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A photo of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed with its case open, being held in a hand.

Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed review

Razer has long been a fixture in affordable gaming peripherals, but the latest earbuds are... different.
By

Published onJuly 7, 2023

6.7
Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed
The bottom line
The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed has a lot of attractive features, but might not be enough to entice people to spend $200 on a set of gaming earbuds. Bargain hunters will be able to find better if they're willing to give up some of the more unique features of these earbuds.

Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed

The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed has a lot of attractive features, but might not be enough to entice people to spend $200 on a set of gaming earbuds. Bargain hunters will be able to find better if they're willing to give up some of the more unique features of these earbuds.
Product release date
2023
Price
$199.99
Dimensions
Case: 25 x 64 x 53mm
Earbuds: 18 x 25 x 41 mm
Nozzle: 7 x 4mm
Weight
Earbud: 6g
Case: 58g
Model Number
RZ12-04590100-R3U1
Waterproof
IPX4
What we like
Low latency dongle
RGB chroma lighting
Multiple EQ presets
Comfort
What we don't like
Sound quality
Battery life
ANC is not the best
6.7
SoundGuys Rating
5.7
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
2.5
5.7
6.0
Active Noise Cancelling
6.6
6.0
6.0
Durability / Build Quality
8.0
6.0
6.0
Value
4.2
5.0
5.0
Design
7.9
7.6
8.0
Connectivity
6.0
4.8
5.0
Portability
9.5
6.7
7.0
Battery Life
4.9
3.8
4.0
Feature
8.9
5.7
6.0
Comfort
8.0
5.7
6.0

Gaming earbuds have several challenges, especially eliminating wireless latency for demanding console warriors. Recent products like the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed have been making great strides in solving this problem. So is it worth the money? Let’s take a listen.

Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

About this review: We tested the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed over three days. It was running firmware version 1.2.2.0, and the Razer Audio App ran version 13.0.0.1686904977. The company provided the unit for this review.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is for gamers who prefer earbuds, don’t want to deal with Bluetooth latency or unreliability, and want the benefits of active noise cancelation (ANC).

What’s it like to use Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed?

The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is built for gamers, and that’s immediately apparent right from the moment you open the box. All of the unique features and design choices made for the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed are centered around some aspects that gamers respond to positively. For example, RGB lighting on the earbuds, a USB-C RF dongle to eliminate as much latency as possible and jet-black plastic all over.

A photo of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed lying atop wood.
The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed has an ovoid nozzle, which fits ear canals better than a cylinder-shaped one.

Inside the packaging are three ear tip sizes, earbuds, a charging case, a charging cable, and a USB-C RF dongle. Additional documentation is mercifully kept scant, and there isn’t much extra plastic to throw away, either.

Once you’ve charged and paired the earbuds, you can use the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed like any other Bluetooth earbuds, with the added capability of being able to use them with just about anything with a USB-C port — that includes just about every modern console. Having this capability is rarer than it sounds, given that Microsoft has a fairly unique way of connecting wireless products, but thankfully the dongle sidesteps all of that.

A photo of the RGB logo on the back of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed.
If you like the RGB LED aesthetic, the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is for you.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is a familiar “lollipop” design popularized by Apple’s AirPods. The ovoid nozzles of the earbuds stand a much better chance of comfortably fitting your ears than the traditional cylinder-shaped ones you’d find elsewhere, and it’s a design choice we’ve been happy to see more of. People’s ear canals aren’t perfectly-round holes, so why should the earbuds be made to fit them? Consequently, the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is pretty comfortable for even those who hate in-ears, though you may find that heat buildup will make these uncomfortable after a few hours of use.

How do you control Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed?

You control the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed using the touch surfaces on the backs of the buds. Though you can remap the functions using the Razer Audio App, the defaults are outlined in the table below.

