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How to make Razer Tiamat 7.1 mode sound better than stereo

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December 26, 2013 12:21:26 PM

Hello guys

I read many reviews about the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset before getting a pair myself. What I found was that there are many people - individuals specifically - that seem to think the surround sound aspect of this product is just a gimmick, and that the sound quality isn't that great. However commercial reviewers seem to rate the product highly, giving it editor's choice awards and so on.

So I went ahead and got a pair, and I just can't get them to sound anything like they should. The problem is in games, specifically Skyrim, and when listening to music as a tester, the stereo mode sounds great. Much better than my old headphones. but I bought these for the surround sound effect and don't want to just use the stereo mode. I'm blind in one eye, can't use 3D, so thought I'd max out on one of my other senses! But when I switch to 7.1, there is hardly any bass, and the sound is just weak.

I do not have a dedicated soundcard. Many people may well say that is the problem; however I have an Asus M5A97 2.0 motherboard with onboard 7.1 sound and feel that this should drive the cans much better than it is doing. They are so weak on 7.1, yet so powerful on stereo. I feel that the problem is how they are set up, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

So after plugging all the cables in properly, I went ahead and configured the headphones using Windows 8. I select 7.1 in the sound tab configurator, and test that all the drivers are working using the little test button. They are.

On the final step, it asks me to select which "full-range speakers" I have. I leave both "front left and right" and "surround speakers" unchecked. Is this right?

The next step I see I can take is using the "enhancements" tab in Windows 8. The options here are:
1. Bass management
2. Speaker fill
3. Room correction
4. Loudness equalisation
After reading the descriptions I have tested both 1 and 2, independently and together, and there is an improvement but still the headset sounds way better in stereo.

What is going on here? If you have any knowledge with this, please share, because I really am going crazy with this. There must be something going on with my configuration, this cannot be a simple case of "they suck", because they sound so good in stereo.

If you can help, I am very grateful :) 

Thanks for reading
December 26, 2013 12:34:54 PM

I think that you need to check those check boxes, I am not on my home PC at the moment, but I have a 5.1 speaker system attached to it and I believe I have at least one if not both options checked. Those headphones actually have individual speakers for each channel, so they are true 7.1. I think checking those boxes tells Realtek (which I am assuming you are using) that you have Front surround speakers (so your front left and front right, which are present in the headphones) and the surround speakers would be your rear. It almost sounds to me as though you do not have it properly set for 7.1 though, a 7.1 set up has front left-right, center, sub, rear left-right, and a "center" left-right for a total of 7. Those check boxes would tell me that its looking for 5.1, front left-right, rear left-right, center and sub.
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December 27, 2013 11:48:13 AM

@JED 70 - That software is for stereo phones and isn't for 7.1 headsets. I tried it anyway, it makes no difference.
@Chugot - the drivers in the tiamat are satellite, used in conjunction with the sub, so they shouldn't be ticked as far as I can tell. Even if they are, it still sounds bad. I have definitely configured them to be 7.1 through windows and realtek, no joy.

This is mad. There must be something I'm overlooking. I'm about ready to send them back!
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January 19, 2014 5:53:56 AM

Sorry for my bad English, hope this help ya :) 

Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset isn't for everyone, it's pretty tricky to make it sounds good, also depending on the onboard sound/sound card you use.

Do not use Razer Surround, it's just make surround audio source into "Virtual Surround" in your 2.0 headphone, it does not help for Razer Tiamat 7.1.

Sad to say that, not every sound card works the same, and not guarantee works great for Razer Tiamat 7.1.

If you really want to use the Tiamat 7.1, I'll suggest you to have a sound card that is listed on Razer Tiamat 7.1 recommended sound card list.

I'm using Creative X-fi Titanium (or fatality/ pro / champion) they basically are the same.

The first time I put on my Tiamat, it sounds horrible, barely any bass, like you mentioned. I'm really disappointed until I play around with the creative sound card settings.

