Skip to main content

Eight 5.1- And 7.1-Channel Gaming Headsets, Reviewed

Razer Megalodon

Razer made a name for itself by designing a number of different premium gaming peripherals, so we’re curious to see how its headset family evolves. The upcoming Razer Tiamat is not quite ready for prime time, so we're looking at its older Megalodon this time around.

Razer’s Megalodon costs $127, tying it for the second most expensive headset spot in our round-up. Fortunately, the product does not disappoint at that price point, providing great-looking features and a classy finish. The ear cups sport an illuminated Razer logo, there is plenty of padding around the head, and construction is sturdy. Weighing just 8 oz, this is by far the lightest contender in our story, which helps keep the headset comfortable during extended gaming.

You can push the microphone boom out of the way, but that doesn't automatically mute the mic. For that, you need the remote control's pod.

The headset plays host to two 40 mm neodymium drivers rated for a frequency response between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. Resulting sound reproduction is excellent, second only to Corsair's Vengeance in our subjective tests.

Razer calls its remote control pod the Maelstrom Audio Engine. This large block contains the USB audio chipset. It can switch from stereo output to virtual 7.1-channel sound dynamically with the press of a button. The pod is attractive, completely illuminated, and armed with the ability to adjust each channel's volume independently. There are also mic mute, sensitivity, and level controls.

Our only complaint is that the touch-based control wheel isn’t nearly as responsive or pleasant to use as a solid dial would have been. The Megalodon requires no driver, which is both positive and negative. Although there are no settings to configure, you also don't have the control panel or graphic equalizer to tune.

The Megalodon doesn't offer analog connectivity. It's USB-only.

Razer’s headset comes with a storage/travel case and a documentation folder that includes a quick start guide, a master guide, a certificate of authenticity, Razer's product catalog, and two stickers. The functional storage case is a really nice touch for gamers who go to LAN parties, making it easier to protect the fragile audio equipment.

  • xtreme5
    amazing stff.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    xtreme5amazing stff.
    Wassat stand for... "Space, The Final Frontier"? :)
    Reply
  • spookie
    great read! Never thought virtual surround sound was that good
    Reply
  • cleeve
    spookiegreat read! Never thought virtual surround sound was that good
    Yeah, me neither. Surprised the hell out of me.
    Reply
  • Thanks Toms for doing a review on 5.1 headsets. I been researching one for the past two weeks on other review websites, and online stores, but didn't feel satisfied. Could you guys do a review comparing these headsets you reviewed already to a dedicated audio card like the Asus Xonar Essence STX (with a pre amp) with a Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones (or HD 800)? I want to know if it is like night and day compared to these 5.1 headsets (also make readers see what they are missing from using onboard audio). I know its a few hundred dollars more, but i found out that i was more happy gaming with a $70 audio card than seeing 8x AA (using Nvidia Inspector) with a $500 GPU.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    bunnywannyCould you guys do a review comparing these headsets you reviewed already to a dedicated audio card like the Asus Xonar Essence STX (with a pre amp) with a Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones (or HD 800)? I want to know if it is like night and day compared to these 5.1 headsets (also make readers see what they are missing from using onboard audio).
    I like the idea, but it'll probably take a while to make it happen.

    Next up on the audio to-do list is a full-sized 5.1/7.1 surround system comparo. :)
    Reply
  • killeeeeer
    It would of been great if you tested the Roccat Kave but other than that great review. Been searching for headset for long time , now ill go with the Corsair Vengeance 1500 for sure .
    Reply
  • crysex
    Thanks Toms so much for doing this review. I have been searching one for a long time. Ready to buy a good quality sound card + headset after my next paycheck!
    Reply
  • iamtheking123
    I'll stick to my $100 stereo headphones instead of $20 headphones + $80 spent on fake surround sound and marketing. We've all tried virtual surround sound in PowerDVD or WinDVD and it sucks. Makes everything sound underwater and no where close to having 5 actual speakers set up throughout a room.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    I am still sticking with more expensive traditional speakers, simply due to my ear need some air to breath. These headphone arent comfortable especially during summer.
    Reply