Dedicated reviews of affordable technology including headphones, mice, monitors, printers and other peripherals for the budget user. And, once in a while, a pinch of random opinion.

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AMD's success is important to budget consumers


Intel and AMD have been the primary manufacturers of x86 based processors; the kind used for desktops, laptops and servers. Snapdragon has been focusing on ARM-based chips – which are used for smartphones like Android. The competition between Intel and AMD in the last three decades has been an essential driver of innovation, which in turn translated to the affordability of high-performance processors and therefore faster computers.
AMD is finally catching up, and it's good news!
The price of a CPU is about 25% of the price of a desktop PC and hence has a strong bearing on the overall purchase prices of machines. Computer prices per unit of performance have been declining constantly up until about the early 2010s from which the price decline slowed. This could also a slowdown in incremental performance improvements in CPUs. A computer from 2010 would be perform significantly better than a computer of the same price in 2007, but a computer in 2019 would only marginally outperform a similar priced computer from 2016. This is mainly because of AMD-Intel rivalry de-escalating in the past years.
CPU benchmark market share | Source: vmozara on Reddit
Intel has always had the upper hand over AMD with over 50% of market share throughout. They have strengthened their position since 2006 and surpassed 80% market share in 2016. There are a number of factors that have led to Intel’s sheer dominance over AMD.

Why did Intel gain so much market share over AMD?

  • Hyperthreading – Intel was the first to introduce hyperthreading, which meant more than one thread of instructions, can run on a single core. This meant that Intel’s cores spent less time waiting and more time working, boosting up efficiency.
  • Lower heat – AMD responded to hyperthreading by adding more cores and increasing their speed. AMD could hence match Intel’s efficiency and performance levels, but this resulted in higher core temperatures, hating up devices and reducing lifetime.
  • Marketing – While AMD was notorious for overheating, Intel boosted up their marketing game, outspending AMD in sponsorships and advertising to cement its position in the market. Intel was loved by the market and AMD was shunned for overheating.
  • Performance vs Price – Intel competed purely on performance and charged higher prices for a comparatively smaller increase in performance of an AMD chip. AMD competed with price and hence consumers perceived AMD chips to be low-performance even though they provided more value per dollar. This perception gradually let to lower sales and hence reduced market share.
  • AMD’s mismanagement and failed strategies – AMD’s executives made mistake after mistake, ruining their finances and therefore running out of capital firepower to combat intel. One example is the story of how they produced Llano chips without properly allocating a motherboard chipset, which resulted in poor sales. They also acquired companies which were grossly overvalued, adding to their losses.

AMD’s resurrection

Because of its superior market position, Intel could afford to price higher and higher, whilst not innovating at the same rate as in the past. This has led to products with marginal performance increases and high prices. This has given AMD time and space to rethink. They have worked on the new Zen architecture, starting from scratch and shifting focus from high-heat overclocking to high-efficiency, high-performance core design. Their new product lineup, Ryzen gets them closer and closer to Intel’s offerings and now with the new Ryzen 3000 brings performance between the two chip manufacturers to the same level.

Ryzen 3000 | Image: AMD.
The fact that Ryzen is priced slightly lower than Intel’s core offerings in general is what is of most importance. Ryzen products provide much more value for money and become more enticing for consumers of all segments. In the last two years, it has gradually lost the label of being the biggest heat-producer. Gamers and enthusiasts has grown to love it, and very soon it will be preferred by all segments of the market from enterprise servers to budget users.

Tom’s hardware has the following data showing how AMD’s market share has grown from 9.1% in 2016 to 17.1% in 2Q2019. They expect it to grow further with the new 7nm process of the Ryzen 3000 series.
The rise of AMD's market share from mid-2016. | Data: Tom's Hardware
Intel will have its hand forced in the coming months and will need to enforce price cuts to compete on the same level as AMD. They would also be forced to innovate and get 7nm chips out themselves to make sure what happened to AMD in the 2000's does not happen to them in the 2020's. Either way, AMD's success is good news for budget consumers who will have access to better technology very soon.

