Hardened first person shooter (FPS) veterans know that your ears can be as important as your eyes when battling hordes of enemy combatants. Such veterans will also be aware that the staccato of gunfire and the sound of exploding body parts aren’t always appreciated by other members of the household – particularly in the early hours. In response to extensive research to show what different gamers want from their headsets, Sony has unveiled its DR-GA500 and DR-GA200 headsets designed to maximize spatial awareness without waking up the neighbors.

The DR-GA500 combines a Dolby Pro Logic IIx decoder with Sony’s Virtual Phones Technology (VPT) for full 7.1 channel 3D surround effects. The signal processing hardware is contained in a compact external unit that features controls to select 2ch, 5.1ch and 7.1ch inputs, another to switch between surround and FPS sound modes and another to turn compression on and off. Sony says the result is a rich soundscape for pinpointing everything from a stealthy footstep to the position of an exploding grenade.

Both the DR-GA200 and DR-GA500 headsets feature 40mm drive units along with a ‘triple enfolding’ design that provide improved ventilation while avoiding pressure on the ear for comfortable gaming over long sessions behind the controller – something Sony says makes the ideal for marathon strategy and online multiplayer games as well. Both models incorporate a high quality, boom microphone for giving instructions to your squad and include controls on the headsets to set volume and mute the microphone.

The DR-GA500 includes a 1.5m cable to connect the headsets to the signal processor. To connect the signal processor to a PC Sony includes a 1.8m (5.9ft) multi analogue cable for 7.1ch. sound or a 1.5m (4.9ft) USB cable. The DR-GA200 comes with a single 2.5m (8.2ft) cable.

No word on pricing yet, but from October 15 Sony will be selling both the DR-GA200 and DR-GA500 headsets with a free copy of the new Medal of Honor game.