- A good pair of headphones does make a difference, period. However, at times you might feel that they're not exactly offering the best sound output, especially in their default mode. That's when headphone software comes in handy.
- We've built a list of the best headphone software out there. These tools can surely help you with audio calibration, even if you have a low-cost pair of headphones.
- Take a look at our collection of accessories and peripherals.
- If you want to read more audio articles, we've got you covered.
However, at times you may feel the headphone is not offering the best sound output in the default mode. Your PC‘s default equalizer can barely do justice to high-end headphones.
This is where the third-party software for headphones can help you make the most out of your new pair of headphones. Even if you have a low-cost headphone, these headphone software can certainly make a difference.
There aren’t too many headphone software available for you to try, but of the few available, we took them for a spin to find the best of the lot. These headphone software can help you with audio calibration and also supports virtual surround sound for gaming and music.
In this article, we take a look at the best headphone software to enhance your gaming, music and movie audio experience.
Sonarworks True-Fi (editor's choice)
- Price – Free trial / €79
True-Fi from SonarWorks is an audio calibration software for Windows devices which will be eventually making its way to smartphones soon.
SonarWorks claims to offer the ultimate in headphone sound to even sub-par headphones through its much-hyped headphone calibration technology.
SonarWorks uses the same technology that is being used in recording studios and brings it to the masses with its True-Fi software for headphones. The software currently supports over 287 pairs of headphones from popular brands including Sony, Beats, and Audio Technica.
Being a calibration software True-Fi offers an intuitive user interface. The software tries to make up in the area where your headphones lack the most. If your headphone lacks midrange, it will boost the mid-range while offering a more natural high end.
Even with low-cost headphones, you can feel the difference as it offers a better bass response (if it lacks) and better clarity and details in the high end.
True-Fi process all the computer audio and works on system level while the sample rate depends on your machines WASAPI device. It also offers +/- 0.99 dB accuracy with individually calibrated headphones and +/-3 dB accuracy for headphones with average profiles.
True-Fi is an excellent piece of software for those who hunt for natural sounding headphones. It also comes with a personalized hearing configuration and customized sound preference feature as well.
The price does look steep for a sound calibration software, however, if you own a high-end pair of headphones and looking to make the most out of it, True-Fi is the software you need.
⇒ Download SonarWorks True-Fi from the official website
Boom 3D is an award-winning audio enhancement software that can calibrate itself based on your sound system card. It was designed to play music with 3D effects on any type of headphones and players.
The 3D Surround Sound feature lets you customize equalizer presets for your liking and enjoyable music listening. With Boom, you also get access to 20,000+ local and international radio stations.
You can also adjust the bass level, scale intensity, and turn on/off the individual virtual sound.
Some features included:
- Quick controls
- Special audio effects – ambiance, night mode, spatial
- Volume booster
- Audio controller
- Price – Free trial / Premium $49.99
FxSound Enhancer is not a virtual surround sound software for headphones but a sound enhancer that offers high-resolution audio, full customization and tons of presets.
FxSound Enhancer boosts the sound quality of the content playing on PC. The software can optimize music in real time and offer increased bass and crystal clear audio and high fidelity.
It also has a 3D surround sound feature with 7.1 surround sound support it replicates studio-quality listening environment for headphones.
FxSound Enhancer is highly customizable as you adjust the effects for fidelity, ambiance, 3D surround, dynamic boost, and bass functions. It also has over 20 presets and allows you to adjust the audio equalizer precisely.
FxSound Enhancer is a premium software and costs around $49.99. You can use the trial version before opting for the premium version of FxSound Enhancer.
Razer Surround Pro
- Price – Free / Pro $19.99
Razer is known for its gaming based laptops and accessories. On top, Razer also has quite a few software applications like Surround Pro. This is a surround sound application that enables the users to experience the best virtual 7.1 channel surround sound on any stereo headphone.
There are two versions of Razer Surround. While the standard version is free, the Pro version of the same comes with a few more added features and costs $19.99 on its official website.
As I said earlier, the Surround Pro works with any headphone including Razer headphones. The software allows the users to calibrate positional sound as per their preferences. For gamers, this can be of advantage.
Apart from gaming, Razer Surround can overall adjust the sound for music and movie offering better listening experience. Razer Surround Pro takes time delay, audio interference, amplitude, and other factors and creates sounds from any distance and direction.
The personal calibration can be saved in the cloud and used on any computer by logging into your Razer account saving you from the hassle of having to calibrate the audio preferences manually for each computer.
The free version of the Razer Surround supports 7.1 Surround Sound, pre-configured calibration for razor audio products and also works with third-party headphones.
The Surround Pro, on the other hand, offers more including bass boost, sound normalization, voice clarity for incoming communication, voice level adjustment, 11 pre-set and customer equalizer settings and the ability to calibrate to individual’s preferences.
Dolby Atmos for Headphones
- Price – Free trial / $14.99
Whether you want precision audio for PC games or spectacular sound while watching movies and listening to music, the Dolby Atmos for headphones can offer it all. It is a premium headphone calibration software that costs $14.99 but comes with 30 days of free trial.
Dolby Atmos for Headphones works with Windows 10 and Xbox console and is compatible with any pair of stereo headphones much like Razer Surround Pro.
The software uses the audio object metadata to correctly position the audio within the 360-degree space allowing it to get more than two speaker sound for the headphone users.
According to Dolby, the software can help you pinpoint teammates, enemies, and obstacles in competitive games. Apart from that it also allows you to enjoy music and movies with a more encompassing experience.
Do note that Dolby Atmos for Headphone feature is only available on Windows 10 creator updates or above running machines.
Spatial Sound Card
- Price – Free / Some features are premium
Spatial Sound Card is one of the latest entrants in the headphone surround sound software market and offers 5.1 surround sound experience absolutely for free, at least for now.
This program has been developed by a US studio and is mainly aimed at games who want immersive surround sound experience using their headphones.
It comes with a simple user interface and is the easiest headphone software from the lot. The developer claims the software can offer cinema-like experience while watching movies and exceptional sound quality and while listening to music.
During gaming sessions, you can precisely hear the enemies and teammate movements and also unlock an optional low-latency mode optimized for pro gamers. The low-latency feature is being offered as an in-app purchase.
The difference in quality you will see depends on the kind of headphone you own. While you may see substantial improvement in quality and clarity from a high-end headphone, the difference may not be as dramatic with low-end headphones.
Nevertheless, most of these tools offer a free trial, so you have nothing to lose if you decide to give these tools a shot.
We agree that audio quality can be subjective and what we consider as good may not be everyone’s opinion. That’s why we have gathered the best software for headphones that can cater to the needs of different people.
Do let us know your favorite pick in this list in the comments below.
FAQ: learn more about headphone software
- What is the best headphone software?
Without a doubt, Sonarworks True-Fi is one of the best software for headphones that you can use to enhance your sound experience.
- Does headphone software work on speakers?
Software components have few methods to detect whether your sound output device is a pair of headphones or speakers, so you can use headphone software on speakers, too. However, the best results are achieved on headphones.
- What can I do with headphone software?
You can tweak your sound experience to near-perfection when you’re using headphones. It’s possible to enable surround sound, tune your sound, and even apply audio effects to the output device.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.