Razer Kraken X review: Good entry-level headset

Cheap gaming headsets like the Razer Kraken X always have to sacrifice something to justify the lower price. In our Razer Kraken X review, we show you in which areas the gaming headset is convincing and where it is not so great.

Razer Kraken X review

The Razer Kraken X is an entry-level headset with virtual 7.1 sound and scores particularly well in wearing comfort. We like the simplicity of the design, and the build quality is impressive for the price. The sound is not as good for listening to music, which is not as much fun with the Kraken X. On the other hand, the headset performs well for gaming purposes.

The problem is the microphone, which unfortunately cannot be flipped up and has slight weaknesses in terms of sound. Nevertheless, you get a decent price performance and virtual 7.1 sound of the better kind. This definitely makes the Razer Kraken X a recommendable budget choice.

7.4Expert Score
Razer Kraken X Rating

Decent price performance with virtual 7.1 sound

Design & Features
8
Comfort & Performance
8
Headphone sound
7
Microphone design and sound
6.5
Price performance
7.5
What We Like
  • Somewhat cheaper
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Good sound for gaming
  • Compatible with console & PC
  • Good for people who wear glasses
We Don’t Like
  • Ears sweat quickly
  • Weaknesses with Microphone
  • Annoying registration necessary for 7.1
  • 7.1 surround sound only works with Win10

Design & Features

Before we get into the design and features, here’s an overview of all the important product specs:

Razer Kraken X Gaming Headset: Important features at a glance

  • Speaker Driver:  40mm Dynamic
  • Frequency range headphones:  12 Hz – 28 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 109 dB SPL / mW
  • Microphone polar pattern: unidirectional
  • Microphone type: boom microphone
  • Guarantee : 2 years
  • Media control : volume control, microphone mute
  • Cable length : 1.3m 
  • Connection:  Via 3.5mm jack + adapter for microphone
  • Total weight : 250g
  • Type: Overear, closed

The Kraken X has a very similar design to all of Razer’s other more expensive headsets. It is completely matte black (no color on the headset), while the frame and ear cups are made of plastic. The package contents are clear, by the way. You only get a splitter cable, a quick start guide and the code to activate the 7.1 sound.

Speaking of the ear cups

The Razer logo is on the back of the ear cups, but not in green as expected, but also in black. Although a mesh surrounds this area, the headset’s drivers are still completely enclosed. Therefore, this is just an aesthetic design decision.

The leatherette ear cushions are now oval, unlike Razer’s otherwise round cushions. What we particularly like is that you can remove the ear pads. This makes them easier to clean or even replace when the memory foam pads wear out. Finally, Razer also points out that the ear pads have “hidden goggle grooves.” This is supposed to increase comfort for those who wear glasses. Sascha tried this out with his Gunnars and can only confirm that.

If we take a closer look at the left ear cup, we find the two controls. There is a microphone’s mute button and a volume control, both of which work well. However, the volume control could have quietly been a bit bigger and placed further up. We would also have liked a bit more resistance when turning it.

At the top, there is a padded headband and notches to adjust the fit on the sides. Definitely comfortable on the head with the 1.5cm of padding and nothing slipping around.

Finally, the headset itself has an integrated 1.3m non-removable cable that is made of a silicone-like material and has a 3.5mm jack connector. Fortunately, Razer also includes an approximately 1.5-meter splitter cable, which you’ll need for the microphone. This provides separate audio and microphone jacks for PC use.

Despite the uninspired design, aside from one annoying flaw (more on that later), the Kraken X is probably one of the most excellent headsets Razer has ever produced. That’s because, unlike the extremely bulky ManO’War as well as older Kraken designs, the Kraken X feels much more traditional and less goofy.

Comfort & Finishing

That said, Razer doesn’t use the highest quality materials on the Kraken X, but the headset is super comfortable. Let’s say a few words about the build quality first, though.

Finishing

There are two ways to judge the build quality of the Kraken X. On the one hand, it’s undoubtedly more cheaply made thanks to its all-plastic construction. As a result, it doesn’t feel particularly high-end in hand.

On top of that, the top of the headset isn’t particularly flexible. In other words, although you can easily twist the headband, you definitely feel like you could easily break it in half if you apply a bit more pressure. Unfortunately, the earcups also have limited rotation, which means you’ll have to be a bit more careful when removing and putting on the headset.

On the other hand, the ear pads with their synthetic leather cover are pretty OK. When we press them in, they give way nicely, there is no smell, and everything else sits well without open seams or anything else. In addition, the material is pleasantly soft and not rough. Unfortunately, the ear pads still get warm pretty quickly, which could possibly make you sweat easily.

razer kraken x wearing comfort

The earpads are very comfortable and fluffy – but unfortunately, artificial leather doesn’t breathe very well.

The rest of the headset is also completely made of plastic. However, that’s not all negative because the headset only weighs 250g and is one of the lightest headsets we’ve ever tested. How this affects the wearing comfort, you can read now.

Wearing Comfort

Thanks to its size, weight and ear cups, the Kraken X is one of the most comfortable headsets Razer has ever made. Both the padded leatherette headband and the ear cushions exert little pressure and sit comfortably on the ears. The Kraken X is especially suitable for glasses wearers, especially since the earpads do not press your glasses against your temples.

After a few hours of continuous gaming, we didn’t experience any pressure complaints, just slightly sweaty ears. All in all, the Kraken X is very comfortable to wear. Some more expensive headsets could learn a thing or two from this!

Enjoying this Razer Kraken X review? You can read the HyperX Cloud Stinger Review.

Sound & Gaming Performance

We tested the Razer Kraken X over several days while gaming and listening to music to get a good idea of the sound performance. First, the Kraken X had quite audible noise on Sascha’s desktop, even at relatively low volume, but this was not a problem on his Asus laptop.

What is the Razer Kraken X good for gaming?

Since the Kraken X is primarily a gaming headset, let’s look at gaming performance first before getting into general music playback.

Sascha and his girlfriend tested the Kraken X on PC, Win laptop, and PS4 in various games. We have to say; it sounds much better than expected.

Mainly tested in Overwatch and Path of Exile, we have to say that the Kraken X really does an excellent job with the in-game sound. In Path of Exile, we hear the many ambient sounds in the background nicely; in Overwatch, we know exactly from which direction we are being shot and where the enemies are coming from. However, the width of the sound is not massive now, which is why you do not get a better directional sound compared to similar headsets.

Also great: The bass is not overloaded or bloated, which is often found in many entry-level headsets. This means that explosions, gunshots and other sounds like speech or footsteps in the game do not sound muddy. It also gives the sound a certain punch to give you that “in the middle of things instead of just there” feeling.

Also good is the overall clarity, as the sound is pretty balanced for a headset of this calibre (at least for gaming).

Gaming with 7.1 surround sound

When you enable the virtual 7.1 setting in Synapse, the soundstage (sound space) becomes wider. This has the effect that the sound is now “around” you. Virtual surround sound is never the best, but we can say that this is probably one of the better 7.1 simulators we’ve tried so far.

Usually, with most virtual surround sound headsets, you often get way too much reverb. Although the Kraken X has a bit of that, the sound doesn’t get muddy. Ergo, for those who want to try virtual 7.1 sound, it’s worth a try here.

On the positive side, the surround sound works well with older games, and Windows recognizes the headset as a dedicated 7.1 device.

On the negative side, the software changes the sound, which will not please everyone. In particular, the bass is boosted a bit, which is supposed to simulate a subwoofer. Here we would have liked to see adjustments in the software in the equalizer.

In summary, the Kraken X delivers good gaming performance, but what about music listening?

Listening to music with the Kraken X

We have to be honest here: Music listening is not a strong point of the Kraken X. The main problems are an overemphasis on the mids and very weak treble reproduction.

First of all, focusing on mids is good for gaming (as we saw above) but less suitable for music listening. While vocals come across clearly enough, the bass is often completely missing (it was still OK for gaming). This is especially noticeable in punk or classical music. As soon as several instruments are played at the same time, the problems in the treble range become clear because the necessary clarity is missing.

The sound also feels flat and unbalanced, which makes the music sound slightly lifeless. Additionally, some vocal passages sometimes sound like they come from a bit further away, ergo not optimal.

The bottom line is that the Kraken X is a stopgap for listening to music. It works, but it’s not great. So if that’s your priority, we’d recommend another headset, or good headphones, of course.

Razer Kraken X Microphone review

Then there’s the microphone. This is not retractable, not flip up, and is not removable (probably one of the cost-saving measures for the Kraken X). But fortunately, it’s still very flexible and can be bent up when not in use.

But no matter how you bend it: Somewhere in your peripheral vision, it will be – in the corner of your eye, it simply disturbs. Of course, this can be pretty distracting and irritating. We would have really wished for a flip-up microphone here.

Razer Kraken X Microphone review

In terms of sound, the microphone can deliver mediocre results. As you can hear in the following playable audio file, all words come through pretty clearly, but the microphone overdrives a bit on some sounds. There is also a little scratching in the background.

As you can hear: Certainly, OK for voice-comms in Skype and Discord, but unusable for everything else. Note: The recording was made “raw”, i.e. WITHOUT any adjustments for microphone volume etc. You should probably turn down the volume of the microphone slightly and play around with the settings.

Also, there is a lot of background noise coming through, including conversations behind you. Less optimal for clan war or WoW raid, but OK in quiet rooms. If you listen closely, you can also hear a slight reverb from Sascha’s voice.

Therefore, this microphone is OK for casual gamers, but probably not for more.

Here you will find other top gaming headsets as alternatives, read here the review Roccat Kain 120 Aimo.

Software & Customization

There’s not much more to say about this than the picture above. Yes, you can only enable 7.1 sound in Synapse 2.0. Nothing more – no equalizer, no adjustments or anything else. The more advanced options are reserved for the more expensive Razer headsets, which is a shame.

razer-kraken-7.1-customization
There is nothing more here – on and off with the 7.1 sound

Seriously, you can only select which output device you want to use here and turn the 7.1 effects on or off.

Conclusion: Who is the Razer Kraken X for?

The Razer Kraken X headset is designed for budget-conscious gamers, but it’s just as suitable for anyone who simply needs an integrated boom mic. Cross-platform compatibility makes the Kraken X perfect for consoles with Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, or mobile devices.

Get the Razer Kraken X if you only want to spend around $50 on a gaming headset and want something small and comfortable. However, if you want a headset that’s also good for listening to music, avoid it.

The Razer Kraken X is far from perfect due to its unimpressive music performance and non-removable microphone. However, for around $50, it is an excellent headset with good gaming performance and comfort for long nights of gaming. Hope this Razer Kraken X review help you to decide to get this headset or if you are not interested.

You might also be interested in:

WireDale
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general