OTTO's Surround Sound Digital Audio Headset is designed to bring the surround sound experience to gamers on the go, or those without the luxury of a 7.1 speaker set-up or an understanding spouse. The headset plugs into a standard headphone jack, so unlike USB-based gaming headsets this one works for PSP and DS owners as well. The surround sound magic is performed by the headset itself and is powered by a AAA battery. With a flip of the switch you go from a standard headphone experience to one with more of a three-dimensional sound field feel to it. That's the promise anyway; let's see if these headphones deliver on it.
The headset features over the ear cups which are probably as small as any you can find in the over-the-ear category. In spite of their smaller size they still feel comfortably over the ears. The over-the-ear design and their light weight make them easy to wear for extended sessions without suffering the associated earaches caused by small headphones. While their light weight is good for portability, the headset does not collapse or fold down in any way so it still takes up a fair amount of room in a backpack.
The surround sound field is engaged by a switch on one of the ear cups. While this allows you to save battery power when the headphones are not in use, the switch has a tendency to move to the on position when bumped. If you store them in a drawer or shove them into a backpack you need to be careful or the next time you pull them out you might find that the battery has been drained.
The sound quality is good, but not great, and is on par with your average headset. The SRS feature adds some depth to the sound but it falls short of providing a surround sound experience. With both games and movies it was easy to tell that you were listening to sound coming from a headset and it's hard to say that the experience in either case was much enhanced by the headset. When used with a PSP or DS, the sound was tinny and the SRS actually amplified this effect when it was turned on.
If you're looking for a basic, functional headset and can get the OTTO Surround Sound Digital Audio Headset for a good price, then you'll probably be fine with it. If you're looking for a full, rich sound to enhance your game or movie experience, then you'll probably want to look elsewhere.