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Razer Chimaera 5.1 X360 Headset Review

By on May 14, 2011
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Bringing pro competition closer to home.

Good: Noise isolated 5.1 surround sound; Good range at 30 ft.; Decent battery life at 8 hours; Easily connects with PC & X360; Very comfortable; Easy setup; All cables provided
Bad: Need a wire between headset and X360 controller to use mic (but that's Microsoft's fault)
Price: AED 780
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

So yes, the Chimaera 5.1 takes two AAA rechargeable batteries that take roughly 3 hours to recharge when drained completely. The Chimaera 5.1 starts beeping every two minutes once the battery levels reach 10% and below charge level; on the outside the “On” button starts blinking red for other to remind you to recharge the batteries should be too engrossed in your current game. And if that’s the case, and you “can’t” leave you existing game, simply pop in another set of regular AAA batteries. You can, it should be noted, charge any brand of AAA rechargeable batteries using the Chimaera 5.1 headset and base station.

The Chimaera 5.1 headset itself has all the buttons you’ll need for normal operation. You can change the volume level of the headphones, the mic, as well as the incoming voice from others over Xbox Live. You can even change the source between Xbox Live and Local connection for voice chat.

And now with all the technicalities out of the way, I can finally talk about how the headphones actually sound. Given the huge size of the drivers (50mm), the sound quality is pretty good; above average especially in those games that support Dolby Digital. I don’t know the difference 5.1 would have made over 2.4GHz wireless band, but the extra bandwidth of 5.8GHz certainly ensures lag-free and crystal clear sound to be carried over the air. From what other told me, my voice carried over loud and clear over the mic, even when I was 5 meters away in the kitchen grab a cold glass can of Mountain Dew of water.

You can also connect the Chimaera 5.1 to your PC for 5.1-surround sound goodness. I will say that the sound was almost as good as the Sennheiser PC333D surround sound headphones that I won, which cost about the same. The sound quality in 5.1 movies and games (TF2 & WoW) on the Chimaera 5.1 was up there, but not the same. Given that the Chimaera 5.1 is running wirelessly, I can give it the slight pass for not reaching perfection.

The Razer Chimaera 5.1 is a brilliant headset, with a wireless surround sound quality almost equal to dedicated (and wired) 5.1 headphones. The number of options on the headphones and the base station allow you to customize the experience to your liking. Not once did I have any drop in quality over the air. The battery life is respectable given that you’re always getting Dolby surround sound, and the AAA rechargeable batteries allow for non-stop gaming. For its price, the Razer Chimaera 5.1 has little in terms of competition when overall quality, customizability, battery life and most importantly ease-of-use is concerned. If you’re not into 5.1 sound, the stereo Chimaera headset is not only $70 cheaper, but also offers 4 additional hours of battery.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • A1000wolves

    Where do i buy this from in UAE

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      All Razer products are sold in Sharaf DG and Virgin Megastores throughout UAE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maaz.Bazmi Maaz Bazmi

     guys i was about to get these. but would they work with like MP3′s and iphones.would be really nice mentioned it

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      There is a 3.5mm input on the base station which you can connect to your mp3 player or iPhone/iPod Touch, etc. The Chimaera 5.1 also comes with a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable so connecting it to your mp3 player shouldn’t be a problem either. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/Maaz.Bazmi Maaz Bazmi

        Thanks now i just have to order it with that

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1808336595 Nick Dellaventura

    So would this headset be worth the money you spend? is it comfortable enough to wear for long periods of gaming?

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      If you like an up close and personal sound experience without wanting to disturb others, this is well worth the price. The padded cushions on the ear cups are comfortable enough that even with my glasses I wasn’t feeling any strain.

      That said, I can’t wear any headphones for more than 2 hours straight, my ears need some breathing room :p

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