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 it offers some of the most reasonably priced options on the market.
Sure, many of its products are a little on 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 June 29, 2020, to answer questions in the FAQ regarding Mac compatibility and Razer Synapse software.
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 a lot of products, and some of them are stinkers — often with nearly identical names and looks to good ones.
On this list, we included two products in Razer’s Kraken line, but there are a lot more entries than that. Many of them are 90% the same, often differentiating based on a single feature, or whether they support Xbox One or PlayStation 4. It’s easy to get tripped up in a sea of nearly identical neon highlighted headsets. When you’re shopping for Razer gaming headsets, it’s pretty important to know exactly what you need, especially if you want something on the cheaper side. 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.
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 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.
The Razer Kraken Ultimate is a premium update to one of gaming’s great work horses
The Kraken line of Razer gaming headsets is a wide and varied one. There’s a Kraken for every platform, in every color, and with almost any feature—just not all at once. The new Kraken Ultimate is a solid contender, with THX surround sound, the same comfortable fit (with eyewear channels), an ANC microphone, and 50mm audio drivers. In our review, we found the jump in price over previous Kraken models felt a little unearned, but there’s still a lot to love about this gaming headset.
Razer Kraken UlimateFull Review
This USB headset is aimed at mainly the PC market, as it relies on Razer Synapse 3 for many of its features. Given the sound profiles of even the most high end Razer headsets, this probably won’t be as accurate as a given pair of hifi cans, but it’ll do just fine for gaming.
The THX surround sound function offers virtual surround sound projected in a sphere around you, introducing a degree of verticality to the audio, which is great for games like Fortnite and Overwatch. It’s not going to make you better at a game, but it’s one more tool to give you an edge.
Grab this headset if you need something simple that doesn’t skimp out on the fundamentals.
The Razer Thresher Ultimate comes battle ready, with great sound and great compatibility
The Thresher line of Razer gaming headsets is full of great options, but if one stands above the others, it’s the 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 Thresher UltimateFull Review
The Thresher Ultimate features a sturdy aluminum frame, with a comfortable suspension band, huge earpads, and headphones that rotate enough to fit any head shape. Its built-in retractable mic is flexible and can bend to just about any position you’d want. If all that’s not enough, the headset offers genuinely very good sound, with surround sound support to boot.
In most of its iterations, the Thresher Ultimate comes with a 2.4GHz RF wireless transmitter that plugs into your device of choice, offering lag free audio up to 40 feet away. A new Xbox One variant now supports Xbox Wireless, and pairs with the console without needing a base station or dongle, too. Additionally, this headset offers better battery life than just about any other gaming headset — advertised as up to 16 hours (though our review found it closer to 14).
It’s a little obnoxious that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are locked to different models, but if you want something that can do it all from across a living room, the Thresher Ultimate is your best bet.
The Razer Kraken X brings comfort and compatibility on the cheap
Most Razer gaming headsets are pretty reasonably priced, but one strikes the perfect balance between covering the all the basics and staying cheap. The Razer Kraken X is built on the same frame as other Kraken headsets, with many of the same features, and just few limitations.
Razer Kraken XFull Review
This headset features 40mm dynamic drivers, a flexible cardioid boom mic, and its headphone pads sport grooves to make listening while wearing glasses more comfortable. For a headset of its price, the Razer Kraken X features some remarkably accurate audio output, with only a slight overemphasis in the bass range.
Compatibility isn’t an issue, due to the headset’s 3.5mm connection format. You can use it with a PC, Switch, PlayStation, or what have you. The only drawback is the headset unfortunately relies on Windows 10 for its virtual surround sound, so you’ll be locked to stereo everywhere else.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a Razer gaming headset that’s cheap, reliable, and compatible with lots of devices, the Kraken X is your best bet.
The Razer Nari Ultimate brings more features than you can shake a (joy)stick at
If the top of the line is what you seek, look no further than the Razer Nari Ultimate. This beast of a headset comes with swiveling headphones, a retractable boom mic, and a comfortable suspension band. It’s made primarily of plastic, but what it lacks in durability, it makes up for in comfort. The combination of the Nari Ultimate’s suspension band and thick leatherette headphone pads (with the same eyewear channels as other Razer products) make it great for long gaming sessions.
Razer Nari UltimateFull Review
This wireless headset can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. If that doesn’t seem like much for a headset like this, it’s because it isn’t. The Nari Ultimate features small additional audio drivers in each headphone that produce haptic feedback when heavy bass is playing. That’s right, this headset vibrates. It’s a neat gimmick, and when you’re gaming it can add a lot to intense firefights. However, it can get a little distracting when listening to music or watching movies. Perhaps most importantly, the feature seems to be what drains the headset’s battery fastest.
The Nari Ultimate offers a ton of features. It’s comfortable, wireless, and supports surround sound through THX Spatial Audio. The 2.4GHz wireless connection (via USB dongle) means you shouldn’t run into any audio lag, and it comes with a 3.5mm cord for connecting to a device without a USB port. There’s even an Xbox One version that connects directly to the console without needing a dongle. Basically, this thing is stacked.
Game on the go with the 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 you just 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, they’re also great for anyone looking decent pair of earbuds with neutral output.
Razer Hammerhead DuoFull Review
Unlike the previous Hammerheads, which were great USB-C headphones, the Hammerhead Duo are 3.5mm earbuds. Each earbud still houses a dual-driver unit, separating bass reproduction from mids and treble frequencies, but they no longer support ANC. However, the move to 3.5mm also made their compatibility wider—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, just make sure you’re actually looking for something for gaming—no console supports Bluetooth audio currently, and the audio lag typical to the standard makes it hardly ideal for gaming on mobile. 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. If you’re looking for a low-profile audio solution that really works everywhere, this is probably your best bet.
How important is surround sound?
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 really depends on the kinds of 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.
Why you should trust Sam
When it comes down to it, I don’t just review gaming headsets because I’m passionate about good audio. Pretty much everything I do here at SoundGuys focuses on gaming content, and that’s because I’ve been a gamer my whole life. You name it, I’ve probably played it. I know what kind of audio features are important for different kinds of games, and maybe more importantly: which ones aren’t.
The gaming headset space, much like many other parts of the audio industry, 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 why we have lists like this.
Next: Best gaming mics
Frequently Asked Questions
Razer Synapse is the company's hardware configuration tool, allowing you to customize and configure your Razer headsets, keyboards, mice and other peripherals. The software includes controls for RGB lighting, macros, surround sound and more. The latest beta of the software (Version 3) is available for PC. If you're on a Mac, you are limited to using an older version of the software.
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.