Razer Tiamat 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
The Razer Tiamat is the first true 7.1 gaming headset for analog connection to your computer to deliver full surround sound audio from ten discrete drivers in the ear cups for a true positional advantage.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 20/25
How much I enjoy 24/25
Razer has released the first true 7.1 surround sound headset that includes ten discrete drivers in the two ear cups for a true surround sound experience. The Razer Tiamat 7.1 is a true surround sound headset with five discrete drivers in each ear piece and connects to your computer using the five analog audio connections and a USB for power.
The Razer Tiamat comes with the headset with inline controller, mini USB adapter, extra ear piece covers, certificate of authenticity and user’s manual all in a really nice box. The Razer Tiamat 7.1 has the inline controller with a large dial for volume control and a smaller dial switch for volume control of the individual speaker channels.
The controller also has the mute button, external speaker button and 7.1 button for switching between 2.0 and 7.1 audio as well as a connection for an adapter that connects a speaker set to the controller. The addition of a connection on the controller to add external speakers means no disconnecting your analog audio connections to switch between the headset and speakers.
The headset ear pieces have a smoked but clear plastic over the drivers so you can see the five speakers inside each ear piece but you can also use the additional covers to hide them. These side covers use four magnets to attach to the sides but I find the looks just fine without the black covers.
The sides of the Razer Tiamat also have the green glowing Razer logo, it had to be somewhere, on each ear piece for good looks while most of the rest of the headset is black. The headband has some green stitching but the main band that connects the headset is made from a dark gray plastic while the controller and cable is black.
The Razer Tiamat uses one of the five analog connections for a microphone which works very well for gaming and chat communication. The Tiamat microphone is a unidirectional boom microphone that retracts into the left head piece for convenient storage when not in use.
I had no problem’s hearing myself talking over chat and Skype as well as over a game using a couple of computers for in game chat and voice as a test. The microphone gives clear voice over the computer for general voice using onboard sound but is much better when using a dedicated sound card.
Like many things with computers the addition of a dedicated sound card adds a lot of quality to your sound experience and makes the headset a better one. I had no problems other than one I will mention shortly with USB power using both onboard sound and an Auzen X-Forte sound card with the Razer Tiamat.
The headset has a stretch cord band that rests on top of your head as well as a larger plastic band that helps to keep the headset snug on your head. This two band system works well and helps to keep the headset comfortable while also keeping the ear pieces snug.
The ear cushions are replaceable but due to the newer release they may not be up on the site as yet, the headsets themselves are even backordered as of this writing. It seems that the Razer Tiamat is a highly wanted item and I can see why just reading other reviews but the real test is using it yourself.
The Razer Tiamat connects to your computer using the four analog connections that are your center, side, front and rear speakers with another analog connection for microphone and the USB for power. I will say this and try to emphasize this in my review that the headset quality depends mostly on this USB power connection.
I connected the headset to one motherboard surround sound and had a problem right off the bat with noise when no audio was playing and this continued to the next motherboard that I tried. I had purchased a new motherboard and after some setup during the trial period with the Razer Tiamat I swapped the motherboard out on my main work computer.
I tried the new Tiamat on this motherboard, an Asus Sabertooth 990FX, thinking it would have both a better onboard audio and better USB but I still had noticeable noise. After some checking with another computer and other things like a tablet and Google Chrome book I figured out that it was the USB powered part of the headset that was introducing the noise.
I cleared this up by connecting the USB power to an adapter instead of my computer and got rid of all noise over the headset, they work great once you get rid of the noise. I found a few other reviews that also have this same issue and corrected it simply by using an external USB power adapter and this issue is addressed on the Razer Tiamat website.
You can use the Tiamat with a stereo output from devices like an iPhone or MP3 player using the single stereo front speaker connection but you do need a USB power source. I found it easy enough to use the speakers on a Google laptop with the single stereo output and the single USB connection that the Chrome book has for the power source.
The Tiamat uses the five discrete or separate drivers in each headset so you have the surround sound with full 7.1 surround which means some great positional gaming. I had a true positional sound while gaming and had no problems telling where to point my weapons while playing games like Battlefield 3.
The Gaming was fantastic and truly 7.1 surround sound which really adds to the gaming experience, movies are also great but the Tiamat really excels at gaming. The discrete drivers give you real 7.1 surround sound but you will usually not tell the specific speakers playing at any one time during gameplay or movies.
I tried the Razer Tiamat with several games including Battlefield 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 and Crysis 2 along with movies like Transformer 3 and Black Hawk Down. All the movies and gaming I threw at the Razer Tiamat turned out really well and I thoroughly enjoyed all the experiences with the 7.1 headset.
The Razer Tiamat really works well during gaming and gives you not only a much better gaming experience but can really help in gaming for first person shooters. Playing on Battlefield 3 I could tell much better where the enemies were and could use the positional sound to help in getting more kills and even defend myself better.
Even though the Razer Tiamat does have a problem with noise from a poorly grounded USB connection it does work extremely well for a full 7.1 surround sound headset. I have used other expensive and really good headsets that also have this problem of noise form poor USB grounds and this is an easy one to fix for the Razer Tiamat by simply using an external USB power adapter.
The Razer Tiamat costs about $180 but for the full 7.1 surround sound using discrete drivers and is really worth the cost as an excellent gaming and entertainment headset. I highly recommend the Razer Tiamat for a top of the line full 7.1 surround sound headset that sounds excellent and is very comfortable for long gaming sessions.