Recently Razer sent us one of their Chimaera Stereo Wireless Headsets to try out, this headset is designed for the Xbox 360, however it can also be rigged up to your PC.
When you open the packaging you see that this headset consists of two main parts, the stereo headphones with and a dock which charges the headset and links up to your Xbox 360 or PC, the headset itself is quite bulky, however has a lovely matte finish on the headband and glossy black finish around the drivers, there is plenty of cushioning to keep the headset comfortable.
If you are considering purchasing this headset we must point out that it is not the headset for you if you use a HDMI cable to connect your Xbox to your TV (for this you should use the Razer Chimaera 5.1 headset), however if you use the HD AV cable, VGA HD or the standard composite AV cable it is perfect.
Setting up the headset is simple, firstly insert the rechargeable batteries under the left earphone and then connect the dock to your TV via the RCA to 3.5mm jack cable (supplied with the product), then press and hold the sync buttons on the headset and dock simultaneously to allows for the wireless headset to work, the headphone will now allow you to listen to in-game audio wirelessly, however if you want to use the mic you will have to connect the controller to the headset via the jack cable which Razer supply you with.
The are four buttons on each side of the headset, on the left ear you have a power button and a mute button for your mic, also there are controls for the mic / voice volume. On the right ear there’s a sync button, a mute button for the game volume and volume controls for the in-game volume.
Razer recommend that you charge the headset for 3 hours before using it, this should ensure that you get the 12 hours of gameplay from a single charge, simply dock the headset to do this and the charging indicator will light up red, if you are perhaps leaving your Xbox off for a while whilst the headset charges you should press the standby button which is located on the back of the dock.
Now that the headset has been charged, the dock has been connected to the 360 and the wireless sync is setup we are ready to use the heatset, you have to plug the headset into the control via the jack cable for the microphone to work, however if you are playing offline you can simply leave this cable unplugged for in-game audio.
I found that the headset was quite large even when adjusted to its smallest setting, like most headsets the headband is adjustable and there are 7 grades of adjustment and you simply pull gently on the left / right earphone until it clicks into place, whoever has both at grade 7 must have quite a long head. Once on your head it has to be said that they are not as comfortable and light as my V-Moda headphones, however the V-Moda headphones are simple headphones with no built-in mic, controls or wireless functionality. The padded headband and drivers are a nice touch, however a light and more minimalistic design would have been better.
Once your using the Chimaera headset you forget about the little imperfections and realize what you have paid for, amazing sound quality. I played Black Ops for roughly five hours for my test and I heard sounds which I had never heard before, I played on Kowloon and heard bumble bees flying around, on Firing Range I heard the buzzing of electrical equipment and on all maps footsteps sounded clearer, explosions sounded more realistic and gunfire sounded worrying close.
I found finding the balance of in-game volume and in-game chat hard to get right, I wanted to hear loud sound effects and music without drowning out my fellow gamers’ voices, in the end I went into my Xbox’s settings turned game volume to 1 and voice volume to 10, this done the trick.
One thing which impressed me was the headset’s wireless range, with the standard Xbox 360 wireless headset I found the range quite poor, it was fine when I was sitting in front of the TV, however if I popped into the kitchen for a drink it would cut out, with the Chimaera headset I stayed connected no-matter where I was in my house.
The strong wireless signal is great for if you want to use the headset as a wireless pair of headphones for your PC (requires a 3.5mm jack plug to jack plug cable to link the dock to your PC), the great sound quality can follow you around the house without annoying your housemates, my partner particularly liked this feature, however did state that at a high volume you could she could hear the volume that I was listening to.
All in all the Razer Chimaera Stereo Wireless Headset for Xbox 360 is a great product for those who want more from their games, playing Black Ops’ Search and Destroy game mode really showed the true potential, if the headset was a little less bulky, a little lighter and allowed louder in-game voices I would say they were perfect. Perhaps these changes could be made to the next-generation Chimaera headset, most importantly all of the necessary features work perfectly, below we have listed some tech specs, if you are impressed you can buy yourself the headset here.
Below we have embedded some more photos of the Chimaera headset: