Razer are one company that I truly respect for both their product design and their overall customer gratitude, recently accepting orders from a leaked voucher code, the company strides further than most other companies around the world.
And that’s only a couple of reasons why I often choose Razer’s products over most of the other options available, a list of which I recently got a chance to expand with the Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Headset.
Although it was released back in 2011, the Chimaera still manages to keep up to date with a great looking design and a range of features that allow it to outperform many other variations currently available on the market.
Starting with its design, along the top of the headset you will find a soft and form-fitting headband, that manages to make the Chimaera comfortable to wear, even after hours of wearing, it fits the head well without constricting it too much that you have to take a break (although you probably should), and weighing only 0.81 pounds (with batteries) it’s quite heavy, but not too much that you can’t get used to it.
The headband can also can also be extended according to how big or small you’re head is, indicated with 10 different notches which allow you to remember where you had it the next time you readjust the headset.
The earpads also add to this comfortablity (don’t think that’s an actual word but I’m still going to go for it) with a soft ear cushion, the material also feels great on the head, and more importantly, the material doesn’t overheat the ears too much.
On the back of the headset itself, you will find two separate volume rockers, one for the game sound and another for the chat sound, these can be changed separately should you feel the need to.
Then on the left and right side of the headset you will find some more buttons to press, on the left there’s the power on/off and the mic on/off buttons, then on the right you will find the mode button, which can be used to change between chat modes, and the mute/ sync button below that, this can be pressed to mute the sound outputted from the headset, or used to sync the headset to the base station when held.
There’s also a boom mic on the left of the headset that can be adjusted either up or down, according to whether you need it to be near or far away from the mouth, this can also be moved all the way to the top in order to mute the mic without pressing any buttons.
During my testing I found the mic worked perfectly fine, and is sensitive enough to pick up you talking, but not to sensitive that you will be too loud on the other end, or that it will pick up the game sound being played by the headset itself.
To receive the game sound, the Chimaera syncs to a base station that can be connected to your PC or Xbox 360, shaped like an upside down T, it is where you will find various indicator lights to display charging, equalizer, Dolby mode, communication mode and the standby status.
On the bottom there’s a equalizer / Dolby Headphone button, Standby button and Source / Synchronization button, all of which are easily accessible and changeable on the fly according to the content you are viewing.
In terms of overall sound, the Chimaera is great, broadcast on the 5.8GHz channel over a range of 33feet/10 metres, you shouldn’t find any introductions from other wireless equipment around the house.
The received sound is then outputted through the 50mm neodymium drivers either side of the headset, which is then processed into two channels and separated into different spatial algorithms with the use of Dolby’s Headphone technology, it then creates a simulated surround sound, that makes the headset a 5.1 device.
Overall sound is great, I played a lot of CoD using this headset (double XP weekend) and I found the surround sound helped to make overall gameplay a lot more interactive, and actually made my gameplays a lot more impressive.
Footsteps can be quickly identified on the headset, both from the direction and distance, there’s a great tone and pitch to this headset, working great for both gaming and even watching movies.
Overall I really liked the Razer Chimara 51 and I would defiantly recommend one to someone who was in the market for a new headset, although there are a few issues I think Razer should try to address, the first is that the mic cannot be adjusted to either the right or left, which means your voice on chat can sometimes sound a little far away, sort of like your walking down a tunnel.
Alongside this the controls can sometimes be a little hard to use, and I found that the separate controls for the game and voice volume only worked occasionally on the Xbox 360, have to press down a sequence of buttons in order to change these on Xbox LIVE, each time you turn the headset on is extremely annoying, and is actually something I only found out I should do after quite a bit of research on the web after finding it didn’t work well upon first testing the device.
If you do want to pick up a pair of Razer Chimaera 5.1’s for yourself you can do so from Razer’s store here, however at £184.99 they are quite pricey, if you can do without the 5.1 they are also available in a version without it for £64.99.
Check out gallery below for a quick look at the headset.
Disclosure: Razer sent us this headset for review.