Razer Chimaera 5.1 Review
Razer is a company synonymous with PC gaming accessories, after its entrance into the console hardware realm last year with the Onza they seem to be dominating all aspects of gaming peripherals but they had their work cut out for them with a wireless 5.1 surround sound headset both for Xbox and on PC.
Now the Mass Effect 3 branded Chimaera 5.1 wireless headset is available and does not fail to disappoint. It offers a sleek and streamlined design which matches the BlackWidow we reviewed earlier this month perfectly, solid audio performance, works great on both PC and Xbox and very reasonable battery life. It follows the same design pattern as all of Razer ME3 line which really looks sublime.
The sound quality alone is reason enough to purchase this headset. With the Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, it allows gamers to differentiate which direction your opponents are approaching, as well as allows the users to hear true game sound in full detail.
This headset also has several other benefits for the ease of use and adjustability. Both microphone and volume controllers are conveniently place on the opposite sides of the headsets allow the user complete control of their settings. Along with this, the Chimaera has two different mute functions; one is simply lifting the microphone up and the other is button on the right side of the headset. Another feature is the inclusion of a mode channel feature to switch between an X-box 360 and PC, making this headset universal at the touch of a button.
I’m totally impressed with the Razer Chimaera 5.1 as it does not have many speakers in each cup, yet can still produce highly accurate 5.1 surround sound. This goes to the wonderful Dolby Surround Sound technology used in the Chimaera 5.1. I was a bit sceptical at first as I treated it as a “virtual surround sound”. However, after using the headset for around two weeks straight (few hours gaming each night), I’m totally sold.
You can also set the equalizer to Standard, more Bass, or more Treble (through the base station). In “Bass mode”, the sound of action is heavier and as a result, the sound of gunfire and explosions are more powerful than ever. I did find that people’s voice tend to get a bit muffled so I switched between the Standard and Bass every now and then. You can also link up to four base stations so you can talk with your team mates on a local communication channel, lag-free.
Note: We were unable to test this feature but it has been used in several major gaming tournaments and all results have been positive.
The microphone boom is on the left side of the headset and unfortunately, non-retractable. To use it, simple pull it down and the microphone automatically turns itself on. Pull it up and the microphone mutes itself. It’s a pretty cool design as you don’t have to mute/un-mute your microphone manually (though you can, by pressing the mute button if you want to).
Overall, I’m totally impressed with Razer Chimaera 5.1. The sound is amazing and of high quality. The headset is also comfortable, thanks to the padding on the headband, lightweight design, and comfy over-sized ear cups. It weighs a little less than one pound has comfort foam under the headband and surrounding the earpieces which all help cancel external sounds. The Chimaera frame is very flexible, but still allows the headset to press firmly against the side of your head. The wireless features permits for the gamer to move around quiet freely for a range close to 10 meters from the tower and still be in range of quality game sound.