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OK so I know absolutely nothing about electronics, but I've had an idea I want to try to build, but someone out there could have already done it so thought I might as well ask first!

I'm a gamer and love FPS shooters, but I suck! One of the (many) reasons is that I never know where I'm getting shot from. Now, my headphones are meant to provide 7.1 surround sound so I should hear exactly where the shot is from, but like I said I suck!

So, that got me thinking, what if the directional sound could be turned into a physical sensation. A simple headband with 7 tiny haptic motors in it, when the shot sound is played the correct haptic drivers fire on the same channels as the speakers that would normally play the sound. So you physically feel the direction the shot came from.

I get that it probably isn't just as simple as hooking 7 haptic motors to the corresponding audio output as that would react to every sound, but I think with some basic sound filtering we could probably pick out the shots from the rest of the audio.

Any thoughts on this anyone?
Hi SuchANoob,

While this may be possible, it's not going to be something SparkFun has any parts or tutorials available to help you complete this project. The issue is due to how most "surround" sound on headphones work. Most surround headphones (unless specifically stated to have multiple drivers like Razer Tiamat 7.1) use software like Dolby Headphone to simulate surround sound so it makes tapping into a "channel" for this project basically impossible without some really complicated audio analysis and software to transfer that to a haptic feedback device.

If you want to pursue this project, I would recommend researching what type of surround sound your headphones use as well as (if applicable) the software that simulates the surround sound. One other thing you may want to look into is binaural audio which allows stereo headphones to simulate surround sound based on how it was recorded. This SmarterEveryDay video gives a good example of binaural audio if you're interested.

I am sorry we cannot help you with this project but hopefully, this information helps you progress with this project or at least learn a bit more about how your surround sound headphones work.