Gaming

Razer Kraken Pro is a solid mid-range headset for most gaming needs

The headband is foam padded, with faux leather on the outside and mesh on the inside.
The headband is foam padded, with faux leather on the outside and mesh on the inside.PHOTO: RAZER

The Razer Kraken Pro is a solid mid-range headset that can handle most gaming needs. But like many gaming headphones, it does not boast the best sound quality.

As with other Razer products, design subtlety is not its strong suit. With the three arms of the Razer logo emblazoned on its ear cups and the brand stamped in bold across the top of the band, it is impossible to mistake the headset as the product of any other firm.

In a step up from the original Kraken headset, the Pro version includes a retractable microphone and in-line volume control.

I used the headset to watch videos, listen to music on Spotify and play games. Overall, the sound from the 40mm stereo drivers was not as sharp as I would like, especially at the high and low ends of the spectrum. Mids, such as voices, came across much better.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $129.90

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20 - 20,000 Hz

    DRIVERS: 40mm with Neodymium magnets

    APPROXIMATE WEIGHT: 300g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

Razer's write-up of the Kraken Pro highlights its "deep bass for powerful lows" but, to me, it sacrificed clarity for punch.

Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, explosions and the low rumble of vehicle engines turned into an indistinct thunder and I was not able to pick out individual threads of sound.

But using the headset for conversation was a much better experience. Setting up the analog headset was a breeze, with a split cord for microphone and audio. I used it for Skype while playing Torchlight II, and my friend's voice came through loud and clear over game sounds.

While the microphone, which retracts into the right ear cup, is not the most sensitive, it can be positioned right at mouth level for better pick-up. I wanted to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone through the Razer Surround Pro software. But although you can change the sound profile of the headphones, there is no option to tweak the microphone settings.

The software gives gamers virtual 7.1 surround sound with just two drivers, and can be calibrated to suit each gamer and his environment.

In terms of wearing comfort, the headset is a dream with its heavily padded headband and relatively light weight. The tension on the band is also just right.

My only quibble - a minor one at that - is over the compactness of the ear cups, which at 5cm in diameter are slightly smaller than those of some other gaming headsets. I found myself adjusting them after a few hours. Gamers who wear earrings may find them a little cramped.

  • Verdict: A decent mid-range gaming headset with a variety of basic features but, in terms of sound quality, it is nothing to shout about.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2015, with the headline 'Solid mid-range headset for most gaming needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe