The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense gaming headset will rumble your ears with its built-in haptics drivers. Sounds in the lower register will literally cause the ear cups to vibrate — it's like having two tiny subwoofers in your ears. Add spatial surround, a clear detachable microphone, thick comfy leatherette memory foam cushions and you'll get a premium wired gaming headset that sounds great.
- 50mm drivers
- Compatible with PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch (docked mode)
- Razer Chroma RGB lighting
This Razer headset is my first experience with haptic feedback headphones. It's an interesting idea with much potential. Bass sounds naturally gets an extra boost from these vibrations, which add to the immersion in games and movies. For example, the juddering drums in the Dune soundtrack got my heart pounding. Enhancing the haptics further is the headset's THX Spatial Audio 7.1 surround feature. But since HyperSense works for all types of content out of the box, I believe it's simply kicking in for lower frequencies regardless of context. While it's great that explosions now feel more boomy, it's also weird to get vibrations when a male character starts talking. In short, this technology needs to be refined such that content creators can specify the intensity of the haptics. Perhaps metadata for the haptics can be added to the audio track, like how HDR is implemented in videos.
I found that I needed to set the haptics to its maximum strength to feel a marked difference in games. However, my ears quickly get fatigued with the haptics at High intensity, perhaps an hour is the most I can tolerate. You can toggle between Low, Medium and High intensity for HyperSense by pressing a button on the right earcup. Low intensity doesn't do much for me. For music, the Medium intensity is adequate for bass-heavy genres, but not so much for classical or jazz music. A setting in between Medium and High would have been good. Besides trying the Kraken with my PC, I also tested it with my Sony PlayStation 5 console. However, the headset's cable is a bit too short to get my usual distance from the TV. It's probably fine if you're gaming on a monitor.
The Razer's ear cushions are thick, comfy, and offer good passive noise isolation. I could barely hear my robot vacuum cleaner through the headset, especially with the music turned on. Together with headset's generous layers of padding, I could wear this headset for hours. The audio reproduction is also very good with unexpected depth and clarity. Bass comes across strong, even without HyperSense. It's great for EDM and rap music, like the Shang-Chi soundtrack. Installing Razer's Synapse app lets you further customise the headset, from tweaking the audio profile to adjusting the ear cups' Chroma RGB LEDs.
Frankly, I could do without the HyperSense feature. This Razer headset would still be pretty good, especially in the comfort department. It's also cheaper without HyperSense at S$159.90 — buy it here. But if you're feeling adventurous and looking for something new in the audio scene, give the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense a shot. You may find yourself liking it better than you'd think. Get it now from the Razer Store or Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Razer.
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