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I have received the long-awaited Razer Kraken Tournament Edition (2019) in green. It’s a wired gaming headset with an on-the-fly manual control for sound adjustments while you play. They have an adjustable metal headband, and the rest is plastic and synthetic fabric.
When unboxing the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition we find the headphones themselves with their green cable ending in a mini-jack, and on the other hand the manual control with its volume up and down buttons, microphone on/off, BASS control wheel (bass) and another control wheel to adjust the mix between the chat sound and the game sound.
The control knob also has a side button to switch the THX SPATIAL AUDIO surround on/off. This control is connected to our PC or PS4 via USB. For Xbox One it is only compatible via analogue, i.e. mini-jack.
On the green cable of the headphones there is a small quick control to adjust the overall volume and to switch the microphone on/off. This will be very useful for Xbox One users who cannot use the USB-connected controller.
You may have seen some youtubers highlighting the microphone as the maximum defect of these Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. Well, I don’t agree at all. The microphone is not a big deal (not bad either) but the sound of these headphones is quite bad. With the factory settings, the music sounds poor, the bass sounds dirty, the mids are quite hollow and the treble frequencies are very attenuated, especially for the voice that sounds undefined. Luckily, there’s a BUT: it can be improved quite a bit by equalization.
I propose 2 options to equalize, Razer’s own app called SYNAPSE in the CUSTOM option inside EQ (first image), or my favorite option, install the application for windows (and mac) 3D BOOM with greater control.
The equalization really does improve the sound. None of the default SYNAPSE presets have convinced me, so I make this proposal. However, they don’t have the good sound of the Steelseries Arctis 5, nor the great sound of the Corsair HS70 Wireless.
The microphone, as I was saying before, is nothing spectacular but it works. It’s removable and easily adjustable, and the pickup is decent. Attached is a sound sample recorded by myself.
Performance would be the strong point of these gaming headsets. The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition has an extensive manual control on its controller (volume control, microphone control, game/chat mix control, +- BASS) where the THX SPATIAL AUDIO button stands out (or should stand out). In the SYNAPE MIXER section you have to specify to which “output” you assign the THX SURROUND sound. If you don’t hear any changes when you activate it with the manual control you haven’t set it up yet. Once you get it and activate it, does the magic of a surround sound system appear that takes you beyond the headphones with its spectacular 3D sound? NO. Not at all. A word of advice, leave the headphones in STEREO. This system, like the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Superhuman Hearing, is a marketing creation. This effect sharply emphasizes the bass and midrange generating a blurred scene, cuts the few trebles it has and turns up the overall volume. It’s a disaster. I’m amazed at the youtubers reviews I see out there praising this effect. Either they don’t have good hearing, or they prioritize leaving a best-selling headset in a good place.
I did like being able to control the amount of noise reduction and microphone monitoring volume from the SYNAPSE application.
The manufacturer ensures that the earpads contain a cooling gel with a soft fabric for better comfort. The feeling when you put them on is quite pleasant, but after a while you feel warm like in most headsets. One of the problems is something very common in gaming headsets: lack of horizontal and vertical rotation of the cups. Let’s see this image.
By the construction of the headband and the support of the cups, in order to achieve a “U” shape that distributes the pressure over the whole ear, a “Ω” shape is achieved that presses the lower part of the ear and jaw. This is achieved by the little vertical rotation. But the horizontal rotation is null, so I have a small hole so they do not finish adjusting perfectly the helmets to my head. These details are perfectly solved in the Corsair Hs70 Wireless (which I strongly recommend).
The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition gaming helmets have their strong point in the performance of their SYNAPSE app and the real-time manual control offered by the USB controller. The microphone performs its function well, and noise reduction is appreciated. However, the sound of these headphones is not good, you have to take care of the equalization (it is partially solved from SYNAPSE), and the comfort is very improvable due to the low mobility of the cups on the ear. However, the look is attractive and the feeling when holding them is of good materials.