5.1 surround sound headphones have been available for several years. Some of them are "USB" so you don't even technically need a sound card to use them. Now, you're probably wondering how you can output sound through USB? Well, you can't. These USB headphones (and all other USB headsets and phones) use a integrated USB sound card that communicates with your PC like an internal sound card would, just through the USB interface.
Sometimes the sound cards are integrated right into the headphones, but sometimes the circuitry is encased in a box that is along the headphone cable. This was the case for the $30 headphones that I bought from Tigerdirect.
What am I getting at? I will show you how you can turn these cheap headphones into two separate devices: a very functional 6-channel USB sound card, and a pair of surround sound headphones you can use with any sound card.
I hope you enjoy reading.
Step 1: How Do Surround-Sound Headphones Work?
The concept is simple, but it requires a 6-channel sound card for it to be true surround sound that is correctly supported by games and DVDs.
Step 2: Materials and Tools
- USB headphones with in-line amplifier (sound card)
- Project box
- 3x 3.5mm headphone jacks
- 3x 3.5mm headphone plugs
- Red and Black wire
- Small solderable breadboard (optional)
- Eye protection
- Ventilated area for soldering
- Soldering Iron
- Drill and appropriate sized bits
- Hot glue
- Wire stripper
- needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutter