Nothing ruins an audio experience like a subpar sound system. 2-dimensional sound and weak speaker builds truly are the Achilles heels of audio quality.
Whether you’re a gamer, music-lover, or home cinema enthusiast, surround sound headphones are one of the best ways to immerse yourself in media.
Surround sound works by dividing audio into several differently-positioned channels. This allows the system’s listener to experience sound from all directions, intensifying the watching, playing, or listening experience.
If you really want the best quality surround sound, we’d highly recommend investing in some 7.1 surround sound headphones. 7.1 surround sound systems are some of the most advanced on the market, producing clearer, cleaner, and more detailed sound.
I’ve spent hours compiling a list of the best 7.1 surround sound headphones currently available, so all you have to do is choose your favorite and enjoy the immersion!
HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset
- Durable aluminum construction
- Comfort-oriented design
- 53 mm drivers for audio detail
- Passive noise canceling
- 2 colors for aesthetic flexibility
- Wireless and wired options available
Top 5 Best 7.1 Surround Sound Headphones
MY TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
The first headphone model I have to show you today is the HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset!
The HyperX Cloud II headphones are universally considered to be some of the best 7.1 surround sound headphones on the market, and in my opinion, they’re the number 1 most comfortable and audibly superior model.
In terms of internal speaker construction, the HyperX Cloud II headphones use a standard 7.1 (7 speaker, 1 subwoofer) surround sound speaker layout.
The system sound is boosted by large, 53 mm drivers, which provide more detailed audio. These headphones will allow you to pick up all those small, subtle sounds that you might usually miss.
Sound quality isn’t the only thing separating the HyperX Cloud IIs from the rest of the competition. The design is well thought out and yields a comfortable, noise-canceling fit.
Padded leatherette covers the durable aluminum headband, while the aluminum ear cups are softened by memory foam ear cushions. Therefore, while these headphones are wonderfully impact-resistant, they’re also comfortable enough to wear for hours on end!
Moreover, the closed construction of the ear cups creates a passive noise-canceling effect, so you can enjoy your immersive audio experience with minimal outside disturbance.
A detachable microphone also comes with the headphones. The microphone is a bit bulky, but since it’s detachable, you don’t have to keep it attached unless you’re actively using it.
This microphone uses noise-canceling technology to reduce interference during calls. However, some customers have reported microphone malfunctions, indicating that the microphone is the weakest point of the HyperX Cloud II’s construction.
The high-quality construction of HyperX Cloud II headphones is visually enhanced by the choice of colors in which they are manufactured.
You can buy these headphones in either ‘gun metal’ or ‘red,’ each with the HyperX logo on the external over-ear components.
The grey and red color schemes extend to the contrasting stitching around the edges of the headband, adding reinforcement and flair to the design.
These headphones are available for purchase as both wired and wireless models, so whether you enjoy the physical connectivity of a headphone jack or the freedom of wireless audio, the choice is yours.
- Strong aluminum frame
- High-quality materials for comfort
- Large drivers for detailed sound
- Passive noise-canceling for reduced disruption
- 2 color options for aesthetic choice
- Flexibility of wireless and wired options
- Potential for microphone malfunctions
Any serious audiophile has probably taken a look at Logitech’s headset range. If you haven’t, I’ve got a treat in store for you - namely, the Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset!
The first thing I want to point out about these headphones is that they’re incredibly durable. This is due to the combination of aluminum and steel in the frame’s build.
These metals work together to provide a rock-solid, yet lightweight foundation for the rest of the model’s components.
With oval ear cups, and ear pads available in a choice of leatherette (noise-canceling) or velour (breathable), ultimate comfort is all but guaranteed with these headphones.
But more than that, the Logitech G Pro X headphones deliver unbelievable sound! Thanks to the 50 mm drivers, which have been tuned for detailed object-based audio recognition, gamers will be able to enjoy more immersion than ever before!
These headphones come with an external USB sound card, enablinggamers to store EQ profiles to onboard memory for tournament use.
A detachable Blue Voice boom microphone is included with the headphones, as well as a cable with an inline microphone.
The boom microphone uses advanced technology to facilitate communications. Using a noise-reducer, compressor, and a limiter, this microphone ensures that all communication is crisp and clear.
When you buy the Logitech G Pro X headphones, you’ll also receive a carrying bag for transport and storage. This bag will help you keep your headphones safe everywhere you go and provide a convenient storage method.
Unfortunately, the one drawback to these headphones is that they require Logitech G Hub software in order to function properly.
There’s less support available for G Hub than other Logitech software, so software connection issues may be more frequent with these headphones.