Related reading

The two most affordable Dell Keyboards


Dell Keyboard KB 522 ($18-$29)

The 522 is a budget keyboard that simply works without any frills. It connects via USB so you can  forget about buying batteries and ensuring the keyboard is charged. The most distinguished feature of the keyboard is the inclusion of quick action keys at the top of the keyboard that can trigger the following actions:

  • Internet
  • Email
  • Calculator
  • Zoom
  • Play/Pause/Fast Forward
  • Mute
  • Sleep

Unfortunately, these keys are predefined and not programmable. There is also a roller controller to precisely control volume that gives you a nice feeling when you increase and decrease the volume.
Features of the Dell KB522
The keys have no space between them and have a mid-level key depth giving great hepatic response, although not as good as a mechanical keyboard. It also has a built-in comfortable palm rest, which can be attached and detached as and when needed. The top of the keyboard can be elevated to about 10-15 degrees which isn’t too steep and would work for most people. An additional benefit is the inclusion of two USB 2.0 ports on the side. We would recommend using these to plug in peripherals like a USB lamp and not use storage medium like an external hard disk or flash drive, which is more suited to a USB 3.0 port.

Side view of the KB522
The KB522 has a compact design owing mostly to its lack of large bezels around the keys. It has an excellent build quality and would last a good seven years, which cannot be said for most cheap keyboards people buy on Aliexpress. The KB522 is one of Dell’s lowest price offerings and works with any Windows 7/8/10 device seamlessly.

Buy the KB522 from Amazon via the following links

 

Dell KM636 – Keyboard and mouse ($30-$55)

The KM636 is a tad bit more expensive compared to the KB 522 but comes with a mouse. The design is quite elegant and it has a comparatively sleek modern look and feel, being compact and taking up less space. It uses a single 2.4Ghz wireless receiver ‘dongle’ which connects to your USB ports. The devices are powered with two AA batteries for the keyboard and two AAA batteries for the Mouse, Dell claims you could use it for about a year before changing batteries and Dell’s claims are usually legit.
The KM636 has both a mouse and a keyboard.
The Island style keys gives it a clean and comfortable look, reducing errors when typing. The keys are noise-free, like those of a laptop keyboard, so you can type in peace. Do note, some people prefer the noise produced by each keystroke which serves as a way of getting hepatic feedback. In that case, this keyboard may not be for you. The keys have a low-key height but good elevation on the top. There are dedicated action keys only to adjust volume, other actions keys are used with the help of the function key.

Side view of the KM636 Keyboard.
The KB522 on the other hand offers more variety in this regard and contains a scrolling volume controller too. There is an optional palm-rest as with most Dell keyboards.The mouse is a simple three-button with no added feature, it works well as expected. On the cons, the keyboard has no USB ports, which is acceptable since it’s a wireless variant.
Tip: Plug the receiver on a USB 2.0 port instead of a 3.0 port for an error-free experience. Not suited for an environment where everyone is using wireless keyboard and mice, could be interference.
Get the KM636 from Amazon

 

What you should get instead of an iPhone 11 (Xiaomi Mi 9)


The iPhone 11 costs a mammoth $700 and is widely regarded as more of a status symbol than a communications tool. In this post, we explore the opportunity costs of the $700 spent on the iPhone and see what we could use that money for. We start with picking the best affordable flagship out there and will then move on to the accessories that could be bought for the money saved by buying our featured phone.
Why buy a phone when you can get a Smartwatch and Headset too?

The Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 (about $400)

Xiaomi Mi 9 is probably the best phone you can exchange your money for at the moment. It gives you an enormous bang for every single dollar or pound you pay for it. The phone is capable of using both 4G and 5G networks – providing blistering futuristic internet speeds. It runs the best of class Snapdragon 855 and packs 6 gigs of RAM, a combination which in term of pure performance outshines the best of most brands flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10.

The Xaomi Mi 9
It has an AnTuTu rating of about 372 which is about 14% better than the S10. (which is at 326) You could play any game and use any app at the speed of light. The iPhone 11 itself is slightly better in terms of performance but from a lens of performance per dollar spend, it is not even in the game.
AnTuTu ratings of the iPhone 11, Mi 9 and Galaxy S10. Higher is better.
According to Android Authority, its battery capacity at 3300mAh is adequate, but not extraordinary. They are awed by the phone’s gorgeous screen, slick premium look and snappy UI response when using regular apps.  The phone’s 6.39-inch screen is made of AMOLED which gives it an infinite contrast ratio and superb visibility in sunlight. There is also a under-screen finger print reader. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 which reinforces drop damage resistance and extends the life of the phone in general.

