Razer Leviathan Review

Written by Antony Leather

April 1, 2015 // 10:14 a.m.

Tags: #astro #audio #best-sound-bar #best-speakers #headset #razer-leviathan-review

Razer Leviathan Review

Manufacturer: Razer
UK price (as reviewed):
£159.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $196.99(ex Tax)

There's fair amount of crossover as far as PC gaming and console gaming go when it comes to peripherals. Plenty of people own both devices and as we saw with Astro's A40 headset, you can appeal to both markets without too many compromises. Razer is clearly a well-known brand when it comes to both PC and gaming peripherals and it's looking to bridge this gap with its latest speaker set - the Leviathan.

Razer Leviathan Review Razer Leviathan Review
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Soundbars are something of an oddity for PC gamers but we actually think they're well-suited to your typical gaming PC setup. Whether you have a hutch above your monitor or a shelf or just want it to sit underneath your monitor, you can save a fair bit of desk real estate given there aren't many other devices that can make use of this space. The Leviathan isn't just a £159 soundbar though. Also included is a fairly hefty 30W sub that connects to the soundbar via a proprietary cable. It's not as massive as Corsair's SP2500 sub, but it's certainly large enough to do some damage.

Razer Leviathan Review Razer Leviathan Review
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While the soundbar's 30W combined rating comes from two 60mm full range drivers plus a duo of 19mm tweeters, there's only a stereo input if you need to hook up 3.5mm jacks, which does limit the surround sound potential, even if the Leviathan supports Dolby Virtual Speakers. However, there is an optical input as well, which should also make console users happy.

Razer Leviathan Review Razer Leviathan Review
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The 50cm long soundbar is the command centre of everything the Leviathan offers. It's powered by an AC adaptor that has a 1.5m long cable so is likely to be desk/TV cabinet-bound, although it is also wall-mountable. Razer also includes different-sized feet that can alter the height and angle the soundbar sits at. It's a weighty device too at 2kg and combined with the rubber feet, you won't have any issues with it sliding around the desk.

Razer Leviathan Review Razer Leviathan Review
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The sub is rated at 30W thanks to a 130mm downward-firing driver and is 260mm wide and just over 220mm tall. Something that's lacking from all soundbars we've considered for PC use is a wired remote - pretty much essential for most PC users, at least on 2.1 speaker sets and above. The leviathan doesn't offer one either but does have volume control buttons on top. There are a number of other controls here too. There's the power button, an equaliser button, which can switch between gaming, movie and music modes, a mute button and also a Bluetooth button.

Razer Leviathan Review Razer Leviathan Review
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The latter allows Bluetooth v4.0/NFC devices to stream music to the Leviathan as well, so you don't have to fiddle around with auxillary cables. Connecting an iPhone, for example, took about 10 seconds and there was no issue with range either, with music continuing to stream from 8 metres and several rooms and walls in the way.

Starting with the soundbar, we were a little disappointed with the performance, which lacked pizazz in any of the preset equaliser modes. For PC use, where you're typically sitting fairly close to your main speakers, the soundscape is a little narrow too from the soundbar. However, the sound was very clear, if a little lacking in the surround department, even with Dolby Virtual Speakers turned on. Sitting further away, this becomes far less of an issue so the Leviathan is clearly a little more at home with TV or console use However, bring the sub into play and things are very different. For such a compact unit its extremely powerful, with a smooth, deep punch and excellent range.

Razer Leviathan Review
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Thankfully the full range drivers and tweeters in the soundbar just about coped without being drowned out. At lower volumes this was a slight issue - any time the bass kicks in it's monstrous at default settings on all of the built-in presets, but a bit of tweaking in your smartphone's music app or within Windows to tune down the bass solves this immediately.

Conclusion

We'd like to see two things added to the Leviathan. A wired remote for easier volume control, maybe even bass control as well as it does need reigning in at lower volumes. These are included with pretty much every 2.1 and higher set we've seen and is far more convenient than using the buttons on the soundbar itself. Secondly a slightly wider soundscape would make the transition from traditional 2.1 speakers less noticeable, especially if you have yours placed a metre or more apart. The soundbar does a good job of emulating this as well as 5.1 surround but it's no match for the real thing.

These are the only downsides to what is otherwise a great value set of speakers. The sound quality, especially the bass, is superb and the Bluetooth streaming worked flawlessly. The design is fairly inconspicuous too, so it wouldn't look out of place under a TV. The mid-range and high end are good, but if bass is your thing then we can thoroughly recommend the Leviathan.
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  • Sound Quality
    34 / 40
  • Design
    25 / 30
  • Value
    25 / 30

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