CES 2023: the future of gaming surround sound


CES 2023 had many surprises in store, one of which is of particular interest to us. Razer is trying to apply what several major brands (Bose, Harman-Kardon…) have already in car audio by integrating drivers and haptic feedback (sensory feedback such as vibrations) in headrests. In the gaming world, several manufacturers incorporate drivers in their chairs, but the concept has remained on the sidelines.

The Razer Carol head cushion
The Razer Carol head cushion finally offers a simple and effective way to enjoy surround sound without having to install a bulky home theater system.

Only high-end seats have been successful, notably the Devialet system in airplane seats and the Bowers and Wilkins system in the BMW i7. With the Carol headrest, Razer simplifies the concept by combining all of these elements into a headrest cushion that fits any gaming chair. So everyone can enjoy immersive 7.1 sound.

The Razer head cushion features HyperSense technology that turns certain frequencies into haptic feedback in the form of “real-time vibrotactile signals.”

Razer assumes that 7.1 surround sound could be more accessible in the gaming world. Indeed, to contradict them would be cavalier, given that most gamers only enjoy virtual surround sound through a stereo headset.

By combining haptic feedback and surround sound, the Razer Carol gaming headrest cushion allows the user to be fully immersed in their favorite game.

Although immersive, it is difficult to compare this solution to a real surround system is difficult to make. With speakers, distance feels much more realistic and the perception of sound localization is improved. Today, Razer seems to want to optimize the sound immersion of players with a single accessory: the head cushion.

All gamers can enjoy surround sound, all they need is a chair with a headrest.
The Razer Carol, or 7.1 surround headrest, fits any gaming chair!

Although it is based on the design of the Razer Enki and Iskur chairs, the Carol cushion adapts to all gaming chairs thanks to an elastic band. It connects wirelessly at 2.4 GHz (only PC for now) and offers eight hours of battery life with charging via USB-C.

The sleek and elegant design of the headrest can be used with virtually any gaming chair on the market.

The speakers, calibrated for close monitoring, aim to make the soundstage even more immersive than with headphones. If the cushion is comfortable, Razer is sure to be successful. The Singapore-based manufacturer has remained mum on pricing and availability. To be continued!

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