Razer Kraken headset review: Release the sounds

5 min read

I seem to be on a roll with headsets – I now feel naked without some quality aural peripherals at my desk and I love the difference in sound. Headsets make gaming, video viewing and general PC experiences better, but not all headsets are created equal. So, how does the Kraken compare?

See me, feel me

Razer kraken

While headsets are primarily about the sounds that they produce, there is also that part where they need to be comfy while sitting on your head. The Razer Kraken certainly takes that into consideration, making a seriously comfortable piece of headwear. The headband is cushioned and flexible – I actually never once felt it digging into my skull. As per all headsets built for audiophiles, the ear cups are cushioned and closed – they were supremely well built for my ears, although those with larger ears may have that usual issue of feeling squished into the ear cup. Despite weighing a slightly heavier 340g, the headset never felt weighty on my head and it didn’t lead to any fatigue as a result.

With a 2 meter (6.56 foot) braided USB cable, the Kraken gives you plenty of mobility. The microphone is retractable into the left ear cup, making it ideal whether you want to talk to people or not. It is fully adjustable and has an on/off button on the tip as well, with a green light to indicate when it’s on. This serves as a nice helpful reminder when you are wondering why no one can hear your screams. The ear cups can be folded to offer improved portability, although I worry that overtime these hinges will wear down and make creaking sounds. That said, it never once made a creaking noise on my head, which is a good sign considering how much I abused the joints in testing.

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The Razer Kraken works with Razer’s application for adjustments – Razer Synapse 2.0. All your Razer toys can be controlled with Synapse, making it your one stop for all your peripheral adjustments. I was very pleased to see there is a Mac version, letting me do all the fun lighting adjustments (on or off), EQ, mic and audio settings as well as calibrate the surround sound. It’s an intuitive and easy to use application so you can feel free to pump up the bass.

Can you hear me?

Razer kraken earcup

Now for the actual sound quality. The Kraken delivers plenty of punch and a satisfying bass experience. The audio delivers on the full range, never distorting even at high volumes. Depending on the variety of sounds delivered, it can become a bit muddy in the middle ranges, but for the most part I was extremely impressed with the sound quality delivered.

Sporting the usual frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and 32 Ohm impedance, the dynamic range of the Kraken was rather excellent, reaching an impressive 60 dBFS (decibels below full scale). Importantly for gamers, the Kraken offers 7.1 virtual surround sound that can be fully calibrated through Razer Synapse to ensure that you’re hearing all the sounds where they should be. While I know the true audio snobs among you will tell me that virtual surround sound simply doesn’t compare to the real thing, it certainly does a good job and you be sure to know exactly where the guy was camping before he shot you in the head.

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Razer kraken 1

  • Connectors: Gold-plated USB
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Cable: 2m / 6.56 ft braided USB cable
  • Weight: 340g
  • RRP: R1 199


Affordable, comfortable and offering excellent sound quality, the Razer Kraken is an excellent piece of hardware. If you’re looking for a middle range headset that offers all-day-wear design with plenty of audio punch, is a great headset at a reasonable price.

Last Updated: July 21, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • ToshZA

    How does the mic shape up on this headset? I’m in the market for a new one since my Sirius S headset is pissing me off atm.

  • Admiral Chief Saxon

    I like this headset, very cool! Must have!

  • Sith JJ

    Release the Kraken!!!
    Or in the case of EA games…Release the Kakken!

    • Admiral Chief Saxon

      More like pay $5 to release the kraken

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

        Pay $5 to release one tentacle of the Kraken*
        Fixed that for you

        • Admiral Chief Saxon

          Nah, you need to pay for energy to release one tentacle first

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

            Right. Of course. You are right.

          • Admiral Chief Saxon

            Always with the energy. You THINK that you are ready, but you need the ENERGY first

          • Sith JJ

            You all keep getting it wrong.
            It’s Kakken. Because if it were Kraken, it would actually work on release. 😉

        • VampyreSquirrel

          Release part of the Kraken, they can pay for the rest of it later as over priced DLC’s that don’t work until we re-release it in the next version of the exact same game.*

          There, fixed the fix of your fix.

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

    These are the perfect headsets for Matty Fig to use while reviewing the Kardashian game!


    • Admiral Chief Saxon

      Yes, cuz the kardashian sounds must stay INSIDE and not be heard

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew


  • Anon A Mouse

    R1 200 for headsets and it’s called affordable? Randiculous.

    • Sith JJ

      It’s about perspective my dear Mr Mouse.
      For Zuma, it’s cheap

  • Pieter Smal

    Lolz – why not review hardware that (say for example) students can afford?

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