, we're curious about both Linux compatibility and overall system performance. USB Audio Devices tend to be rather CPU hungry, as many audio operations are carried out on the CPU rather than the actual hardware. I imagine this will come as a blessing to some and a curse to others. But before I get ahead of myself, we'll have to put it on our bench.

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