Gaming

Coloured Nommo Chroma speakers light up games, movies and music

The Nommo Chroma's base can light up with a palette of 16.8 million colours, whether a menacing red, calming blue or a psychedelic purple-green mix.
The Nommo Chroma's base can light up with a palette of 16.8 million colours, whether a menacing red, calming blue or a psychedelic purple-green mix.

Gamers who enjoy having their battle stations lit up in various shades of pulsating colour can now add gaming speakers to that list, joining the rest of their lit-up peripherals, such as their mouse, keyboard and CPU.

The Nommo Chroma, from gaming company Razer, is a pair of speakers designed for gaming, while also providing big and powerful sound for movies and music.

These speakers will set buyers back $229.90 and come equipped with two three-inch drivers, rearfiring bass ports, USB and 3.5mm connectivity, as well as the ability to light up their base with a palette of 16.8 million colours.

Razer makes another version - the Nommo - without the colour-flashing base and USB connectivity for $70 less. It is otherwise functionally identical to the Nommo Chroma.

The shape of the Nommo Chroma speakers stands out immediately. Instead of looking like conventional, vertical speakers, they have a sleek, streamlined design which resembles headlights or torpedoes.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $229.90

    SPEAKERS: Two 3-inch drivers, rear-firing bass ports

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 50 - 20,000Hz


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

This shape is not purely an aesthetic choice - there is a functional reason behind it. The cone-like design lets the speakers channel sound in a more streamlined manner and directly towards the gamer.

This lets them replicate positional audio and create an almost virtual surround-sound effect. For instance, in a fast-paced, first-person shooter, such as Overwatch or Fortnite, you can tell when someone is walking behind you or where the shooting is.

The speakers stand about 20cm wide and 30cm high, which should fit most gaming desktops. The speaker stands are not extendable and so are not height-adjustable, which is a bit odd because they work best when in line with the ears. I had to stack them on top of some books to get the best effect.

What I did like was how they created a bubble-like audio zone where I was able to sense the general direction from which footsteps or the action was coming. I would know, for example, it was roughly behind me, but not as specific as, say, at my five o'clock position.

I still found it immersive, but nowhere as accurate as using headphones with virtual surround sound, which let me zero in on exactly where the action is.

The speakers are easy to set up and use, with only two knobs - a volume knob that doubles as a power button, and a bass knob that lets you adjust the bass to your liking.

The Nommo Chroma handles multiple audio events in games really well - explosions, gunshots and sound effects do not get too muddied up and mixed.

Turning the bass up yields some punchy, dynamic rumbles, but the bass does not get too overwhelming even when the knob is turned to maximum. Other than gaming, it is also suited for rock, pop and electronic music and holds its own with movies or videos.

The lighting on the base lights up incrementally along the edge as you turn up the volume, giving a cool visual indicator as to how loud your audio is. When idle, the base lights pulsate, cycling through various colour tones which you can customise using Razer's included software.

So you can choose for it to flash a menacing red, a calming blue or even a psychedelic purple-green mix.

I did find the Chroma colours distracting when doing something relaxing on the computer as the colours flash at the periphery of my vision.

But that could be a plus point for Chroma fans as that is exactly what they are looking for.

• Verdict: The Nommo Chroma speakers deliver big, fun and powerful sound and can provide a more immersive gaming experience for gamers. The regular Nommo is quite good value for money, while the more expensive Nommo Chroma costs quite a bit more for a fancy light show.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2018, with the headline 'Coloured speakers light up games, movies and music'. Print Edition | Subscribe