Summon the Kraken
When you first put on the Kraken Headphones and start something up, say for instance Battlefield 4, you’ll be floored. Perhaps literally in BF4 as the bass in these Kraken headphones is nothing short of stunning. After being used to some fairly sub-par headphones with mics attached for gaming and a pair of hideously expensive Turtle Beach wireless headphones for the Xbox 360 the Krakens come as somewhat of a revelation.
Razer provided us with a neon green pair that matches the colouring of the Black Widow and Naga we’ve recently reviewed. They’re certainly an attractive pair of headphones, with a plastic frame surrounded by rubber on top and nylon underneath. Every part of the set seems completely solid, but lightweight enough that you don’t really notice the weight while you’re wearing them. The cups go completely over your ears and are effective at blocking out any other distractions while you’re playing. Plugging into your device with a standard 3.5mm jack they can be used with everything from PCs to mobile phones and even the Playstation 4. This isn’t a headset though, there’s no microphone on the Kraken, you need the Kraken Pro for that, but as a pair of headphones they’re very versatile. They even fold up inside themselves to make them a bit easier to carry around, with sturdy hinges that don’t seem like they’re going to give way anytime soon.
Sound is crisps throughout the full range with the aforementioned bass giving you a proper kick in the head at a high enough volume but the highs come through crystal clear. For such a reasonably priced set (around £50 currently) they blow away competitors within the same range. Even putting them through their paces with a range of music just gives them a chance to show off with powerful yet refined sound no matter what we were listening to. Saying that, they are definitely designed for gamers and I’m sure audiophiles would find some issues with them, but then audiophiles will be spending much more than £50 on some headphones.
Games of the current and next-generation are paying lots of attention to soundscape, even on the indie scene, so if you’re playing the music and sound through horrible TV speakers or, even worse, laptop speakers, these will be a huge upgrade. It’s a shame they don’t work with the Xbox One, but then currently nothing does thanks to their new proprietary port on the controllers.
The only issues we have with these headphones are features that are simply missing, but available on the higher-priced models. There’s no microphone, so these won’t be a replacement for anyone who’s doing a lot of multiplayer gaming (unless you have a separate microphone which is definitely an option if you play games at a desk, but sadly we don’t). There’s also no surround sound, this is strictly stereo and while it’s very good at what it does, in gaming surround sound is incredibly important for things like first person shooters where situational awareness is key. The Kraken 7.1 edition is around £30-40 more expensive, but if you can afford it it might be worth saving up to get the full experience out of your games.
As it stands, these are extremely capable stereo headphones, but that’s all they are, if you’re serious about gaming you might want to be looking higher up the range but if you’re just after something you can carry about easily, use in a variety of devices and want something that looks the part, for £50 you can’t go wrong with the Razer Kraken.