Razer's Tiamat 7.1 Headset Brings True Surround Sound to Your PC Games

Individual audio drivers, rock-solid materials, and attention to comfort make the Tiamat 7.1 Gaming Headset an easy recommendation for diehard PC users.

Razer is taking a stab at multi-driver gaming headphones with its Tiamat 7.1 headset. The Tiamat isn't cheap, retailing for $180, but from the robust design to the 10 individual drivers, Razer has included numerous touches that set it apart from your typical surround-sound gaming headset.

Inside the package, you get headphones, the inline audio control unit, and a breakout speaker connector. There's also a pair of mountable plates that attach to the side of the headphones in case you want to cover the windows for a cleaner appearance.

The robust headband, leather cups, and revealing views of the audio drivers form a cohesive, premium-looking headset. Razer isn't known for upholding a modest design philosophy, but within the realm of gaming accessories, the Tiamat's pronounced design fits right in.

The stiff lattice that makes up the outer headband sits above the flexible and generously padded inner band. The leatherette-covered ear pads are incredibly comfortable, but for the first few days of use, they can get a little warm after extended use. Once they're broken in, this becomes less of an issue.

The left can houses the retractable, telescoping microphone. It's flexible, but rigid enough to maintain its position when tweaked into place. The quality of the microphone is great for casual communication, but it's fairly average in terms of sound quality. It's perfectly suited for gaming though, and it's nice to have the option to tuck it into the headset when it's not in use.

The Tiamat's 12-foot cable is wrapped in a fabric mesh that's durable and does a good job of preventing inadvertent self-tangling. The audio control unit is built into the braided cable, situated roughly 4.5 feet from the headphones. It enables you to control the volume levels for the entire headset, as well as individual audio channels. You can silence the headphones by depressing the volume dial, but you need to press a different button to mute the microphone. Next to that is the 7.1 toggle, which allows you to switch to 2.0 functionality for music and other stereo audio sources. The included 7.1 speaker-input adapter also interfaces with the control unit and is enabled via a third button. This allows you to divert audio to speakers without having to disconnect the Tiamat's connections.

The 7.1 (plus microphone) connection uses five 3.5mm cables, and the entire unit is powered via USB. Considering most sound cards are within reach of a USB port, this shouldn't be hard for most people to accommodate. What is disappointing is that the headphones will not function unless you have the USB cable plugged in. It would be nice if there were an option for un-amplified stereo audio in case you wanted to use the bare headphone functionality in the rare case where USB ports aren't readily available.

It should be obvious at this point that this is a PC-only headset. There are no included options for console connectivity, barring connecting it to a TV with a stereo headphone and USB port, which isn't entirely uncommon, but you won't get microphone or surround functionality. Razer does offer wireless solutions that function with the Xbox 360 and PC, and they're built for 5.1 channels with virtual surround at a price of $200.

The Tiamat's sound quality is nothing to scoff at, but it's best suited to gaming and films that use the entire spectrum of surround sound. The arrangement of tiny drivers does a good job of representing directional sound, allowing you to pinpoint enemy locations in shooters, for example, but the delicate high frequencies and roaring bass of an intricate piece of music aren't at their best in the secluded space of the Tiamat. The high frequencies tend to get lost amid the bass, resulting in a slightly muddy sound. The drivers are best suited when combining their efforts in a multichannel configuration, but their stereo functionality leaves something to be desired.

This 7.1 headset from Razer is a high-end product that delivers on Razer's promises, and for the right PC gamer, it's the perfect surround-sound solution. Some people may not see the value in individual drivers compared to the savings a virtual surround setup can provide, but the 7.1 Tiamat sounds great and the individual drivers more effective at reproducing and manipulating a 7.1-enabled soundscape than traditional virtual solutions.

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Discussion

26 comments
haarpx
haarpx

I previously used the Logitech G930 and Turtle Beach XP Seven headsets and find the Razer Tiamat 7.1 to produce MUCH more accurate positional and directional audio.  I've never been more confident in my ears than with this headset on.  Sure it's not the greatest for music, but if you're buying this $180 headset for music when you can buy studio monitors for less you're already making a mistake.  These things are great, they aren't a gimmick.

ambition_def
ambition_def

G930s ruined me on expensive headsets. They are elaborate, well designed hardware with the absolute worst USB port you can get on modern technology. 

 

Couple that with the way my lycosa eventually deteriorated after a single year of use and you have me saying no thanks.

thphaca
thphaca

I don't see the point of these surround headphones. You only have 2 ears and you can easily simulate depth in a stereo signal through software. I like my Sony MDR-V6's. They're comfortable, do a decent job of isolation and are balanced, which I need for my orchestral productions anyway. Listen to one of the Inception tracks or Holst's Jupiter piece with these headphones and it'll blow your mind how every element is so definitive. They're the best bang for the buck at around 100$ depending on where you look. Of course the sound card has to be decent too. I use a Xonar Essence STX which works fine and supports most of the surround decoding standards while pumping quite a bit of power (it needs a direct connection to the power supply.)

