Razer Kraken headset review: Release the sounds
I seem to be on a roll with headsets – I now feel naked without some quality aural peripherals at my desk and I love the difference in sound. Headsets make gaming, video viewing and general PC experiences better, but not all headsets are created equal. So, how does the Kraken compare?
See me, feel me
While headsets are primarily about the sounds that they produce, there is also that part where they need to be comfy while sitting on your head. The Razer Kraken certainly takes that into consideration, making a seriously comfortable piece of headwear. The headband is cushioned and flexible – I actually never once felt it digging into my skull. As per all headsets built for audiophiles, the ear cups are cushioned and closed – they were supremely well built for my ears, although those with larger ears may have that usual issue of feeling squished into the ear cup. Despite weighing a slightly heavier 340g, the headset never felt weighty on my head and it didn’t lead to any fatigue as a result.
With a 2 meter (6.56 foot) braided USB cable, the Kraken gives you plenty of mobility. The microphone is retractable into the left ear cup, making it ideal whether you want to talk to people or not. It is fully adjustable and has an on/off button on the tip as well, with a green light to indicate when it’s on. This serves as a nice helpful reminder when you are wondering why no one can hear your screams. The ear cups can be folded to offer improved portability, although I worry that overtime these hinges will wear down and make creaking sounds. That said, it never once made a creaking noise on my head, which is a good sign considering how much I abused the joints in testing.
The Razer Kraken works with Razer’s application for adjustments – Razer Synapse 2.0. All your Razer toys can be controlled with Synapse, making it your one stop for all your peripheral adjustments. I was very pleased to see there is a Mac version, letting me do all the fun lighting adjustments (on or off), EQ, mic and audio settings as well as calibrate the surround sound. It’s an intuitive and easy to use application so you can feel free to pump up the bass.
Can you hear me?
Now for the actual sound quality. The Kraken delivers plenty of punch and a satisfying bass experience. The audio delivers on the full range, never distorting even at high volumes. Depending on the variety of sounds delivered, it can become a bit muddy in the middle ranges, but for the most part I was extremely impressed with the sound quality delivered.
Sporting the usual frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and 32 Ohm impedance, the dynamic range of the Kraken was rather excellent, reaching an impressive 60 dBFS (decibels below full scale). Importantly for gamers, the Kraken offers 7.1 virtual surround sound that can be fully calibrated through Razer Synapse to ensure that you’re hearing all the sounds where they should be. While I know the true audio snobs among you will tell me that virtual surround sound simply doesn’t compare to the real thing, it certainly does a good job and you be sure to know exactly where the guy was camping before he shot you in the head.
- Connectors: Gold-plated USB
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Cable: 2m / 6.56 ft braided USB cable
- Weight: 340g
- RRP: R1 199
Affordable, comfortable and offering excellent sound quality, the Razer Kraken is an excellent piece of hardware. If you’re looking for a middle range headset that offers all-day-wear design with plenty of audio punch, is a great headset at a reasonable price.