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Non-Audiophile Gamer Review

A Review On: Razer Tiamat 7.1

Razer Tiamat 7.1

Rated # 14 in Gaming Headsets
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Price paid: $199.99
Self Annihilate
Posted · 9999 Views · 11 Comments

Pros: True 7.1 surround sound, good isolation, retractable mic, can switch between headphone and speakers instantly

Cons: Bad for music, top band can be uncomfortable, can barely hear yourself talk while using it

The good:

- 10 drivers (5 per ear) allow for amazing spatial awareness when watching movies/playing games.

- The cushions on each ear are quite nice and provide a good amount of nose cancelling.

- The mic is retractable for when not in use.

- Allow for surround sound speakers to be hooked up and switched to with the press of a button.

- Can be switched between 7.1 and 2.0 when necessary.

- Can change the volume of sides, center, front, mic, subwoofer, and rear independently.

- Removable side plates


The bad:

- 7.1 has no bass while listening to music, 2.0 is better but it is still muddy and overall not a very good experience.

- The top band has started to hurt my head after a couple hours of use.

- I can barely hear myself talk when I have these one, even when there is not sound coming through them. That speaks volumes about their noise-cancelling ability but it can be a con since I talk a lot during some games.

- Only work with PC


Overall these headphones are a great pair for any serious PC gamer. Most of the cons I found don't matter much to a PC gamer. While 360/PS3 support would be great, I understand the technical limitations involved in doing it. The biggest problem is the horrible sound of music when using them, but that's not what they are designed for anyway. They are designed for games, and in that area they excel.


Designed for games, I can understand that, but I cant understand why that reason is only used on 'gaming headsets' with poor audio quality. What makes a headphone optimized for gaming? I think I might know the answer to that and that is pretty much most gaming headsets are de-eq'd on the low frequencies, just to bring forth the mids and highs so you can hear those footsteps. I see this as a trend because when I used headsets back in the day while playing CS 1.6 and Source, I had no problems with headsets of then, hearing every footsteps, bullets, explosions, PLUS bass and music. But really what bothers me is when they say: so and so headphones suck at music BECAUSE they excel as gaming headsets. I mean is music not part of gaming? Almost akin to Nintendo's excuse of good games dont need great graphics. Which that also is bs, because why cant you not have BOTH great gameplay and graphics? Awesome review tho sorry for my ranting lol.
@above Good games do not need great graphics. Graphics are eye candy and nothing more. Good graphics are nice but are certainly not a necessity, gameplay and music are far higher on the scale of importance.
@review Good review.
I would agree with you that good games do not need great graphics only if immersion was not a reason to play games. If you say that, then you can also say that you do not need music either. A good game touches on all the senses, mainly mental, visual, audible, and motor. While yes graphics are eye candy I agree, but being nothing more? I do not agree. So if you say that, a blind person could be pro gamers then? lol
@b43k The thing with these headphones is they are optimized for 7.1 surround sound. Music is not optimized for 7.1 surround sound so it sounds horrible when played that way. As I understand it ( I could be mistaken) the 2.0 mode basically sends the source for the left ear to the 5 left ear drivers and plays it at the same volume. Same goes for right ear. This ends up sounding pretty bad. It may be a bit more advanced than that, but seeing that the hardware is clearly optimized for surround sound, it seems like it'd be fairly difficult to make anything less than that sound good.
@takato14 I respectfully disagree with your statement about graphics. While it is not necessary for them to be the most detailed, colorful, textured, etc. it is very necessary for them to be clear. Visual communication is probably the most important part of video games, that why they are called video games and not audio games. Of course the more detailed the graphics the easier it is to be fully immersed in the game, but that goes for audio as well.
I totally agree with you that they are optimized for 7.1 and also for the fact that true multi-speaker surround headsets, while they have the separation thru multi-channels, the driver size is sacrificed, being smaller than the usual 40-70mm+ driver sizes of a conventional 2 channel stereo setup, also accounts for the lack of bass. Even so, the lack of low end also occurs in many virtual surround setups on 2 channel configs. This is where I see the 'gaming headset' trend, charging a premium for 'a unique headset specifically engineered for gaming', when all they did was change eq settings, throwing in Dolby Headphone, etc. The avg. cost of gaming headsets should warrant, although used for gaming, great sound for music as well. My first true 5.1 headset was back in the day in the form of Speedlink Medusa's. They were 4 drivers in each cup, and while surround in gaming was fantastic, music did not take a hit either, as I think pro logic movie, and music were included in the decoder.
I wouldn't consider myself an 'audiophile' as I just started to delve into the world of hifidelity, but I do know what good, balanced, audio is, ever since I wondered why the stereo in my dads BMW sounded so much better than your regular car system with sub. (this was like back in the mid 80's lol)
But nevertheless, I did enjoy your review as I was interested in the Tiamat for the longest time after my Razer Barracudas went to crap on me. I will say that there is a 'gaming headset' out there which imho believe does gaming and music well. I cycle through 2 headsets and 2 headphones when gaming through an Astro MIxamp and/or DSS by TB. I'm going to attempt to review my Sony's, but I would welcome all audiophiles to check it out as well. Headset in mention is the SOny Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset.
I've been wondering about this for a while. How does a headphone have more than 1 driver in the earcup? A multi-driver balanced armature earphone or CIEM has small drivers within the enclosure. Is this the case for a headphone too, or does the headphone physically have multiple diaphrams? o.0
max driver size for multi speaker true 5.1 - 7.1 setups cap out usually at 30mm. But yes, there are multiple drivers within the enclosure, and angled strategically to reproduce a surround sound field.
Wow, that's pretty interesting. I wonder if the different positioned drivers were the inspiration for the position of the diaphragm of Ultrasone's headphones.
i have couple that I'm using for spare parts. I'll upload some pics so you can see
So I just bought these a few hours ago so I have a bit of a burn in period to deal with (should be good in a week or so) but as far as the music is concerned, it does sound like crap when you aren't in the 7.1 mode. There was a lack of bass initially in the 7.1 mode, and this will stick if you use onboard sound. If you have a decent soundcard, it should have a way to force bass redirection and if you do that you will definitely have bass and it makes it a whole lot better, I would suggest setting the crossover at about 80Hz.
Another note, if you are skill with an equalizer you can clean the soundstage on these up pretty well. So while they don't sound like my 595s (RIP, sniff) they at least don't sound like a gigantic brown blob of noise mess.
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