As shown above the Tiamat has various LED sections, one on each ear and then the control pod where the main dial surround lights up as do the buttons toward the base. This allows a quick and easy to understand visual on the current status of the headset.
In terms of set-up the process is very simple. We look at the sound card ports to work out which is which and then use the colour coded diagram from the Tiamat quick start guide to match each plug. The final step is to plug in the USB power connector and then we are done.
From there our sound card software takes over and we ensure it is set to 7.1mode (along with Windows sound control panel). It is also worth checking the first time we launch each game that it has recognised 7.1 being present and if not, manually setting it. Essentially there is no difference to setting up any other audio product whether it is stereo or virtual surround based.
So what about performance?
Moving next to DOTA 2 and switching in-game between the 2.0 and 7.1 modes it was immediately evident that positional audio offered benefits. The sound which is normally very focused was spread much more nicely and allowed us to better tell where individual sounds were coming from. The environmental effects were also nicely recreated which added atmosphere to the quieter parts of the map.
Moving next to Dirt Showdown we have a game where it is all about LOUD… Codemasters have tried to create a real Xtreme Sports event feel to the game and overall this suits the Tiamat. The thumping soundtrack has plenty of power to it, the in-game voiceovers are clear and the car engines crisp. More importantly though the Tiamat really throws the crashes at the player, these are loud ear cups and it really benefits the immersion factor.
On 5.1 tracks the Tiamat also performed well with good levels of quality, though not quite the extreme levels of sound stage found on 7.1. We also noted during a test of a live music Blu-Ray in 5.1 channel that the separation of vocal and instrument was good with some nice echo and directional audio in place as well as the crowd sounds towards the rear channels.