Mako

Review

posted 4/10/2008 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
One Page Platforms: Multiple
Game Audio Testing
I hooked the Razer Mako up to my Vista machine and took it through a couple of shooters to get a feel for how it would handle gaming on the PC. As soon as I kicked off the test games, it was clearly evident what the Mako was designed for, with the game audio just jumping to life as I played. While I expected the normal game soundtrack to sound fantastic, I was pleased with how well all the background noises stood out. I specifically noticed the ricocheting of bullets and the footfalls in Gears of War and how clear the audio soundtrack to Shadowrun (with the command voice) was. These are just a couple of specific examples, but there were small nuances in just about every game I played that many times end up blending into the background.

Despite the fact the Razer Mako appears destined as a desktop audio system for computers, I decided to put some emphasis on how it would handle console play. It is touted as a Multimedia system, so I hooked it up to the Xbox 360 in the lab to see how it would handle a bigger stage. I decided right off the bat that there may not be a better game to test an audio system on than Rock Band. I played through the first two tour stops on drums and was very impressed with how the Razer Mako delivered the games musical soundtrack, as well as all the background audio. Despite being in a large room (the test lab is an open 19’x24’ area), the volume was loud (with room to spare) and the soundfield was excellent.

After jamming for awhile, I switched over to Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat and hit up the multiplayer maps and campaign. Once again, the Razer Mako seemed to bring alive the different sounds on the battlefield that were just “there” before. Background sounds seemed more audible, and the action on the screen was clean and concise. Much like Gears, footfalls and bullet noises among other noises seemed much more pronounced. Another game that provided similar results was Burnout Paradise. It was a very impressive performance for a product that is usually found in an office or bedroom.

Mako

Miscellaneous Items of Note
• Soundfield is excellent
• Utilizes Cat-5 cables to simplify connection of bi-amp speakers
• Touch pad very responsive
• No digital inputs
• Sound input levels may vary by source


Pros Cons
Gorgeous Design A bit pricey
Easy to set up No Optical Input
Picks up detailed audio Small audio "dead spot"
Bass response  


Testing Methodology
Items utilized in the testing of the Razer Mako 2.1 system included, but not limited to:
Xbox 360 Elite, Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive, Compaq Presario Notebook, Off-air antenna with HD source, DirecTV Satellite feed, Windows Vista PC


The Conclusion
The Razer Mako is simply the finest desktop audio system that I have ever tested or used. Everything about it oozes quality, class and innovation. While the $399 price tag may seem steep for a desktop 2.1 system, the Razer Mako is more than capable of providing a fantastic multimedia experience for gaming consoles and even TV. The soundfield is not only rich and deep, but very attentive to even the smallest audio detail. I hope that Razer and THX continue their relationship and deliver more high-quality products on an even bigger scale.


A
While there are a couple of things with the Razer Mako that could have been improved upon, you will find them to be little more than nitpicking on my part. The patented design, sleek lines and touch-sensitive control pod only make it look fantastic, while the sound it produces clearly sets it apart from the competition.



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