It has three cameras at the back, a 4k-capable 48-megapixel Sony sensor as well as ones with telephoto and wide-angle lenses. The picture quality is arguably close, but obviously not better than those taken by the iPhone 11 and is significantly improved if the inbuilt camera app is ditched for the Google Photos app.

It has wireless charging up to 20 watts, which we don’t recommend using for two reasons – wireless charging in general is less power-efficient and wastes energy and the charger itself needs to be purchased separately, which eats into the affordable user’s wallet.

The slick premium look of the Mi 9's back
For all of these reasons, Kategat firmly believes that you are better off spending $400 on the Mi 9 rather than $300 extra for just the marginal benefits of the iPhone 11. Let’s now explore what we can do for the remaining $300.

As an alternative, consider the OnePlus 5T as an affordable but older flagship which you can get for even cheaper.

Get the Mi 9 from Amazon now

 

The Headset: Logitech H800 Bluetooth headset (under $100)

The next item we could buy is a headset to go with the phone. The H800 is an excellent headset in terms of quality and durability. It would go well with the Mi 9. The H800 features a sleek and elegant design with plenty of padding for comfort. It pairs with a phone via Bluetooth and also has a wireless receiver to be used for laptops without Bluetooth or if you don’t want to use Bluetooth. The mic is noise cancelling for a crisp calling experience and can also be retracted and tucked away out of sight.

The H800's small profile makes it an ideal companion for anyone on the go.
In terms of quality, it offers a modest frequency response suitable for all users outside of hobbies audiophiles. You get good base and average treble, however the most important part of the spectrum for calls – the mids – would be excellent for both the mic while recording and the headset while reproducing sound.  It offers between 5 and 7 hours of wireless use, suitable for most casual users. It has two other features which adds added convenience, buttons on the side allows you to answer calls and control music without reaching for your phone. A fold-able design means you can tuck it away in a small pouch when not used.

Learn more about other Logitech headsets below this price point.

Get the Logitech H800 from Amazon now.


Smartwatch: Amazfit Bip (under $100)

Yes, of course, we still can afford a smartwatch too. The Amazfit bip is certainly a unique watch primarily intended as a sports watch but could also be used as a casual watch. It has all of the core features a smartwatch would have: a heart rate monitor and an activity tracker with a pedometer and GPS/GLONASS. The watch has an enduring battery life of close to a month of use, and is water resistant too. You also get the traditional smartwatch notifications such as WhatsApp, Facebook messages and information on incoming calls. The Oynx black version goes well with the Mi 9 phone too.
The Amazfit Bip
With the Mi 9, the H800 and the Amazfit Bip, you now have a phone, a solid headset and a time-tested smartwatch, and yet we still have $100 to spend on anything else we wish for. What a deal indeed.
Packaging of the Amazfit Bip
Get the Amazfit Bip from Amazon now:



Image credits:

TP-LINK 1750: The best router you can buy today


In our previous post, we wrote of the importance of upgrading to 5Ghz WiFi, with the benefits being higher speeds, lower latency and access to a larger spectrum of available channels, which in turn extends range. Today we look at a router that probably gives out the most value for money when upgrading from 2.4 to 5Ghz.
The Tp-Link 1750 Archer C7. The best router you can buy.
The TP-LINK 1750 is recommended for its ease and simplicity of use. At under $60 it becomes an affordable piece of equipment that delivers on the 5Ghz promises for speed, lower latency and channel access.

Buy the TP-Link 1750 from Amazon now:

  

In terms of design, the router has a polished glossy plastic look that stands out over the legacy routers that most budget users have. It also features 3 antennae, common for most 5Ghz routers and something not found in the older ones. This gives it the multi-band full-duplex features that allow the router to send to and receive from devices simultaneously rather than the single duplex send-wait-receive-wait-send approach which alternates between sending and receiving data.

The router has a WAN or internet port which you use to connect to your modem or existing router, four LAN ports and a USB port. To set it up, you have to connect the WAN port to your modem and connect any wired devices like desktop computers and TVs to the LAN por; plug the power-brick and turn on the device. Once the device starts, it will automatically create two WiFi networks which you can join using the password on the label of the router. Once you’ve joined, you could use the TP-Link Tether app on an android or iPhone device to connect to and set up a WiFi password. Alternatively, you could go to Tplinkwifi.net and follow the simple instructions onscreen to set up the router on a computer.

