When headset boxes mention "7.1 surround sound," they usually refer to virtualized surround sound using software like Windows Sonic or Dolby Headphone:X. The audio is pumped to one driver on each headset cup, and the complex software algorithms trick your ears into believing there's a wide soundscape. Some headsets do up the ante and offer discrete 7.1 audio, like Razer's Tiamat 7.1 V2 and its five drivers per cup.
The drivers inside each cup include a 40-mm subwoofer, 30-mm front and center drivers, and 30-mm rear and side drivers. Impedance is set at 32Ω for the main drivers and 16Ω for the bass units. Besides offering true 7.1 sound, the Tiamat is also an analog, wired headset—a category that's sparsely populated. A control unit stands along the cable connecting the PC to the headset. The control box is bigger than the one on last year's model and allows you to set volume on a per-channel basis. One nice feature that has me interested is the ability to switch between desktop speakers and the headset with just a button press on the control box, with no need for rewiring.
The Tiamat V2 is equipped with a unidirectional microphone that rotates up and out of the way when not in use, and that can be muted directly from the control box. Of course, the headset has RGB LED lighting that can be synced up with other Razer Chroma peripherals.
If ten drivers are too much for you, perhaps you could take a look at the Tiamat 2.2 V2, a toned-down version of its big sibling. The Tiamat 2.2 V2 offers two 50-mm drivers per ear cup, controlled by an in-line remote. The headset comes with a splitter and extension cable in the box, easing compatibility with mobile devices and consoles.
The Tiamat 7.1 V2 sells for $199 US, while the Tiamat 2.2 V2 goes for a more affordable $129. While the headsets haven't yet shown up on Newegg, they're available right now through Razer's store and Amazon.
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