Razer Kraken Tournament Edition – The Headset I Never Knew I Needed
I’ve gone through many a different headset over the years, from earbuds that have been included with my latest phone purchase to Bluetooth headphones, and assorted other wired options, but I’ve been yet to find one that gives me what I want with the ultimate level of comfort. While there have been many that ticked the boxes in terms of my technical requirements, there had still been one glaring issue – comfort after sustained (but sometimes even limited time) use. With the recent release of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition, it seems that I’ve now finally found the headset capable of giving me the best of both worlds, giving me power without sacrificing comfort and ease of use.
Razer are well known for their high-end tech, and while high-end tech and price are rarely a pairing that goes together, the Kraken TE strikes that balance perfectly. Clocking in at RRP $170AUD, the Kraken TE is an outstanding product and boasts as many impressive technical features as it does ergonomic ones.
Firstly the tech side of things, the wide frequency range makes the headset extremely versatile, while the presence of THX Spacial Audio is a significant point of difference between the Kraken and its competitors. The overwhelming majority of headsets in this price range don’t possess audio controls, but yep, the Kraken has those as well, and not just simple, mic on/off and volume controls either. The Kraken TE allows you to do both of those things, to toggle the THX Spacial Audio as well as the ability to tweak the levels of bass, and the game/chat balance.
For some, including myself, even more important than the quality of the output is the feeling of the headset over my ears. All too often the cans are too small, or of a shape that makes prolonged use really uncomfortable on the ears, not the case for the Kraken, with large, circular (they call them ovular, but I can’t help but disagree), cans locking in both your ears, as well as the sound comfortably. Some very simple, very missable quality of life inclusions have been made for this model that won’t go unnoticed for their target audiences. The simple inclusion of cooling gel into the cushions of each earpiece makes prolonged, intensive (or ones on seriously hot Australian days) sessions a little more bearable. Though not a wearer of glasses myself, I couldn’t help but notice the small indentations made for the arms of the glasses to fit snugly into and by doing so, relieving some pressure on the temples. I was also quite pleased with the amount of foam inserted into the headband, making it a pressure-free, light feeling, extremely comfortable fit.
With crystal clear audio, an opposable, and very handy mic, on top of the best fit of any headset I’ve previously tried, and the Kraken TE is a very appealing prospect. It’s similarly priced to its peers but simultaneously gifts much more for your money. It’s quickly become my default choice for gaming, listening to music, and during capture, where even though I use a dedicated mic, the Krakens are out for my audio benefit. If you’re in the market for a new set of headphones, then no matter the purpose of those, you’ll be hard pressed to overlook the Razer Kraken TE, one of the very best available.
- Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 109 dB
- Input power: 30 mW (Max)
- Drivers: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
- Inner ear cup diameter: 56 mm / 2.2 in
- Connection type: Analog 3.5 mm
- Cable length: 1.3 m / 4.27 ft.
- Approx. weight: 322 g / 0.71 lbs
- Oval ear cushions: Designed for full-ear coverage with cooling gel, perfect for long-wearing comfort
- Frequency response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: > 60 dB
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): -45 ± 3 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional ECM boom
- Analog volume control wheel
- Microphone quick mute toggle
USB Audio Controller
- Controls: Vol up/down, Bass up/down, THX Spatial On/Off*, Mic mute, Game/Chat balance
- Cable length: 2.0 m
- Audio Usage: Devices with 3.5 mm audio jack
- Audio + microphone usage: Devices with 3.5 mm audio + mic combined jack
- Audio Controller usage: PC with USB port
- PC with USB port
- Windows™ 10 / Windows™ 8 / Windows™ 7 (64-bit)
- Internet connection for driver installation
- At least 500 MB of free hard disk space
Born and bred on the Super Nintendo era, Paul relishes any opportunity to sink his teeth into an RPG, action or platformer. Despite being an owner of all major platforms, Paul does have a particular love of the Playstation family of consoles – take only a few minutes to skim through his Twitter and you’ll see him ranting about the next big thing on PS4. We swear he’s sane.