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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars

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on 17 July 2013
I had a nightmare of a time trying to find which surround-sound headphones would be right for me. Before the Tiamat, consensus was that virtual (ie emulated) surround sound was both cheaper and better than genuine 7.1 surround-sound sets, but when the Tiamat came out, gaming-industry reviews have all been really good. However, user findings have been so mixed that I felt like I was taking an expensive risk. I'm now glad I did and I do believe that people reporting sound quality issues haven't thought (or aren't able) to adjust their soundcard settings, are using sub-quality on-board sound instead of a dedicated soundcard or are making incorrect volume adjustments to destroy the surround sound effect (more on all this later). I'm sorry that this is a very long review but I was SO fed up with every headset out there having a bunch of forum-based user reviews of doom that I wanted to address those same woeful comments of THIS headset for other tired would-be purchasers!

Things to note:

- These are GAMING headphones - not for music
- Treat them as speakers (don't pick 'headphones' in game settings)
- Sound will only be as good as your soundcard's capability
- All audio jacks and USB must be connected (not either/or)
- Bass levels should be adjusted in your soundcard settings

To cut a LONG post short, I highly recommend this headset for an excellent gaming surround-sound experience (bass is fabulous). I've given full details below for anyone wanting to know more about the headset and what to expect, and where some reported 'problems' might be a mistake by the user or lack of information from Razer.


There are five audio jacks (rear, side, front, subwoofer and mic) plus a USB connector. Unlike some headsets out there, ALL need to be connected. I had a few problems initially and it took me a couple of hours to figure out what was wrong, and the almost impossible-to-see colour coding bands on the metal connectors didn't help much. My sound card was missing pink and grey inputs that the headset needed (my Soundblaster card has blue and black instead). I couldn't tell whether the Tiamat's black was in fact dark blue, and I definitely had nowhere for a pink! After various cable-swaps with wrong results, I resorted to my soundcard manual and it transpires the pink mic jack must be plugged into the blue line-in of the Soundblaster (and the soundcard software changed to recognise this port as mic rather than line-in so the headset mic will work). This inconsistency was caused by my soundcard (not the headset) so I'm only mentioning this as Soundblaster is still a fairly common card and it might save others having the same confusion. Other soundcards will hopefully have more standard inputs with separate line-in and mic inputs!

It's excellent - bass is very strong (best I've heard in any headset). First impressions were disappointing and I can see why some users complained immediately: bass was weak and ineffective and volume was just too quiet altogether. However, I'd previously tweaked my soundcard settings to lower bass levels (I have a booming subwoofer and near neighbours - alas, the two aren't compatible with each other)! Increasing my bass settings made a world of difference. Remember that these phones are simply speakers outputting your soundcard's settings, and the settings that work for your speakers won't likely be good for the headset so expect to tinker with bass, treble etc. Also, don't choose 'stereo' or 'headphones' as your in-game sound settings. You're using your 7.1 soundcard as output just as you would your regular speakers, so choose that.

My first game to test was Mass Effect 3. For people unfamiliar with this game, it has 'biotic explosions' that are deep, boomy and rip through airwaves rather like thunder-claps and I could not believe how deep the bass was (I had to turn it down!) and how clear the effect of travelling sound was relayed. Likewise, small-detail sounds like dripping water, insect noises and atmospheric sounds that I'd not really noticed in my games through speakers were suddenly very clear. Note: this headset WILL only be as good as your soundcard, and generally speaking, on-board sound is often 'okay' at best whereas dedicated sound-cards will give a much richer quality of sound - often easing pressure from the CPU at the same time. There's no need to go expensive: the card I have (Soundblaster Audigy X-Fi 7.1 PCI-e) is currently offered by Amazon UK for £30 ($48 Amazon US) and it sounds fantastic through this headset. Razer lists this and many more recent cards that are compatible with the Tiamat on their website's FAQs for the headset.

Direction of sound is very, very clear. Many action games can be won or lost just by knowing the exact direction of sound. My Mass Effect multiplayer scores showed immediate improvement as I found myself tracking down enemies with ease before any of my competitors. It really does work extremely well, with rear sounds genuinely coming from 'behind' and sound panning around correctly if you rotate yourself in a game. The factory-default settings of these headphones is that the front and side drivers are at a higher volume than the rear sound, and I recommend leaving them like this (sound behind ears is naturally quieter to us than sound in front, so rear drivers should be quieter to create that same effect). Note: there is some nonsense spouted by users (not official reviewers) about games not offering 7.1 surround sound and so such headphones won't work but in every instance where I've read this, the users stated they would 'never buy' - in other words, they likely haven't tried them. Surround sound gaming has been a feature of PCs since the 1990s, and the increase of hardware output channels merely increases accuracy of detected direction. Suffice to say, all games I've tried so far (including a couple of older games that wouldn't have known 7.1) have worked really well.

Not tested beyond 'it works' as I don't tend to use a mic often. It slides neatly into the ear-piece out of view when not in use, and a button on the controller conveniently enables or disables its use. The build quality of the mic is as reviews state: a bit on the cheap plasticky side. However, I've read that it does the job; you just likely won't be making any prized recordings with it!

I have two problems with headsets generally: my head is on the larger side AND I have to wear glasses where the earpieces can hurt when wearing headphones. Although the headphones feel heavy in the hand, they're actually not at all heavy to wear (there's no downward pressure on the head, no sensation of hair being pulled downward and they don't squeeze inward tightly). During short to medium gaming sessions 2 - 6 hours I experienced no discomfort whatsoever; however, one particularly long gaming session of 12 hours with few breaks started to make my ears ache at the very end, - but 12 hours is on the extreme side and I wouldn't expect ANY headset to feel comfortable for that length of time. As for the set being wired, the length of cable is reasonable (more than adequate for a PC and desk arrangement at least) and the cable is made of lightweight and flexible fabric cord (similar to other Razer wired devices) and so is of no weight or the encumbrance of traditional plastic-coated cable.

The Tiamat controller comes bundled with an optional set of connectors for speaker pass-through so you can have both speakers and headset connected at once and switch between them at the press of a button on the controller rather than swap cables around. My speaker set is only 5.1 but the pass-through still works fine (I just used the front and rear Tiamat speaker connectors, omitting the side). My only criticism is that the pass-through cable length is unforgivably short.

There are a few comments out there about speaker-humming when the headset is plugged in and speakers are also connected to the included but optional pass-through cable. I encountered this for the first time recently, only later to discover that the pass-through connector had worked slightly loose in the controller (my fault - I'd knocked the controller off my desk but it's quite weighty and that likely led to the connector pulling loose. After pushing it back firmly into place, the hum was gone and I've had no problems since.

I'm so glad I bought this headset now. I'd considered others (the emulated variety) and had only hesitated buying any of these because of sound quality or comfort issues mentioned against them. The Tiamat headset is the only true (not emulated) surround-sound headset to receive across-the-board good reviews but there was still a gamut of user reviews either praising or bemoaning the sound quality and it was hard to know who was right. On this occasion, I found official reviews to be correct (Razer could help their reputation by offering clearer information on how to get the best out of the headset). Overall, I'm delighted with this purchase.
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on 12 October 2013
I thought I'd write a small review about this since there has been mixed reactions in regards to this headset, I bought this for two reasons, to change from the Logitech G930 due to disconnection issues and to maximize use of my 7.1 sound card, I was cautious about this product at first given a lot of negative user reviews around the interwebs, especially given their recommendations to avoid, eventually I decided against that and went for it.

So, after using it for a few weeks- I've learn that you must know your audio or at least have some knowledge about audio devices to maximize use of this peripheral- since it's packing a lot of drivers in such a small space, saying that, it's very important that you have a good quality sound card, you cannot skimp here. (I paired this with a Soundblaster Fatality Titanium Pro)

Out of the box, default settings the sound quality is poor due to the drivers packed together in the headset, bass is the weakest and feels non existent, now this is where I said knowledge of audio is important- it becomes a balancing act, you'll need to dive into the sound card applications and modify the EQ (create one for games, music and video), surround ratio, individual driver volumes and bass boosting/support, once you do this, it'll work perfect.

TLDR: You need a quality sound card, audio experience/knowledge to modify the EQ, individual driver volumes etc, it's about balancing to get this to work.
Razer is about customizing, most of their products you don't have to do much, but for the Tiamat 7.1, it's essential you do because out of the box, the sound is poor, too much trebble, not enough bass.

I got my settings adjusted and I'm happy with the purchase.
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on 21 September 2016
First headset I have ever owned, but not the first one I have ever worn.
Physically, they're quite amazing. I tend not to wear headsets, or simply can't, for very long because I wear glasses, and they dig into the part behind my ears if I wear some for too long. These do still hurt, but it takes a looong while, hours at the least. They will fit almost any head with the self-adjusting strap on the top. Me and my brother have very different head sizes (I won't say whose is bigger), but it fits us both perfectly.
Aesthetically, very pleasing. The headset comes with two caps for the ear covers themselves, and a couple of stickers to, very carefully, stick onto them. (Who doesn't love stickers?)
Onto the actual technical part. Now, I'm not an audio expert by any means, and it's easy enough to set this up, BUT make VERY SURE you have a 7.1 sound card in your computer. That would mean you have six holes, coloured green, pink/red, black, blue, grey, and orange. Thankfully, the jacks for the headset are colour coded, so you know which is which. You'll need a free USB port as well, just in case you were wondering.
There is also an adaptor in the box which enables you to link up your speakers as well, so you can freely switch between them at the push of a button on the control box (which is about the size of a small mobile phone).
The control box itself is pretty nifty too. You can alter the volume of each individual set of speakers in the headset (ie, side speaker volume, centre speaker, sub-woofer).

The one thing I would recommend is that you turn the microphone volume (on the controls) all the way up, and alter them in your control panel settings to your liking after that. It's -very- quiet otherwise.
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on 29 December 2016
Great headset.

Pros: The adjustable band on the top means it will fit pretty much anyone, and it's so simple to use, you just put it on. Completely surround sound and noise cancelling, you can't really hear yourself speak. The audio jack lead connecting to your device is long, so thats not limiting at all, you don't have to worry about straining your eyes by getting too close to a screen! The mic quality is also nice, as long as it's close to your mouth.

Cons: The mic hangs a little bit low, so it's a bit quieter than most headsets. Like with most noise cancelling headsets, it gets a little bit uncomfortable after an hour or two because of the tightness around your head.

Overall, a fine headset for the price. This sort of noise cancellation would normally have you paying in the 100s.
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on 12 July 2015
After 8 months of use, I started to notice a rattling noise in one headphone, It later escalated to a worse problem, one of the ear cups became detached from the head support.
I have never dropped it, and it's always been on it's hook or on my head.
Upon closer inspection I found that the only thing holding the pivotal ear cups in place is a small 25mm x 5m piece of plastic, which has become cracked, same problem with my earlier headphones, a set of Medusa 5.1s which lasted 2 years before the same issue arose.

Unhappy with product design and build quality.
Razer does it again.
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on 29 April 2013
Bought this to go with my new-build ASUS Maximus Gene V based buid. The inbuilt sound card is 7.1 and so I felt 7.1 sound is what I should have. These phones work straight from being plugged in, but there's my problem from a red/green colourblind point of view. The jack plugs are, as usual, colour coded but the colour is now a thin strip round the plug, even more difficult to distinguish for me with my partial colour blindness. I had to get my wife to help me identifying and matching the colours otherwise I woudln't have been able to plug it in. They replaced a pair of Razer 5.1 headphones which unfortunately distintegrated, with the headband falling apart and a dodgy intermittent connection in the control making a liggling necessary to achieve connection all of the time. These have a set of braided cables that seem they will survive for much longer and the volume/mixer box is much better having a 7.1 to 2.1 button, an instant mute, individual channel volumes, and a pass through for desktop (or any up to 7.1 set-up) speakers when there is no need for silence or privacy. I have had them for three weeks, so can't really speak for their durability yet, but they seem to be far superior in construction. The sound is excellent with a 7.1 source, and games like Bioshock Infinite are totally immersive. An excellent purchase that will be worth the money if they last.....
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on 4 August 2013
I recently bought these headphones for my super long gaming sessions, as regular Stereo headphones just weren't good enough.
So, I risked a lot and bought these headphones to enhance my gaming experience.

Thankfully, the headphones were far better than I expected, the Surround is amazing, and they are very effective in Battlefield and similar shooters, you can hear peoples footsteps, the direction of the noise and even their PROXIMITY!

Also, the question about the "dedicated" soundcard.
I am using a ASUS CROSSHAIR V FORMULA motherboard, and it has a 7.1 compatible onboard sound chip.
It saved me a lot of money.

I highly recommend these headphones :D
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on 26 September 2016
My first "True" 7.1 Surround headphones, and they are great! Bought mine on a big discount due to slight damage on the box, which I never noticed when they arrived, and the headphones themselves are in perfect condition.
Work great on Windows 10 with a Sound Blaster 7.1 sound card.
Great purchase, thank you!
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on 13 April 2013
Bought these to replace a set of Turtle beach Z6A 5.1 currently available on Amazon for £84.92. These broke at the hinge, a weak point on any hinged headset. The turtle beach worked well, great sound and mic and were very comfortable, but I liked the idea of upgrading from 5.1 sound to 7.1 sound.

I hoped the Razer would be more robust. So far seem ok from point of view seem robust but has a rotating hinge so time will tell.

The overall sound quality is better than Z6A but like the Z6A took a while to set up. Both Initially sounded awfull. Had to set bass boost in windows and enabe surround sound and sound effects features in sound card. Worth remembering the headset has five speakers in each earcup but its the soundcard and application that creates the output to each speaker to create the surround sound. I have tried both using my onboard sound which uses a Audegy emulation, quality very bad! so good quality dedicated 7.1 souncard essential. Razer has a list on its website.

I play AVA which supports 5.1 and Aces High which supports 7.1 Surround sound works well. No problems with base as other reviewers reported and mic sound fine. No hiss or buzz on my Dell compouter with Soundblaster XFI titanium soundcard.

Nice touch is you can set headset to stereo only using button on the controls and thankfully you can also turn Bass down on the controls. This is essential if you intend to also use headset to watch movies or listen to music. Quality ok.

Also like the mic which retracts into headcup but does feel a little flimsy.

Downside is comfort. As other reviewers comment tthe earcups are too small. There is a slight upward force from the supporting band which would not be a problem if there was a little more space in the earcups, perhaps all the Razer product testers are Munchkins! My ears are average size. This is why I have given 4 stars instead of 5. I have worn them for several days now and they seem to be "bedding" in and are more comfortable but I have to adjust position every 30mins or so. Z6A were so confortable you did not notice them.

Earcups do detach easily for replacement. hopefully Razer will introduce replacements with a larger space for ears, would be easy to to as the pads are very thick.

Not sure if the Tiamet 7.1 surround effect is any better than the Z6A 5.1 but overall quality of sound and bass better. The Razer controls are good, much better than turtle beach which dont lock and keep moving.

Overall happy with purchase but given the Tiamet are almost twice current price of ZA6 I would recommend the ZA6 as best value for money as not much difference between 5.1 and 7.1 using a headset but be carefull when unfolding the earcups and putting them on, any force against the hinge will break the tiny plastic screw fixing. if you have large ears forget the Tiamet they would be unbearably uncomfortable.

Ideal headset would be the Tiamet 7.1 with the ZA6 earcups!
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on 4 November 2013
Really thought these would be amazing, but for the price it seems a little shoddy.
I mean the fabrics ect are nice, the fit of the headset is above the rest, memory foam ear pads make them enjoyable to wear.
But the Mic... is so flimsy, it clicks in place but it's so easy to hit it then then it falls down. The 'bendy' strip that enables you to turn the position of the mic just doesn't to anything as in (you cant turn it).
Also if your also wanting to use these for music.. dont. If you use in 7.1 mode, the bass just makes a weird sound and sounds tinny.
These are purely for games.
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