Razer Tiamat 7.1 Gaming Headset Review
Getting the surround effect right in the small amount of real estate available in a pair of headphones is a difficult task. After all, surround relies heavily on the space between the speakers to be at its best. When the speakers are almost overlapped in an ear-piece then that space is compressed dramatically.
Even with this potential limitations, the Razer Tiamat has the best sound quality of any genuine surround headset we've reviewed here at OC3D. We will start with the Bass, which is tight and thumping. Whether you have the general low frequencies of your MP3 of choice, or the chest pounding thud of a .50 cal gun, the Tiamat delivers taut bass at all times. However, bass is easy to do, although not always with this clarity. The important thing the Tiamat gets right is that the bass isn't overwhelming the rest of the audio spectrum. Both the midrange and the highs are excellent too. There is a real sense of definition throughout the range.
So the general sound is great, what about the surround effect?
It's fantastic. There is a superb sense of space and, most importantly, it's very easy to pinpoint the direction the sound is coming from, which helps you kill your foes, avoid your friends and enjoy the full-spectrum of sound in your favourite film. Of course when all hell is kicking off around you then the clarity of the audio is just as important as when things are quieter, but you really notice the directional audio in those quiet moments. Sneaking around is made much easier when you can hear a pin drop and define where it is.
Finally, it's extremely comfortable to wear for long periods. The heavily padded cups and headband distribute the weight very nicely, with no part of the Tiamat pressing upon your head.
As with all things there are a couple of elements that detract slightly. As one effects the other we'll start with price. It's a whopping £160. That's a lot of money in anyone's book, and given the excellent sound available from headsets costing comprehensively more, then it's very difficult to recommend the Tiamat from a value for money standpoint. This is emphasised by the sheer amount of plastic. We know that most headsets are plastic, it's sturdy, cheap and light. But with the big audio mixer, dual headbands and sheer size of the Tiamat in general you find plastic everywhere and never feel, sound quality aside, that you're in possession of something at such a premium price.
So if you can look past the price, forget that it's heavy on the plastic, the Tiamat provides the finest surround experience you can currently buy, and for that reason we're happy to award it our OC3D Performance Award, such is the quality of the audio.