 

Either way, surround for gaming is overrated. Not many games really take advantage of it or even have any options for configuring it.

jopers
jopers

I like the G 35's quite a bit. I used cheaper headsets for quite a while and they were fragile, broke easily and very uncomfortable to wear. Although not creme de la creme in the world of surround sound cans I must say that I am more than happy with the build quality and very  pleased with software based 7.1 surround sound quality. They are also comfortable for me to wear for hours of gaming bliss.True they are not perfect..if i start a game I must make sure that they are first plugged into the usb port before I run the game..otherwise I may not have sound. It has been a minor annoyance and one that is a decent tradeoff for a headset that does not break the bank (too badly) and does the job very well. My friend has the same headset and his ears get warm while wearing them...so your milage may vary...very comfortable for me though..... Just my two pennies.

Gooeykat
Gooeykat

I have $25 X-fi sound card and pair of $30 Sennheiser headphones, amazing quality.

 

DeutschKSK
DeutschKSK

Sennheiser PC350 + HT Omega Claro Halo.. you'll never get anything else ever. Its an amazing combination expensive but totally worth ever penny. 

Vrtni_Patuljak
Vrtni_Patuljak

IMO just buy a Sennheiser and a 5$ desk mic. You get much better quality.

These things are the "Beats" of gaming xD

chechak7
chechak7

"The Razer Tiamat 7.1, the world?s first true 7.1 surround sound headset"

i have my G35 and it's soooooooooooooo great 

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

AKG 701s ???

 

First off - you'll need a sound card for those and a dac/amp. All of that, plus the headphones is over $500, and you still won't have surround sound like the Logitechs.

 

Get the G35s for 1/5 the price. You can hear if the enemy is behind you, behind you to the right, slightly in front to the left, etc. They work perfectly, and with the new software, listening to music is as good as it gets for this price.

 

The only people who say they don't work, are people who have never

tried them.

PredatorRules
PredatorRules

never mind my last post, I just realized companies call their true 5.1 headsets for 2 front and 2 rear drivers so... yeah..

PredatorRules
PredatorRules

it's NOT true 7.1 surround, if you enter to Razer's site you can clearly see it has 4.1 speakers in each ear pad, I have Razer Megalodon here's the picture: http://assets.razerzone.com/minisite/tiamat/images/tiamat-71-spec.pngand here's a quote from their site: "The Razer Tiamat 7.1, the world’s first true 7.1 surround sound headset"

now I can't see no true physical 7.1 speakers not to mention 5.1 - virtualize is been used a long time ago...

q-bert39
q-bert39

Why not save up your money (or your moms), buy yourself a nice mini DAC/AMP and a pair of AKG 701s or equivalent. This is entrance level hi-fi sound equipment. You will shit your pants at the difference in sound quality.

q-bert39
q-bert39

Lol. High end? Are you kidding me? You dont know sound until you get a dac/amp and a real pair of headphones. Though it will cost you. Razer products are only designed to look good. Artificially increasing the bass (beats headphones) doesnt make the headphones sound better, it just makes them worse. This is a cheap product, dont kid yourselves into thinking this is anywhere near high quality.

 

Lol $180 is kiddy grade headphone quality. They can put as many weak ass shit drivers in their headphones as they want. You cant get real surround sound from headphones, and certainly not from razer.

Maybe you should ask the question as to why every single headphone from entrance level to hi-fi is stereo, not surround sound.

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

Logitech G35 with latest software - awesome for gaming and for listening to music. Never muddy, and GREAT bass response.

jthotty
jthotty

I have used 2 headsets with Razers... Im no longer using them instead using a solid 7.1 surround sound logitech that produces awesome bass.  Razer quality stuff just suck to high heaven.  

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @chechak7 

G35 is terrible.  Headsets are terrible.  For the Diehard PC gamers?  Fail article.  Someone skipped their morning coffee.  I suggest brew yourself a cup.

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @Born_Lucky Tried them.  They do "work."  But they're terrible.  Audio Technica headphones + Asus Xonar DG.  $115-150 total.  Better sound than your G35, Tiamats, or whatever headsets you wanna throw at me.. x 100.

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @q-bert39 This man knows what he's talking about.  But please.. let these headset companies rip through little kid's mommy and daddy's wallets to feed them $$$ for crap toys.

Eggic
Eggic

 @q-bert39 sorry were not all millionaires bro, But you do sound like you know what you are talking about.

 

Vrtni_Patuljak
Vrtni_Patuljak

I don't understand why everyone thinks more bass=better music. If you crank it up all you get is a headache and vibrations on your sorroundings(table, car windows...). If the speakers are crap they are crap regardless of bass. Bass is just a thing they use to market stuff, because it's cheaper to make MOAR BASS than quality sound. Source: 6 years of music school

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @Born_Lucky Terrible bass.  Muddy.  For you, it sounds great because you never listened to great sound through a great pair of headphones.  Stop spreading false information!

Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

 @Elann2008 Nope, Logitech g35's are the best headset money can buy and their quality is basically unrivaled. You're dumb.

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @Eggic 

Yes, because headsets are a lot cheaper, LOLOL.  

rwgober92
rwgober92

 @Shelledfade1 How is he dumb? You're the one using Logitech headphones (available at walmart).  Know where you'll find Audio-Technica headphones? Museums and my bedroom.