Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset

The Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset takes the previous Chimaera Xbox headset to the logical Dolby 5.1 surround sound conclusion with fantastic sound.

Ease of Use, Performance: 24/25
Look & Feel: 24/25
Features 20/25
How much I enjoy 24/25

Total: 92/100

Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Headset

The Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset takes the wireless Chimaera that I previously reviewed to its logical 5.1 surround sound conclusion but adds a few other features as well. The Chimaera 5.1 headset not only has the connections for RCA stereo but the input for Toslink optical using a Toslink optical cable that is included.

While voice is not wireless the audio coming to the headset is and you can connect the headset to a PC, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 easily with the included optical or stereo cables. The Razer Chimaera 5.1 comes with the headset, base station, rechargeable batteries for the headset, Toslink optical cable, RCA pass-through connection cable, mini 2.5mm and 3.5 mm audio cables and a power adapter with various plugs for different countries.

The included manuals help you get things setup but even the labeled connections are easy enough to figure out, the main connection will be either stereo RCA cables or the toslink optical cable to your system. You can use the optical cable to connect to a sound card on a PC or other optical output as well as the optical connection to a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 system.

I have used the system mostly with my PC but tried it out with both console systems and it works pretty well for all uses even with the microphone cable having to be used for voice communication. You cannot use voice with the PlayStation 3 but if you’re looking for a great audio experience and you’re not worried about voice this is great for gaming on the PS3.

Whats in the Box

Voice for the Xbox 360 or the PC is as easy as connecting the 2.5 mm or a 2.5mm to 3.5 mm cable to your system of choice but the PC connection will have to be done with a cable that is not included. A 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable is only a few dollars at Radio Shack and can connect to your PC for voice communication using the mic input on the front or back of your PC.

Using the Xbox 360 you simply connect the included 2.5mm cable to the controller and you have voice chat in game with either setup that works and sounds really good. The headset with Dolby 5.1 sounds great as well and even the stereo audio is very good and clear.

A few headsets I have reviewed has a slight hiss and this is usually due to lower cost headsets or interference for the few wireless headsets I have reviewed. This headset is almost dead silent when no sound source is used so there is no interference from other sources.

The 5.8 GHz wireless connection will have much less of a chance for interference due to the fact that many wireless devices today use the 2.4 GHz wireless instead of the 5.8 GHz. The surround sound is not a separate speaker setup but virtual so there is only one speaker in each ear piece but this surround sound is great, fantastic even.

Base Station Connections

I have heard a lot of music and movies through headsets and these are really worth the price as it sounds great and fit is also very good. If you have read any of my other reviews you know I can be a bit hard to fit for headsets and this one is not a difficult one for my odd head size.

The headset is comfortable and with each earpiece pushed into the smallest fit the headset band rests comfortably on the top of my head which is where I like it. The earpieces make a comfortable fit and really keep outside noises out, my son was just in and a couple of times I did not hear him walk into the room and start talking to me.

The Razer Chimaera 5.1 headset features Dolby Digital processers inside so there is no problem with getting clear sound for movies as well as gaming. I really enjoy listening to music while writing but movies are also great and really increase the enjoyment when you hear everything clearly without bother others.

An onboard equalizer allows for three different settings for more bass, more treble or normal listening enjoyment while the base also has the Dolby on/off control and source buttons. The inputs on the back of the base unit are controlled with the source button and to sync the headset you use the sync button.

Chimaera Headset & Base

The base has a standby mode which it will go into if idle for 10 minutes and a warning will sound over the headset when the batteries reach 10% to remind you to set the headset on the base to charge.  The headset itself has a power button, increase and decrease volume, mode button for switching from Xbox Live to Team chat and incoming and outgoing volume of the microphone.

Another button on the headset has a mute function along with the sync button for connecting the headset with the base which I have not had to do except the very first time I received the headset. Syncing is very easy and has been a perfect system without having to resync even after unplugging and moving the base unit.

Sound is crisp and clear and even though you can tell a bit of a difference between the stereo and the optical audio with surround sound it is not as much that it detracts from your listening enjoyment. If you have a good system from a PC you can get surround sound form your stereo or headphone connection depending on your sound card or motherboard setup.

I can connect the stereo cables to the headphone outputs of my Logitech Z-5500 connection and get surround sound on the stereo RCA inputs for the wireless headset. I’m not quite sure how this is done other than using the Dolby Digital system but I have noticed it on other headsets as well form my computer.

Rechargeable Battery Installation

I just love playing around with devices and seeing what they can do and getting some extra little features is a fun way to see to what extent a device can be pushed. The Razer Chimaera Wireless Headset sure does do a lot with what it comes with but you can use it for a little bit more with a little extra effort and a few cables.

The Razer Chimaera does work well whether using stereo or the optical audio input and the device can be used as a pass through for other audio as well. You can connect your Chimaera in between a console and home theatre and get sound from both using the input and output connections.

Whatever sound goes into the Optical connection will be passed through the output optical connection for use as a pass-through device and setup. This can come in handy when connecting several devices together with a home audio setup or home theatre system as many people do have more than one component for entertainment.

The RCA cables also include a pass-through connection on the one end so you can connect another speaker set to the RCA cables to use with speakers without having to disconnect and reconnect cables. This would work for a setup without a home theatre system and is a nice feature to have for those without all the fancy home entertainment equipment.

The Razer Chimaera is a bit on the pricey side but for exceptional audio quality and the wireless headset freedom it can be a worthwhile investment. I highly recommend the Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Headset for a fantastic wireless headset system for the PC, Xbox 360 or the PS3.

Chimaera Headset @ Razer