Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Review
- Stylish and comfortable
- Unique Chroma colour changing ability
- Great representative soundscape with reasonable pseudo 7.1
Not so Much?
- A little bass heavy which can blow out voice chat and in game narration a little. Not a problem on the PC due to software adjustments
- Mute button on mic is fiddly and results in frustration for all
It’s fair to say that Razer have been at the pinnacle of PC peripherals for many years now. Offering some of the PCs most iconic gaming hardware like the Black Widow range. With the release of the new Kraken 7.1 Chroma edition it feels a little like Razer are showing their playful side. First impression […]
It’s fair to say that Razer have been at the pinnacle of PC peripherals for many years now. Offering some of the PCs most iconic gaming hardware like the Black Widow range. With the release of the new Kraken 7.1 Chroma edition it feels a little like Razer are showing their playful side.
First impression of the headset is very positive. A substantive box in sleek black folds out to reveal a clear covering over the headphones themselves. Slipping the headphones out of the packaging is simple and packaging is fuss free enough that you can easily store the headset back in the box when not in use.
Despite their slim looks the Kraken 7.1 Chroma weighs in at a moderate 340g. That’ll no doubt be why they feel robust enough to withstand hours of wear and more than the odd rage quit. Build quality, as you’d expect from Razer, is very good and there is no denying this headset looks unique.
The Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma features:
- Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma surround sound gaming headset
- Advanced 7.1 virtual surround sound engine
- Enhanced digital microphone
- Designed for extended gaming comfort
- Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
- Razer Synapse enabled
- Powerful drivers for highest-quality gaming audio
- Closed ear cup design for optimal sound isolation
- Foldable ear cups for maximum portability
The headset fits comfortably over your head with the padded bridge bar nicely padded but not chunky. The Kraken 7.1 Chroma uses closed cups with a circumaural design. A small nub protrudes from the left headset with a white led ring around it. A small pull on this nub and the ample sized poseable microphone is extracted from the body of the headphone cup. A small mute switch sits on the top of the main microphone cap allowing access to mute at will.
The headphone cups sit around your ear and are more than comfy for initial use. Ample room is given and even those with larger ears are accommodated for here. That said if you want to fit your ear inside the actual cushions then smaller ears are needed – it depends on where you want the headphone cup to sit. I did find, after 3 or hours of wear that my ears became a little sweaty and the flat of my ear became a little sore. Nothing particularly bad and the ache form my ear subsided not long after.
The unique selling point for the Chroma range comes in the illuminated Razer logo on the outer of the ear cups. These slowly alter colour whilst in use and with the PC software you are able to tweak these to your own specifications from a range of 16.8 million possible colours. It’s certainly a gimmick and not one you can actually appreciate when wearing them but it’s a nice touch and something to show mates when they come round.
So the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma looks good, it’s reasonably comfortable for long gaming sessions, but surely what matters is the sound? Thankfully Razer have delivered on this front with a rich rounded sound from a comparatively small and stylish headset.
Drivers: 40mm with Neodymium
Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
Sensitivity @ 1kHz: 112dB
Output power: 30mW
Connector: Gold plated USB
Cable length: 2m/6.56ft braided USB cable
Approximate weight: 340g (including 2.0m cable)
Initial sound on a PS4 is well rounded, but a little heavy on the bass for me. I’d have preferred a little more top-end treble and found that sometimes effected the clarity of voices during party chat. That said in other situations, like explosions in COD: Advance Warfare or Destiny, the depth of the bass was much appreciated breathing lie in to the environments. The range on offer from the headset is impressive and taking in the sights and sounds of Paris in Assassin’s Creed Unity was much more immersive than I’d ever experienced through my home theatre system.
Fortunately using Razer’s own software in the PC allows much customisation to not only the lights but the sound mix as well. A small tweak of the audio mixer and you can find that perfect sound mix that fits you. A similar application on the PS4 would be greatly appreciated.
The virtual 7.1 sound mix is a more than reasonable facsimile. Sure it might not have the same range and depth of sound that an actual home theatre amp would produce, but for sat in front of your PC/Console it does a good job in recreating the soundscape. Often virtual surround can come out tinny or have an annoying echo. Not so with the Razer Kraken.
Frequency response: 100Hz–12kHz
Sensitivity @ 1kHz: -40dB ± 4dB
Signal-to-noise ratio: 63dB
Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
The microphone is convenient and unobtrusive. It’s retractable design a real bonus which should help protect it from damage when sat around on a desk. Likewise the folding nature of the hear cups is also very welcome. Recording pickup is good with all who I played online with reporting it being clear and consistent. Similarly in using the microphone as a recording device locally for, say, a podcast, you get a clean pickup with minimal background noise
The Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma is a well built, robust headset that offers some very clean audio. It’s microphone is sensitive enough to use for gaming or general audio recording and performs well. It’s comfortable and offers some unique elements with regards to its retractable illuminated microphone and colour changing ear cup design.
Small niggles with the over efficient bass can be overcome on the PC using software tweaks but this still leave the PS4 owner with a slightly dulled soundscape. That said the 7.1 surround is well implemented and the sound range is rich and full across both platforms.
The mute button, on the top of the mic pick-up, is convenient but oh so hard to find when you have the headset on. Those moments of fumbling for the button are also relayed to people listening and it’s often not appreciated! Cable length too is a little limiting with just a 2m cable meaning you need to sit directly in front of your PS4 or next to your PC otherwise a USB extension cable is needed.
These small niggles aside the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma has to be one of the best headsets I’ve used. The immersion in your game environment is unparalleled in this price range and I have no hesitation in recommending it.