The gaming headset market is seriously heating up. Over the past few years, we’ve seen top-tier releases from the likes of SteelSeries and HyperX, who pretty much dominate the market when it comes to high-quality headsets. But there are other companies releasing quality products too — including Razer, who recently launched a refresh of the Razer Kraken, simply known as the “new and improved” Razer Kraken.
But is the Razer Kraken gaming headset worth buying? We put the new Razer Kraken gaming headset to the test to find out.
The Razer Kraken comes in green, black, quartz, and “console,” and we’re reviewing the green model — which is clearly built for gamers given its bright look. The headset features a large, bulky design with a retractable microphone on the left ear cup. We like that the microphone is retractable — it means you don’t have to keep track of a separate microphone that plugs in to the device.
As you would expect from a gaming headset, the Razer Kraken features plenty of padding in the ear cups and under the headband, and that will play into the comfort-level of the headphones later.
The build-quality of the headphones seems pretty good for a pair of headphones in this price range. The overall frame is built from metal, and while there’s also a solid amount of plastic, we never felt like the headset would break, except when bending it unnaturally.
In the box, you’ll get the headset itself, and an audio splitter for separate audio in and out channels. That’s about all you’ll get — though we don’t think you’ll necessarily need much more.
As mentioned, the new Razer Kraken headset features plenty of padding in the ear cups and under the headband, however simply adding padding isn’t necessarily enough to make a headset comfortable. The Kraken is a little heavy, and the ear cups can’t swivel at all, which can create a slightly skewed fit, depending on the shape of your head.
Still, we found that for the most part the Razer Kraken headset was comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time, despite the slightly awkward fit at times.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is how the new Razer Kraken headset sounds — and while it doesn’t sound terrible, it does leave a little to be desired.
Let’s start with the bass response on the headphones, which is pretty good. a little more bass extension would have been nice, but in general we found that things like explosions were nice and full-sounding, while for music, kick drums were tight and punchy.
It’s the mid range where things start to get a little hazy. The low mids are definitely there, offering some warmth, but the high mids seem to have gotten a bit of a cut, making the overall sound a little muddy.
The high end is present, but again, not really present enough. Not only would it have been nice to get a bit more high end extension, but a little more highs in general would have definitely helped the headphones.
All that said, they still don’t sound terrible. Sure, they’re not all that accurate, but if you want a headset that will do the job relatively inexpensively, then the new Razer Kraken headset is definitely a solid option.
The microphone on the new Razer Kraken is fine, but nothing special. It’ll deliver decently crisp audio to your friends and other gamers, but don’t expect to be able to use it for recording things like podcasts or let’s play videos.
Still, for most gaming, we think the microphone will be more than adequate.
The 2019 iteration of the Razer Kraken has a lot to offer. The headphones are pretty well-designed, relatively comfortable, and sound decent, albeit with a few quirks.
But are they truly the best headphones in their price range? Well, they’re among the best — but there’s also the HyperX Cloud Stinger headphones, which we find to be similar in quality, at $50 — $30 cheaper than the Razer Kraken headphones.
Still, the Razer Kraken headphones are worth considering if you prefer the design and like the idea of a slightly better microphone. Because of their good value, we’re awarding the headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.