Razer Kraken Gaming Headphones Review
Razer’s Kraken gaming headphones are not hard to miss. Sporting a neon-green finish, the distinctive and chunky £55 cans may look every bit the true booming headphones, but do they sound it? We put them to the test.
Out of the box you of course get the foldable headphones, complete with a generous detachable extension cable and the usual 3.5mm analog connection jack.
Despite being predominantly plastic, the Kraken’s build quality is assuringly sturdy and appears durable. The extendable headband can be adjusted to your preference, with confidence that the plastic won’t give. On a whole, the overall unit feels flexible enough to withstand plenty of day-to-day wear and tear.
Of course, when it comes to buying a pair of gaming headphones, comfort is without doubt a key factor, as any headphones you do get need to be agreeable enough to be worn for hours on end. Thankfully, the Kraken well and truly tick this box, sitting comfortably on your noggin for countless long-lasting play sessions.
Despite their sizeable appearance the Krakens weigh in at around 280g — no doubt due to the material choices made. This is light enough to not feel like a burden on your head though. This weight is complimented by a highly comfortable headband, which provides ample cushioning. Razer’s headphones also boast very generous, lavish padding on the ear cups, with a soft faux-leather material that sits well around the ears.
During testing the Kraken’s were used to listen to a range of music, video files and games. The most immediate audible feedback is one of heavy bass, with the Kraken’s delivering a strong, rich sound, that is instantly noticeable. However, this deep-toned bass does tend to be somewhat overpowering, resulting in washed out mid-tones. This isn’t much of an issue when playing games with plenty of booming explosions and heavy gunfire, or listening to bass-heavy electronic music, but when listening to something more subtle they do tend to disappoint — however, this is by no means a deal-breaker.
When playing a game with plenty of action, the Krakens really do shine, making full use of the 40mm drivers to deliver a powerful 110db of loud sound. They do a good enough job of ensuring a sense of place in the environment you may find yourself, for instance, knowing whether that sniper fire you just heard came from the left or right is easy enough to discern. Also, during long play sessions, the ear cups remained cosy with no sign of sweaty ears to worry about. Typically after an hour or two of gameplay, you may often find yourself fidgeting due to ear cups that are either too tight or made with a poor choice in materials, or both, so you’ll be pleased to hear this isn’t the case here.
The closed ear headphones do a good job of isolating you from external noises, but when cranked up to higher volume levels the Krakens do suffer from audio leak, which may annoy anyone in your immediate vicinity.
Generally, gaming headphones and headsets are known for not being particularly sophisticated when it comes to design, often sporting pointless and farcical detailing in an effort to appear ‘cool’. Now, despite being fairly unadorned and straightforward, the Kraken’s are in fact no exception to this rule, possessing an imposing appearance, due to their sheer size and brazen green finish.
Of course, it is worth noting that the Kraken headphones are also available in a more muted black tone, should the showy green shade be a bit much for you. I imagine not everyone will be comfortable wearing the flashy green headphones out-and-about, so an alternative is welcome.
Beyond the colour choice and typical flair, the Kraken’s are an acceptable pair of mid-range headphones, delivering plenty of comfort and more than adequate sound when used in gaming scenarios. For more relentless PC gaming though, you’d be better off spending the extra £15 on the Pro model, which comes with a retractable microphone.
You won’t want to use these as you daily headphones, but when sitting at a PC ready to game, they cosily get the job done.