Razer Megalodon - for most people, just mentioning the name Razer is enough to establish an opnion about the quality of the product. That's because the brand name is almost synonymous with professional gaming. But as we had previously seen with the Razer Spectre, Razer Banshee, Razer Marauder and Razer Nostromo, that's not always the case. In fact the recent StarCraft II and TRON branded series turned out to be less than spectacular, which we have come to expect from every Razer product.
Which means the Megalodon not only has to fill the shoes of the previous champs in the series, but also has to go the extra mile to clean the brand's name of the tarnish which the aforementioned products left behind.
The Megalodon is certainly equiped for the job - promissing 7.1 channel virtual surround sound along with a superior noise cancelling headset and an attractive design, the Razer Megalodon looks poise to be ranked among the best of the best in PC gaming audio. On paper that is. Almost all tech enthusiasts know that gadgets rarely perform as advertised and the actual experience can vary greatly. Which brings us to the purpose of this review - jump on in after the break to see if the Razer Megalodon indeed have what it takes to win the crown.
One look at the package and you can tell that the Megalodon was meant for excellence. It comes with a little box-like control unit which is used to control all the aspects of its performance. Other features include a USB connector and a neat-design which is pretty comfortable. Also, it doesn't require any kind of driver. It is recognized by Windows as Razer Megalodon as soon as it's connected. Now let's have a look at the specs.
- Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω at 1kHz
- Sensitivity (@1kHz, 1V/Pa): 102 dB ± 4dB at 1 kHz
- Max. Input Power: 200 mW
- Drivers: 40 mm, with neodymium magnets
- Frequency Response: 50 - 16,000 Hz
- Sensitivity (-37 dB ± 4dB @1kHz, 1V/Pa): Variable (user adjustable)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 50 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
Audio Processing Unit
- Master volume, center speaker, front speakers, side speakers, rear speakers, bass level, mic sensitivity, mic leveling, mic mute, Razer Maelstrom on/off, active/standby toggle, reset
- Cable: 3.3 meters, Braided Fiber Sheath
- Connector: Gold-plated USB
The Razer Megalodon is made of a light-weight plastic material like the previous headsets. It has large circumaural ear cups which are leather coated to provide maximum comfort and makes it wearable for an extended amount of time. It also provides better noise cancellation.
The headband is very comfortable and is covered by a normal fabric.
The microphone can be rotated upto 270 degrees. But it doesn't bend in any other direction so the distance from the lips is hard to minimize.
One of my favorite things about the Megalodon is its control unit. It is amazing how all the features from Volume management to Microphone sensitivity are packed into one small control unit. It is pretty easy-to-use. We can switch from 2.1 to 7.1, adjust all the channels' volumes separately and together, adjust microphone level and sensitivity, and mute or unmute the microphone with a single button.
The wire is about 3 and a half meters long and has a Gold-plated USB connector which supports all kinds of USB ports. However, there is no extension cable included in the box.
Other content includes a carrying case, a manual, a catalog of other Razer products and a sticker for your casing.
Razer products are made for gamers, by gamers. So the performance of Megalodon in gaming counts more than its performance in any other thing like movies or music. This is the core part of the review and the performance will be judged by its performance in gaming.
To test the headset, I will use some of the commonly-known games so we can compare the performance of the headset with other headsets, reviewed before. The test run includes Left 4 Dead 2 and Counter-Strike: Source.
Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter which depicts a Zombie Apocalypse. Since it's a first-person shooter, the gamer requires good sound performance to perform well in the game. I admit that Razer is a brand known for its performance in gaming, but seriously this headset provides a great surround sound environment, separating all the channels pretty well unlike the previously reviewed Raptor Gaimng H3 which wasn't able to point out the location of the approaching enemy. It could get a little noisy in this game but unlike Razer Banshee, Megalodon did a great job in making them less disturbing to the ears. I heard voices that I've never heard before and is a definite delight for a gamer.
Counter Strike: Source, the game everyone is familiar with. The first-person shooter which defines online gaming. This is the game which will decide the fate of Razer Megalodon. This is a game of tactics and strategies, so a gamer relies on sound more than the visuals in this game. You want to hear the footsteps approaching from afar, and act accordingly. Like Left 4 Dead 2, it shows great performance in Counter Strike as it is meant to perform in gaming. It definitely kicks Razer Banshee and Raptor Gaming H3 out of the game with its Multi-Channel Surround Sound and also performs better than the previously reviewed Arctic P531 because of the two extra channels. It creates a nice 3D-like environment, which really makes you feel like you're in there. Noise-cancellation works great and gamers at the other end reported that the microphone's quality is pretty loud and clear.
Since the Razer Megalodon is a gaming headset, I wouldn't really judge it by its performance in movies or music. But still it's a 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound headset, so there's no harm in giving it a test. I've tested the headset on a couple of songs which are stereo ofcourse, and on the movie Insidious with 5.1 AC3 sound. I've gotta say, for a gaming headset, it gives the best performance in all the gaming headsets I've checked. Separates all channels pretty well. You don't really expect the best performance in movies from a gaming headset but this baby does a great job.
In music, it did a great job. With deep bass and clear sound overall. It doesn't lose its quality and provides nice and loud music. Its noise cancellation works great. Overall, its a good gaming headset which gives good performance when it comes to music.
The Razer Megalodon is a good product, a little expensive, but that's okay because of its outstanding performance, and the comfortable design. They have improved a good deal from their last models. The good things about the headset is that it comes with a USB sound card with loads of features, the Maelstrom engine is feature-rich, has 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound, is comfortable and well-built, has a good microphone and doesn't require any kind of driver to run properly. It's performance in games that do support multi-channel sound is unbelievable. It really does create a 3D environment.
On the other hand, It's price is $149.99. The 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound isn't much impressive if you're using it with something that doesn't support Multi-Channel sound. Although if they had provided any kind of management software with the headset, then managing the equalizer and other stuff would have been pretty useful. It is expensive considering the other comparable products in the market. And it will only attract some of the audience who want comfort with high-end sound performance.