Left EarbudRight Earbud
Single tap
Left Earbud
Play / pause
Right Earbud
Play / pause
Double tap
Left Earbud
Track forward
Right Earbud
Track forward
2 second hold
Left Earbud
ANC mode
Right Earbud
ANC mode
Triple tap
Left Earbud
Hyperspeed wireless
Right Earbud
Hyperspeed wireless
Triple tap + hold
Left Earbud
Game mode
Right Earbud
Game mode

The touch controls have no significant issues, but you may have to tap and hold for about a half-second for the single-tap input to work reliably.

Should you use the Razer Audio App for the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed?

The app is a relative must, considering the reasons anyone would buy the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed in the first place. For example, you need the Razer Audio App to control the lighting effects, run the automatic fit test, and set the level of ANC. It will also enable you to connect to your phone while using the dongle at the same time. Though we usually steer people away from apps, it’s a critical piece of the experience for the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed, so you should install it.

How does the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed connect?

The main selling point of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is that you can connect your earphones to just about anything with a USB-C port.  While that may seem a little pedestrian, it’s a fairly rare ability enabled by a small dongle that isn’t intrusive (it can get in the way if you have other USB ports in use nearby). Though the earbuds use Bluetooth to connect to most sources over the SBC or AAC codecs, the dongle enables a 2.4GHz RF connection with far lower latency than Bluetooth.

A photo of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed's USB-C dongle.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The USB-C dongle enables lower-latency wireless listening.

For music consumers, latency will often be a complete non-issue, but gamers don’t have that luxury. Fractions of a second will often mean life or death — particularly in deathmatch or first-person shooter (FPS) games. By reducing the audio delay, you can greatly increase your chances of noticing someone sneaking up on you or an incoming day-ruiner of a projectile before it’s too late.

If you’re connecting via Bluetooth, the connection process is straightforward as it is on any other wireless product.

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your source device, and scan
  2. Open the lid of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed’s charging case
  3. Select the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed from the list of available devices

If you’re using the USB dongle instead, you need to:

  1. Connect the dongle to the source device’s USB-C port
  2. Open the lid of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed’s charging case
  3. Triple-tap your earbud
  4. Pairing will happen automatically

How long does the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed battery last?

A photo of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed's USB-C port.
Though you can charge wirelessly, the USB-C port on the bottom of the charging case is still faster.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed’s battery life is on the low end for true wireless earbuds. In our labs, the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed lasted 4 hours and 36 minutes using the wireless dongle or 4 hours and 1 minute using Bluetooth. This means you’re not going to be using these throughout an entire workday, but a quick rest in the case should be enough to top off the buds when you’re not using them. Usually, we’d like to see a bit more battery life out of wireless earbuds because the lower the battery life, the shorter they’ll last in the long haul.

Yes. Though the product documentation does not specify how much playback you can get from a few minutes of charge, the official wireless charging accessory compatible with the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed supports up to 10W fast charging.

How well does the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed cancel noise?

Though I had no trouble getting a good fit with the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed, the ear tips and the active noise cancelation don’t provide a stellar level of noise attenuation. That said, you will notice a drop in outside noise by about 50% to 75%, depending on the frequency.

This is far from the best ANC we’ve seen in wireless earbuds. We recommend turning down the ANC in the app only if your environment is quiet.

How does the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed sound?

Given that several EQ modes are offered, discussing how Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed sounds can get a little exhausting. However, a few themes apply to just about every preset. Namely, these earbuds have a strange dip in the mids, making speech and strings sound slightly “off.” In general, the illusion of 3D space in recordings falls flat, and the details and atmospheric effects are lacking. Deviating from our headphone preference isn’t a sin or anything, but it can introduce some foibles in gameplay or music playback.

Default EQ

A chart of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed's default frequency response.
The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed sounds consumer-friendly, though a weird dip in the mids can make vocals sound a little off.

