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Razer Kraken 7.1 V2: They exist

review
#1

This review can pretty much be summed up by the title. The title IS the TLDR here TBH. If you think they look good for your application, get them. They probably are. They certainly are for mine. If not, you probably won’t like them.

So to start off, niche doesn’t begin to really say what these things are intended for. Upon first sight you see a gamery headset that is maybe openbacked, some RGB bullshit, a mic that collapses… Meh, its a gamer headset from razer probably trash right? That is the meme. Skip.

But, despite looks, these are good for 3 things: Music / Audio (listening), Podcasting, and Online Calls.

Now, coming in at 105 USD at sale, a headset like this is probably not what you’d buy, normally, for skype calls with your friends or business partners. But it has well enough build quiality havzing a metal construction at its core, and with no hinges you have no failure points. And for me? That is a HUGE bonus. I had a pair of Logitech G430’s that I used all the time, praised for durability, hinges exploded after 2.5 years. No bueno. Unless you smash these against the wall you aren’t going to see these broken any time soon.

So… Audio quality. Thats what these are for right? As an avid player of CSGO, Quake, and TF2, my Sony MDR-AX950B1’s are 1000X better for games, and the only reason I say that is that a part of the highs and a part of the mids is just not there. And I have hearing problems, so it might be audible for most people, but for me its like theres just deadspots in the audio spectrum specifically for where you would expect to hear a quakejump or foot steps in CSGO.p I can hear the low end, but not the mid or high. But for music they’re OK, for voices they are even better.

Then, the mic. I bought this in tandem with my 65% razer Blackwidow with yellow switches for 1 reason only: Using the mic on the headset with the keyboard I have means there is no sound whatsoever.

Now, part of me could say the mic is so garbage that it can’t pick up surrounding audio and cast it clearly like my webcam, but in truth thats just how its designed. Its meant to pick up YOUR VOICE, NOT your dog rolling on the floor or construction outside. The actual mic itself is somewhat sealed in a plastic tube with a ring opening on the end to let audio through and not sound muffled. You get a little bit of that 2004 cell phone call sound, but thats not a bad thing either because you can EQ the mic. Being a linux user thats more limited for me as I can’t get OpenRazer to even begin to work in Void Linux. IDK what I’m doing wrong or right, but it just doesn’t like me. Add to that, the most convenient mic mute I have ever seen being a button, albeit sometimes hard to find, on the end of the mic with a light around the very tip. Much better than an inline solution, to me at least.

Speaking of inline, for some fucking reason people were bitching in reviews that theres no inline controls. Well, its not paired with a USB DAC like the Logi G430’s or their newer lineup, and its not meant to be used for everything. Its made to be plugged in to USB, set your settings once, and then never touch again. For me personally I hate inline stuff unless its a hack like the cables you can buy from Geekria for bluetooth sony headphones. Add inline audio controls, also add an inline mic so you don’t have to charge it every 4 hours because thats a pain in the ass. On headsets like these though? Its just something bumping into my chest or adding weight and thats annoying to me.

Stop with the fucking inline control bricks.

Past that… What do you have? Supposedly these are capable of 7.1 surround, but I imagine thats done through software just like for the Logitech G430. The RGB is ok, but not really needed. Part of me suspects they weren’t going to have it in there and they realized that there was too much line voltage so they popped the lights in to make that not a problem. I’ve seen this before, but with it being RGB theyf can actually show that off sorta. In the long run though, its to attract the gamer crowd, as razer isn’t seen as a professional brand by many, even though in my eyes this is a very professional product.

Now, there is a version for 20 dollars less that are 3.5mm jack compatible. But, I really didn’t feel like dealing with line noise so I went with the USB version. The only difference is that the non USB ones do not have RGB. Same driver, same mic.

So… Good 105 USD spent? As a gamer probably not, but I bought these to use for an interview on the Ask Noah Show… Which is coming eventually. Our schedules have to line up correctly. For a mic, this thing is capable for sure. Without software, the hardware blocks out surrounding noise. You won’t have random software crashes to do noise canellation or anything they are designed to do that. The construction is A+, definitely not what you would expect from razer if you were an enthusiast with the expectations of 2012-2014 razer (which is how I think everyone sees them still), and while the audio drivers aren’t the best, they do better at what they do with voices than any headset or pair of headphones that I have ever owned or used in the last 8 years.

If you need a pair for an interview online, or you want to get into podcasting on a budget, or you listen to a lot of dissortations online for school… This is more or less an investment at 100 or 80 USD. There are better headsets and there are cheaper headsets. Logi G430’s are very good for 40 dollars. Perhaps under priced. But the mic is shit, they start to aggitate your head after an hour, just ech. Then you have Hyper X Clouds and the corsair Void which is at the complete other end and go anywhere from 120 USD to over 200 which… No, just no, thats ridiculous.

These are definitely the middle ground, and though have a niche intention, are worth the 100 USD (or 80) for what they are good at.

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#2

I have a pair of the Razer Kraken USB headphones. I was aiming pretty low when I bought them, because I was in a hurry, but they turned out to be a great headset. I’ve had them for about 5 years and I was super disappointed because one of the ears broke off from use last week (the side without the mic). The cabling was still strong enough inside that I was able to tape it back together and use it temporarily with the same audio fidelity that I was used to.

I may end up getting a pair of these, just from the great experience I had from my (now previous) pair. Thanks!

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#3

The metal is super heavy and the cable is braided! I wouldn’t expect them to explode any time soon!

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