Razer Kraken X Lite Ultralight Gaming Headset Review
There aren’t many gaming headsets out there that are as iconic as the Razer Kraken. A few come close, but a Kraken headset is immediately recognizable. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and Razer tends to agree. While the Kraken has seen many iterations over the years, some of which include the tournament edition and ultimate version, among others.
PRODUCT INFO Kraken X Lite Ultralight Manufacture Razer Available at View at Amazon
With all of that said, these headsets always represent great performance with great value. The latest iteration, the Kraken X Lite focuses purely on both of those things. This headset is designed as a cheaper alternative to everything else out there. For the average gamer, the Kraken X Lite looks like one of the best Razer headphones we’ve seen yet.
However, don’t let the price fool you. This affordable headset punches well above its weight. Let’s have a look at what makes this headset such a strong contender in the world of budget headsets in our Razer Kraken X Lite Ultralight Gaming Headset review. More competing headsets can be seen in our Logitech G Pro X review and the HyperX Cloud Orbit S review.
Razer has stuck with the black and green color scheme for a long time now. Recently, the iconic green is starting to fade away in the product themselves. However, the packaging still shows off the colors proudly. The front of the box is all black and happens to have a Razer logo at the top right corner. This is quite a contrast to other high-end headsets, such as what we saw in our HyperX Cloud II Wireless Review.
We have a picture of the headset itself, some of the main features, and a platform compatibility list at the bottom. As usual, the sides of the box list all of the features in detail, and the backside of the box breaks them down even further. After opening the box, we’re first greeted by the “For Gamers, By Gamers” branding on the tab itself.
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Finally, the headset sits inside of a brown cardboard box within plastic packaging. The box contents are as follows:
- Razer Kraken X Lite headset
- A 3.5mm splitter cable
- User Manual
- Download code for 7.1 surround sound software
Design and Build Quality
The Razer Kraken X Lite takes everything great about the original Kraken headsets and brings it down in size and weight. Similar to previous entries in the Kraken lineup, this headset is sleek and stylish. To put it simply, what we have here is a slight redesign of the classic Kraken headset. It is also quite similar to the design we saw in our Corsair HS60 Pro Review.
It is compatible with anything that has a headphone jack. This includes PCs, phones, tablets, all consoles, and even the Nintendo Switch. We mention this because it’s an important distinction from the previous headset. This one uses a 3.5mm four-pole connector, which means you can use this for communication as well. If you want to use the mic on a PC, you’ll have to use the included splitter cable.
As for the aesthetics, the whole matte black sleek look is always a win for us. Surprisingly, this headset has no Chroma or RGB effects. Everything from the grills, to the hinges, and even the logo are the same color. It is also impressively lightweight, as this thing comes in at about 230g. The Kraken X Lite achieves this feat thanks to the all-plastic frame.
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When we say all-plastic, we do mean it. The frame inside is plastic as well, and this includes the adjustable hinge. There are adjustment markings on the hinge, which is always a neat bonus to have. The reason for the all-plastic build is likely to cut costs and weight. While they could have added an aluminum headband, we’re not too bothered as long as the comfort holds up to the claims.
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On the standard Razer Kraken X, you can find onboard volume controls like a dial and a mic mute button on the left earcup. The Kraken X Lite is the smaller sibling, and it gets rid of those controls. The mic is not removable, and the cable is rubberized and also permanently attached. That’s quite standard for this price range.
The all-plastic frame is one of the very few issues we have with this headset. However, the fact that the Kraken X Lite is so comfortable almost outweighs that problem. We have to give credit where credit is due, the Kraken X Lite feels excellent on the head, and it is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets we have tried.
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There is no swivel on the cups here, but you get a lot of range in terms of the tilting motion. As mentioned before, this headset has an adjustable hinge, and it can fit larger head sizes with no problem. Honestly, this is one of the few headsets out that can do this without creaking. The earcups use a light memory foam padding, while the headband uses artificial leather.
On a related note, you should also check out our HyperX Cloud II Review if you are interested in more gaming headphones.
These headphones even have channels for eyeglasses, so these should be comfortable for you folks with glasses out there. The outer diameter is 90 x 97mm, while the internal is 40 x 68mm. The padding covers the ear, but depending on head size, your ears may or may not fit inside the earcups completely.
However, that doesn’t take away from the comfort at all. The clamping force is just right as well. It’s tight enough to create a seal, but not tight enough to fatigue your ears. All of these things like the lightweight design, earpads, and minor clamping force make this one of the comfortable headsets out there. We can’t complain at all considering the price.
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The Razer Kraken X Lite uses a unidirectional cardioid microphone that is permanently attached. This approach is unlike the one we saw in our HyperX Cloud Alpha S review. As the main focus for Kraken headsets is obviously gaming, these headsets have always had decent microphones. However, the Kraken X Lite doesn’t just have a decent microphone, it has a great one.
