Hands On: eDimensional Force Feedback Headphones

I was able to get my hands on a pair of eDimensional's force feedback headphones. The headphones don't employee the traditional force feedback—where it is game dependent—like console games. Rather the force feedback comes from subwoofers that are integrated into the headphones. These headphones retail for $49.95. We'll get into a little more nitty-gritty after the jump.

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The headphones come with three standard connectors: one for the audio, one for the microphone and a USB connector for power. There is a control unit on the cable that can adjust volume, level of vibration and turn the vibration on and off. The headphones were of average comfort, especially considering the amount of padding that was on each earphone.

First Test: iTunes
What better way to test high-bass headphones than with some high-bass music. After a mere three songs of my bass-intensive trance music I couldn t handle it anymore. Even with the vibration controls set low, the bass I felt throughout my head was still distracting and not enjoyable. Then with the vibration turned off completely the music sounded okay but lacked a good bass sound that a set of speakers couldn't reproduce.

Second Test: Unreal Tournament 2004
The gaming test is where these headphones really flourished. Much like a force-feedback controller, the vibrations are distracting at first, but then you forget about it. The headphones did an exceptional job creating a full 3D environment. Even though they are just headphones they still give the impression of directional sound. Footsteps, gunshots and the like can be easily pinpointed to a direction in the virtual world. In a way it improves awareness in-game with the addition of another sense that can be utilized: feeling.

Bottom Line
If you are a hardcore first-person gamer, then these headphones are for you. The force feedback gives a new, better and more intense gaming experience. If you don't happen to fall into this category, these headphones may be a passer.