Bringing pro competition closer to home.
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.