If you want to use the router as a range extender and retain your existing router (which is not recommended if your existing router is old), you could directly connect the WAN/internet port on the new router to a LAN port on the existing router and it would work instantly. You can also set up a guest WiFi network to limit guest users to a lower bandwidth.

The tether app is quite useful, you can use it to block devices, setup parental controls and QoS as well as control the LEDs on the router. For advanced users, the router offers quite a few features. With QoS you could set up speed limits for certain types of applications and devices; and speed up others. You could also use the Tfttt service to remotely control certain functions of the router and get notifications, e.g. disconnect a device when you send a tweet. Ifttt can also work with other smart devices like Phillips hue to perform functions based on remote instructions.
The Archer C7 packaging
You can use the USB port to connect an external flash disk or hard disk and use it as an FTP or media server. This is useful if you want to backup files outside of your main computer or with remote downloading, you can set a file for download on to the external storage while your main computer is switched off.

Its maximum speed is 1.75 Gbps with 1.3 Gbps coming from the 5Ghz stream and 450 Mbps via the 2.4 Ghz stream. It runs quite efficiently using up about 20 watts of electricity. It has full gigabit ports so any wired devices like Computers and TVs get up-to 1Gbps between router and device, however this depends on device’s capabilities too.

The router rates very well in terms of durability too, with many gamers using it for streaming over several hours on a stretch while still resulting in no degradation in quality. For such a quality product packed with features for so low a price, Kategat absolutely recommends this router.

See also




Image of TP-Link 1750 by Firecracker PR on Flickr, used under the CC BY 2.0 license.

The benefits of migrating to 5 Ghz WiFi


Most budget focused consumers don’t upgrade their routers or networking equipment very often. And this results in a few complications. The good old version of WiFi when it launched was known as WiFi b/g which was very good for most applications in the late 2000s. It had a range of about 40 meters (or 125 feet) and a maximum speed of 54 Mbps which was quite good for 2007.
WiFi is ubiquitous but is it getting slower?
WiFi n, brought support for 5Ghz. a maximum speed of 600Mbps and double the range. However, the actual realistic speeds don’t even get close to that theoretical number for a variety of reasons. This is mainly because of an extreme growth in the number of WiFi networks in the past decade that has blocked the 13 channels used in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. Though WiFi n supports 5Ghz a vast majority of routers don’t support it.

WiFi n is supposed to use two channels in the 13-channel spectrum but according to the standard, when the spectrum is congested, it falls back to one channel which brings the theoretical maximum speed to 150Mbps. However, when there are many devices connected to the same network, and the devices are not very close to the router, the speeds drop even further. Because of this, in practical terms the maximum speed you usually get with a traditional router is about 20-30 Mbps on average.

To break free of this you must migrate away from the congested 2.4Ghz spectrum and move to the 5Ghz spectrum. Moving from WiFi n to the ac standard also increases your theoretical maximum to 1Gbps and so the average attainable speed is about 300Mbps which is major upgrade. One other advantage is the reduction in ping times where instead of the 30-40ms delay with traditional older routers, you could get a responsive 2-5ms in most cases which is a big boost to your gaming performance.

Here is a helpful chart that shows the differences between four WiFi standards, WiFi 6 or ax is not available yet, but is included here as a reference to how the WiFi standards would grow in the future.

Chart with a comparison of WiFi g, n, ac and ax. (© Kategat Media 2019; available for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license).
Chart with a comparison of WiFi g, n, ac and ax. (© Kategat Media 2019; available for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license).
Here are some TP-Link routers recommended by Kategat:

   


See also
Image of WiFi symbol, thanks to Christiaan Colen on Flickr. Licensed under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

OnePlus 5T (2017) vs Huawei P30 lite (2019)


In our previous flagship vs midrange comparison, we looked at the LG G6 and the Redmi 7A. In this post we look at the older OnePlus 5T and compare it with the newer midrange Huawei P30 lite.

One Plus 5T (November 2017 – Older Flagship)
The OnePlus 5T is a flagship of a bygone era, with once powerful industry leading specifications. It has a powerful Snapdragon 835 – a champion just over a year and a half ago. It comes in a large, fancy box and even includes a magazine-like glossy guidebook. The phone has an anodised aluminium back that makes it stand-out a flagship. On the software side, it does run a commonplace Android 7.1.1 now two generations old (or does it? more on that later).
The OnePlus 5T -- Old but beautiful
It does support a wide variety of games and plays almost all of them without any lag thanks to its 835, Adreno 540 and the 6/8 GB of ram depending on the version. It sports a large 3,300 mAh battery that is juiced up through the means of high-speed 20W dash charging. The camera experience is fantastic and is renowned for its dual-camera based bokeh effects.

In terms of design it has a simple, yet powerfully elegant design with overt branding. It has a brilliant AMOLED display for vibrant colours and super deep blacks and in terms of security it has a fingerprint and face unlock that just works. The software experience is snappy and simplistic, oxygen OS is very close to the no frills stock Android experience.

Huawei P30 lite (April 2019 – Modern Midrange)
Let’s now compare these specs with the modern mid-ranger, the Huawei P30 lite.
The P30 light has an ever-so-slightly larger screen at 6.15”, but on the contrary only has an IPS LCD display. You might lose some of the colour vibrancy and those deep blacks. Both phones have a resolution close to the 1080p range. The 5T has a gorilla glass coating while you need to get your own tempered glass protection for the P30 lite.
Huawei P30 lite
On the performance side, it has a Kirin 710 CPU, a Mali-G51 MP4 GPU and 4/8 GB of ram. The SoC manufacturers are different so we might have to look up some benchmark results to compare them. The P30 lite gets an AnTuTu benchmark of about 138,000 while the OnePlus 5T get a 56.3% boost ending up with an AnTuTu score of 212,000. That is some solid performance, to power almost any game better than the P30 lite.

Let’s now look at software which is one area where the older flagship generally tends to fail. The P30 has the latest and greatest (as of now) Android 9.0, and the 5T has – yes, exactly the same, Android 9.0! This is a massive advantage for a phone that is almost two years old and could well be the game changer.

Let’s now look at the camera which both OnePlus and the Huawei P Series seems to prioritise. The OnePlus has two back cameras, one for main photos and one for portrait. The P30 lite also has main cameras for photos and portrait-mode (via a depth sensing camera) but in addition it also has an ultra-wide angle 13mm lens which is handy when you need to fit more people in a single picture. The P30 also has a superior 48MP main camera so images look much more sharp and crispier. The OnePlus camera must not be discounted though, it does take great images, especially with good lighting.

In term of font face design, the P30 does offer a newer look with a larger screen-to-bezel ratio. It also has a tear-drop design that was not mainstream during the OnePlus 5Ts time. The OnePlus 5T wins in the back design as the anodised aluminium gives a more premium build quality when compared to the glossy plastic-glass of the P30.

Here is the summary of both phones

5T Pros

  • Better display
  • 56% better performance
  • Latest OS
  • Can get at a lower price
  • Slightly faster charging

P30 lite Pros

  • Better camera set-up
  • Nothing much really…

Kategat recommends the OnePlus 5T over the P30 lite for anyone seeking an affordable phone, except in the rare case where you take more mobile pictures that you spend on your phone.

Image of the P30 lite by Kārlis Dambrāns from Flickr. Licensed under the CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

FHD and ultra-wide, two budget LG monitors explored



LG monitors are quite expensive – notably their high-end OLD monitors. LG are the pioneers of both the older IPS panel displays as well as their current flagships, the OLEDs. OLEDs don’t have plasma; their pixels are purely driven by LEDs and each LEDs output both colour and light. IPS panels on the other hand, drive colour using LCDs and light using backlit LEDs. The biggest advantage of OLEDs are their contrast ratios, with black being true back without any backlight (the LED pixels on the black spot are switched off). On IPS panels, the LCD portion switches-off but the backlight remains, giving a faint (usually blue) hue.

But going for an LG television does not mean going for an expensive OLED. You should ask yourself – do you really need an OLED? Do you need those total blacks? Or could you make do with an excellent IPS panel with immaculate colour reproduction at a fraction of the cost? In this post we look at two stunning LG offerings under the $250 (£215) mark.

