In March, we reviewed the Razer Carcharias, and, while it was the best-sounding headset we'd used in a while, we still longed for the ability to play PC games in surround sound. Enter the £160 Razer Megalodon, the company's most ambitious PC headset to date. While it may not be ideal for the casual gamer, the Megalodon is a comfortable and incredible-sounding headset that lets you fully customise your audio.
Comfortable and customisable
Out of the box, the Megalodon reminded us of the Carcharias. Both headsets have the same basic design. The Megalodon is outfitted in a stylish, all-black outfit, from the headband down to the boom microphone. The ear cups are large, padded and easily fit entirely over our ears. The soft foam headband made for an even more comfortable experience, while the adjustable wire-framed sliders helped mould the headset to our head. The outer ear cups are covered in slick, dark, metal grilles with the Razer logo emblazoned on each side. Like the Carcharias headset, the Megalodon is large, although it's surprisingly light, which allowed us to have extended sessions of play time and chatting.
On the left ear cup, you'll find the protruding boom microphone that can swivel 270° around, moving completely out of sight if you like. Considering that feature, we have no hesitations about recommending the Megalodon for use with media other than games. We really like the cloth-braided wire that extends out of the left ear cup as well. Measuring in at around 3m, the cable provides more than ample length.
Halfway down the line is the control box for the Megalodon's 7.1-channel surround sound. When lit up, it looks like a prop out of a science-fiction movie. You can tweak each channel's audio output volume, in addition to adding bass boost. The various LED lights will flicker depending on what you're trying to control. You can also fiddle with the headset's microphone settings, and mute it. The Megalodon has the Razer Maelstrom audio enhancement built in. By hitting the Maelstrom button on the top, you can switch between 2.0-channel and 7.1-channel surround-sound settings. The Megalodon will enter the 2.0-channel mode automatically when given a 2.0 source.
The Megalodon can only connect to your PC via a USB port. Also, it's only compatible with Windows XP and later. We had a few issues with getting our Windows XP computer to work properly with the headset. It took a few unplugging sessions before the right sound kicked in.
Killer surround sound
We first put the Megalodon's 7.1-channel surround sound to the test. After about an hour with the latest Wolfenstein game, we were blown away by the headset's ability to separate various channels. The explosions of grenades, the firing of World War II-era guns, and the footsteps of enemy soldiers added an impressive dimension to the game. We threw on the Carcharias to compare the experience, and, while the headset still did a good job of directing audio, it couldn't touch the Megalodon's 7.1-channel separation. Note that you'll need to make sure your game offers a 7.1-channel surround-sound option to get the most out of the Megalodon.
Next, we tasked the Megalodon with some multiplayer rounds in Counter-Strike, to test the headset's chat performance. As with the Carcharias, we had an excellent session. Our teammates reported loud and clear communication from the Megalodon.
The Razer Megalodon should be the only 7.1-channel PC gaming headset you'll ever need to buy. It's definitely a product for hard-core PC gamers and may intimidate more casual users because of its customisation capabilities. If you don't think you're ready for such an investment, we recommend the Razer Carcharias instead.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet