Review: Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Headset

For the PC Master Race, Razer remains one of the pinnacle peripheral brands if not the standard. Plenty of technology has gone into peripherals such as headsets in recent years with a lot of competition stepping up. Razer’s prices have always been on the higher end as well. The Kraken headset has been a popular headset for some time, but now the team at Razer has introduced the Kraken Tournament Edition Headset. This is Razer’s first headset to include THX Spatial Audio and this technology is truly a game changer especially at $99.

The Kraken TE comes in black or green but lacks RGB, which helps keep the price low. The headset includes gel-filled ear cushions that help provide comfort, but also limit heat for hours of play. Ear fatigue even after three hours never game into play. The comfort the cushions provided, which are made up of a combination of soft cloth and leatherette protection, was more than sufficient. The cushions also cover the ears entirely. Noise suppression eliminates most of the background noise. The head strap is of the same quality and coupled with the overall lightweight design, this headset will help with comfort during long e-sports tournaments or overall gaming sessions.

What powers the headset is a light weight audio mixer. The headset itself comes with a generic audio jack that plugs into the bottom of the mixer. The mixer plugs in via USB to the computer and consists of a few audio controls that are straight to the point. You can adjust the volume and mute the mic on-the-fly, or enable and disable the THX Spatial Audio effect. Bass and game/chat volume priority can also be adjusted with dials on the side, and the bottom of the mixer itself has a sticky composition to help keep it in place on a desk. While carrying a mixer in a tournament might be a gripe to some, at least it it’s small and weighs virtually nothing.

Let’s talk about the THX Spatial Audio for a minute. This technology hits a Razer headset for the first time with this specific headset and this is the first time that I am thoroughly convinced that a technology gives you a competitive edge. Having spent time on three games (Fortnite, Far Cry 5 and Resident Evil: Remake), the directional audio truly made me rethink my strategy as I found myself more prepared. Fortnite allowed me to single out where a foe was running from or the area they were in if they were shooting and the same went for Far Cry 5.

In the spirit of Halloween, I jumped on REmake on PC and first noticed it with a dog in the main hall. It truly felt like it was in the position I thought it was at, and it was downstairs and to the left. The headset even picked up groans from Zombies with camera changes and adjusted to the position. I even managed my first Victory Royale with using this. The headset supports 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound, but the THX technology creates a virtual panoramic motion by using integrated object and scene-based audio that mimics an audio spear. The idea is to capture the sound’s relative position in a 360° space. THX Spatial Audio is a spectacular technology in its execution.

The audio quality is above and beyond with the Kraken TE. While not having a crisp acoustic, the overall sound is loud and concise. With the bass cranked, the sounds of a shotgun blast are loud and low. There is no static or extra noise artifacts. Music and sound effects just sound great. The microphone is even more impressive. The headset consists of the pull out adjustable mic and even myself being hard to understand, my vocals came across loud, clear and understandable. This can also be attributed to the THX technology as communication is enhanced via voice processing. Everyone in your team should have no trouble hearing you.

While PC is the main focus of the Kraken TE, it’s also supported by the PS4. While you will get that sound quality, you will not get the audio enhancements. PS4 supports only the generic 2.0 stereo as the headset will get plugged into the bottom of the DualShock 4. There is no compatibility with the audio mixer via the USB port. This is just something worth noting if anyone sees that it is compatible with PS4. If you’re looking for a good and light build quality headset with some excellent audio without the tech, however, this will fit the bill, but it may be better to go with the non-Tournament Edition to save a buck for PS4.

Closing Comments:

Razer has introduced a new competitive edge in gaming with its Kraken Tournament Edition headset. Integrating THX Spatial Audio will have players better identifying targets in the battlefield as they can clearly bark commands to teammates. Couple the technology with the excellent comfort of the Kraken and the lightweight portability, many would expect to pay $150-$200 for this headset. Having compared this to the Logitech Pro headset, the Razer Kraken TE goes above and beyond for just $100. While my only gripes are the lack of RGB and chat feedback, this headset isn’t only a game changer, it’s a steal.