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Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Gaming Headset Review
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Review

Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Gaming Headset Review

by 2016/01/15
Overview
Price

$99.99 on Razerone.com

Product Name

Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma gaming headset

Positives

• Visually appealing design
• 7.1 audio headset at very low price
• Good quality microphone with high SNR
• No distortion
• Large drivers
• Very comfortable to use
• Braided cable that will last long
• Very effective EQ

Negatives

• Software isn't perfect, requires you to re-calibrate surround sound
• May not be comfortable for people with large heads
• Too much bass bias, needs to be reduced through software EQ

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Sound Quality
73%
92%
Appearance
80%
95%
Worth it?
70%
77%
Ease of Use
90%
99%
Hardware
63%
93%
Features
79%
85%
Bottom Line

For $100 price range, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma offers excellent gaming performance, lot of bass and lot of software support.

76%
Our Rating
90%
User Rating
3 ratings
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The Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma is a USB headset which focuses on construction and good sound quality. Razer already has a couple of headphones in the Kraken series. All of them come with amazing construction that will survive rough usage and travel. However they may not necessarily stand up head to head with the pros such as Sennheiser or Audio Technica

Very appealing design

The packaging is very clean and attractive with its black and Razer trademark green colour appearing here and there. Upon opening the box you will find some instructions on the cardboard flap and a hard plastic cover that protects the headphones beneath. The headphones are secured with straps. The overall packaging and efforts are put there to ensure the headphones are kept safe and secure.

razer kraken chroma gaming headset box

The black design, attention to detail, good looking grooves and cuts in right places gives Kraken 7.1 an appealing look. The ear pads are made from a plush material. It is not leather, it is soft and plushy unlike leather which is much harder and thicker. Looking at the material, it may make you feel like suffocating but using the headphones will be a pleasant experience because of the air flow that this material allows. You will not feel sweaty or hot ears which is an important thing for heavy gamers.

razer kraken 7.1

The ear cups are super thick and look massive. They have a grilled back giving an impression of being open ended, but they are not. It is simply the design that creates this open backed look. The center of the grill is covered with a nice Razer logo which lights up upon plugging in. Underneath the logo is an RGB LED which is programmable through software and it can change colours.

The headband is also covered with the same plush material which gives a soft feel wherever it makes contact with the skull. Speaking of headband, it can tilt and swivel quite sufficiently. In addition to that, the ear cups fold inwards which is a good thing for storing the headphones while travelling.

razer kraken 7.1 chroma gaming headset purple

Unlike the previous versions of the Kraken that happen to take audio input from a 3.5mm jack, this one works entirely on USB. Both, the sound and the power are delivered over the USB cable. There is no 3.5mm jack to be found on this headset and neither is there any option to stream audio over a wireless connection. The Kraken 7.1 Chroma comes with a nice braided USB cable which feels sturdy and resistant to breaking from bending.

The headset also features a compact microphone poking out from underneath of one of the ear cups and it cleverly coils around it. The microphone has LED indicator which lights up when it is pulled out. You can easily tuck away the microphone by pushing it inwards which turns off the LED light on it. The colour of the LED can be changed through the software. Some people find the LED on the mic to be annoying and distracting, unfortunately there is no way to turn it off while using it. The inline button which mutes the mic also turns off the LED. So, you are better off putting a piece of tape over it if you want the LED gone while using the mic.

Great audio performance

The Kraken 7.1 Chroma is a gaming headset and hence, the DSP preset is to boost the bass because explosions and gun shots sound good on heavy bass. The highs are crisp and the mids do not get muddy at all. The bass may leak into the mids if you forget to keep it low, but it is not too bad while playing games. Users have compared this headset directly with the Logitech’s G930 which also happens to have a very similar audio performance if not, slightly worse than the Kraken 7.1.

razer kraken 7.1 chroma gaming headset green

A gaming headset is expected to have a distinct sound stage which is very important while playing action games because you need to know where the enemy is. The Kraken 7.1 chroma does a very good job of highlighting minor audio details that game devs have put in the game. For example, the subtle sound in the background when bullets drop to the ground go entirely unnoticed most of the time. But this headset effectively moves our focus to such subtleties. This feature will definitely be welcomed by a lot of hardcore Battlefield fans, a game in which devs have given tremendous amount of attention to detail.

