Review: Razer Chimaera 5.1 wireless headset
Coming from a PC gaming background I was quite interested in getting hold of a Razer product for the Xbox 360, Razer are well-known in the PC industry for high quality gaming gear so I wanted to see if they stood the test against Xbox gamers.
On unboxing it’s quite apparent that no expense has been spared on the equipment, each component weighing a fair amount but the cables themselves are fairly cheap, when paying £169.99 for a headset (cheapest online) you expect the cables to be of the highest quality like other Xbox 360 accessories but does it really make that much of a difference?
Regardless of the cable quality the set up is extremely easy to follow, the headset comes with two manuals, the lightweight quick start guide will help you set your equipment up with illustrations whilst the master guide explains in detail what each function is and how to use them. One of my favourite features of the headset is it can be connected to both PC and Xbox at the same time allowing pro gamers to have live commentary for their videos and streams without having to have hefty amounts of equipment.
When dealing with wireless technology you have to expect some quality loss and the Razer isn’t really any different, admittedly you could probably get a wired headset for a lot less with the same quality but the headset doesn’t just offer basic sound and voice, it boasts 5.1 Surround Sound, not many headsets can claim this and it truly works.
Aside from the sound quality you’re not just buying a headset to talk and game with friends, the Chimaera offers style, the base unit itself illuminates a radiant green glow around the bottom and brightly lit function buttons making it as easy to use in the dark as it is in the light.
Charging the headset isn’t a pain like other wireless units, a full charge takes 3 hours and will let you game for around 8 hours, maybe more if you turn the surround sound off. If you do manage to run your batteries down mid-game then you can always pop the cover off and insert your own AAA batteries (x2) which allows you to get more from the headset, however you must remember to put the rechargeable batteries back in before placing the headset back on to its sexy stand.
The first major issue I ran into was the level of chat volume compared to the game, even though you have controls for both, the maximum chat volume is not enough to take over the game volume, leaving you desperately trying to hear friends in loud games such as Call of Duty. An easy solution for this is to turn down the game volume from your game options menu but this can be a major factor in whether or not you purchase the headset as it is a hindrance and certainly something that you don’t expect when paying £169.99 for a headset.
Another issue I found was with the comfort after extended periods of play, the weight of the headset will eventually get too much and make your head fairly sore, it’ll be even worse if you have to wear glasses as the ear muffs are quite tight and will press down on the side of your glasses.
All in all, this headset isn’t for everyone, it doesn’t offer the best sound quality but it is a heavyweight contender in today’s wireless headset market by offering a true 5.1 experience and the style is by far second to none.
Review: Razer Chimaera 5.1 wireless headset Results
What we liked:
Very easy to use and set up alongside a PC
A true 5.1 Surround Sound experience
What we disliked:
Price point may be a stumbling block for some
Cables not the best for the price
Having to turn sound down from game options menu is a deal breaker