Dec 092012

razer megalodon 7.1 gaming headsetThe Razer Megalodon is a great alternative to the Razer Tiamat for the more cost-conscious gamer. It offers specs that are similar in many respects to its more expensive brother, the Razer Tiamat Elite 7.1, but this model comes at a discounted price. These headphones are powered by 40mm drivers and have an acoustic frequency ranging from 20Hz – 20,000H, with support for 7.1 surround sound, 5.1 surround sound, and 2.0 stereo. The unidirectional microphone has a signal-to-noise ratio of 50dB, placing it on the upper end in terms of noise-cancelling.

This particular model was designed specifically around Razer’s new “Maelstrom” audio engine. What does this actually mean in terms of the Razer Megalodon’s performance? – Well, improved surround-sound, notably simulated surround sound. The engine relies on HRTF, a technology used to calculate how the ear receives sound from a point in space. The headphones utilize this to simulate surround sound in stereo environments where there is no native 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound support. So, if your audio source doesn’t support surround sound, you can still rely on 2.0 stereo, and the headset will do its best to reproduce a surround sound atmosphere. Pretty nifty? – we thought so.

  • external control pod for on-the-fly customization
  • accurate surround sound, even in simulated 2.0
  • comfortable earpads that can be worn for extended periods
  • noise filtering mic

The Maelstrom audio engine is great; digital sound processing allows it to cover a wide acoustic range, and the 2.1 sound can deliver thumping bass and clear highs. You’re able to hear so many detailed sounds in games – like wind rippling, bullets whizzing above you, or footsteps from enemies. The common complaint is that the lights on the headphones remain on after your computer shuts off. While this may happen, it’s entirely controlled by a power saving feature on your motherboard, not the headset itself (motherboards often send a 5V standby source to USB ports so the computer can be awoken using a mouse or keyboard – this can easily be disabled in the BIOS).razer megalodoon headset control unit

A big advantage the Razer Megalodon has over some of competitors is the internal sound card. Having a onboard processor allows you to give your CPU a break, since it no longer has to process surround-sound virtualization. This can make an noticeable improvement if your computer’s CPU isn’t terribly powerful or you’re simply pushing it to the max, as any extra processing power is vital. The earcups are proportionally sized and do a good job of encasing the ear, and the mic has great sound quality – so long as it’s properly configured.

Razer Megalodon 7.1  |  The Verdict

The Razer Megalodon Headset does require some tweaking before the acoustics really shine, and this can frustrate some people – and also doesn’t make it the most plug-and-play of devices. It does, however, provide exceptional sound quality once setup, and will reward gamers that take the time to do so. Being able to tune down your front speaker volume while increasing your side and rear volumes is a clever way to detect enemies in your peripheral view, and is just one application of this ability – things like this can become powerful advantages in FPS games(first person shooters). The headset still performs strongly in movies and music, but if your focus is primarily gaming and you’re serious about your level of play, I definitely recommend the Razer Megalodon 7.1 Headset.

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