For many games, particularly first-person shooters, clear, multi-channel audio is absolutely vital if you wish to take your gaming to the next level of competitiveness. Razer claims that its Megalodon is the world’s first true pair of 7.1 gaming headphones. Of course, being headphones, the audio is delivered in virtual 7-channel surround, creating the perception that there are more sources of sound. The Megalodon does this exceptionally well, providing a full audio experience. The true beauty of this set, however, is its true plug-and-play functionality. You don’t even need a sound card that supports 7.1 – Razer’s Maelstrom audio engine comes built into the headphones, which also takes the strain off your CPU.
Pros: Painless plug-and-play functionality with a USB connection, no need to install anything, very comfortable headphones, desk-mounted control unit makes for easy adjustments to all audio channels on the fly, includes a hard-shell carrying case.
Cons: The price point, the fairly limited audio controls (which override the Windows audio mixer), and the relatively temperamental support for Windows XP users. Some games will support the Megalodon’s full 7.1-surround capabilities in Vista, but not in XP, for instance.
Verdict: The Megalodon could well be the ultimate set of headphones for the pro gamer, with its superb quality and ease of use on virtually any PC setup. However, audiophiles may be a little put off by the limited audio customisation options. And if, like many gamers, you haven’t yet made the leap beyond Windows XP, it’s less likely that the Megalodon will provide full 7.1 surround support for your games. However, if you’re simply after a pair of headphones that will provide you with minimal compatibility issues and, at the very least, exceptional sound quality, it’s hard to go past the Megalodon.