Since unfortunately the Razer Chimaera doesn’t come with PC attaching cabling as standard – it needs to be purchased seperately – I played several games on my Xbox 360 and used the headset throughout for listening, talking to other players as well as watching several movie trailers and listening to music via XBL’s LastFM application.
This is what this headset is designed for, so it should do very well; and it does. It has a good range as far as headsets go, allowing it to easily reproduce the full spectrum of sound with very little to complain about. Bass thumps along and high frequencies are well represented. The games I used for testing were Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Dead of Alive 4 and some micellaneous XBLA titles; all of which were handled very well.
Something I did notice however was that there was a distinct difference in volume between the games. This was because of the default volume levels of each title being of different heights. Now with a standard headset, one with a little more juice perhaps, you could utilise its built in amplifier to raise the lower games to the level that you want, but with the Chimaera I consistently hit a wall in titles that just didn’t seem loud enough. NFS was absolutely fine, in fact I had to turn it down a little, but some of the XBLA games and specifically DOTA 4, I felt the need for a little more punch. The only other issue that stems from this is that with the headset at max volume, when in-game sound dies down, has a slight background hiss. Its better than the EMI whine you get with some headsets, but its still there.
In regards of mic support, the onboard one with the headset worked fine. Nothing special by any means, but it’s clear, crisp and I had no complaints from those I played with.
For a headset designed for gaming, I wasn’t necessarily expecting the greatest spectrum of sound when it came to music. However, I was presently surprised. Bass was especially good considering the lack of a subwoofer (the Chimaera being a 2.0) and there was little issue with mid frequencies. Higher ones I feel could do with a slight boost, but that’s probably more of a personal preference as I’m no audiophile.
With movies, you get a different kind of testing environment for a headset. It’s a test of how busy it can be at one time. Can it handle, music, sound effects and speech and deliver them all to you in a listenable manner. I’m pleased to say that the Chimaera can and does it pretty well. You’re still going to get more clarity from one with 5.1 support, but the stereo mix is strong and provides good panning during action sequences as well as keeping everything from getting too muddled when things get a bit hectic.
As with many a reasonably expensive over the ear headset, comfort is not something you need to worry about too much. With this one you get plenty of foam padding and large enough cups to fit even the larger ears inside. The headrest is similarly comfortable, padding your head nicely.
The only real consideration you should make is that sometimes with this type of headset, over long periods, your head can get quite hot with your ears contained in fluffy domes. Expect the same with this one if you’re the kind of gamer that barely moves for 8 hours.
I’m sure it was done to keep the price down, but I do find it quite annoying that you have to buy the PC attaching cable seperately from Razer. Surely it would only be £1 or so to include one in?
We should also run this headset through the cool test:
Yea this one fails too. Can anyone make an over the head headset that doesn’t make you look like a dummy when you wear it?
Well if you’re in the UK, for some reason loads of people are listing it as over £8,000. I’m not kidding. In the US it seems prices are a bit more favourable. With conversion rates, they work out to around the £80 mark. Expensive enough that you feel you’ve shelled out for something good, but not so much that you don’t get your money’s worth.