Superb audio, powerful force feedback

The Razer Nari Ultimate is one of very few force-feedback gaming headsets in the market.
The Razer Nari Ultimate is one of very few force-feedback gaming headsets in the market.

Razer's Nari Ultimate is the gaming company's latest flagship wireless gaming headset with itshaptic technology HyperSense.

Razer developed this technology in partnership with Lofelt, a German engineering firm that specialises in creating haptic technologies. HyperSense works by converting audio signals into tactile feedback in real time and works out-of-the-box on various platforms from PC to PlayStation.

You can think of Nari Ultimate as a wireless gaming headset with force feedback. It also comes with THX Spatial Audio that simulates 360-degree sound for greater awareness during gameplay.

Looks-wise, the all-black headset combines the aesthetics of three other Razer gaming headsets. It has the dual metal strip auto-adjusting headband design of Razer Thresher, the ear cups of Razer Kraken and the on-ear controls of Razer Man O' War. Razer's Chroma lighting illuminatesthe Razer logo of both ear cups.

The headband fits my head well, while the swivelling ear cups are big enough to totally cover my ears. However, my ears got a tad warm after only 30 minutes of gaming and I had to remove the headset to give my ears a breather.

At the bottom of the left ear cup are the power button, 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB charging port, chat volume dial, microphone mute button and built-in retractable microphone.

One nice touch is the red ring light on the tip of the retractable microphone that lights up when you press the microphone mute button. A glance at the microphone and you will know whether it has been muted.

At the bottom of the right ear cup is the volume dial. The 2.4GHz USB wireless transceiver is also stowed there. Just press on it to eject it from the ear cup.

Plug the USB wireless transceiver to your PC, turn on the headset and it is ready to rumble.

The force feedback feels great in relation to the gameplay. Playing the Diablo III action role-playing game, every swing of the sword is met with vibrant haptic responses on the ear cups. If you play first-person shooters, you will be able to tell where the bullets are coming from as you can sense the vibrations moving from one ear cup to the other. Also, if the fighting becomes intense, so will the vibration levels. Another plus point is the tremedous bass response, which does not obscure voices and music.

  • SPECS

    PRICE: $309.90

    DRIVERS: 50mm neodymium

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz to 20,000Hz

    CONNECTIVITY: 2.4GHz, 3.5mm jack

    WEIGHT: 431g

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The Nari Utimate will work as a normal headset when you connect it to your smartphone or Nintendo Switch using the audio jack. And while the headset works wirelessly with the PlayStation 4 (Xbox One not supported), the best experience is still with the PC as there are more configuration settings available via the Razer Synapse software. Apart from changing the colour of the Razer logo, you can set the haptic intensity, surround sound settings and bass boost level using Synapse.

You can see the headset's battery level with Synapse. In my tests with the Chroma lighting and Hypersense turned on and connected to my gaming PC wirelessly, the battery level dropped to 50 per cent after around three hours of use.

The biggest downside of the Nari Ultimate is its price tag. At more than $300, it is a hefty investment for any gamer. That said, there are very few force-feedback gaming headsets in the market.

•Verdict: It might not be the first-ever force-feedback gaming headset, but the Razer Nari Ultimate's combination of superb audio and great haptic response will add that extra delight during gaming.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2019, with the headline 'Superb audio, powerful force feedback'. Print Edition | Subscribe