With the Kraken X, the well-known Californian manufacturer Razer adds a low-cost headset to its portfolio that’s aimed at beginners as well as more seasoned gamers.
Release The Kraken (X)
There isn’t much in the box besides the headset itself. Apart from the instructions, including the obligatory decals and a download code, you’ll only find an extension cable with microphone splitter enclosed. This cable should interest those whose audio cards have separate inputs and outputs for sound and microphone. Those who enjoy console gaming on the go can do without the cable and confine themselves to the permanently attached 3.5mm jack cable, which is sufficiently long at 1.3 metres. Windows 10 (64-bit) users can also look forward to 7.1 surround sound. With the download code, necessary software can be activated with ease. Bear in mind that when connected to consoles, you’re limited to stereo.
Razer is especially proud of the lightweight construction of the Kraken X. With a weight of about 250 grams, it’s the kind of headset you barely notice on the head, even after long gaming sessions. The memory foam earpads, covered with imitation leather, together with the soft headband, reinforce this high level of comfort. When correctly adjusted, the ears are completely covered by the oval earpieces so that you can sink into the atmosphere of a game undisturbed. For spectacle wearers, invisible recesses are hidden in the upholstery, meaning there’s no unwanted pressure on the temples. The lighter weight is admittedly achieved by a largely plastic construction. However, despite this, the Kraken X makes a solid overall impression.
Unsurprisingly, an integrated microphone comes as standard here. In the case of the Kraken X, the mic can be bent both in front of the mouth and tucked out of sight. The cardioid microphone here mainly records speech in frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. In most cases, speech is easily understood, but sharper noises are unfortunately not filtered well, so keep shouting to a minimum, even though that’s a big ask of any enthusiastic gamer. Noises like mouse clicks or typing on the keyboard are audible, but your voice is always in the foreground. Ultimately, expect a solid performance that is more than sufficient for gaming.
The remaining functions of the headset are clearly arranged for ease of use. Volume control is located on the earpiece equipped with the microphone, with a mute button found just above it.
You need to really get stuck in with a gaming session or two to evaluate the sound. We kicked off our assessment with the Xbox One X. When it came to a game title to start things off, we opted for one recommended by the manufacturer that supposedly shines with these headphones, “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”. The titular Senua has not had it easy. Her beloved was sacrificed by Vikings and so she now finds herself seeking Helheim in the Nordic Empire of the Dead. But that’s not her only problem. Senua is plagued by psychosis and she hears many voices in her head. And since we’re practically in her shoes, or rather in her head…we hear voices too. Besides Senua’s inner voice there are several others, some of whom are reluctant to stand aside, occasionally giving early warning alerts during fights and therefore proving helpful. There are also angry, aggressive voices seeping in from the left or creeping in from the right. The result is that in hectic situations you are tempted to take off your headphones. The sound coming from the 40mm drivers is good, fairly neutral and clear. In contrast to many competitor models, the Kraken X does not rely on exaggerated cinematic sound, but on a balanced character with a slight tendency towards higher frequencies. There’s nothing to adjust here, with the factory standard setup of Razer your baseline. Basses are not lacking here, with the Kraken X also reproducing these well, if not as strongly, as most presets for gaming or cinema. This is a good thing, making for more relaxed gaming immersion for long bouts behind the controller.
In Windows, it is possible to activate emulated 7.1 surround sound. With this, the sound becomes more open, the space larger, while the locations of individual sounds can be perceived more clearly than in normal stereo mode. The free software does not offer any special settings. In order to do activate virtual 7.1 surround sound, you need an account with Razer, which you can create for free. Of course, the Kraken X is not a benchmark for the 7.1 slice of the market, but it is a neat and free bonus that PC players should appreciate.
In terms of price and user-friendliness, this Razer headset hits high notes. The sound quality is good, the microphone more than sufficient, while the lightweight construction makes for high levels of wearing comfort, especially for long gaming sessions If you want more enhanced sound specs or added features, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets. However, as an introduction to the world of gaming headsets, the Kraken X is definitely worth a look. The lightweight design should also appeal to gamers who are fine with a no-frills approach in other departments.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)12 - 28.000 Hz
- Impedance30,85 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)102,21 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head587 g
- Weight with cable244 g
- Weight without cable228 g
- Cable length130 cm
What's in the box
- Extension cable with microphone splitter
- Compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices with 3.5mm audio connector
- available in black or blue/black