32ML600M-B
The 32ML600M is a 32” Full HS monitor (1080p) at a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. The panel is a stunning high-gamut HDR10 IPS display that gives you amazing and accurate colour so you experience movies, TV and games just as the director intended. It has a full 179-degree viewing angle, so anyone next to you gets the full colour (95% of P3-DCI) experience, compared to cheaper panels that has a lower colour gamut and loses colour as your viewing angle changes.
32ML600M front face
For gamers, 32ML600M has Dynamic Action Sync – which is a ultra-low latency mode that does not buffer frames, instead of waiting for frames to buffer, the monitor directly displays partial frames straight off the cable, you have several partial un-buffered frames on the panel at a given times and hence resulting in almost no-input lag. This may at times result in parts of your monitor out of sync if you don’t have good graphics hardware, so uses would have to try out games with and without DAS turned on before selected whether to use it.
32ML600M side view
The monitor has two HDMI outputs and one audio out to a speaker. It has flicker safe and anti-glare coatings which helps with readability in both bright light and in rooms with incandescent lighting. Most monitor functions can be controlled with the on-screen control app for windows, so you don’t have to deal with physical buttons.

29WK600-W
The 29WK600-W is an ultra-wide monitor which measures 29 inches diagonally. Since it’s ultra-wide, it may look a little small when using applications like a word-processor or web browser. It features a 2560x1080 resolution which gives crisp quality for most applications. This monitor features HDR10 but does not have the wider colour gamut that the 32ML600M-B has so if you are a designer, the other one is better. 29WK600 has 99% of the sRGB spectrum which is only a subset of the P3-DCI spectrum.
29WK600
The 29WK600 also has gaming features such as DAS, AMD FreeSync (which is like DAS but requires an AMD graphics card), anti-tearing and anti-stuttering. But the response times will still be greater than 32ML600M because of larger frame sizes to be rendered.

Whether you choose the 32ML or the 29WK, will depend on whether or not you value widescreen displays. However, at the under-$250 price point Kategat recommends you go for the FHD monitor that is great for regular work, movies, gaming and more. You also get a larger display with an wider colour gamut.


Atmos for headphones and binaural sound


We humans have only two ears, on the left and the right. If we can only intake sound from only two “sound sensors” how it possible for us for us to discern sound originating from every single angle? Not only from left and right, but straight ahead, directly behind us and even above and below us. Close your eyes and listen to your surroundings, you can pinpoint exactly where each source of sound is, but how is this possible?
Atmos for headphones converts multi-channel audio to binaural sound
The answer comes in two parts, brilliant engineering on the part of our outer ear and some accurate post-processing. Contrary to what most people think, the outer ear – the piece of cartilage known as the auricle – does have a purpose. Because of its shape its able to focus and reflect sound originating from the font and attenuate (slightly reduce) sound originating from the back. The frequencies are also slightly shifted and delayed. The audio processing regions of our brains are then able to use these slight changes to decode where the signal is coming from.
The outer ear focuses and changes the pitch of sound based on the originating angle.
When we wear headphones or earphones, our outer ear does not play a big part as the sound skips the audio tuning usually performed by the outer ear and directly goes into the middle and inner ear. The post-processing component does not get the required shifted frequencies and so does not decipher any direction and distance data – so you generally can’t feel or get a sense of the where the sound originates from.

However, a workaround to this is known as binaural recording, this uses a dummy head or a mannequin head with externa ears. Inside each ear is a microphone that records audio exactly how it is perceived inside the ear. Sound waves bounce off the dummy head and external ear reaching the microphone exactly how the dummy would hear it if it were a real human. When this is played back over headphones, the listener gets the perception of hearing the sound as though it has already bounced off the external ear, giving the perception of surround sound.
A binaural recording mannequin.
The dummy head is not used to record sound in movies, TV and games. Rather it is recorded in multiple channels (microphones) and designed to play back over the same number of speakers. Sound from these speakers are meant to bounce off your external ear and be processed by your brain. Hence you don’t get binaural and you can’t experience surround sound in a headphone.

This is the problem Dolby Atmos for Headphones seems to solve. Dolby Atmos for Headphones works by taking sound from multi-channel audio such as Dolby TruHD or Atmos and processing them in to binaural audio so it gives a surround sound experience. Atmos for headphones uses an algorithm that can create a binaural effect which can create virtual speakers in any angle and distance. With Atmos, it can tap into the object meta data and create infinite channels to create sound originating in any direction.

You don’t need an expensive headphone to experience amazing virtual sound You could even use an affordable Logitech or Shure headphone to get the same amazing effect. Read our reviews.

See also
Binaural recording image source - https://staff.aist.go.jp/ashihara-k/mhs.html. Licensed under under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.