As far as precise location-based game listening goes, the best choice is probably Dolby Atmos with its "performance mode" turned on. That limits the amount of room simulation and EQ applied to the signal, allowing the game's original sound design to come through while still giving a good sense of positional audio.

DTS Headphone, THX, WavesNX, and Quantum Surround all have a slightly wider sense of space and are better tuned for an immersive gameplay experience or fun time watching a movie. That's the sort of sound I personally prefer because I do a lot of single player gaming.

Each piece of software offers its own quirks, but fortunately many of them have at least a free trial mode so you can check them out for yourself.

I don't use any of them for music, really. Music and virtual surround don't play too well together because music is almost always mixed to live in a specifically stereo environment, and the additional EQ that's sometimes applied by virtual surround systems can just make music sound weird. I can tolerate the way music sounds with DTS or Quantum turned on, but I prefer to listen to music in raw stereo mode most of the time.

Tidal is really pushing companies to mix more music for Dolby Atmos, but I have no idea if their library is properly remastered or if it's using some kind of automated upmixing process. It's probably a little of both since they already have "thousands of songs." It's the first time since the SuperCD/Dolby Digital Music era that there's been a push for surround-mixed music, but it's not available on any devices I personally own yet.

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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