The Razer Chimaera stereo headset is one of the products
from the Razer brand which has branched itself away from the PC accessories and
equipment and into the console arena. The Razer Chimaera, however, is not a
full conversion to the world of console gaming as the headset only provides
support for the Xbox 360, leaving PS3 players that require Bluetooth on the
sidelines. The move towards console accessories for Razer has had relative
success in the early stages, with products such as the Razer Onza having some
success early on.
Razer now will be facing the problem of trying to force
themselves into a tightly contested market of headsets, by providing both
quality and substantial performance. This is turn will see them as a potential
for runner or just a headset in the shadow of higher performing products.
One of the first
things you will notice when picking up the headset packaging of the Razer Chimaera
is its sheer weight, which is definitely on the heavier side of the scale.
However, this shouldn’t be of too much concern as the headset wireless, which
means that all your cables will need to feed into a base station. That is done
in the form of a docking station that shaped in the form of an upside down ‘T’.
The docking station acts as a rechargeable area for your headset which uses ‘AAA’
batteries. I, however, will recommend that you buy yourself your own recharge
kit as to swop batteries when they eventually go flat, but we will get to
battery life in a minute. The initial setup of the docking station is easy an efficient
as the structure itself doesn't look too bad either.
Design and Build
Moving on to the headset itself, the basic design of the
headset is on the bulkier side which I didn’t mind at all. As the headset has a
solid feel to it and movement of the head doesn’t cause the headset to be off
set. This is largely thanks to two key features: the ear cups and adjustable
headband. Starting off with the inner ear cup has a snug feel to it which
covers the entire ear, but also allows for enough "breathability" to ensure that
the ear doesn’t become uncomfortable.
With regard to the adjustable headband,
there is good and bad. The headband itself has a solid feel to it, with two
padded areas underneath to ensure that the top of your head isn’t rubbing on to
the hard exterior. One of the let downs are the adjustable bands which are extremely
sticky. Moving from one height to another seems more of a chore than a
compliment to the headset. The silver adjustable mounds are also flimsy, so
when they are fully extended they could be prone to bending, as the metal strips
on either side are extremely thin.
When it comes down to the accessibility of controls on the
headset, you are provided with 6 features. Volume control of chat volume and
game volume are on the back left and right of the headset respectively. The power
and mute microphone function are on the left side of the headset where as on
the right there is the ‘sync’ and mute
game sound function on the right. These buttons are all easily accessible and
are easily memorable thus making changes on the fly extremely easy.
Moving on to the microphone, which is unfortunately
non-removable. It, however, can flip back easily to leave your peripheral
vision unhindered. Early on I struggled with the positioning of my microphone
as team mates constantly reminded me that i was speaking too softly. The
microphone is described as adjustable, but it barely accomplishes that by
giving slight movement in either direction.
I constantly have to remind myself to adjust my microphone before play
as the inflexible microphone tends to straighten itself out over time.
Now to the part that interest most of us, the sound and
performance of the headset. When talking about stereo sound we have to remember
that it is just picking up sound from two sources being left and right. This
means that when it comes to headsets being able to do well as a stereo headset
it how it defines those two audio channels.
With the Chimarea I noticed that it
was rather easy to determine whether an opponent was sneaking up to my right
hand side or my left. However, this movement could not accurately be determined
due to the fact that the movement would often be generalized by the headset. Noting
that I must say I was impressed with the sound quality of the when you could
pick up the slight changes as well as the major audio events throughout the in game
events. In which the sound was good for stereo but not groundbreaking.
The Razer Chimarea offers stability, comfort and is also one
of the few stereo headsets to offer a wireless option. The sound quality is that
what you would expect from stereo headset and doesn’t manage to break that
mould. That said it fits comfortably as a standard stereo headset and provides
allot of comfort which allows for long playing times. This is also complimented
by the fact that battery life on the headset is extremely good when fully
charged, around +/- 10 hours. A good headset, especially if your looking for a wireless option, just not ground breaking.
1) Great comfort, allows for extended periods of game time without fatigue.
2) Accessible features, doesn't require you to remove headset when changing in game volume or muting mic.
3) Good exterior design, sleek look of headset as well as docking station
4) Wireless option
1) Adjustable headband piece, sticky and flimsy
2) No PlayStation 3 compatibility, making the market very specific.
3) Price is on the steep side with a recommended retail price of R1399
Looks: * * * *
Value: * * *
Durabillity: * * *
Usabillity: * * * *
Overall Rating 3.5/5 Stars
Recommended Retail Pricing: R1399
Available via Musica
/ MWEB GameZone
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd