Krakens, Krakens everywhere. Since their launch we have covered a wide range of Razers Kraken peripherals in both written and video form. The most recent occurrence being their Chroma Edition just last month. It proved to be a quality headset for PC users but what about those using the latest console from Microsoft? Well today we find out what Razer offer for that in our Razer Kraken Xbox One Review.
Razer Kraken Xbox One Review – Packaging and Bundle
The Kraken for Xbox One arrives in some fairly familiar packaging which gives us a decent view of the headset as well as the Xbox specific control pod. There is plenty of product info around the box too and then inside we find a compact manual. Extension cable which turns the single 3.5mm connector into 2×3.5mm (for PC etc) and a USB cable which is used to update our console hardware if required.
Key to the Kraken Xbox One compatibility is this control pod. On the top surface we have a connector which plugs in to our console controller and on the base, the 3.5mm headset connector. With those two plugged in we are ready to go as far as hardware is concerned. An extra step of plugging the controller into the console via bundled USB will confirm if we need any software updates and then the unit is good to go. What functionality does the pod offer? We can control the volume and mute, with the additional ability to tweak game volume and voice volume independently.
Razer Kraken Xbox One Review – The Headset
The Xbox One edition of the Razer Kraken varies a little in design from the Chroma edition we reviewed recently. Most obvious is the mic which now rotates up and down rather than pushing away inside the earcup. We still get the closed design with mesh covers and there is foam padding on each ear for passive noise isolation. The headband offers a thin layer of padding with Razer branding on top and each arm extends by around 1 inch. Connecting the headset to our controller is a rubber coated, Razer green, cable which is 1.3m in length.
In terms of specification we have 40mm neodymium drivers with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The Impedance is 32Ohms with a sensitivity at 1Khz of 110dB. Finally, input power is 50mW at 1.52v
As noted earlier, the mic on the Kraken rotates down from the left ear cup and it features a 13cm extendable boom. The specs are a frequency response of 100Hz-10kHz with sensitivity at 1kHz of -42dB. Signal to noise ratio is 50dB with the pick-up pattern unidirectional.
Razer Kraken Xbox One Review – User Experience and Conclusion
As we noted at the beginning of the review, we are fairly familiar with the Kraken headsets here at HardwareHeaven. In numerous reviews the various editions have performed well and so it should be no surprise that this version does too. That said, it isn’t perfect. For example, we really wish that Razer had gone with the option to hide the mic on this model, like the Chroma. Or made use of the rotate function to auto mute. Either would have been fine but just having the rotate, with the mic still active, is disappointing. Having also experienced the microphone on the Kraken 7.1/Chroma we have to say that the Xbox version isn’t quite as good. Will your team mates hear you? Yes. Is it a clear sound. Yes… just a bit harsh sounding overall.
On the plus side the flexibility of this edition has been underplayed by Razer somewhat. Its very much branded for Xbox One however is actually multi-platform. If you have a PC, it will work on that via the bundled splitter cable. Smartphone? No problems, plug it into that and both the earcups and the mic work allowing us to make calls on the Kraken which is a nice bonus.
As we noted earlier, other than a software update that some users may need, the set-up on Xbox one is simple. Just plug the headset into the control pod and the pod into our controller and its ready to go. The buttons are big enough that they can be found and activated in a hurry and the functionality is exactly as we would expect from this sort of device. Once gaming, we had no complaints about the audio quality from the Kraken Xbox One Edition. Plenty of bass was available, meaning explosions and soundtracks were impressive. The mids strong and detail evident throughout. It also performed well when streaming media, both music and video which makes it an ideal all round headset for Xbox One.
Summary: Good quality when gaming, decent functionality, slightly disappointing mic but far more flexible in terms of device support than it initially lets on.
Available from Razer.