The mic here is excellent, and it makes a couple of improvements coming from the previous versions. You are going to be limited to what you get out of the box, as you can’t adjust anything inside Razer’s software. This is because the microphone doesn’t use USB, so you’ll have to adjust everything in your PC settings or audio interface.
With that said, this is one of the better-sounding microphones we’ve heard. Sure, it has some compression going on, and it’s not the richest sound out there. However, it gets more than the job done for the price. Vocals sound crystal clear with this mic, and you can’t clip it even if you get extremely loud.
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You miss out on some of the higher-end features like chat mix and side-tone, but we were expecting that for the price. Overall, this microphone is great for communicating with your teammates, talking on discord, etc.
Performance and Sound Quality
Moving on to sound quality, it is surprisingly very good. If you set the volume wheel to the max, you can drive these at quite a loud volume without any distortion. If you are someone who listens to their music loud or likes to game with a loud volume, you’ll be happy with this one. They can get powerfully loud, even with onboard audio.
You’ll get plenty of loud volume using this on anything you want. Phones and PCs work perfectly, and so will a Nintendo Switch. As for a PS4 controller, well, it’s the usual story. You’ll get decent loudness here, but not a lot of headroom. That’s an issue with the PS4 controller, and not with the headset itself. It works much better on an Xbox Controller.
We have 40mm drivers inside of here, and the sound is impressive for the price point. Surprisingly, it sounds relatively more balanced than any other Razer headset we’ve tried before. This is a gaming headset, so you’ll get some emphasis on the bass, and a lot of emphasis on the treble.
The highs are very detailed and emphasized. Despite the excellent detail, they can get harsh at times. However, you’ll only notice that if you’re looking for it. Unlike previous headsets, the bass does not storm in and make everything sound muddy. It’s powerful, sure, but it sounds a bit more mature and subdued compared to previous Razer headsets. All of this carries over to music listening as well. While these aren’t audiophile-grade headphones, they’ll sound great to most people, especially gamers.
Imaging is also very good, but the soundstage can take a back seat. It does a got job in left, right, and center positions. It backs up the rear positioning quite well too. However, there’s is not much verticality here, meaning you can’t accurately tell when someone is under you or over you.
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The soundstage sounds tight and it’s honestly not quite wide. We doubt anyone is going to mind since if you’re looking for that sort of sound, you shouldn’t be looking at a gaming headset in the first place.
7.1 Virtual Surround Sound
To help out with the soundstage and surround sound experience, Razer includes a digital download code for simulated 7.1 surround software. This is a new designation to adjust the spaciousness and surround sound experience for the headset. Apparently, it’s gotten better than Razer’s previous solutions.
Note that simulated 7.1 surround sound will only work on PC through the software. This feature does not carry over to consoles or phones. It impacts the audio interface on the PC, not the actual headset itself. This means you can use this software with other headphones as well if you want to.
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The quality and benefits of virtual 7.1 surround sound are debatable. It might expand the sound stage a bit, and make everything sound more spacious, yet positional audio isn’t that better. On some headsets, you’ll get better positional audio but it might mess with the quality of the sound. A perfect solution would be one that widens the soundstage, having great positional audio and no impact on the actual quality.
So, the Kraken X Lite lands somewhere in the middle. It works quite well in some games, and not as well in others. It helps with positioning sure, but depending on the audio engine in the game, it can mess with the quality and mix of the audio. But, when it works, it does the job quite well. We say that it’s passable for the price.
Value and Conclusion
Overall, this headset makes a lot of sense for gamers who are on a budget. This headset offers a better audio representation than what you might expect at this price point. There is a bit of competition within this budget. Headsets like the HyperX Cloud Stinger which we reviewed, Corsair HS50, and other lesser-known headsets give some competition to the Kraken X Lite.
However, the Kraken X Lite can firmly hold its ground. It is comfortable, sounds great, and has a decent microphone too. Razer is giving gamers a lightweight and affordable headset, that is a very capable and sensible option for many people. This is by far our favorite budget headset available right now.
Razer Kraken X Lite Ultralight Gaming Headset
Well-Rounded Budget Headset
- Impressive lightweight design
- Superb comfort for the price
- Incredible overall value
- Good audio quality
- Decent 7.1 surround
- Plastic build quality
Design: Over-Ear / Closed-Back | Drivers: 40 mm Dynamic drivers | Impedance: 32 Ohms | Active Noise Cancellation: No | Frequency Response: 12 Hz - 28 kHz | Connectivity: 3.5mm Wired | Weight: 230 g
VERDICT:The Kraken X Lite performs well above its price point. The sleek aesthetics, superb comfort, and good sonic performance make this one of the best budget headsets around. If you want to save some money on a headset, this is a worthy consideration.