After we tested and reviewed an amazing and high-quality Razer’s Lancehead gaming mouse, the Razer Leviathan soundbar and subwoofer provide an amazingly explosive bass experience. Whether 5.1 Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound and Bluetooth communication will also work so well with this reasonably priced hi-fi product with $200? Let’s find out.
Okay, I would not have expected such a voluminous bass from the not so massive subwoofer. You should only turn up the Razer Leviathan for a party because the thing has quite a power despite its only 30 watts output power. For the first test, I put the excellent piece right in front of my nose in front of the 27-inches from Asus, turned the baby up and was swept away by the bass explosion cloud that my Uncharted: The Lost Legacy left behind.
Supercars in project cars that drift on the knife edge and squeak with the tires also cause the engine roar with pleasure. If I were to volume up the NPCs from my favorite first-person shooter Serious Sam, my neighbor would probably think that another wild party is going on. I’m seriously testing the Razer Leviathan for this serious game portal called GamingFront.net.
Gaming with High Quality Speakers
While most other manufacturers’ soundbars spread across the entire TV table, Razer has designed Leviathan as a multi-purpose 5.1 soundbar. 50 centimeters in length, which fits quite perfectly under most PC monitors, you’re probably playing on 27 inches by now. And 10 centimeters height fits too, at least if you can adjust the height of your TFT. And also on the TV rack, the excellent piece does not take up all the space but fits in well between PlayStation 4 on one and Xbox One on the other in my apartment.
The passive subwoofer, on the other hand, is 20 centimeters high and 23 centimeters long. A specific volume is required. Otherwise, it cannot play out its 133-millimeter drivers with an impedance of 4 ohms at a frequency response of 20 to 180 Hz. I like the design very much because it is not intrusive. Razer deliberately refrains from the usual aggressive green tone and instead uses silver emblems that appear less geeky and nobler in the living room.
The Technical Details at a Glance
Soundbars: Minimal Effort, Maximum Sound
Soundbars were invented primarily because real 5.1 setups usually require a certain amount of effort in the configuration and above all space. You have to position the different boxes somewhere and connect them to each other.
With the Leviathan it’s all effortless: soundbar via optical cable for better quality, aux-in or directly connected to TV or PC monitor via 3.5 jack, connected to the subwoofer via a 2-pin cable with a nice length of 2 meters – done. A wireless solution would be even better, of course, but you can’t expect that in the range around $200.
It’s charming how Razer’s engineers handle the energy management. All you have to do is connect the soundbar to the power supply, which then automatically supplies the subwoofer as well. Less cable, yeah! To increase comfort, Razer comes with four feet so that you can adjust the angle and height of the soundbar by about two centimeters.
The setup is finished, switch on quickly and boot “Titanfall,” which I have just rediscovered for myself. Surely one of the best shooters of last year has the thing bass. The subwoofer isn’t that big, so I was a bit skeptical about the bass. But the good piece goes far down and has a vibrant, voluminous bass.
The stomping of the Titans, the impact of the explosions – that feels good. You can also tune the drivers manually via the Razer surround software, but in principle the Razer automatic works very well. Use the buttons on the right to switch between music modes, gaming and movie/film modes.
Also in “GTA 5“, the combination of soundbar and subwoofer produces a very nice reverb effect, which greatly enhances the atmosphere. But also more emotional tones and religious chorals from, for example, “Skyrim” are reproduced very gently and do not radiate too dominant. That’s quite impressive, time for some in-depth testing.
Let’s Go Deep: High, Low, In The Middle
Even after many years, I use Jeremy Soule’s “Skyrim” sound check as a reference test for all the sound checks we do at GamingFront. Violin sounds meet acoustic guitars. Flutes meet drums. From the deepest bass in the mouth of an endless dungeon to clear highs and angelic vocals to the orchestral opulence of a battle painting worthy of a “Lord of the Rings.”
I’m pretty excited about the versatility of Leviathan. Razer’s engineers have done a lot of work here because the thing can not only make noise (and yes, the Leviathan is loud for its size) and scores with deep bass but also leaves a nuanced impression in the highs and mids.
The sound carpet is very harmonious. Nothing dominates, the timbre is warm. Especially significant is that you can turn the Leviathan up and make it loud, but the sound quality doesn’t decrease. So if you also want to play high tone chorals with real power and volume, you will get your money’s worth here.
That’s surprising since we’re not exactly talking about a price of CHF 200 in the hi-fi category. With Sonos, who is probably the current reference in the soundbar business, you have to add 500 CHF to the Razer price. However, Sonos also works with six drivers plus three calottes, which are driven by a Class D power amplifier, i.e., again in a different league.
Fancy Extras: Bluetooth 4.0 AptX and Fast Recognition via NFC
Razer packs the latest technology into his device. Bluetooth 4.0 with the aptX standard ensures lossless playback. From your notebook to the iPhone/Android/Windows phone and the sound quality is also compelling here. Also, the range of 10 meters is very high. Depending on the thickness of your walls, you may not be able to control your soundbar in the living room from the kitchen. But once you’re in a place with it, it’s no problem.
That’s necessary because Razer probably doesn’t include a remote control to keep the price so low. By the way, I would recommend buyers to leave the small NFC sticker for the so-called near-field communication on it. Because you know exactly where you have to put your phone on it to pair.
NFC is convenient because you don’t have to work with Bluetooth settings first, but your phone paired once, the device remembers the settings and then always recognizes them directly. It’s a small thing, but it’s an advantage because you don’t have to have Bluetooth enabled all the time.
NFC doesn’t consume much battery power, but Bluetooth is an energy guzzler. For the actual sound enjoyment, you should, however, transfer Bluetooth. Only this way you get the best music quality to your ears. Leviathan remembers the devices it has communicated with and stores the sound settings for the smartphone, tablet, PC, notebook, and consoles.
Holla the forest fairy, but here Razer has a big fish on his hook. The technical values of the Leviathan weren’t that impressive, but the bass is getting out of your socks. Especially if you position the excellent piece right in front of your nose as a PC player. The AT-AT walkers can’t stomp through Hoth early enough in “Star Wars: Battlefront.”
But the Leviathan also reproduces chorales and slightly warm sounds very harmoniously. It does not vary in sound quality, no matter how loudly you turn the knobs. Loudly, the Leviathan can pretty well reproduce clear sounds too. Moreover, the setup is no problem even for absolute sound beginners. The power of the Leviathan, with the subwoofer connected via 2-pin connector, it’s all ready to go.
Then via AUX-In, Optical-In or 3.5 jack to the device of your choice, ready. It is a pity, however, that Razer does not provide remote control for couch potatoes. PC players have to tilt the soundbar a bit to get to the controls. At least if you place the Leviathan directly under your monitor. Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about: the sound is fun, and you are also technologically up to date.