Above average experience but not entirely perfect

You have to remember that this headset falls under the lower end of the spectrum and you cannot expect everything to be perfect. The level of improvement in audio will depend on what headset you are coming from. It is no question with The Kraken 7.1 Chroma’s music performance. You will definitely get an above average music listening experience because of the given ability to hear subtleties.

The bass, mids and the treble are highly tunable according to your needs with the help of Synapse software. It also offers the ability to calibrate surround sound. Like most other audio configuration software, Synapse also comes with a bunch of preset equalizer settings that can be activated at press of a button. The presets are not just for the audio drivers, they can also be used to enable background noise reduction when you are using the mic. Along with that, Synapse also enables users to change the sensitivity and microphone input gain. The software is a notch better than what you get from Logitech for its G930 headset. Be warned though, extra features of the software come at a premium so check here for more information.

razer kraken chroma gaming headset red

The headset is able to provide so much audio detail because of the high sensitivity audio drivers. Large, 40mm diameter drivers also allow the bass to be reproduced more effectively as compared to a smaller diameter drivers.

The drivers have a sensitivity of -112dB and a 32 Ohm impedance. Both of these factors allow these headsets to set the desired sound stage where different elements in the audio stream can be distinguished by the ears. At this impedance, an external amplifier is not needed at all. The drivers are quite loud thus, you may never need to exceed 60% volume level.

Comfortable design and PS4 compatibility

razer kraken chroma gaming headset orange

The plush material as we saw earlier, is very soft and airy. It is as though the ear cans breathe. The plush material on the head band also adds in to raise the comfort level. Depending on your head size, you can also extend the cans lower by pulling them down. The large diameter of the cans and the depth of the drivers help in covering up the entire ear giving an isolated feel which in turn also helps in reducing sound leaks. Some users may find the headphones to be uncomfortable because they are a little tight on the ears and there is no way to loosen it up. For some users, the cushions are little bit too shallow causing the ears to touch the driver’s flat surface.

Razer has also announced support for these headsets on their PS4 platform, which is a great news for PS4 gamers.

Conclusion

For $100 price range, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma offers excellent gaming performance, a lot of bass and lot of software support. Oh, and we cannot forget the cool design and the programmable RGB LEDs. With all the good stuff, it does have a few problems of its own but they all seem minor given the price point at which they sell.

United States

Amazon, Newegg, Bestbuy

International

Ebay, Aliexpress, bhphotovideo

Probably one of the cheapest (decent) surround sound headphones on the market right now.

Even after long gaming sessions of a couple of hours and more I was never fatigued from wearing this headset.

It is definitely a bass biased headset even with it toned down a bit.

Even though it looks heavy it is very, very lightweight for its size.

  • Advanced 7.1 virtual surround sound engine
  • Enhanced digital microphone
  • Designed for extended gaming comfort
  • Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • Powerful drivers for highest-quality gaming audio
  • Closed ear cup design for optimal sound isolation
  • Foldable ear cups for maximum portability
  • PC / Mac with USB port ;PlayStation 4 (when plugged into PS 4 only spectrum cycling lighting effects is available)
  • Windows® 10 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 7 / Mac OS X (v10.8 - 10.11)
  • Internet connection (for driver installation)
  • At least 100MB of free hard disk space
  • Drivers: 40mm with Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: 112dB
  • Output power: 30mW
  • Connector: Gold plated USB
  • Cable length: 2m/6.56ft braided USB cable
  • Approximate weight: 340g (including 2.0m cable)
  • Drivers: 40mm with Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: 112dB
  • Output power: 30mW
  • Connector: Gold plated USB
  • Cable length: 2m/6.56ft braided USB cable
  • Approximate weight: 340g (including 2.0m cable)
  • Frequency response: 100Hz–12kHz
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: -40dB ± 4dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 63dB
  • Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
  • Frequency response: 100Hz–12kHz
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: -40dB ± 4dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 63dB
  • Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional

 

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About The Author
Salil Tembe

Salil is an electronics engineer who loves to play around with the technology. He has a passion for expressing his love for technology through writing. Also, he firmly stands for open sourcing everything that makes our lives better, so that it can get even better.

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Sound Quality
Appearance
Worth it?
Ease of Use
Hardware
Features