Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we're looking at another gaming headset from Razer; the Razer Kraken Pro Analog Gaming Headset.

I think the main selling point of this headset is the universal compatibility. It is marketed as compatible with Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac! 

For the majority of this review, I have the Razer Kraken Pro connected directly to my MacBook Pro with the input gain set at 10%. In my sound preferences, I checked the meter, and I was not clipping, however, you will hear that there is an exorbitant amount of clipping. I tried dropping my gain all the way down to 1% and I was still encountering a clipped sound signal even though the meter was showing sound levels no greater than 50%. 

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back between $50 & $80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headset (1.3m TRRS Cable Permanently Attached)
  2. TRRS Splitter
  3. Documentation

Specifications

Headphones

  1. Drivers: 40mm
  2. Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Microphone

  1. Polar Pattern: Uni-directional
  2. Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz

Performance / Features

The build quality of this headset is nothing spectacular. The majority of the construction is plastic, but it does feel like relatively high quality plastic when compared to a $20 headset. The headphones do offer a nice fit; providing a decent amount of give and just the right amount of pressure to ensure that they fit the majority of people's heads. The ear cups are very soft and comfortable. While the headband does not offer too much padding, it did not become uncomfortable at any point of my testing. The microphone articulates which is something that is important in a gaming headset, and it also retracts when not in use. The 1.3m cable is standard rubber, in the middle you have a control panel to adjust headphone volume and mute the microphone, and the cable terminates into a single 3.5mm TRRS jack.

The headphones offer a full frequency response ranging from 20Hz - 20kHz. The 40mm drivers push a lot of the lower frequencies which seem to drown out a lot of the higher end. However, the audio does not sound muddy. If you are a big fan of bass-heavy headphones, then this may be a good option for a gaming headset. If you're looking for an even sounding, flat frequency response set of headphones, this is not going to be for you.

The microphone, simply put, is not good. It has a harsh tone to it which almost hurts your ears. On the mac it was clipping no matter what gain I set it at. All around, it's just not a usable microphone for most applications. If you are looking to podcast, do voice overs, or do video game commentaries with this headset, look some where else. BUT, if you are going to be using it exclusively for online gaming, this mic may be perfect for that. Due to the harsh tone, it will allow your voice to cut through the games audio and ensure you're not lost in the mix.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Mic Articulates / Retracts
  • Heavy bass without sounding muddy
  • Microphone cuts through game sound due to harsh tone

Cons

  • Bad sounding microphone for any professional application
  • Bass overpowers higher frequencies
  • Headphone volume rocker is sensitive, and easy to accidentally hit

Conclusion

Overall, I can only recommend this for a single use case: Online Gaming. That's what it was designed for, and that's where this headset will live. It has good sounding headphones (if you like bass), and the microphone will cut through the game sound to ensure you're heard. On the other hand, if you want to use the microphone for Skype calls, voice overs, commentary, podcasts, etc, this headset will not cut it and you need to continue searching.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2kfOS0M
UK: http://amzn.to/2klnAbN

Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today we are covering another gaming headset; the Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset. For this video/test, I connected the headset to my computer using a new Sabrent Stereo USB Soundcard which provides some voltage to the headsets microphone, ultimately improving the audio compared to connecting directly to a computer internal microphone input. I unfortunately do not own a computer with a built in mic input, so I am unable to provide a comparison.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Gaming Headset w/ attached cable
  2. 3.5mm to RCA Adapter
  3. 2.5mm to 2.5mm Mic Cable
  4. XBOX 360 Audio Cable Adapter
  5. Quick Start Guide

Performance / Features

The build of this headset is pretty good. It is an all plastic build, but it feels sturdier than it's cheaper rivals. The ear cups and the headband are extremely soft and very comfortable. However, they do not fit too tightly on your ears so they do allow a bit of outside noise to get in.

You can articulate the microphone to move it closer/farther away from your mouth, and it also offers 270-degree rotation so you are able to have the microphone on the right side or left side of your face. The cable is your standard rubber cable, which is kind of disappointing. The control panel offers 2 volume controls to mix between chat and game sound, a bass volume switch, a mic mute switch, and a 2.5mm microphone input jack.

The end of the cable has (2) 3.5mm jacks and a usb cable: one 3.5mm cable is for the microphone, the other is for the headphones, and the usb cable is to help power the headset and the lights on the side.

The headphones offer 40mm drivers and list a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz. When I tested the performance using a tone generator, I started to hear decent performance around 24Hz in the low end, and heard audio through the top of my hearing register. When listening to music, I was let down 100%. The headphones focused far too much on the low end and lacked any semblance of clarity. Even with the bass volume control, I was unable to tune the headphones to sound remotely acceptable. 

The microphone is listed as unidirectional and offers a frequency response of 50Hz - 16kHz. It has a sensitivity of -37dB +/- dB and a signal to noise ratio of 50dB. The performance of the microphone was lackluster. It did fine when ignoring background noise, however there is a HUGE issue with the microphone. When listening to music/gaming, the microphone picks up the audio from the headphones!!! 

Pros

  • Comfortable on the ears
  • Unidirectional mic
  • 270-degree mic rotation
  • Lots of adapters

Cons

  • MICROPHONE PICKS UP HEADPHONES AUDIO!!!
  • Headphones lack any clarity

Conclusion

Based on the Pro's and cons list, you might see that the pros outnumber the cons. However, the two main areas that this gaming headset is supposed to work (1) Reproducing audio and (2) Recording voice, it falls completely flat on it's face. The headphones audio is so bass focused and lacking in presence and clarity that I will most likely never listen to them again. The microphone picks up audio from the headphones which is just unacceptable!

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP.

Buy the Razer Carcharias:
US: http://amzn.to/2aGu1yc
UK: http://amzn.to/2aHH2cM

Buy the Soundcard
US: http://amzn.to/2api4xf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aUIkV7

Razer Kraken USB Gaming Headset Review / Test

Today I am testing out another gaming headset. This time, it is the Razer Kraken USB Gaming Headset. I should note that my main interest in testing gaming headsets is the microphone. This is because I am searching for a headset that can function as an all in one podcasting options.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  • Headphones (w/ Attached USB Cable Cable)
  • Documentation

Performance / Features

The build of this headset is decent. It has an all plastic build, but it is rather nice plastic. It has a lot of give/bend, so I think these might be able to handle some abuse. The ear padding is very comfortable, but the headband padding is lacking, but it's not overly uncomfortable. The microphone feels decent and it does articulate which is essential on any gaming headset. Lastly, the cable is a standard rubber cable, so there is nothing special going on there.

The headphones have 32mm Drivers that offer a frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz. When I was testing the audio quality, they sounded decent, but they did seem to be a little bit bass heavy, and lacked a little bit of presence in the high end. 

The microphone is listed as unidirectional with a frequency response of 100Hz - 12kHz. I'm going to say it. The mic does not sound that great. It seems hollow and thin, and very unnatural. I suppose this could help the voice stand out among gameplay though.

Pros

  • Decent build
  • Comfortable
  • Plug & Play
  • Well known company (hopefully means good customer service / quality assurance)

Con

  • Microphone Sounds Hollow
  • Bass heavy / Presence Lacking in Headphones

Conclusion

This is not going to be a headset that you should buy if you are planning on recording voice overs or gaming commentaries. That's because the microphone sounds pretty bad. This IS a headset you will want if you are looking for a decent headset in the $50 price range, for GAMING and GAMING ALONE! The microphone will most likely cut through the gameplay and allow your friends to hear you. It also does pretty well at ignoring background noise. 

Simply put: this is a gaming headset designed to fit the needs of gamers. 

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

US: http://amzn.to/1YtzgVi
UK: http://amzn.to/22buVbi

Razer Seiren Pro Elite USB Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today I am testing out an absolute beast of a microphone. The Razer Seiren Pro Elite.

And if you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back approximately $225 on Amazon.

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Stand
  3. USB Cable
  4. 5-Pin to Dual 3-Pin XLR Splitter
  5. 3.5mm Extension Cable
  6. Documenation
  7. 1-Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is excellent. It has an all metal stand. Metal body. Metal grill. There are a few scattered pieces of plastic in the build, but nothing that raises concerns. Basically, everything feels well built. 

Front: The front has an LED display that shows mic gain, headphone gain, and current polar pattern. Directly below that is the headphone volume control and a microphone mute button.

Back: There are two dials on the back. The top dial is the polar pattern selector that allows you to switch between all 4 different polar patterns. The bottom dial controls the microphone gain.

Bottom: The bottom has the 5-pin XLR Jack, Microphone Mount, USB Port, Headphone Port, and a high-pass filter button which allows you to cut troublesome low frequencies.

The frequency response alters with each polar pattern, but the documentation lists that it the microphone is capable of 20Hz - 20kHz performance. It seemed to accurately represent the instruments being tested on it, and sounded very nice on the voice.

The polar patterns available on this microphone are as follows.

  • Stereo (generates stereo L-R signal)
  • Cardioid
  • Omnidirectional
  • Bidirectional

Each polar pattern serves it's own purpose and performs relatively well. I think that this microphone would hold it's own if it were placed against ~$100 USB microphones with each polar pattern. Basically, the performance is not stellar, but it is everything that most entry level folks will need.

I should also note a few other things.

  • Sample Rate: 192kHz
  • Bit Rate: 24-bit
  • Both 3-Pin XLR's require Phantom Power to Work

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • ULTRA LOW NOISE FLOOR
  • Versatile polar patterns
  • Great frequency response

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Conclusion

Overall, the microphone sounds great. Each polar pattern works well, and the overall tone is accurate and nice sounding. I do think that this microphone is for a very specific group of people though, and it is surprisingly, not gamers.

For gamers, this microphone will be overkill. Most gamers use a cardioid polar pattern and that's it. You can get an ATR-2100 for $60 and be perfectly fine. You will most likely not use any of the other settings. I also don't think that this microphone is for professional musicians. 

I think the people who will benefit most from this mic are amateur musicians, and youtube musicians. It will allow you a LOT of microphone versatility for a relatively low cost. It may seem expensive, but if you think about the cost of getting 4 decent microphones to match this microphone's performance, it suddenly seems like a much more reasonable price.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Razer Seiren: http://amzn.to/1SbI4gb
Razer Seiren Pro: http://amzn.to/1Uef1fM