In my case, I enabled Bass Redirection in Creative configuration, the bass is awesome, even the cups are shaking especially watching action movies like transformer with explosions. Deep, Low bass that shakes my cups, I couldn't even stand it and turn the bass lower.

for the music playback, headphone stereo mode does not sound really good for me IMO, at least it is much better than in 7.1 mode that sounds like really weak. Why? because most of music and some movies audio track are stereo only, you only heard sound coming out from 2 drivers of the total 10. that is why.

in Creative sound settings, there is a mode call x-fi CMSS-3D, by enabling it with Upmix mode: Stereo Surround
it upmix the stereo audio source from musics and movies and turn them into 7.1. it sounds loud and clear, , really greater than my previous steelseries stereo headphone, even much better than the Razer Tiamat 7.1 "Stereo Mode".

with Creative X-Fi Titanium, and the following settings, if you listen to music or watch stereo movies, the sound card will automatically do the job itself. if you watch movies with Surround sound or playing games like BF3-4 and any modern games that support surround, you heard surround sounds.

also take note that, surround sound does not work great on every games and movies, it really depends,

currently surround sound works best on Battlefield 3-4, really clear amazing sound effects, explosions in the game around you, pinpoint enemy accurately, it also sounds good on Dota 2, even though it is "RTS" view game,you can actually tell the sound is coming from front or rear, unlike virtual surround that sometime you hardly can tell front/rear sound. it also works on FPS games like CSS, CSGo, L4D, TF2.

I have Skyrim too, it doesn't really sound ok in that game. and some other games.

don't forget to turn ur Windows Master Volume no more than 70%, it affects the sound quality you heard from the headphone, I'd recommend you to use 18%-30% (or higher but below 70% if not loud enough for you), then tune ur volume up with Tiamat's Panel instead, really big differences.

This is what I did for my Creative X-fi Titanium + Razer Tiamat 7.1, different sound cards may work differently, may not suitable for Razer Tiamat 7.1, results can be different. I can only suggest you to get the sound card that is listed on Razer website for Tiamat 7.1.
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February 4, 2014 12:34:36 PM

I have a tip for everyone, my mate just gave me his pair of tiamat's because he doesn't want/need them.

Music will always sound better on stereo than 7.1 that is just normal, unless you get something like someone mentioned above, a "upmixing" software / driver like CMSS-3D which pretty much duplicates the stereo channel to other channels.

Anyway, for the good part : When you use 7.1 on Tiamat, all the bass disappears.....why....simple....if you have the option in your soundcard drivers, like the CMSS etc...however there is also "SWAP CENTRE AND SUB CHANNEL", enable this....and viola you have bass again in 7.1!

Hope this helps.
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March 16, 2014 7:09:22 AM

Hello i got the Timiat 7.1 on realse but it playes little bass. and changing around on speakers and senter/sub is a bad idea, here is what you need to do,
Right click you speakers in windows---> play back ---> right click on your speakers -----> properties ----> enhancement, then scolls down and enable bass management. wolla your sound sould be awsome now.
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May 6, 2014 5:41:53 AM

killernilsen said:
Hello i got the Timiat 7.1 on realse but it playes little bass. and changing around on speakers and senter/sub is a bad idea, here is what you need to do,
Right click you speakers in windows---> play back ---> right click on your speakers -----> properties ----> enhancement, then scolls down and enable bass management. wolla your sound sould be awsome now.


No bass here.
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May 14, 2014 2:00:00 PM

<<Music will always sound better on stereo that 7.1...>>
This is definitely not true. The reason I went to install Razer Surround was because the virtual surround effects on my Android made my music sound so much better than on Windows, using the same headphones. The Razer software seems incomplete to me though. Still looking for better. The Equalizer FX on my Android does a great job.



BioVolt said:
I have a tip for everyone, my mate just gave me his pair of tiamat's because he doesn't want/need them.

Music will always sound better on stereo than 7.1 that is just normal, unless you get something like someone mentioned above, a "upmixing" software / driver like CMSS-3D which pretty much duplicates the stereo channel to other channels.

Anyway, for the good part : When you use 7.1 on Tiamat, all the bass disappears.....why....simple....if you have the option in your soundcard drivers, like the CMSS etc...however there is also "SWAP CENTRE AND SUB CHANNEL", enable this....and viola you have bass again in 7.1!

Hope this helps.


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May 17, 2014 7:36:05 PM

Soprano187 said:
Hello guys

I read many reviews about the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset before getting a pair myself. What I found was that there are many people - individuals specifically - that seem to think the surround sound aspect of this product is just a gimmick, and that the sound quality isn't that great. However commercial reviewers seem to rate the product highly, giving it editor's choice awards and so on.

So I went ahead and got a pair, and I just can't get them to sound anything like they should. The problem is in games, specifically Skyrim, and when listening to music as a tester, the stereo mode sounds great. Much better than my old headphones. but I bought these for the surround sound effect and don't want to just use the stereo mode. I'm blind in one eye, can't use 3D, so thought I'd max out on one of my other senses! But when I switch to 7.1, there is hardly any bass, and the sound is just weak.

I do not have a dedicated soundcard. Many people may well say that is the problem; however I have an Asus M5A97 2.0 motherboard with onboard 7.1 sound and feel that this should drive the cans much better than it is doing. They are so weak on 7.1, yet so powerful on stereo. I feel that the problem is how they are set up, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

So after plugging all the cables in properly, I went ahead and configured the headphones using Windows 8. I select 7.1 in the sound tab configurator, and test that all the drivers are working using the little test button. They are.

On the final step, it asks me to select which "full-range speakers" I have. I leave both "front left and right" and "surround speakers" unchecked. Is this right?

The next step I see I can take is using the "enhancements" tab in Windows 8. The options here are:
1. Bass management
2. Speaker fill
3. Room correction
4. Loudness equalisation
After reading the descriptions I have tested both 1 and 2, independently and together, and there is an improvement but still the headset sounds way better in stereo.

What is going on here? If you have any knowledge with this, please share, because I really am going crazy with this. There must be something going on with my configuration, this cannot be a simple case of "they suck", because they sound so good in stereo.

If you can help, I am very grateful :) 

Thanks for reading


Ok, i'm an aspiring Tiamat 7.1 owner, having my jerk/adorable bunny chomp through my Barracuda 5.1 surround set. Here's my experience and what may help you:

PROPER surround setup. Windows is not good at this by default (XP through 7 for me.) I've been through 2 onboards and 1 dedicated with my 5.1 cans, and once or twice i had to switch center/surround channel, as well as having bass sound extremely low. You may need to enable higher quality audio, as well as any "Bass Boost" function available.
In all honesty, even modern onboard audio is garbage when it comes to a really nice set of cans. Years ago, I went from "HD Audio" supporting 24bit 192hz "Studio Quality" to an OLD (even at the time, 2010) Sound Blaster Audigy 4 (upon switching to Win7, custom drivers were needed as Creative are assholes). The difference was night and day with the 5.1 cans, and with the bass boost, PERFECT head-shaking sound as it should have been.
Some games (mostly Source) didn't configure properly and needed a console command to get proper surround out of my Barracuda's. Each game, if available to do so, needs to be checked, and of course in windows/sound card settings also.
Going with DougO here, virtual effects do sound nice, but personally i'd have to disagree that they sound better than stereo, at least sometimes, its all hit or miss based on the source and how well the algorithm performs. Virtual surround for music can be awesome, but offen stereo hits, or "feels" better. If you can find something recorded in surround (i only know of one thing) it is simply INCREDIBLE.

So... - proper settings are key -dedicated sound can make ALL the difference.
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May 21, 2014 10:36:39 AM

I have a Tiamat 7.1 too, I plugged them in for the first time and the realtek audio manager cameup and I changed them to 7.1, they worked great at FULL 7.1 capacity. Then my com had a malware issue and I wiped it. Now the Tiamats are set for 7.1 but don't sound the same. They probably sound like what yours sound like, Weak bass etc.. But do not get rid of them, they do work well and I have yet to find a solution for it now as all my settings have changed. So dont get rid of them. Just be patient and keep trying. Try 7.1 songs on youtube. You will CLEARLY tell the difference when all the speakers are working. Like the bass will blow ur brains will crystal clear audio, take this from first hand experience. Just trust me on this one. (your sound card is fine btw)
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May 24, 2014 8:58:10 AM

onboard is "fine" but not adequate if your an audiophile. A real soundcard will drive them much harder. If that wasnt the case, sound cards makers would be out of business....

Not to mention, microsoft doesnt put very much time into giving you much in the way of sound options.. naturally. Most people plug in a pair of desktop speakers and call it a day.

With that said, im surprised no one mentioned source. The reason that 7.1 sounds bad for music and some games is because its designed to recreate sound on each channel independantly. Therefore if the scene/part of the game doesnt have a seperate audio stream for sub 30hz or w/e range the driver in the headphones isnt replicating, thats why your not hearing it. Stereo treats all channels the same - hence the increase in sound/power which many perceive as quality.

Put on a movie with true dolby 7.1 (a blu ray not a compressed or ripped pirated version. the first thing to go for space is sound) and make sure you have the individual channels on the tiamat control thingy turned up. Then control the overall volume w/ the main/center setting.

The difference between onboard and a standalone quality card is truly night and day when you get into high end hardware. Unfortunately I run quad titans and while I have one pcie slot left its oriented in between 2 of my cards and impossible to get a sound card in there. I had to choose between more graphical horsepower or better sound and I made my choice.

Everytime I see a post like this it reminds me of how bad it sucks, and how mobo manufacturers really need to step up the audio or add more pcie slots! :p 
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