Nowadays, technology makes it possible for art of any kind to be more immersive than ever. And sometimes, you don’t even have to spend great amounts of cash just to get a good entertainment system in your home.
Take for example surround sound; you’ll obviously need good surround speakers if you want a powerful sound experience, but if you can settle for less in terms of hi-fi, then you don’t actually need all five (or seven) speakers anymore. The reason is that there are already a few applications that can transform stereo into surround sound, and Ashampoo Soundstage Pro is one of them.
Once installed, Soundstage Pro will act as a virtual sound card that processes the audio signals from your PC and modifies them in order to create a surround output. The program is meant to be used with a good pair of headphones so you can experience the full effect. The colorful interface is easy-to-use as it allows you to control each virtual speaker separately, by adjusting the volume or by muting or soloing them.
You can have a 5.1, a 6.1, or even a 7.1 configuration, but you can also use a standard stereo configuration. You can also choose between a few sound presets that are named after big cities such as New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, and Shanghai; changing the presets will not only modify the sound, but it will also display a different landscape in the main interface.
Even though the Soundstage Pro changed the sound in my headphones the way it promised, I wasn’t able to adjust the volume for any of the speakers, apart from the ones in the front-left and front-right. Also, I have to admit that I don’t really get the Boost function. On one hand, it does warn you that it acts as a powerful distortion and that you should be careful when using it. On the other hand, who needs such a powerful distortion? Wouldn’t a smooth increase in volume or gain have been more useful?
Even though the application needs more polishing, Ashampoo Soundstage Pro can be a decent choice if you want surround sound in your headphones.