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Best Razer gaming headsets
Ah, Razer. If there’s a brand truly evocative of gaming hardware, surely it’s this one. Razer gaming headsets have been in the game pretty much since there’s been a game at all. It’s the biggest name out there and offers some of the most reasonably priced options on the market.
Sure, many of its products are a little on the average side, and the company is starting to expand outside the gaming space, but if you’re set on having a gaming headset in that iconic black and green, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best Razer gaming headsets on the market right now.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on July 18, 2022, to add the Razer Barracuda X (2022) and Razer Barracuda Pro as best picks, add the Razer Kraken Ultimate and Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense as notable mentions, and update formatting.
Why is the Razer Kraken V3 the best Razer gaming headset for most people?
The Razer Kraken line of gaming headsets has been among Razer’s most reliable wired gaming headsets for a long time. However, the Kraken V2 frame has looked a little dated for a while. Enter the Razer Kraken V3, a wired gaming headset with a more refined look and the same reliable performance.
The Kraken V3 is a USB wired gaming headset, so it’s pretty much a PC-only affair. While that’s definitely a limit, it’s also probably for the best—a lot of the headset’s features are locked to Razer Synapse. Speaking of features, this gaming headset brings the typical bells and whistles you’d expect from a Razer gaming headset. It has customizable LEDs, THX 7.1 virtual surround sound, and the same headphone and microphone adjustment suite as you’d find with a lot of the other headsets on this list.
Add on to all that, a considerably more comfortable construction, good sound, and a much better microphone and this is a pretty compelling package. For under $100 USD, this is a good deal for any PC gamer looking for a reliable, versatile gaming headset.
The Razer Barracuda X (2022) brings good sound and great compatibility
If one Razer headset stands above the others for less than $100 USD, it’s the Barracuda X (2022). This headset is an updated version of the Razer Barracuda X from 2021, bringing Bluetooth support, a better microphone, and amazing battery life to this much-loved multi-platform gaming headset.
You can connect this headset in one of three ways: by wire with the 3.5mm cable, or wirelessly via the USB-C dongle or Bluetooth. The USB-C conneciton option makes it easy to connect to a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 5. Heck, you can even use the headset with USB-C smartphones if you’re so inclined. Razer also provides a USB-A adapter for the dongle in case your device doesn’t sport modern ports.
The Barracuda X (2022) has a few on-ear controls that let you adjust the volume, power the headset on/off, and mute or unmute the detachable boom mic. While the controls are all aligned in a single-file row, they’re easy to differentiate from one another by feel.
You’ll enjoy consistent audio output in the midrange frequencies, a little boost in the bass range, and some under-emphasis in the sub-bass response. While this may alarm serious bass heads, the quiet sub-bass shouldn’t affect gaming sounds all too much. Game audio engineers intentionally mix explosive noises so they sound louder than everything else. The benefit to this frequency response is that the headset is pretty pleasant for listening to music.
This has its drawbacks like just okay isolation performance, but for a lifestyle-oriented headset at this price, the Barracuda X (2022) is a solid choice.
The Razer BlackShark V2 brings comfort and compatibility on the cheap
Most Razer gaming headsets are pretty reasonably priced, but the Razer BlackShark V2 strikes the perfect balance between covering all the basics and staying cheap. This headset features an aesthetic that suits both work and play, forgoing LED-accented ear cups and sharp edges for rounded corners and a matte-black finish. The BlackShark V2 also excels in comfort, sporting memory foam ear cups wrapped in leatherette and mesh fabric that sits gently around your ears—perfect for long gaming sessions.
For a headset of its price, the Razer BlackShark V2 features some remarkably good audio output, with only a slight overemphasis in the bass range. However, microphone quality leaves something to be desired, with a frequency response that under-emphasizes lower frequencies.
Compatibility isn’t an issue, due to the headset’s 3.5mm connection format. You can use it with virtually any gaming console, with additional functionality available on PC via Razer Synapse 3, when connecting using the included USB dongle. PC-exclusive features include THX Spatial Audio support, EQ controls, and microphone settings.
If you’re looking for a Razer gaming headset that’s cheap, reliable, and compatible with lots of devices, the BlackShark V2 is your best bet.
The Razer Barracuda Pro brings active noise cancelling to the table
Have more money to spend on a gaming headset? If you like to get fully immersed in the game with no distractions, the Razer Barracuda Pro has active noise cancelling so you can block out the world around you. This headset connects wirelessly using either a 2.4GHz USB-C dongle, or over Bluetooth using the SBC or AAC codecs. This means the headset can connect to a lot of different devices, like PCs, PlayStation consoles, Nintendo Switch, or mobile devices.
