Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma PC/PS4 Headset Review
The Razer Chroma range allows for the kind of customisation that we would expect to see from modern products. Whereas we were all satisfied enough to not have a beige PC once upon a time, those days are long gone and we don't just want red, green or blue, but subtle shades that match our own personal tastes. The lighting on the Kraken Chroma definitely allow you to have exactly the right hue, and indeed either transfer that hue to other Razer products, or merely transfer it from other ones to the Kraken without endlessly tweaking. So the colour part of the equation is fantastic. On a headset colours are definitely at the bottom of the 'concern' pile. Sure on a mouse or keyboard that you look at all the time it's great, but headsets are for your head.
It's fortunate then that the Kraken is also extremely comfortable. There is no front/back rotational movement on the hinges, it's all just in and out. On the off-chance you have a head that could double as a snooker triangle, then the Kraken will have you covered. The immense amount of padding in the ear pieces keeps everything extremely comfortable and is so forgiving and yet supportive that the rotational movement is actually unnecessary. With the light weight, plentiful height adjustment and a supply headband you can wear these for hours without becoming fatigued.
You will want to wear them for hours too.
The sound quality is extremely good. So often with pseudo-surround you end up with something that's more akin to an echo chamber than genuine 360° sound location. The Kraken though is phenomenal in pure stereo situations as well as surround ones. There is plenty of tight bass to get your chest pounding without dominating proceedings or, horror of horrors, becoming woolly. The midrange has amazing amounts of space considering this is a closed back design. Normally closed back headphones give a slight sense of claustrophobia, but these are excellent. All the sounds are well defined and easily discernible. For the first time in a while we have a headset that has brought forth previously hidden sounds in well loved media too. From music to films to games, this gets it done. How the Kraken allows you to pinpoint a sounds origin can really make the difference in tightly matched firefights. It's not only the way you hear things that is brilliant either, as the Kraken has one of the best microphones we've experienced. Background noise was filtered without making your voice muddied and even whispered commands were received at the other end with clarity. That wont stop teenagers from screaming at you online, but hey.
Indeed the cable provides the only real fly in the ointment. It's beautifully braided, and having our desks/laps freed from an unwanted in-line remote or external soundcard is a joy. Whether it's a problem that afflicts all Krakens, or whether ours wasn't as well shielded as it should have been, but the cable was riddled with microphonics. On anything but the plainest t-shirt the slightest head movement caused the cable to rub on print/zips etc, and this was amplified into the left ear piece to annoying levels. Certainly a plain cotton t-shirt fixed this as did sitting like a statue, but we don't want our fashion sense or posture dictated by the cable braid turning into an impromptu Chewbacca sound effect. Hopefully ours was a model that just slipped through the QA net, because otherwise the Kraken 7.1 Chroma is an absolute delight in every regard.
For supplying outstanding looks, wonderful sound reproduction and pillow-soft comfort, along with faultless PS4 support, at a very affordable price the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma receives our OC3D Performance Award.
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