With that being said, ¾ of customers rated the Logitech G Pro X headphones 5 stars, so these issues aren’t commonplace.
- Perfect object-based sound detail for gaming
- Durable aluminum and steel construction
- Choice of breathable or noise-canceling ear pads
- Advanced technology boom and inline microphones
- Includes USB sound card for tournament EQ storage
- Carrying/storage bag included
- Logitech G Hub software required
I was really pleased when I tried out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset. This headphone model absolutely lives up to its online reputation.
These headphones are specifically designed for gaming and have an impressive reputation in the gaming world. Rated as having the best gaming microphone on the market, the communication quality enabled by these headphones is second to none.
The low-distortion drivers provide clear, 360-degree sound with minimal latency. You can enjoy this superior sound in complete comfort, too, thanks to the thickly padded cloth covering material.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 headphones are wireless, offering more motion freedom and better ease of use. Each charging session provides 24 hours of battery life, so you can keep using them quite literally all day long!
While these headphones certainly aren’t priced anywhere near the level of some really high-end models (surround sound headphones can cost thousands of dollars), they are the most expensive headphones on our list.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly headphones, these probably aren’t the ones for you, but they’re still excellent quality and pretty good value for money.
- Low-distortion drivers for sound clarity
- Discord-certified clear microphone
- Thick padding for comfort
- Wireless for freedom of movement
- Not budget-friendly
Next up, it’s the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headphones. The Kraken may be a water-dwelling monster, but you certainly won’t hear like you’re underwater with these headphones!
Using a 7.1 surround sound system with large, 50 mm drivers, the Razer Kraken tournament edition headphones pride themselves on delivering accurate sound.
Because the drivers are custom-tuned, the resultant audio quality is superior to standard 7.1 surround sound systems.
I especially liked that the ear cups of the Razer Kraken headphones are oval-shaped rather than round since this shape fits more comfortably and naturally over most people’s ears.
Moreover, the ear cup cushions are gel-infused for a cooling effect that minimizes the overheating and pressure that can come with prolonged headphone use.
The cardioid microphone is retractable, meaning that it can be easily pushed back into the ear cup when you want it out of the way.
The microphone’s internal construction also allows it to cancel out background noise for clearer communications. Volume adjustment is manual and ergonomic with the volume control wheel.
However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these headphones for use with the Xbox or PS4. While they are technically compatible, setting these headphones up to these consoles is honestly more trouble than it’s worth.
You need a separately-sold adapter to connect the headphones to the controller, and even then, there have been reports of the drivers failing. For PC use, though, these headphones are excellent!
- Large, custom-tuned drivers for sound accuracy
- Comfortable, cooling gel-infused cushions
- Retractable microphone for convenience
- Not the best choice for consoles
Finally, I’d like to present the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless Premium Gaming Headset!
These 7.1 surround sound headphones are especially memorable thanks to their interesting shape, but their superiority extends far beyond their physical construction.
These headphones are designed for comfort, with diamond-shaped ear cups padded with comfortable memory foam.
The headband is fitted with microfiber mesh for a breathable, pillow-like fit. Unfortunately, these headphones are very large, making them pretty much unusable for those with smaller heads.
Thanks to the custom-tuned 50 mm drivers with impressive 20 - 30,000 Hz frequencies, you’ll never miss out on another audio detail again!
You can rely on durable construction, which features aluminum yokes, to keep these headphones looking and performing as good as new for years.
The really cool thing about the Corsair Void’s microphone is that it’s omnidirectional (much like the audio quality), so not only can you hear everything 3-dimensionally, your mic will pick up sound from all directions, too.
When that’s not what you need, you can mute the microphone and always be aware of its muted status thanks to the indicator light.
The mute function and ‘power on/off’ button are easily accessible on the outside of the ear cup, along with the customizable RGB lighting!
- Durable construction with aluminum yokes
- Breathable, comfortable design
- 50 mm, custom-tuned drivers for superior sound
- Omnidirectional microphone for better sound transmission
- Customizable RGB function
- Not for smaller head sizes
A little extra guidance is always helpful when you’re buying something as potentially expensive as a 7.1 surround sound headset.
Read on for pointers on which functions and features to look out for when buying 7.1 surround sound headphones.
I wanted to start out this buyer’s guide with a brief discussion of headphone types. This section isn’t to dictate what type of 7.1 headphones are best for surround sound, but rather, to reassure you that this doesn’t matter as much as you might think.
If you’re very observant, you might have already noticed that all of the products I’ve reviewed in this article are marketed as gaming headphones or headsets.
Rest assured that headphones being advertised as ‘gaming headphones’ doesn’t mean they can’t be used for anything other than gaming.
The reason most 7.1 surround sound headphones are marketed as gaming headphones is that there’s more demand for headphones that provide full directional immersion in gaming than any other form of media.
Home cinema owners usually fit their cinema with wired sound systems, while audiophiles are usually more concerned with the quality of the audio than the direction.
Despite this, 7.1 surround sound gaming headphones can be used to enhance any type of audio media - as long as compatibility is stated in the product guidelines.
While most wired headphones should be able to connect to any PC, Mac, console, or mobile device, there may be exceptions.
The Logitech G Pro X headphones, for example, require the installation of Logitech G Hub software for gaming use, while the Razer Kraken headphones aren’t easy to set up for console gaming.
Therefore, while the label ‘gaming headset’ or ‘gaming headphones’ shouldn’t put you off, it’s still a good idea to check compatibility with individual computer, console, or mobile systems.
Generally speaking, you can trust 7.1 surround sound speaker systems to deliver on sound quality, but looking at individual components in the speaker build can give a better indication of overall performance.
Large drivers are key to creating clear, detailed surround sound. I would recommend looking for speaker builds that use drivers measuring over 50 mm if possible. 50+ mm drivers will magnify even the most subtle sounds, allowing you to pick out more detail from the soundscape.
Frequency is less crucial for 7.1 speaker systems, because you can safely assume that high-quality surround sound systems will cover the audible frequency range for humans (20 - 20,000 Hz).
If you have particularly sensitive hearing, you might want to narrow your search only to headphones that extend beyond the typical audible range - for example, 20 - 30,000 Hz.
Similarly, I wouldn’t advise getting too hung up on sensitivity. This information isn’t always easily accessible, and most headphones sit at around 100 dB. As long as you aren’t especially hard of hearing, this level of sensitivity should be just fine.
A pair of headphones is typically more long-lasting than a pair of earphones, which is one of the many reasons why audiophiles typically prefer headphones to earphones.
However, not all headphones are built equal. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you’re spending your money on the most durable pair of headphones you can find.
With that being said, you might not necessarily want headphones with the most heavy-duty metal frame in the world. Headphones can feel heavy around the skull at the best of times, so you also want them to be made out of lightweight material.
That’s why I’d recommend headphones with an aluminum frame. Aluminum is strong enough to be knocked about a bit without sustaining damage, but also light enough that it won’t give you a headache after a couple of hours.
If you really want to go all out on the durability front, choose a headphone model that incorporates steel components alongside the aluminum.
It’s always good to prioritize comfortable headphones over less comfortable models, but comfort is likely to be even more important with surround sound headphones.
If you’re choosing to invest in 7.1 surround sound headphones, I’m willing to bet you’ll be using them for long periods at a time.
Memory foam padding is a must for ear cups, as this will help the cups to fit perfectly to the contours of your ears. The headband also needs to be comfortable - microfiber mesh or leatherette are generally the best options.
It’s also worth checking that the headphones you’re considering buying will fit your head properly. Most headphones are able to fit the majority of head sizes, but some may be oversized.
If you have a particularly small head, this is something you should scan product reviews for before buying.
Most surround sound headphones come with some form of microphone, especially those that are designed for gaming.
Built-in microphones (detachable or not) are often superior to inline microphones, with more advanced features. These microphones are generally more likely to have 60-sound pickup and noise-canceling technology.
However, it’s not uncommon for built-in microphones to get in the way, which is why I’d recommend headphones with retractable or detachable microphones.
An additional inline microphone cable can be a huge bonus if you don’t want to be saddled with a protruding microphone all the time.
Just make sure the microphone on the 7.1 headset of your dreams comes with accessible mute and volume functions. Indicator lights are also a plus if you don’t want to forget when you’re muted.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound?
I haven’t yet explained what exactly the difference is between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems, mostly because it’s generally accepted that 7.1 systems are the superior option. However, it’s worth understanding exactly why 7.1 systems come up on top.
The first numbers before the decimal point in ‘5.1’ and ‘7.1’ indicate how many speakers the surround sound system uses. A 5.1 headphone speaker system has 5 inbuilt speakers, while a 7.1 system has 7.
The ‘1’ after the decimal point is indicative of the number of subwoofers used. Each system incorporates a single subwoofer.
Already, the first advantage of 7.1 systems is clear. With more speakers comes the potential for louder, more surrounding sound. The audio with 7.1 speakers is also deeper, clearer, and more detailed.
While 7.1 systems can present something of a disadvantage when set up in an incompatible room, this issue is nullified with 7.1 headphones.
The only real concern is that the extra speakers providing the background sound may drown out the front most speakers, but with quality headphone builds, this issue is also circumvented.