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The Benefits of Using GameDAC With Your Gaming Headset

Use your favorite gaming headset with GameDAC to change the way you think about audio.

What's your favorite gaming headset? Do you have a go-to option that beats out the competition? Maybe you said the Arctis 7P+ from our line, and we can't blame you — it's an excellent option for anyone, from hardcore to casual gamers. Whatever your choice may be, there's always a little room for improvement, right? No matter what headset you settle with, there's a way to take it to the next level.

Enter the SteelSeries GameDAC. It's a special converter that enhances the way you listen to your favorite games, in-game chat, and music in truly significant ways. It's compatible with any wired gaming headset, which you likely are already using, and can take even high-end, premium audiophile options and give them a little more oomph. A little more chutzpah, if you will, because we're all about that here.

Curious about what the GameDAC is and why you might want to use it in conjunction with your gaming headset? Read on, we've got you covered!

What is GameDAC?

An up-close look at the GameDAC, in all its shiny glory. So you're interested now, and you want to pick up your favorite headset and give it a little push to be even better, right? What is this "GameDAC" thing, anyway? It's more than just a fun acronym, that's for sure. It's a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that your gaming headset utilizes to output 96kHz/24-bit audio. Simply put, this means it offers higher quality, better-resolution audio with less compression than what you get from regular connections.

The GameDAC itself is small, accessible, and intuitive. The iconic, rounded transmitter houses a powerful set of tools. On the outside, you have a comfy, easy-to-use volume knob as well as a confirmation button. You also have optical and micro-USB ports, as well as two 3.5mm analog jacks.

The front of the GameDAC is simple to read, with a bright OLED screen that shows volume, game and chat audio balance levels, and DTS surround sound toggle. You can head into the GameDAC menus from here and tweak settings even further: input and output, display brightness, and even different colors. For audiophiles, there's also the equalizer, which lets you fiddle with a wide variety of presets to alter treble, bass, and other frequencies. There's plenty for you to customize here, and if you really know what you're doing, you can tweak your headset's sound exactly to your liking.

Benefits of Using GameDAC

A side view of the GameDAC, featuring its various ports. Why would you want to use the GameDAC when you could go without? Are you thinking it seems like a lot of extra steps when you could plug and play with your Arctis Pro? There are a myriad reasons why you'd want to utilize the GameDAC in your setup, and here are just a few.

  • Enhanced sound with rich, immersive audio that'll make you feel like you're actually in the game. Seriously, if you're the type of person who needs to hear where gunshots are whizzing from to perform well in-game, the GameDAC's expansive settings will help you tweak the experience just the way you like it.
  • Hi-Res audio certification means your headset pops when listening to games and media with hi-res sound. Hear every footstep, chill with every bit of bass and strings in the game's soundtrack, and get comfortable while getting into it — we mean really get deep.
  • Customize presets via the GameDAC equalizer and swap out bass and treble settings and other options (all 10 frequency bands) to create the soundscape that works best for you.
  • Change up in-game sound and chat balance straight from your headset, even when games don't offer in-game selections for doing such.
  • Take any gaming headset and push it to the limit with enhanced sound, controls, and equalizer options — no need to buy a different model!

How to Set Up Your GameDAC

PC Setup

To set it up on Windows, press and hold the main knob for two seconds to load the menu. Find the Input option, then choose Hi-Res. You may see the device disconnect from your PC and reconnect. All power will be routed to GameDAC for better performance.

Then go to your desktop. Right-click your sound settings icon and choose "Playback devices." Once there, find your GameDAC and double-click on it. Once the new tab is open, choose "Advanced." Under the dropdown box, select the option "2 channel, 24 bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality)." Then click "OK." You'll see this new change reflected on your GameDAC when successful.

PlayStation 4 Setup

On PS4, setup is a little different. Once you have everything hooked up, you'll want to push and hold the main knob for two seconds until Input appears. Find "PS4" and choose that. On your PS4, choose "Audio Output Settings." Next, on your Primary Output Port screen, select the port to be used as "Digital Out (Optical)." Set your Audio Format Priority to Bitstream Dolby. Head back to Settings, choose Devices, then Audio Devices, and then choose Chat Audio for Output to Headphones.

You should be good to go! Now get to enjoying that sweet, sweet audio!

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