Ashampoo Soundstage Pro is a virtual sound card that provides virtual surround sound through regular headphones for audio that has been recorded with 5.1 technology or higher. The program can also give regular stereo tracks a three-dimensional feel.
Note that the application must be continously running for the effect to work and that the audio processing does require some degree of CPU resources. You can drastically reduce CPU resource consumption by minimizing the application after launch or switching to compact mode.
Once launched, the program displays an icon in the system notification area. Left-click the icon to quickly toggle "Headphone Surround", switch between the full and small view (compact mode) of the application or exit the program. Enable "Always on top" to keep the program window in the foreground.
Click "Small" to switch to compact mode:
The start page displays the currently selected location and loudspeaker setup. Click "M" to mute a speaker and "S" to switch to solo mode.
Muted speakers will appear red:
Speakers in solo mode will appear yellow:
Use the virtual knobs to adjust the volume für individual speakers:
Either left-click and drag to adjust the knob or left-click once to enter the desired value manually:
If enabled, the volume of all sounds will be significantly amplified. Note that this can lead to audio distortion.
This button instantly enables/disables the surround effect without having to close the application.
This button opens the location and loudspeaker setup:
The program supports four different sound formats. Note that the loudspeaker display on the start page will change depending on the selected format.
You can select the playback audio device used within the application here, along with the desired latency. Note that, the lower the latency, the higher the CPU usage:
If desired, the program can register itself as the default audio playback device and/or auto-launch with Windows. It is highly recommended to leave the "Make Default Device" setting on as many applications will refuse to output sound otherwise. Note that, while the program is running, all audio will be routed through the application.
The program comes with multiple locations (presets) to alter the sound characteristics. Simply click a location to load the associated preset.
Note that different locations are only available in Ashampoo Soundstage Pro.
This setting affects the attack, sustain and decay of the sounds. Feel free to try out the different options to get a feel for their effect. The currently selecting setting is visualized unter "Room Envelope".
The application comes with a number of optimized treble and bass settings for popular headphone models, selectable here. Enable "Bypass" to skip audio equalization.