Having had the opportunity to try out a number of different headsets over the past 2 years, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on the new and updated Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset.
Receiving the box was almost like a birthday gift from an old friend, with its standard packaging including its “Welcome to Razer” letter making you feel right at home.
Then came the first glimpse into the beauty of the Razer Kraken headset. With its bright green colour, it does come in other colours including the new Quartz range, it was a joy to look at. Being a fan of bright colours, this instantly became my favourite headset to use day to day.
Being bright green is all fun and everything, but you came here to read about what the headset can do…right?
So having a look at the main selling points of the new Razer Kraken we find the following
- Custom-tuned 50 mm Drivers
- Cooling Gel-Infused Cushions
- Retractable Unidirectional Microphone
- Bauxite Aluminum Frame
- Thicker Headband Padding
- Cross-Platform Compatibility
With the 50 mm drivers delivering a massive range of frequencies so you will feel those deep bass rumbles as well as hear those high pitched whines of bullets zipping past you, or even that high rev range of a supercar.
The cooling gel-infused ear cushions allow you to have longer periods of gaming without getting the dreaded sweaty ears at the same time not missing out on the sound isolation that would expect from a headset from Razer.
The microphone that is retractable has a cardioid pickup pattern so that your voice is picked up nice and clearly and at the same time restricting the background noise.
The aluminium frame of the headset allows for a much more durable headset, that can withstand being thrown into a bag if you are going to a gaming event, or even just being used on a walk listening to music. In addition to the lightweight frame, a thicker headband also makes the headset more comfortable. Even for those that have a larger head, this headset never feels pinchy and always feels incredibly lightweight on your bonce.
The final point, Cross-Platform Compatibility, this is quite possibly the more important factor for those thinking about getting this headset. Yes plugging it into the PC allows you to make use of the THX Spatial Audio that comes with the Tournament Edition.
Getting to grips with the Razer Kraken is a doddle, if you are using it on a console, you simply plug in the headphone jack into your corresponding system’s controller or body, and you are away. You get a great sound even just by plugging in using this method, but the true quality definitely comes out when you connect the audio controller via a USB slot on your PC.
After a short installation period, you are away, being able to control the mute function of the mic, the volume as well as balancing your chat and game sounds on the fly are super easy. You even get a nice red ring around the mute button to let you know that your friends can’t hear you.
The main selling point of this little audio controller is the THX Spatial sound, which is meant to give you a true 360-degree interpretation of the sounds going on in the game, however, I was left disappointed at this regardless of the game that I played.
Playing Generation Zero (Review Here) I started the game with the THX audio switched off and I was perfectly able to determine the location of sounds going on around me through the game. Even the environmental sounds were all locatable through the standard settings. Turning THX to the on position actually made it harder to hear the direction of audio and direction of enemies. Now I’m not sure if the quest to find true sound means that it causes everything to sound like it all around was the best option. I prefer to have a clear distinction of whether the sound is coming from the left or right of me.
I’m, sure there are some people out there that will find the THX Audio to be a preferred option, but for me, it was always going to be interesting to see how this headset delivered this spatial audio.
Overall, with its comfortable headband and lightweight frame, the features that come with this headset and at a retail price of around £99.99 you would be hard pressed to find another comparable headset. You can pick up the Razer Kraken without the THX audio for around £20 cheaper, but this also doesn’t come with the really handy audio controller. If it was me, I would plump up the extra cash purely for the controller.
The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset receives the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: We were sent a Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset to carry out this review