The latest version of Razers Kraken headset, the “Kraken Tournament Edition”, is aimed specifically at eSportsmen and shooter players. Especially in the Battle Royale genre like PUBG, Fortnite and Apex Legends wants the headset especially. Our author and BR-fan Jürgen has tested the Kraken for you.
What is the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition? The Kraken is a solid mid-range gaming headsetfrom well-known hardware maker Razer. The Tournament Edition was released in mid-2018 and is primarily aimed at eSportsmen and shooter gamers.
I, Jürgen, tested the Razer Kraken extensively on the PC as a Tournament Edition. Razer gave us the headset for the test.
|Design:||Closed over-ear headphones|
|Interface:||3.5mm or USB with preamplifier|
|Cable length:||Up to 2 meters with amplifier|
|To dye:||Green and black|
|Price:||70 – 100 euros|
What does the headset look like? Who knows the previous Kraken headsets, is not surprised at the design. As usual, the new Kraken is a thick part with large, round ears. These completely surround the ear.
The headset is either in the Razer-typical bright green or jet black to have. The microphone is installed in the left earphone and can be easily pulled out or pushed back. However, the headset does not offer light-emitting diodes and similar bells and whistles.
You either connect the device directly to the 3.5 mm jack output or you plug it into the included mini-amplifier, which is then connected via USB to the computer or the console.
How is it? Razer paid particular attention to wearing comfort with the new Kraken. Thanks to gel-filled ear cushions and a well-padded, adjustable strap, the device sits well on the head and is comfortable. Disturbing outside noise is pretty well ruled out by the over-ear design.
It was even thought of prefabricated recesses on the earpieces for spectacle frames, which is why you can wear the headset as a wearer without sacrificing comfort.
However, the ears are a bit warm after a few hours under the headset. If you do not adjust the headset and ear precisely, the headset will feel an unpleasant pressure after some time, because the earpieces of the device are round and not oval.
With a little care when putting it on, you can avoid this feeling of pressure and wear the octopus for hours without discomfort. The high weight is well distributed and hardly noticeable. Even after hours of sessions I had no neck pain or fatigue.
What about accessories? The box of the new octopus contains in addition to the headset itself only the already mentioned mini-amplifier. You connect via USB to PC or console. The small amplifier has it but in itself.
It lets you mute the mic, turn the THX Spatial feature on and off, adjust the volume, adjust the bass, and focus on chat or game sound. Especially the last feature is very handy, if you want to hear clearly the voices of your voices from the voice chat in the game or you want to enjoy a cut scene and banish the chatter of the other players in the background.
In addition to the buttons on the amplifier, a volume control and a mute button are attached directly to the cable to the headset. The volume control is placed a bit unfavorably. The controller often clung to clothing when it moved and suddenly made the sound very loud or quiet.
Which platforms are supported? The Kraken Tournament can be used in addition to the PC synonymous with consoles such as the PS4 or Xbox One and even with mobile devices.
Beware, there is a caveat: But not all features work on all platforms – primarily the headset is made for PC gamers.
Since the amplifier can only fully use its functions on a PC with Razer Synapse software, you can not optimally configure the headset on consoles. And the special feature THX Spatial Audio is not on consoles then.
So you have “only” a solid headset with no special features, if you gamble on PS4 or Xbox One.
How does the headset sound in games? If you use the Kraken while gambling, you get the usual gaming headset quality. Meaning: Crisp bass, but less good highs. This is optimal for games, especially action-heavy shooters.
Thanks to the control on the amplifier, you can give priority to either the game sound or the voice chat.
Among other things, the Razer Synapse software allows you to further adjust the sound mix, making the headset more suitable for movies, games, chat or music.
How is music doing? The strength of the headset is clearly in gaming. If you are looking forward to the highest audio enjoyment when listening to music, maybe you should choose another product.
The Kraken is rather designed for dull basses and even with the software this can only be improved to a limited extent.
But if you prefer to play competitive shooters without a lot of music, or if your taste in music prefers bass-heavy music, then Kraken is also good for listening to music.
What’s so special about the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition? The headset scores above all by a feature called THX Spatial Audio. This allows you to hear in surround mode precisely from which direction in the game noises come.
This is a great advantage especially for shooters and especially Battle Royale games like Apex Legends. In the test you could pinpoint your opponent and prepare yourself for the fight. That’s a plus for any gamer who prefers this kind of game.
After a few rounds of Apex Legends with the Kraken, I got used to it a lot and do not want anything else.
What is the micro in games? The Kraken’s microphone is space-saving in the left auricle. It can easily be pulled out there. It is attached to a flexible suspension and can thus be adjusted at the optimal distance from the mouth
The micro itself is solid average. It does not sound very impressive, but it does its job. It is enough for its purpose, namely to give tactical instructions in the game and to react to them. Likewise for chatting among teammates.
However, if you want to make sophisticated audio recordings – such as podcasts or streams – you better get a separate (table) mic.
In the software Razer Synapse you can do a little bit of work on the settings of the micro. But this did not really bring much, according to my interlocutors.
Conclusion – who should buy the Razer Kraken Tournament?
After many hours with the Razer Kraken, I am particularly impressed with games. It’s important to me that I can carry the thing upside down for hours without my ears falling off or my neck breaking off.
The octopus actually fulfills this point perfectly. But apparently I have stupid ears, because if I do not pay attention to the part when putting on my ears, it will eventually press. That works better with my other headsets somehow. But anyone who has “normal ears” or is careful should not have this problem.
Since I use a more expensive headset anyway for music and usually only listen to various Metal songs, the sound quality of the Kraken is absolutely sufficient for me personally.
But Spatial Audio totally rocks and brings a decisive advantage in shooters. Even the sounds in the game, such as whistling bullets and explosions, get the Kraken optimally. I also liked the feature to quickly adjust the focus to voice chat or in-game sound.
In addition, I find the idea of the external amplifier very good. You can even paste it everywhere with a supplied double-sided adhesive tape and then immediately make all the necessary adjustments with the small box.
Especially the big button for mute is handy and so you can quickly turn off the chat when just real-life people burst into your gaming session.
The Razer Kraken you get currently (as of April 2019) for just under 70 euros at Amazon and Co. But you get a solid gaming headset with a few thoughtful and clever features and functions.
So if you want shooters and battle royals, do not want to spend huge sums on hardware, but also do not want to buy low-budget scrap, you should take a closer look at the Kraken.
At least if you chose the PC as your primary gaming platform. Since the consoles do not support the special features like Spatial Audio, another headset might be the better choice in this case.