Razer Kraken X USB Review

When it comes to headsets, it can be tough for the casual observer to know what they are looking at. So many brands with devices that vary from the cheap end at $50 to hundreds of dollars that can be half the price of a new console. So trying to evaluate what is worthwhile can be tough.

Well budget conscious buyers may have been eyeing up the Razer Kraken X, and having played with it for a week, you should keep those eyes looking at it.

Release the Kraken
I had to do it.

Under the umbrella of Razer is the Kraken range which also varies a bit in range. The $280 Kraken headsets come with kitten ears and some bonkers stats, but the Kraken X rocks in at around $100, so a pretty big price drop.

Specifically I checked out the Kraken X USB Headset, because you can also get it in the 3.5mm jack model. The USB headset is great for PC, Switch when it’s docked, and PS4, but not Xbox because Xbox is gonna Xbox and not support generic USB drivers.

So if you are looking for one ideal for consoles I would lean towards the 3.5mm jack version which works in Xbox and PS4 controllers, and into an undocked Switch.

The flip side is if you need a USB headset for PC, docked Switch and/or a PS4, this one will do you nicely there.

Release the Kraken
Surely I won’t do that anymore.

The Kraken X is more plasticky than its more expensive counterparts, which of course means it is a lot lighter. Unlike other cheapers headsets like the $80 Sades headset we reviewed it doesn’t feel as cheap. One part of that is the matte finish which gives a more expensive appearance as opposed to the cheaper looking shiny plastic, and the other part is its compact design.

By no means when you are holding the headset does it seem flimsy and cheap, it feels light and looks a little less feature rich. 

I mean you are buying a headset at a fraction of the price, you expect less features, but what I didn’t expect was something that felt this well built.  

The cut down features basically consist of a volume dial, and a button to mute the mic. Both tidily stored on the left hand cup behind where the cord attaches. Hey it’s a low end headset, that’s what you need, and it’s nice not having it dangling on the cord.

Release the Kraken
This wasn’t funny before, and it isn’t now.

The Kraken X USB comes with software to install on your PC to enhance the 7.1 surround sound, and for its price it does a pretty good job. When I blasted the volume up I didn’t hear any distortion which I definitely got with the slightly cheaper Sades Snuk.

When doing some quick recordings of myself I did notice some distortion from the mic when I turned the volume right up, but seriously, at that price you can’t expect it to be amazing, so I was seriously impressed by its performance. It does have a cardioid microphone, I’ll wait while you Google cardioid, and it did a good job of cutting out a lot of noise from the room.

Plugged into the PS4 and Switch I found it wasn’t quite perfect, but I have been using the Senheisser 370 recently so compared to a $370 headset I can’t be too shocked at a drop in quality. The Kraken X definitely sounded better on the PC though when gaming, music didn’t sound as good as I hoped. Again, remember the price.

Release the Kraken
This must be the last one.

When it comes to headsets I have become accustomed to the long cup shape because, you know, ears are long shaped. The Kraken X though is a circle. I figured this meant the headset was going to uncomfortably lean on my ears or something but they were comfortable. The soft cushioning and weight meant I could, and did, wear it for the better part of a day without ever feeling like it was a cheapo.

The mic has an interesting design where it is flexible and can be moved closer to your mouth or further away. I actually liked that a lot about the design as opposed to the usual swivel style where you turn a mic up or down. It tucks away nicely, but with the way it connects to the base I don’t know how much knocking it will take over the long term, only time will tell.  

Either way in the short term, I dig it.

The Kraken has been released
I’ll just leave that there.

For a cheapish headset, the Kraken X USB easily outperformed my expectations. When checking out the Sades Snuk I thought it was pretty good for $80, but I would say it is well worth spending a few extra for the Razer Kraken X. It’s comfortable, performs well, and looks way more expensive than it should for the price.  

Between the USB and 3.5mm jack versions I would probably go for the 3.5mm one for the versatility, but if you are looking for a USB Headset for a good price, I wouldn’t skip past this one.

One final note: Sure, it’s kinda dumb but Clash of the Titans is a fun movie.

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