Razer has refreshed the original Kraken for 2019, and they’re out to prove that they can top one of the most popular gaming headsets on the market today. They’ve upped the audio quality, upgraded the microphone, and enhanced the over-ear cushions with a cooling-gel layer for added comfort. Should the new Razer Kraken 2019 earn a place in your gaming gear collection? Read the review to find out.
- Current Pricing: $79.99 MSRP
- Over-Ear Wired 3.5mm
- Drivers: Drivers: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
- Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
- Head Phone Sensitivity: 109 dB
- Microphone Sensitivity: -45 ± 3 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional ECM boom
- Controls: Analog Volume control wheel /w Microphone quick mute toggle
- Cooling Gel-Infused Cushions
- Bauxite Aluminum Frame
- Thicker Headband Padding
- Cross-Platform Compatibility
Back in 2014, the original pair of Razer Kraken was my first choice for gaming headphones. I have used them faithfully over the years. When Razer released an updated version, I was very interested as it's only now that mine has begun to show some signs of wear. Upon first inspection, I was delighted to see that Razer did not stray far from their roots and kept the design to what I know and love: lightweight and still comfortable as ever to wear.
First, I let’s talk about the build quality and improvements. The 2019 Edition of the Razer Kraken sports something that to me screams quality: the headband. This area is typically overlooked and I find that it’s really what makes a headset stand the test of time. Nothing is worse than feeling like they will break because they’re cheap plastic. Razer has now given the Kraken a Bauxite aluminum frame like that of the Razer Kraken Pro V2 as well as a very reasonable cushion. The clamping force is there but light, and for extended wear and play times I believe this is essential.
While the headband is a very important piece, you cannot forget the over-ear cushions. Razer has outdone themselves here. They’ve added a number of new features, including a new cooling gel layer to the memory foam so the pads feel cool to the touch. The fabric used on the outside now whisks heat and moisture away from your skin.
Being and corrective lens wearing gamer, I often have found issues with wearing my glasses with headsets. The Kraken headphones are the first in a long time that I can wear with comfort and in no way do they put undue stress and pressure on my glasses or my head thanks to the built-in eyewear channels for your glasses arms Sad but true, even many of the most expensive headsets out there forget about us folks that wear glasses and it was a pleasant experience.
The audio quality on the Razer Kraken continues to be great whether it's in-game or listening to your favorite music tracks. The 50mm drivers provide a clear and powerful immersive experience. For those audiophiles out there I performed some testing over at audiocheck.net and was able to benchmark and test the Razer Kraken headset and see where these ranked compared to some others I have.
- Bass: 15-20Hz
- Treble: Low as 15hz
- Dynamic Range: 60db below scale
- Quality: Deep rich base, no frame rattling.
- Driver: Both sides matched well into higher frequencies but did lose some balancing
The best part about the Razer Kraken asides from its audio quality is, of course, the elegant and simple design. Razer keeps the design simple and focused on what really matters: build quality and sound performance. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they have to be dull; the look of these are just, well, perfect in my opinion. The bright, vibrant green is not only my favorite color in the known universe but really sets the mood for a good gaming session. The contrast between the green and black make it pop and definitely do not go unnoticed. One change I like is the braided wire. It's more flexible while being able to retain its rigidity. The cable on the original while being good did seem to experience some damage from use.
The Razer Kraken headset features a retractable and extremely flexible boom mic. During my gameplay, several friends in Discord have noticed a huge improvement over the sound quality of my previous mic. I've been told it's very clear and crisp. I did take note that during some audio recordings once in a while there was some fuzziness but nothing out of the ordinary. The noise cancellation was on point with little to no interference.
The Razer Kraken 2019 is a well-executed upgrade to the original. Many key points have been addressed to improve its function and form. The audio quality has greatly improved while taking nothing away from comfort and construction. The new cushions with their cooling-gel layer are a great improvement as they provide a wonderful wearing experience for those long gameplay sessions. With the price of $79.99, you get a great looking headset with proven audio performance at an affordable cost compared to much of its competition. If you're looking for a great headset that can provide an excellent listening experience at home or even on the go this is a great choice.
- Solid build quality
- Upgraded comfort and form
- Braided cable for flexibility and durability
- Extendable boom mic with improved audio capture
- Oval cushions are an additional purchase
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.