Razer Kraken X
The Most Comfortable Gaming Headset
- Impressive sound
- Bendable Noise Cancelling Microphone
- No fatigue because of the lightweight
- Trebles could be clearer
- Software-enabled surround
Type: Over-ear | Style: Closed Back | Connectivity:3.5mm analog | Virtual 7.1: Yes | Drivers: 40mm
VERDICT:The Razer Kraken X isn't the best gaming headset by a long shot, but considering value for money, it's a great purchase for a lot of people
Razer has quickly become one of the more noticeable brands in the PC gaming industry. Their usually flagship-level performance, their flashy designs, and fan following are what make them stand out from the crowd so much. Most of the time they are focused on the high-end, balls to the walls kind of stuff. They’re known for making some of the best peripherals in the gaming area.
Sadly, that comes at the cost of most of the time. Razer products are known to cost a bit more than their competitors. This is due to two reasons, because their designs are better at times, with good enough or even better performance. Two, because they have a sort of cult following in the gaming community.
Either love them or hate them, today, we’ve got to appreciate Razer’s newest addition to their headphone lineup. Today, we’re taking a look at the brand new Razer Kraken X. A brand new budget headset that promises insane value for money. Let’s find out if it delivers on that promise.
Design and Build Quality
The Kraken lineup has been around for quite a while now. We’ve seen it go through a lot of refreshes over the years. We’ve seen new revamped designs, different colors, newer features, and even crazy limited edition headsets. Either way, the Kraken lineup is known for being one of the most reliable headsets out there. The Razer Kraken X is no different.
The entire headset is made out of primarily plastic. So we are sacrificing a bit in build quality. But the tradeoff might actually be worth it. Razer teased the launch of this headset with a picture of a feather. Which means we were to expect something lightweight coming soon. The Kraken X is that product. It’s noticeably much smaller than their Kraken Pro V2 and lighter as well. In fact, at 250g, it’s one of the lightest headsets around. This makes it very portable.
As for the design, well we don’t notice any major changes made in that department. The Kraken X pretty much looks like a smaller brother to the Kraken Pro V2, minus the flashy RGB lighting. There aren’t any fancy colors here either (black is your only option at the moment). We have the usual closed grill/mesh design on the back of both earcups with the iconic three-headed snake logo.
As we mentioned before, the main difference made in Kraken X is with the weight. Compared to other Kraken headsets, the Kraken X is definitely smaller, lighter and more portable. But let’s talk about how it actually feels on the head.
First off, the adjustable headband has a pretty large scale, so people with bigger heads won’t have a problem with this headset. It can easily expand to fit a pretty large head and there is a decent amount of flex to the headband so it fits easier. Of course, you should be careful not to strain it too much, because of the plastic construction. The earcups also rotate a bit, say about 30 degrees, so fitting on the ears isn’t an issue.
Since the Kraken X is such a lightweight headset, it’s not a huge bother on the head. There are no pressure points around the head which would cause strain or fatigue. The clamping pressure is extremely decent, and the padding on the headband helps with the overall comfort.
The plush memory foams are about as good as we’d expect. We’ve come to love these earpads from Razer and other companies. Of course, some people might prefer different materials, but the leather stitching on and plush earpads feel very smooth. Wearing glasses with this headset isn’t much of a problem either.
People usually buy headsets so they don’t have to run out and buy a separate mic if they want to utilize chat in-game. That is why mic quality is something which matters a lot to a tonne of people. It’s a deciding factor for a lot of consumers when deciding between headsets.
One thing we don’t like straight off the bat is the design decision they have taken here. Most Razer headsets have a retractable mic which makes it easy to put it out of sight when you’re not using it. Even a mic which flips upward would have been nice to see. Sadly, the mic is only flexible, as in it can be adjusted to bring it closer or further from the mouth.
There is no LED indicator here either, as seen on the Kraken Pro V2. The mute switch is also in a weird place. It’s located at the back side of the left earcup, along with a volume dial. It’s annoyingly easy to forget you turned the switch off. The location of that button is really cumbersome.
