Razer Kraken Review
Pros: Comfortable, good audio qualities, great value
Cons: No detachable mic, easy to accidentally change the volume
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|Pros||Comfortable, good audio qualities, great value||Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality||Decently comfortable to wear, solid sound quality||Inexpensive, exceptional microphone quality||Inexpensive, decently comfortable|
|Cons||No detachable mic, easy to accidentally change the volume||Harder to mute, no mic sidetone||Short cable, mic and cable aren't detachable||Not the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette||Unimpressive sound quality, could be more user-friendly|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for a great all-around product that won't break the bank, then this is a good choice||An excellent and affordable all-around gaming headset that's extremely comfortable, even for long sessions||The G332 is a decent value pick for anyone shopping on the tightest of budgets for a new headset||This headset has a great mic and offers strong value for more limited budgets||While the HS50 is an inexpensive headset, it struggled to make much of an impact compared to some of the other options|
|Rating Categories||Razer Kraken||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Corsair HS50 Pro|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Razer Kraken||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Corsair HS50 Pro|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Measured cable length||11.1 ft PC
4.5 ft console
|10.6 ft||7.35 ft||10.5 ft||6 feet
with the audio/mic split 80"
|How to mute the mic||Switch||Switch||Lift mic||Lift mic||Button|
|Measured weight||12-1/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||9-1/2 oz||10-3/4 oz|
|Measured ear cushion size||2-1/4" X 2-1/2"||1-1/2" X 2-9/16"||1-5/8" X 2-3/8"||1-5/8" X 2-9/16"||2-1/8" X 2-5/8"|
|Ear cup shape||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval|
|Ear cup fabric type||Heat transfer fabric with cooling gel||Leatherette
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our first set of tests looked at how comfortable it is to wear each of these headsets, particularly when it comes to wearing them for extended sessions. This headset did quite well, earning one of the better scores of the entire group.
Our judges found this headset to be nice and comfortable, sitting well on most heads. It is a little on the larger side, so it might not sit super well if you have a dome on the smaller side.
The headband is covered in mesh fabric and has a decent amount of padding. We like that it feels light on the head and it has more than enough for just about anyone's ears in its larger ear cups. Even better, this product uses "cooling gel" to keep your ears from getting too sweaty in warm weather.
This headset does fit a little on the looser side, so it might fall off if you lean over too abruptly.
Our next series of tests focused on the sound quality of each headset, with music, voices of other players, and in-game sounds. Performance dropped a bit in this metric, but the Kraken still merited an impressive score.
Starting with in-game sound effects, we really liked how easy the Razer Kraken makes it to discern where sounds like a gunshot, footsteps, or vehicle engine noises are coming from. Our blindfolded judge could accurately identify the direction of the sound just about every time.
Voice comes across clear and sounds full, though it isn't quite as crisp as some of the best headsets we have seen but we never really had a problem understanding other players.
This headset has closed-back ear cups, so it will cut down on ambient noise a bit. However, loud background noises will still make it through. In addition to our practical testing, we also performed a series of side-by-side audio benchmarking tests to compare performance. This headset did quite well in the driver matching test and only showed small amounts of parasitic buzz in that evaluation. However, it did only do about average in the binaural benchmark test.
Finally, our last audio assessment was to see how well each headset sounded when we played music through them, focusing on the type of orchestral soundtrack typically found in games. This model did pretty well, but we did find that voice and the higher tones can sometimes get overshadowed by the amplified bass.
After assessing how well the speakers sound on the Razer Kraken, we next rated and ranked the quality of its microphone. Specifically, we looked at how our voice sounded to other players and how well the Kraken's microphone did at filtering out unwanted background noise, like side conversations or a fan. This headset did fairly well, earning a score just above average.
Other players did notice that there was a bit of feedback present in our tests. They also noted that our voice didn't sound quite as clear or realistic as you would expect with a premium model but never complained that we couldn't be understood.
The microphone doesn't usually pick up the sounds of you typing or snacking, but we weren't fans of the fact that there was an audible tone for other players whenever we muted the mic. It definitely can get irritating for other players if you are frequently muting/unmuting the mic.
The microphone would usually pick up a side conversation if they were happening close by — within 10' or so — but would filter anything out if the speakers were further away.
Ease of Use
Our last round of tests looked at how user-friendly and convenient to use each headset is. We looked for a mic sidetone function, if you could detach the mic and/or the cable, how long the cable is, and the interface. The Razer Kraken again did well, scoring just above average.
This model has inline controls for adjusting the volume and muting the mic but we did notice that it is easy to accidentally bump the switch and change the volume.
Its cord is a little longer than average — 11.1' — and is not fully detachable. It splits in two so it can be shorter but there is always some amount of cable connected to the headset. The microphone is also not detachable but can be retracted into the headset and you can enable a mic sidetone.
We think this headset is a great value, offering good — not great — performance across just about all of our tests and costs a bit less than many of its competitors.
If you are looking for an all-around headset that won't cost a ton and you don't mind the absence of a few convenient features, then we think the Razer Kraken is an excellent option.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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