I recently decided to give some of the random true 5.1/Optical devices that are available with some PC true 5.1 headsets after I saw the Sewell SoundBox
that had an optical input and output. I figured it might work on the PS4/XBone, but unfortunately it did not.
It worked great with my PC using both ROCCAT 5.1 headset and the CM Storm Serious S 5.1 headset. From what I can tell, the Sewell SoundBox uses the USB on the PC as an external sound card, so on consoles, just using the optical cable won't get sound. I thought maybe I could use it hooked up to my PC and mix the optical input from the consoles, but that was a big fail.
So I returned the SoundBox and ordered Panlong 5.1 Audio Gear Digital Sound Decoder
It arrived and I hooked it up to both the PS4 and XBone and both worked, but only worked with the CM Storm Serious S 5.1 headset. The ROCCAT will only work with a PC, as it needed to install drivers for it to work with my PC, so I took that headset out of the running for testing and just stuck with the CM Storm.
I started up a game and watched the title screen, and right away noticed objects coming from the left, the sound was coming from the right! I thought maybe I had the headset on backwards, but no, I didn't, then I thought I had the 3.5mm plugs in the wrong ports, so I moved them around, but still anything visually coming from left or right, the sound would come from the opposite direction.
So I sent that back, and ordered a different one, but from a different vendor, RioRand,
It basically is the same exact thing, came in the same style box and all of the same accessories. Only difference was that it did not have "RioRand" printed on it, where the Panlong version had it's logo on the device. Plugged everything in and %$! same issue as the other, sound not coming from the right speakers, everything reversed.
This was looking to be an experiment that wasn't going to work, using true 5.1 PC headsets on consoles, other than ones specifically made for consoles.
I sent that back and googled around for other options, when I found this one on ebay:
It looked different, but has the same overall idea.
Only took 1 week to arrive from China, and once I got it, I hooked it up, and wasn't expecting anything other than the same results as the other two 5.1 converters, but this one actually worked! Objects from the right came their sound came from the right, things behind me came from behind! I was surprised this one worked, and am happy with the sound queues I've heard so far.
I've not been able to test this with the mic yet, but I don't think I'll have any issues as it will plug directly into the headset adapter for the XBone. Not sure what to do yet on the PS4 for the mic, but think I'll figure something out. I need to test in more games, I was just using Titanfall last night to test the latest one out.
I know there is plenty of debate on true 5.1 vs virtual 5.1 for many reasons, but I like to try things out and see how it all sounds.
I'll update as I test this out with the CM Storm and the 5.1 converter.
My main headset is the Audio-Technica ADG1 with the MixAmp 5.8 and love how they sound together. I wanted to try out some true 5.1 headsets for comparison, so I'll keep the CM Storm headset and see how it works with other games.