I haven’t reviewed many of my recent purchases lately therefore i’ve decided to pick one at random and looks back on it’s performance over it’s lifetime and post it here. One of particular interest to me is my Razer Megalodon 7.1 surround sound headset, which has served me well for over a year now and still going strong. It’s a little bit pricey at $180 AU but it’s been completely worth it for my purposes and the comfort it provides is unparalleled.
The Razer Megalodon is probably the most expensive headset you can purchase for gaming today, but it’s crammed with loads of useful features that you’ll be using more and more as you begin to rely heavily on them. One of these features is the 7.1 surround sound, at first you’ll probably want one of these headsets purely for this feature, I know I sure did! However over time the comfort, ease of use and simple volume controls will become an essential part of your gaming experience. There’s nothing easier than reaching down and spinning the dial around to change the volume, speaker orientation or changing the microphone sensitivity, all without having to leave the game your playing, it’s pure magic. Razer certainly have done their research into what gamers need in their equipment and providing it in an efficient yet simple way.
Another feature I can’t bear to be without anymore is the sheer comfort of them, the padding is a good 2cm thick on each side with an extra thin layer of padding between the speaker and your ear. Even while wearing glasses/nvidia’s 3D glasses it’s still very comfortable, which is the least I could say for my last set of headphones, the ASUS HS-1000W which became very painful after extended use of an hour or so, but don’t get me wrong the wireless on them was brilliant! Anyway back to the megalodon. The 7.1 was brilliant in movies of 720p or 1080p which output 7.1 surround sound and fully immersed me while I watched, however it sounded fairly “tinny” in games and it lost a lot of the bass sounds when 7.1 was active which was fairly annoying and made me want to switch back to 2.1. Also strangely, it was actually harder to pinpoint enemies in Modern Warfare 2 with the 7.1 active, possibly because Mw2 doesn’t support 7.1 sound, but it’s also weird that 2.1 got a better result.
There’s a small problem that a few of my friends with the megalodon are having which involves the blue LED’s on the actual headset not turning on, or becoming dull over time, this has occurred after having owned their headset for a year and 3 months or so, however it doesn’t affect the headsets usability at all and all the other functions work exactly the same. Although I would prefer to look cooler in the dark.
While on the topic of lighting the control unit is very well lit with a simple easy to find button in the center for changing the settings, and a rotating volume slider which lights up the bars on the left red when the volume is increased over 100%. It’s built very solidly, there’s no way this unit will crack or break even with extreme use, although I would advise against dropping it. There’s a button labeled “maestrom” at the top which controls the surround sound switching between 2.1 and 7.1 which I haven’t used much at all after finding 2.1 suited my games better as well as eliminating the “tinny” sound.
A feature not present on this model and I would have liked to have seen is a better constructed cable connection point between the headset and the control system. The cable is woven well except it’s the connections i’m worries about, they seem fairly weak and prone to constant wiggling and thus weakening the wire inside. While on this topic the cable between the USB and the control pod feels more durable and less pliable then the cable between the control pod and the headset, possibly increasing the life-span of the unit.
Friends have said how clear the microphone was after purchasing the megalodon and what a difference there was between my last headset and this one. My friends were also the ones who bought a megalodon first and impressed by the aesthetics and sound quality I soon followed, especially after hearing them clearly in voip programs such as steam and skype. I like how the microphone swivels almost 180 degrees from vertical to straight down, you can even wear the headset backwards if you want the mic on the right side, although you would need to invert the sound output in windows. It’s also flexible and easily positioned to where you need it most, whether that is closer to your mouth or further away.
The microphone mute button is a brilliant addition, easily stopping the person on the other end of a call hearing sneezes, burps or even you shouting at your parents. There’s also a microphone sensitivity adjustment which is extremely powerful, I’ve only ever had mine on one bar since i’ve bought it, anything more the person on the other end can hear you breathing like you were actually next to them. Strangely, the mic sensitivity button only applies it’s setting when you unplug and re-plug the headset, but being a plug and play with no drivers at all, it’s extremely easy to do.
Overall this is a very nice headset with all the features gamers need, although I would be a bit skeptical about buying another if this one breaks, mainly due to the high price. The microphone is brilliant and the control pod is solidly built with very easy to use buttons which don’t even require you to look which one your pressing. The headset’s LED’s dying aren’t much of an issue and only typically happens after a year or so of owning them but they shouldn’t go out at all with build quality like this, well at least it doesn’t affect it’s performance. Razer has defiantly shown me they are capable of building very nice technology and i’ll be sure to try out more of their products and review them here.
Update: October 2012 – The led’s in the earpieces have stopped glowing when it’s plugged in, just like my friends did, although it has no impact on sound quality or volume.
Here’s the final product score out of 100%:
The higher the score the better.
Size/Weight: 60% (Higher is more compact and lighter)
0% – 25% = Terrible Item, The item will break shortly after purchase and will leave you with a paperweight only left for discarding.
26% – 50% = Meh Item, A very poor item that you would use and forget about after a few months of use, or may break quickly and degrade over that time.
51% – 75% = Good Item, This item would satisfy your needs for a long time but isn’t the best quality around and may need replacing or become outdated after a year or so.
76% – 90% = Fantastic Item, An item that you need but may either cost lots or wear out over time and may eventually need replacing after 2 or so years.
91% – 100% = Amazing Item, An extremely durable item that will suit all your needs for the device and more, as well as lasting many many years.