If you never open the app or use the defaults from the jump, you’ll be treated to a very consumer-friendly sound in the lows and mids, but it falls slightly quiet in the highs. If you’re a DOOM: Eternal aficionado, that bassline to “The Only Thing They Fear Is You” will rattle your brain.

Amplified and Enhanced Bass EQ

The “amplified” and “enhanced bass” EQ presets will blast your brain cage with bass — and that’s not a good thing. This kind of sound is likely to make voices harder to understand, and music sound a bit like you’re listening to your neighbor playing it through their wall rather than through earbuds.

Vocal and Clarity EQ

Though the Vocal EQ preset makes voices easier to understand, we don’t recommend listening to music with this preset because of the extreme overemphasis in the mids and upper mids. It will make pop and rock songs sound unpleasant.

The Clarity EQ preset reduces mids and bass, though it will seem like the highs and upper mids are simply extremely loud. Considering that the low mids are also further underemphasized, it makes details like instrument attack, mouth sounds, and metal strikes much louder. Though I’m usually down on strange EQ presets for gaming, this one could be useful for hearing small cues in Deathmatch games, but I’d hesitate to use this with any other genre.

Can you use the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed for phone calls?

Much like any Bluetooth headset, you can use the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed for phone calls fairly easily. When connected to your phone via Bluetooth; you can use your regular phone app or a voice chat app to talk. However, your results will vary depending on whether you’re in a quiet area or if there’s wind present.

Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed microphone demo (Office conditions):

Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

486 votes

You can probably hear the noise suppression working overtime in that last clip. It’s a tradeoff, but if these earbuds are mainly used for gaming, it shouldn’t get too windy indoors!

Should you buy the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed?

Unless you fit a very narrow demographic of gamers, the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is a step toward a more mature product later on down the line. Maybe you want to be an RGB-clad streamer with the latest gear — that’s a legitimate reason to shell out for the extra glowy lights. However, as it stands: this product is mainly useful for those with lots of cash and lots of consoles. Beyond that, the $199.99 price tag is a bit much to put up with if you’re not in the habit of setting large piles of cash on fire.

A photo of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed with its case open, being held in a hand.
The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed is a competent set of gaming earbuds but at a hefty cost.

The USB dongle is a nice addition to the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed, and many things are good about these earbuds that should be done elsewhere too.

Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperspeedRazer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed
Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed
Low latency dongle • RGB chroma lighting • Multiple EQ presets
MSRP: $199.99
The Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed has a lot of attractive features, but might not be enough to entice people to spend $200 on a set of gaming earbuds. Bargain hunters will be able to find better if they're willing to give up some of the more unique features of these earbuds.

What should you get instead of the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed?

Because they take such wildly different philosophies, it’s natural to want to pit the Razer Hammerhead Pro Hyperspeed against the HyperX Cirro Buds Pro. On the one hand, you have the ostentatious, expensive Razer earbuds; on the other, you have the cheap, understated performers from HyperX. The more expensive headset should come out on top, right?

A photo of someone holding the HyperX Cirro Buds Pro open.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
For a hair under $80, the HyperX Cirro Buds Pro are a good value alternative.

Nope. The sound quality is better on the HyperX Cirro Buds Pro, and the ANC is more effective. Though the tradeoff is that the Cirro Buds Pro aren’t compatible with all consoles (and fewer EQ modes), they can be used with relatively low latency with the correct mode toggled, taking a bit of the sting out. If you don’t want to spend $200 on earphones for gaming, the HyperX option is the better bet for most applications sans RGB.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid true wireless earbuds sit on a table with one earbud out of the case, and the USB-C dongle laying next to it.
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid also includes a tiny USB-C dongle.

You don’t have a lot of options for switch hitters that work for mobile gaming and consoles, but the older EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is still a good alternative. It has better battery life (4 hours, 55 minutes in our testing), and IPX5 water resistance.

Frequently asked questions

No. You only need the dongle for the lowest latency and the most reliable audio connection.

You can use the app to customize the RGB behavior.

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