Tech Gear – Razer Kraken Pro Review


I’ve never really been a big fan of Razer equipment. Not necessarily because of product quality, as I’ve never seen or touched a bad Razer product (yet), but just because I felt the prices were so damn high compared to other equivalently spec’d equipment.

I must say, I’ve been slightly converted recently. I’ve taken to streaming more seriously at twitch.tv/omegabladex, and to do so, I felt I had to get the basics down–webcam, headset w/ microphone, and configure my overlays. I did have the Logitech G430 as I reviewed earlier, but just like that TV, guess who commandeered it? Yep, my sneaky brother, twitch.tv/parahmansa. You can see it in his streams! But being a good brother, I let him keep hanging onto it. For now…

Anyway, I’ve also been writing for OPnoobs.com as I’ve mentioned, meaning I’ve spent more time on Teamspeak with the guys, and streaming on their channel twitch.tv/opnoobsonline, so again, getting desperate for a proper headset with microphone for gaming.

Razer Kraken Pro (Green)

I was out shopping for some random nicks and knacks when I came across a killer deal on a set of Razer Kraken Pros, and honestly, picked up a set to resell them to a Razer lover at discount, and take the cash from it to get a set that I wanted. They were Razer lime green, and I’m usually a pretty big green hater, and they were 3.5mm based, not USB based (I wanted USB). Pretty much, these things were everything I thought I hated in a set of headphones, but I knew some fanboy would pay top dollar for them above what I paid.

Except, I actually decided to try them out and see what the hype was all about. And I was converted, as if I’d seen the light.

This is coming from someone who has used (but never owned and absolutely hated and will not link to) a wide range of headphones like Beats by Dre, and the Audio Technica ATH-M50 (which I did own and absolutely LOVED), but not a proper gaming headset (the Sony Playstation 3 Wireless Headset one and my brother’s Logitech G430).

pc gaming heatset razer kraken pro

Razer Kraken Pro side view, microphone extended.

I started doing some research on the Razer Kraken Pro before I opened the box, and I discovered that since my motherboard has a pretty solid on board sound card (from Realtek), to take advantage of the features that my card offers, I’d need to use a 3.5mm jack anyway. USB headphones have their own DAC (digital analog converter) on the board, and typically they aren’t that great, and because they use their own DAC, they bypass the sound card on board, rendering those features unusable.

With that in mind, I basically threw out all of the options I had in my wish lists before that were USB. So, time to explore a whole new world.

So, the good that I found. I was actually impressed with the audio quality the Razer Kraken Pro offers. No joke, I was. It sounds absolutely fantastic. I’m sure there’s better out there, but the price point I got these at vastly dwarfs the many offerings from the generic manufacturers sold on Amazon.

Once I was sure I was going to keep the Razer Kraken Pro for use, I noticed that the box mentioned that it came with a serial key for Razer Synapse Virtual 7.1. The sound was a little flat, so I installed Synapse and registered the key, and got to use the wizard to tweak the directional audio features in the software. I was very satisfied with the flexibility of the software, and ultimately it gave me the directional sound I absolutely wanted when gaming. So far, pretty damn good.

What about the microphone on the Razer Kraken Pro? Well, major plus was that it’s retractable. It hides in the left earcup entirely, and simply pushes and pulls into and out of position, so you can use this as a simple set of headphones while travelling or while gaming on the rig at home without looking strange in public. It’s also a bit of a detriment, as it’s flexible and rubberized, rather than solid, so I do worry that pulling too hard may damage it or break it entirely.

pc gaming headset razer kraken pro

Razer Kraken Pro front view, with microphone inserted into storage position.

Quality wise, I did have to do some tweaking of the microphone volume and sensitivity. The noise cancellation features really didn’t help too much. Sadly, my den of gaming evil does have a bit of an echo due to being an enclosed space, and my home echoes from the kitchen right into the den, so I have to be sure to be liberal with the in line mic on/off controls whenever I leave stream to get a drink or use the restroom. You might hear that toilet flush if I leave it no, no joke.

That’s also a good thing about the Razer Kraken Pro in my eyes though. No one wants a microphone too sensitive, but I’d rather have that than one in which at max sensitivity I have to shout into. I don’t think my neighbors or my girlfriend would appreciate it either. 🙂

The earcups are quite comfortable, which is a major selling point for me. I have worn these for about 12-13 hours (my longest stream of Tales of Zestiria last Saturday, 11/21/15), and with only minor adjustments needed about half way through, I was extremely comfortable wearing them. I also have rather large ears, so even though they don’t fit my entire ear inside the cups, I was still comfortable. That says quite a bit.

I haven’t explored if they’re removable for cleaning, but I will certainly check it out and update later.

All in all, for the full retail price they used to go for, I couldn’t in good faith recommend these. But since they’re coming down in price, I’d say if you’re breaking into streaming or just want a good gaming headset, the Razer Kraken Pro are a great choice. They look good on camera, work well for audio and for speaking once adjusted, and are of PewDiePie’s rise to fame (these were his choice of gear as well). Until the budget grows for a dedicated microphone, these will get you up and running without a huge overhead, and last for quite a while.

Are there better headsets out there? Undoubtedly. I’m sure Astros are extremely solid headphones, but I haven’t had the pleasure of trying them unfortunately. But, for the price points we are talking about here, Razer delivers.

You can pick up your choice of set from Amazon for very close to what I paid for them here, in a few different options:

Razer Kraken Pro (Green, as pictured above)

gaming headset razer kraken pro green

Razer Kraken Pro (Green)

I was out shopping for some random nicks and knacks when I came across a killer deal on a set of Razer Kraken Pros, and honestly, picked up a set to resell them to a Razer lover at discount, and take the cash from it to get a set that I wanted. They were Razer lime green, and I’m usually a pretty big green hater, and they were 3.5mm based, not USB based (I wanted USB). Pretty much, these things were everything I thought I hated in a set of headphones, but I knew some fanboy would pay top dollar for them above what I paid.

Except, I actually decided to try them out and see what the hype was all about. And I was converted, as if I’d seen the light.

This is coming from someone who has used (but never owned and absolutely hated and will not link to) a wide range of headphones like Beats by Dre, and the Audio Technica ATH-M50 (which I did own and absolutely LOVED), but not a proper gaming headset (the Sony Playstation 3 Wireless Headset one and my brother’s Logitech G430).

Razer Kraken Pro (Black, wish I got these!)

pc gaming headset razer kraken pro black

Razer Kraken Pro in Black–really like these! But they weren’t on sale. 🙁

Razer Kraken Pro Chroma 7.1 USB (These are USB due to the color changing functionality controlled via Razer software)

pc gaming headset razer kraken pro chroma

Razer Kraken Pro Chroma–USB connected due to the color customization software means no onboard sound features, but DAMN do they look great!

 

Stay tuned for more reviews, tips, and tricks! Also, be sure to stop by and follow me on Twitch at Twitch.tv/omegabladex! We’re streaming 3-4 times a week, 2-3 weekdays and 1-2 days on the weekend!

Tags: gaming headset, pc gaming, pc headset, razer, razer kraken pro, streaming headset, tech gear

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