Let’s move back to the good stuff. The mic quality itself sounds very crisp, clean and distortion free. The quality doesn’t sound nasally either, which is somewhat of an issue on other headsets. Still, we wouldn’t use the mic to record a video, or for streaming. But for in-game chat audio, it sounds crystal clear and there’s not much we can complain about. The mic also has a cardioid pattern, meaning it only picks up the vocals and blocks out outside noise a bit.
7.1 Surround Sound
Audio quality is obviously important to anyone buying a new headset. It’s especially important for video games. You really want to be immersed in the game and hear every little detail. Especially in competitive games, it’s important to hear every single sound made to pinpoint your enemy’s location. This is something that can be achieved through stereo sound as well as virtual 7.1 audio.
While the Kraken X doesn’t really have a 7.1 adapter out of the box, we do get a free code to download their simulated virtual surround sound software. Most of the time simulated surround sound will often mess with the overall audio quality. Sure pinpointing footsteps might be easier, but audio quality does take a typical dip.
This isn’t really the case with the Kraken X, 7.1 still sounds decent compared to stereo. This is a great plus because you get great quality while detecting enemy locations as well. Sure there is about a 25% increase in volume, but that’s to be expected. You do get a wider soundstage, however. Overall, 7.1 surround sound is pretty good on this headset and really helps in competitive games.
What Do They Actually Sound Like?
As for the sound signature, it’s a typical Razer like sound. These are definitely gaming headphones, as is apparent from the sound. There is definitely a focus on the bass. Explosions sound loud and heavy, with a lot of the low rumbling feeling you’d expect from gaming headsets.
However, the treble sounds a bit off straight out the gate. The sound is not distorted by any means, but the highs and mids have definitely been messed with a bit. They can lose a bit of detail at times. This isn’t a big deal for games, because you won’t be dealing with vocals a whole lot. But if you’re picking these up for music listening, you might want to look for better overall quality elsewhere.
Vocal frequencies are also a bit boosted for character or teammate dialogue. Maybe this boost is why we lose a bit of quality in the treble area. However, it’s still not bad enough to be a dealbreaker. The earcups have a nice fit and provide decent isolation to outside. Sure louder sounds will most likely creep in, but that’s to be expected from a pair of closed back gaming headphones.
Overall, the sound quality is definitely very enjoyable for gaming. Even for music listening, we found that with the deep bass, hip hop and other low-end focused sounds are pretty enjoyable. These are not supposed to give audiophile quality, they’re meant to stay on your battle station. So for the price, the quality is justified.
At just $50, the Razer Kraken X is definitely an enticing purchase. The lightweight design, portability, and sound quality make it one of the better values in headsets you can find today. You’re also getting a trustworthy brand which Razer fans will care a lot about.
Still, that’s not saying there aren’t a lot of different options available. Even under $50, there is a tonne of headsets available out there. The Corsair HS50 is a major competitor. Overall sound quality is much more balanced on the HS50 and it’s more enjoyable for music. However, the 7.1 surround sound isn’t there at all and the mic quality is decent to see the least. However, if you care a lot about listening to music with great quality, the HS50 is a great option.
The Cloud Stinger is also a classic in this price range. It’s a budget headset that is loved by many. It’s also pretty lightweight just like the Kraken X. Sound quality is also pretty good, and the mic is a bit better here. However, the bass is definitely lacking compared to the Kraken X. And there is 7.1 surround sound to speak of.
The Razer Kraken X is really an amazing headset for gaming. It’s insane that they only cost $50. The lightweight design, impressive 7.1 surround sound, and decent mic make it a complete package. For the price, we really can’t recommend a better headset. Sure there are a few cons, such as the build quality is sacrificed for the sake of the weight, and the treble loses a bit of detail. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons, that’s why the Kraken X is the new budget king for gaming headsets.
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.