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Razer Leviathan Review - Armchair Empire

Razer Leviathan Review

leviathan speakers

  • 9/10
    Sound Quality - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Volume - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Durability - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Value For The Price - 8/10
8.6/10

Why Buy The Razer Leviathan

Razer Leviathan is an entirely different take on gaming speakers than the rest we have reviewed thus far. It is a Surround Sound Bar and hence ideal for Laptop gamers. Nevertheless, featuring 5.1 surround sound technology, this product from Razer is good for more than just gaming with its rich mids and highs. We have no qualms recommending this gaming speaker to one and all, provided you can afford it.

Introduction

Razer calls the Leviathan, “One Sound Bar To Rule Them All.” It is the best Bluetooth enabled, gaming sound bar currently available on the market that caters exclusively to gamers everywhere. 5.1 Channel Surround without a five speaker setup? We too were baffled by the claim. Razer says that it uses Dolby technology with a dedicated subwoofer and directional sound drivers to deliver 5.1 effects.

One thing is for sure that the bar design will bring you closer to the battle scenes at least when gaming on a laptop. The question is, does this sound bar have what it takes to game on a large screen television? According to Razer, the Leviathan features four finely tuned drivers in its sound bar that will resonate the audio all across the room. Moreover, with v4.0 aptX Bluetooth, you can stream wireless music directly to the Razer soundbar without any cables. The soundbar even works on its own if you decide to go completely wireless, although you will lose out on the subwoofer’s deep bass.

Unlike most sound bars, the Razer Leviathan has a 5.25 inch downward firing subwoofer that is perfectly tuned to match the soundstage of the Razer sound bar. Don’t get fooled by the small packaging. Measuring 30% less than normal soundbars, this one fits underneath any monitor and on any table. It even mounts on the wall. As for cables, there are just two to hide. One goes to the subwoofer, and another draws power for the setup. By the way, the sound bar has three tuned equalizer settings if you decide to stream over Bluetooth.

Sale
Razer Leviathan - Elite Gaming & Music Sound Bar With Dolby Surround Sound - Enabled with Bluetooth 4.0
  • The Razer Leviathan Surround Sound Bar features cutting-edge Dolby® technology, superior sound drivers, and a dedicated subwoofer, projecting in-game battle scenes or your favorite tunes
  • Featuring award winning aptX technology, the Razer Leviathan seamlessly connects via Bluetooth v4.0 for audio quality indistinguishable from a wired connection with an impressive dynamic range
  • The Leviathan's built in NFC technology allows for ultra-fast pairing and remembers your recently paired devices, allowing you to connect with a single tap. Frequency response rate : 180Hz - 20KHz

Our Review

Razer wants us to believe that the Leviathan is a proper replacement for a living room 5.1 surround sound solution. We feel otherwise and would rather suggest getting a decent 5.1 or even 7.1 surround sound setup with multiple speakers if the living room is where you plan on using the Razer Leviathan. It was important to get this information out of the way as you might be considering the Razer as a viable alternative to TV speakers.

The Leviathan is an excellent PC speaker with Virtual surround sound. It is a good alternative to Dolby surround headphones but not a proper replacement. However, if you compare it to an actual 2.1 surround sound solution, the Dolby effect is more pronounced though concentrated in a very particular cone. We feel the Leviathan wins over other desktop solutions simply because of its form factor and fresh looks. If only Razer opted to call this a 3.1 setup, we would have rated this top of our charts.

The sound bar produces clear highs and mids with the subwoofer playing thunderous lows. Trying to test the 5.1 solution using the Windows audio setting does reveal something startling. The rear channels do not sound that much different from the left and right channel speakers. The lack of clarity is because the rear channel is a virtual simulation of the two side channels. According to Razer and even Dolby, this works as an actual 5.1 solution only when there is a wall directly behind you to bounce the sound off. We, however, could not feel the difference when positioned accurately in front of a wall.

In games, though the Razer sound bar performs exceptionally well. Take GTA V for instance. As cars drive past you, the Razer Leviathan gives you the illusion of passing cars as if they were whooshing past in real life. The surround effects are pronounced on the sound bar though not distinct. A decent Dolby 5.1 headset will sound much more spatially separated. The surround experience is better with bullets, speech and similar effects, especially when we positioned our test table parallel to a wall for the sound to bounce off. You will also have to place the sound bar as close as possible to your keyboard or yourself if you want the surround experience.

What blew us away though is the Dolby effects remain when using it with the AUX or 3.5 connection. Even on Bluetooth, music seemed fuller than normal. Speaking of Bluetooth, this sound bar will remember a total of five paired devices so you can quickly swap between them.

The equalizers are limited to just three, and though they produce some change in the soundstage, it is not prominent enough to make much of a difference. Streaming music though tends to become better on either of the three settings depending on what it is the speakers are playing. Some folks have complained about the bass being on the higher side with the game preset but we find it adequate. At least, the bass does not muddle rest of the frequencies.

We do have one major gripe with the Razer Leviathan. The optical connector or rather the subwoofer connector is fragile at best and can break if you yank it. Finding a replacement is not easy on the open market and ordering one from Razer might take longer than you would like. A minor gripe is the auto power-off mode. The sound bar switches off if it stays idle for over 20 minutes. The 20-minute timer did not bother us though it might be an issue for some.

Pros

  • Soundbar design takes up less space than other competing brands and models.
  • 1 surround sound effect is evident when paired with a laptop or desktop setup.
  • The subwoofer is exceptionally powerful and does not falter even with EDM tracks.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with NFC pairing so you can play tracks wirelessly from an iPod, smartphone or even your Bluetooth capable laptop.
  • The sound bar can operate without the subwoofer. It is, in fact, available with or without the subwoofer.
  • Lack of cables and its small size makes it ideal for a minimalistic setup.

Cons

  • This sound bar is not a proper surround sound solution. It is virtualized and at best comes close to a 3.1 setup.
  • You cannot use it as a living room solution.
  • The proprietary connectors for the subwoofer are fragile and can break if you are not careful.
  • Auto power-off after 20 minutes may be a problem for some.

Conclusion

We love the minimalistic design of the Razer Leviathan. It is not an eyesore and yet somehow manages to amaze us every time we game on it. Yes, the soundbar does have its quirks, but overall for the price you pay, you get a pretty advanced technological marvel.

5.1 surround effects that are more like 3.1 but still better than any 2.1 surround sound speaker, we recommend this to one and all, regardless of whether you have a capable gaming speaker or not. No crackling at high volumes, no breaking up over Bluetooth and flawless highs, lows or middles. Who knew Razer could make good audio equipment too? Until now we believed Razer was a brand you chose for their accessories or even gaming laptops but seems with the Leviathan, they have made a niche for themselves, one they are not in any hurry to vacate.