With its more minimal design, this headset doubles as a great option for commuting. It doesn’t draw much attention to the fact that you’re wearing a gaming headset in public. You can take this on many commutes before needing to recharge it since the battery 51 hours, 13 minutes with ANC on. These results from our battery testing surpass Razer’s official 40-hour battery life for the Barracuda Pro.
The Razer Barracuda Pro is also supported by Razer Synapse and the Razer Audio app, so you can easily adjust the EQ and active noise cancelling on your devices. You can also enable THX Spatial Audio in Synapse for virtual surround sound. If you want a more premium option, consider the Razer Barracuda Pro.
Game on the go with the Razer Hammerhead Duo
Look, gaming headsets mostly target the same audience: homebound gamers who play at a desk or on a couch. However, gaming’s bigger than that these days. If you’re a diehard mobile gamer or want something less bulky for playing on a Switch during your commute, a pair of earbuds is probably a little more your speed. However, while the Razer Hammerhead Duo has a real gaming focus, it’s also great for anyone looking for earbuds that sound good.
Unlike the previous Hammerheads, which were great USB-C headphones, the Hammerhead Duo terminates in a 3.5mm connector. Each earbud houses a dual-driver unit, but this model doesn’t support ANC. However, the move to 3.5mm expands its compatibility—these earbuds work on any phone with a headphone jack, and every console.
If wired earbuds just aren’t what you’re looking for, Razer makes both a Bluetooth version and a TWS model of Hammerhead. There’s also a separate model for the Nintendo Switch that includes a mic mute switch, but the regular model will work just fine on it too. This is probably your best bet if you’re looking for a low-profile audio solution that works everywhere.
If you want a pair of everyday earbuds, check out the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro is the company’s second pair of true wireless earbuds, designed for Razer fans who need a pair of buds for daily use. For under $200 USD, these buds pack quite a punch, complete with an IPX4 water-resistant build, decent noise cancelling, reliable connectivity via Bluetooth 5.1, automatic ear detection, and an in-app equalizer. It also features a low latency Gaming Mode, which benefits frequent video streamers too.
The Hammerhead True Wireless Pro boasts a relatively accurate frequency response that caters to virtually all genres of music, which was made possible by Razer’s partnership with THX. However, if you’re the type of listener who’d prefer an extra bump in the low-end, the Hammerhead True Wireless app gives you access to an equalizer, complete with sound presets to help fine-tune the earbuds to your listening tastes.
Not all is perfect with the earphones: the plastic housings feel cheap, and the microphone quality leaves plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately, we’ve seen companies improve microphone performance with a firmware update, so perhaps Razer will do the same.
The best Razer headsets: Notable mentions
- Razer BlackShark V2 X: This features the same design as the standard variant BlackShare V2 but trades in THX Spatial Audio for traditional 7.1 surround sound.
- BlackShark V2 Pro: This Pro model features the same comfortable design as the standard option but with added wireless connectivity, a bassier frequency response, and a dramatically improved microphone.
- Razer Thresher Ultimate: Available in versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, all of which work with PC as well, this wireless gaming headset has just about everything you could.
- Razer Kraken Ultimate: A comfortable and reliably good USB gaming headset with surround sound, the Kraken Ultimate isn’t a huge step up from the Razer Kraken, but it’s definitely worth it when it’s on sale.
- Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: Similar to the Razer Kraken V3 but with a twist: HyperSense haptics kick in with bass frequencies to give your gaming sessions a little something extra. It’s very hit or miss, but if haptics sound fun to you, consider it!
What you should know about Razer gaming headsets
If you’ve decided a Razer gaming headset will step up your game and is what your heart desires, there are a few things to bear in mind. For starters, Razer’s position as by far the most popular gaming headset brand doesn’t mean its products are all the best. To be clear, the company puts out plenty of completely fine products, but it also puts out many products, some of which are stinkers—often with nearly identical names and looks to good ones.
You may notice a lot of the Razer gaming headsets we included offer surround exclusively through Windows 10, despite being compatible with a much wider array of products. If you’re wondering whether surround sound support should dictate your purchase, it depends on the games you play. If you’re into competitive shooters like Fortnite, Overwatch, or Call of Duty it’s probably something worth getting.
Surround sound doesn’t necessarily make audio any more immersive (that’s impossible to quantify anyway), but it can give you some important information in game. Gaming headsets that offer 7.1 surround sound are meant to offer much more precise directional audio. If you’re good enough to take advantage, it can be the difference between a chicken dinner and an ignominious death in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
However, gaming headsets already offer a better spatial audio than regular headphones. If you’re just looking for something that will make things sound like they’re coming from generally the right direction, pretty much any decent headset will do. Basically, if competitive shooters aren’t a priority, don’t sweat surround sound.
Razer has a lot of product lines
Razer has many lines of headsets and many of them are 90% the same, often differentiating based on a single feature, or whether they support Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. It’s easy to get tripped up in a sea of nearly identical neon highlighted headsets. When shopping for Razer gaming headsets, it’s pretty important to know exactly what you need, especially if you want something cheaper. If you’re not careful, you might end up with a headset that looks identical but doesn’t actually work on your console of choice—very few Razer gaming headsets do it all. Depending on your budget, you may benefit more from a separate gaming microphone to pair with your headset. Check out our guide on Razer’s many gaming headset lines to help narrow down your options.
However, the flip side of that problem is you can find something to cover your particular bases most of the time. If something we’ve included on the list doesn’t quite match what you’re looking for, odds are there’s a nearly identical headset that does. This list is meant as a starting point, so don’t feel bound by it if something just off the beaten path looks better. After all, the Thresher Ultimate for PlayStation 4 sounds just as good as the Thresher Ultimate for Xbox One, and both work on PC. This concern is still an issue with the new generation of consoles, too—a gaming headset made for the PlayStation 5 won’t work with the Xbox Series X/S using a connection method other than 3.5mm.
Why should you pick Razer over other gaming brands like SteelSeries?
Razer’s headsets are among the best in the market, sporting features that help the company’s products stand out from the crowd. These features include Synapse 3 integration for device management, a gamer-oriented sound signature with low-end emphasis, and the inclusion of Razer’s famous neon-green logo branding on the ear cups.
At the end of the day, which headset you choose should be based on whether or not the product satisfies your needs and preferences. If you already own some Razer peripherals, you may feel more comfortable buying headsets from the same brand, since you’re familiar with the company’s design language and device management workflow. If you don’t need Razer-specific features like Synapse 3 integration, or maybe just want a headset with a design that isn’t too flashy, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and Steelseries Arctis 7P are well-respected and affordable alternatives to Razer’s products.
To use a Razer gaming headset with a Razer phone, you need to make sure the headset is compatible. This means the Razer headset needs to be wired so it may be plugged into a Razer smartphone’s headphone jack or connected via USB-C dongle adapter. Alternatively, you could get the Razer Hammerhead Duo True Wireless earbuds or the Razer Opus noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones for casual listening from your Razer smartphone.
What is Razer Synapse?
Razer Synapse 3 is the company’s hardware configuration tool that lets you tocontrol and customize your Razer peripherals—pretty much every gaming peripheral maker has an app like it. For headsets, Synapse 3 gives you access to controls for headphone EQ, microphone gain and enhancements, RGB lighting, and THX Spatial Audio. Note that access to some features, such as THX Spatial Audio, requires a compatible Razer device.
Currently, Razer Synapse 3 is only compatible with Windows computers. If you’re on a Mac, Razer Synapse 2 is available for download, however, it does not support newer products like the Razer BlackShark V2. To control newer Razer peripherals on a Mac, you will need to download and run Razer Synapse 3 on a Windows virtual machine.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
When it comes down to it, we don’t just review gaming headsets because we’re passionate about good audio. No, we also want to make sure that you’re getting a headset that lets you take your gaming to the next level. None of our writers benefit from recommending one product over the other. While SoundGuys operates off of affiliate links, we only benefit if you like and keep the product so we only recommend good products.
Much like many other parts of the audio industry, the gaming headset space is rife with exaggerated language and gimmicky-sounding features that often don’t add much of anything to your experience — that’s especially true of Razer gaming headsets. It’s easy to get caught up in the flashy lights and promises of immersive audio and bass so intense it’ll rupture your eardrums (but in a good way), but most of that stuff flat out doesn’t matter. That’s why we review headsets and have lists like this.
Frequently asked questions about Razer gaming headsets
More than any other platform, the best gaming headset you can buy on mobile is just whatever the best headphones you can buy are. Gaming features generally don’t translate at all to mobile systems, and most dedicated gaming headsets don’t support Bluetooth (those that do typically have pretty limited codec support). If you’ve got something wired you like, just use those, they won’t have the occasional lag issues Bluetooth headphones suffer from.
Wired headsets and headphones are king when it comes to quality and reliability. Because all the signal throughput is running through a cable, wired headsets are less prone to interference and quality issues, compared to wireless headsets. However, technology has come along way in recent years, providing a virtually lag-free gaming experience without having to deal with pesky cables. If convenience is your priority, wireless headsets will do the trick. Wired headsets are your best bet for the absolute best in audio quality and for the absolute minimum amount of lag.
While users have reported success using Razer USB headsets with Macs, the platform is not officially supported. Accessing software controls will also be difficult since Razer’s latest Synapse 3 software is not compatible on Mac computers. If you’re trying to use a headset like the Razer Hammerhead Duo earbuds, then those will work perfectly fine, seeing as they use a standard 3.5mm cable for audio connections.