Razer is one of the biggest gaming brands around the world, and they have a ton of gaming peripherals, from mice to headsets and even gaming laptops, that are generally quite affordable. Enter the Razer Kraken X.
This new headset from Razer is priced at S$79, making it the cheapest pair of headphones from the brand. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad headset though, even though there have been concessions made to keep the price down.
Starting with the packaging, it’s the standard Razer packaging, with no frills. There’s no pouch or case for the headset, but there is a small card that contains a code for users to download Razer’s 7.1 surround sound software.
Even without the 7.1 surround sound activated, the sound quality out of this headset is pretty amazing for what it costs. The soundstage is a little limited, but you can easily pinpoint the direction in which a particular sound is coming from, which is absolutely essential in First Person Shooters and other tactical games to hear where enemies are.
Music was generally decent with just one weak spot present; the vocals sounded a bit airy and lacked a punch and clarity, especially with male singers.
Using the headset for gaming as it was intended though, proved to me that it’s well worth the cost. But there’ll always be corners cut to keep a good headset at this price, so let’s take a look at it.
The most obvious change is the use of polycarbonate ABS all around. The flagship Kraken headset has a leatherette layer over the top of the headband which gives it a bit more of a premium feel, but I actually prefer the plastic headband. I’ve had too many headphones that use leatherette start to flake off in our humid weather, so plastic might be a little more durable even if it feels cheap.
The plastic also has the added advantage of keeping the headset lightweight at 250g. Razer has included cooling gel and hidden eyewear channels for bespectacled users in the earpads. To my fingers, it didn’t feel cool after a few minutes of wearing the headset, but I only noticed that my ears felt quite warm after removing the headset two hours into my game. Definitely a testament to the cooling gel and eyewear channels working to keep me comfortable while I was wearing the headset.
The microphone is bendable and holds shape well, with the cardioid pickup area working perfectly, although it’s unremovable. My voice was clearly audible to my teammates with little background noise being picked up. Users do have to make sure the mic is positioned properly though, with the air vents facing away.
Using 40mm drivers, the headset covers a frequency range from 12 – 28,000 Hz. While an extended frequency range doesn’t necessarily equate better audio performance, I did notice that I picked up in-game footsteps in Apex Legends a little easier than with my Logitech gaming headset.