The new Razer Tiamat 2.2 Headset is here and this week I put it through some rigorous testing to see if it’s worth your hard earned money.  When directly compared to the Tiamat 7.1 headset, the Razer Tiamat 2.2 may seem like a downgrade since it only has the four speakers instead of the massive eight that the 7.1 has, but in truth, I believe that you will get a much more richer and overall better quality sound with the 2.2 then with the 7.1 if you use your headset for other things like music or movies.  With the Tiamat 2.2, I really focused on three things for my review:  construction, comfort, and performance for games, music and movies.  Let’s see how the headset held up to a week’s worth of testing.

Construction and Specs:

My initial thoughts on the Razer Tiamat 2.2 Headset was that it was built well and built to last.  The headset just has a feel of durability once you lift it out of the typically slick Razer packaging.  The Tiamat 2.2 is a suspension headset, so the top plastic arch never touches your head which prevents the feeling of pressure that can build over hours of use.  The cords for the headset are braided so that you never have to worry about then tangling, and it is harder for smaller animals to chew through them, which in my house is a constant worry.  The microphone for the Tiamat 2.2 is retractable, which is a nice feature, and feels just as durable as the rest of the headset.  The Tiamat 2.2 just does not feel like a cheap plastic headset that will break in normal use.

Here are the specs directly from Razer’s website:

TECH SPECS

  • Optimized positional audio for immersive gameplay
  • Dual bass drivers for deep, thumping bass
  • Comfortable, snug fit for extended play
  • Precise, noise-filtering unidirectional mic
  • Slim, easy-to-use inline remote
  • Replaceable soft-touch leatherette ear cushions
  • Braided fibre cable

Headphones

  • Drivers: 4 x 40mm Neodymium Magnets with Titanium Coated Diaphragm
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Impedance : 32Ω
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz : 109 ± 3dB
  • Input Power: 60mW

Microphone

  • Frequency Response: 50 – 16,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity @1kHz: -36 dB ± 2dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 50 dB
  • Pick-up Pattern: Unidirectional

In-Line Volume Control

  • Headphone Dial
  • Microphone Mute Switch
System Requirements
  • PC with built-in 3.5mm audio jacks
Comfort:
The Razer Tiamat 2.2 Headset is very comfortable over long periods of time with only a few minor complaints from me.  The Tiamat 2.2 is a suspension headset, which means that the hard plastic ridge that goes over your head is suspended off of your cranium.  What actually touches your head is a very nice, padded piece that helps to keep the pressure of the headset off of your head.  The entire headset only weights about three quarters of a pound, with most of the weight on your ears and not on your head.
The ear cups are made of a memory foam substance that feels very comfortable on your ears, however, the cups are covered in a leatherette material.  At first, this doesn’t seem like much of a negative, and if you are only using the headset for a few hours you are absolutely right.  The discomfort comes in when you start playing for longer periods of time, and you realize that the leatherette material does not let your ears breath very well.  You will get sweaty ear over longer play periods, that is a fact.  I would have loved to have a cloth ear cup replacement to help with this issue.  Other then the ability to allow my ears to breath, the Tiamat 2.2 Headset is a very comfortable experience when it is put on your head.
The only other issue I had with the Tiamat 2.2 Headset is the length of the cord that they give you to hook it into your system.  Razer is incredibly generous with their cord, giving us a full ten feet of it, so if you plan on connecting this to the back of your PC, you have plenty of cord to do so.  I, on the other hand, use the jacks in by Black Widow Ultimate keyboard, so I was constantly covered in about ten feet of cord when truly, all I needed was about three feet.  May not be a comfort issue for most of you out there, but if you plan on hooking the Tiamat 2.2 up close to you, be prepared to deal with excess cord that really has no place to go.
With the exception of the two small issues I had above, the Razer Tiamat 2.2 is the most comfortable headset I have ever worn.  The light weight of the headset and the suspension design makes sure that it is not heavy on the top of your head and the over the ear cup design makes sure that it isn’t tight in that region either.  The Tiamat 2.2 is extremely well made when it comes to comfort, even over the long haul with a marathon gaming session.
Performance:
When it comes to headsets, I don’t like to focus on just how it sounds for the gaming session.  I also like to listen to music and watch movies on my PC, so the headset has to perform well in those areas too.  I always look at how the headset performs during general use, not just with games.  The Tiamat 2.2 performed excellently during all three tests and has come out as the best sounding headset I have ever owned or used.
What makes the Tiamat 2.2 different then most of it’s counterparts on the market is that it is a 2.2 system, meaning that it contains four 40mm speakers with two of these speakers being sub-woofers.  What that means in the end, is that you get epic bass with whatever you are doing.  The solid thud of an explosion, the deep gravely voice of a demon, or the hard hitting bass line in your favorite song all sounds that much better by using the Tiamat 2.2.
I put the headset through my typical weekly choice of movies, games and music and found that the Tiamat 2.2 performed above my expectations for all three uses.  I watched Hellboy, Captain America, and a couple of episodes of Farscape and Top Gear through the headset and enjoyed every minute of it.  I tested the headset on both the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack for Hellboy and the DTS 7.1 sound in Captain America and they both sounded fantastic.  Sure, your not getting the surround sound quality you would with the 7.1 headset, but I have a home theater system set up for that, and this sounded just fine to me.  I also tested the headset with games like Team Fortress 2, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 3, which the Tiamat 2.2 headset handled beautifully.  The ear cups also do an outstanding job in noise canceling the outside world.  This really increases the sound quality of the headset, when the other sounds that you don’t want mixed in are completely canceled out.
The microphone worked like a charm also during my gaming tests.  Using Ventrillo, I was able to be heard by my friends loud and clear with no issues what so ever.  The recording quality of the headset still makes it sound like you are talking through a headset, so if you plan on using the Tiamat 2.2 for podcasting or other recording sessions, the microphone may not give you the quality you are looking for.  For gamers out there that are using it for Teamspeak or Ventrillo, the microphone is just fine and can retract whenever you don’t need it.
Final Thoughts:
The Razer Tiamat 2.2 Headset is not perfect by any means, it could use a shorter cord and the use of the leatherette on the ear cups will make your ears sweat over time.  However, these little gripes are trivial when it comes to the overall performance of the Tiamat 2.2 in general use.  The Tiamat 2.2 may not have the eight speakers that the Tiamat 7.1 has, but I will argue that this makes the Tiamat 2.2 better suited for music then the 7.1.  The Tiamat 2.2 speakers are larger then the 7.1 speakers and are geared more for stereo sound.  The two sub-woofers in the Tiamat 2.2 makes the games that I played just rumble through my skull, which was very cool for me.  I liked the deep bass sounds as they came through the Tiamat 2.2 during game play for Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3.
When it comes down to it, the Razer Tiamat 2.2 analog headset is a must buy for anyone looking for a general purpose headset to use with gaming, music and movies.  The Razer Tiamat 2.2 Headset is available now for $99.99.