To test out different gaming headsets, I make sure to use them for a variety of tasks – including gaming, watching videos or listening to music. During this time, I take note of the sound quality, comfort levels and mic quality of the headset.
Starting with the comfort of the Tiamat 2.2 V2, I must say that I have no major complaints – it is a comfy headset.
The cushions are nicely padded and, despite the square-ish shape, fit over my ears well. The cups are also rotatable at the hinges, meaning you can get the perfect fit to the contours of your head. I would’ve liked to see some fabric ear cushions included in the box, but the faux-leather ones provided are nice and soft – they just make my ears quite warm.
The suspended headband is also well done, with the weight of the Tiamat 2.2 V2 being distributed very evenly across my head. The only problem with these designs is that the metal outer frames often amplify the slightest of vibrations, so eating crisps while wearing the Tiamat is not recommended. However, unless I go out of my way to touch the metal frame, this is not usually an issue for me.
‘Software?’, you ask. ‘I thought this was an analog headset?’. Correct – it is analog, but that doesn’t stop Razer advertising the Tiamat 2.2 V2’s surround-sound capabilities.
Essentially, if you are wondering how that could be the case, Razer wants you to download its Razer Surround engine to use with the Tiamat – this engine uses software to emulate 7.1 virtual surround with any pair of headphones that connect via 3.5mm jack.
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It’s a neat tool, offering surround-sound calibration, various enhancements (like bass boost, not that the Tiamat needs it) as well as an EQ utility, so it certainly has a few options to tinker with. It may not be as fully-fleshed as Razer Synapse, but it provides virtual 7.1 for those who want it, so we have no complaints.
Audio and mic quality
Now, moving on to audio quality, it is worth saying right from the start that the Tiamat 2.2 V2 will not be for everybody. This is simply the nature of a headset with discrete sub-woofers in each ear cup – the bass is very strong, to the point of being overpowering. If you like bass, you will love the Tiamat, but to my ears the sound is far from perfect.
For one, while the bass is massive, it is very loose and spills across the mids and highs. That means those mid and treble frequencies are quite recessed, giving a very dark tone to music and videos. Acoustic music, for instance, loses a lot of detail and clarity – it sounds like you are listening through a very thick veil.
That being said, the bass is truly unmissable – especially when you enable the secondary sub-woofers via the on-ear toggle – and it gives a proper oomph to house and garage tracks, while rocks and prog metal tracks from the likes of Tool and Dream Theatre feel very dark and heavy.
For gaming, that bass contributes to hefty explosions and almost deafening gunfire in titles like Battlefront 1 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. However, given the mids and highs are not very present in the mix, it does make it a challenge to pick out enemy footsteps and other audio cues. Speaking personally, I prefer a much more balanced headset to game with, but bassheads out there will likely get on well with the Tiamat.
Another aspect worth noting is the virtual surround. Using Razer’s tool, I must admit the virtual 7.1 solution is very successful – it creates a wider soundstage and atmosphere without completely destroying all of the audio’s detail. Most headsets with virtual 7.1 just add a ton of reverb to fool your ears into thinking the sound is wider and more expansive than it is. Razer Surround, though, keeps all of the clarity while definitely giving a more expansive sound. Overall, as far as virtual surround-sound goes, this is one of the best implementations I’ve heard, so kudos to Razer.
Lastly, the mic is worth touching on. Overall, I think the mic is actually very decent – my voice sounds full and quite natural, with just a hint of that nasally sound which is common to almost every headset mic out there. The unidirectional pattern certainly seems to reduce the levels of background noise picked up – with the TV on in the next room, I couldn’t hear it when recording myself using Audacity. Overall, good job Razer.