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Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Review
Review By @ 12:36pm 26/11/18

Product: Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
Type: Gaming Headset (Wired)
Price: $169.95
Availability: Out Now
Link: razer.com/au-en/gaming-audio/razer-kraken-tournament-edition

With the phrase Tournament Edition in the title it should comes as no surprise that Razer’s new affordable mid-range Kraken headset is aimed at the competitive crowd. It makes sense, the rise of esports continues to make headlines around the world – and headsets are one of the key hardware ingredients required. Even from a stay-at-home amateur perspective, thanks to the advent of voice chat the gaming headset has become a mainstay just about everywhere you go. That said, the new Razer Kraken Tournament edition – which shines when connected to a Windows PC – also has what it takes to be a great set of on-the-go headphones. Delivering impressive results across both movies and music with the option to simply unplug from the USB controller and straight into a smart phone, music player, tablet, or laptop. Or even, Nintendo Switch.

It’s a blend of smart design choices and an overall view that even a headset, one designed for that singular purpose called competitive gaming, can be more than that. A lot more.

Tech Talk

  • Type: Closed
  • Driver: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
  • Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Microphone: Unidirectional ECM boom
  • Microphone Frequency: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
  • Weight: 322 g

Although not the most expensive Razer headset on the market, you wouldn’t necessarily know it by taking a glance at the hardware and specifications that make up the new Kraken Tournament Edition. The high quality 50 mm drivers mean that you get the same impressive bass that Razer headsets are known for. But you also get the increased frequency response of 12 Hz – 28 kHz, which plays into how great the Kraken Tournament Editions can be for music and movies. This also leads to several software improvements, namely in the form of THX Spatial Audio which replaces the previous in-house surround technology implemented in the Krakens of old. An impressive upgrade that we’d wager has a surround effect – especially when playing games like Battlefield V - on par with Dolby Atmos.

Like with other Razer headsets though, the overall sound isn’t as balanced in the same way we’ve found in other brands like Sennheiser. Now, when we say balanced, we mean no emphasis placed on either the low, mid, or high frequencies. Connected to a Windows 10 PC this isn’t an issue thanks to the USB-controller offering up the ability to adjust bass levels with a flick of a dial and the Razer Synapse software offering a few well laid-out and configured EQ presets alongside the ability to tweak and fine tune. Which also extends to the THX surround. It’s an impressive toolset that also features more cutting-edge sound optimisation options like normalisation and vocal adjustment. And impressive package that unfortunately loses that edge when unplugged and treated as a standard 3.5mm pair of headphones.

Design and Comfort

Naturally the bright green colour variant of the Kraken Tournament Edition is the first thing that stands out, which in addition to the circular cup shape immediately lets you know that it’s a Razer product. But here the circular cup shape is a little different in it’s more oval and more natural in covering the entire ear. From there the design touches simply build on top of each other – from the soft memory foam that includes little indents for glasses to the fabric and materials that focus on breathability and cooling. The sturdy and durable frame make the Kraken Tournament Edition supremely comfortable too. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find softer cups than what’s on offer here.

Elsewhere you get the same retractable microphone and high-quality braided cable seen in higher-end Razer products. The USB controller itself, although quite light and made of plastic offers quick access to volume controls, microphone muting, a bass dial, and the ability to adjust the mix between game and voice audio.

Sounds Like

The Kraken Tournament Edition, as mentioned, can be used across a wide range of devices – including out of the box stereo support for the PlayStation 4. But, it’s design and software support and THX surround is strictly Windows 10 PC based. Making the headset, PC-first and everything else as a nice little bonus. From that standpoint it’s clear the Razer Synapse surround settings for games have been tweaked and fine tuned to allow for both bombastic and immersive sounding game audio - in addition to clear voice chat. Separating the two clearly, in terms of defined settings and on the physical USB controller, is a nice touch that means the Kraken Tournament Edition work no matter the style of game – on or offline. Testing across a wide range of titles including DOOM, Battlefield V, Frostpunk, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey the surround is impressive – but even when turned off to get a pure stereo signal the new Krakens impress just as well.

And it’s here across games, music, and movies where the Kraken sets the scene for a package that is exceptional value for money. Not being limited or excelling in anyone area, the Kraken Tournament Edition – especially on PC – can be great for everything. Tweaks are required sure, but the results speak for themselves. Being able to easily switch between home and on-the-go sound? Well, that makes them essential.
What we liked
Exceptional value for money, sound-wise
THX surround is Razer’s best yet
Great customisation tools
Increased frequency response makes them great for movies and music too
Doubles as a pair of 3.5mm headphones
What we didn't like
Not balanced so tweaking required depending on the use
Plastic USB controller is too light and doesn’t sit or feel sturdy on a desk
We gave it:
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