RAZER KRAKEN 7.1

HWM (Singapore) - - Performance -

Pitch-black in color, the Kraken un­doubt­edly both looks and feels like a mem­ber of the Razer fam­ily. Once plugged in, the Razer logo lights up on both ear-cups in their char­ac­ter­is­tic neon green. If the lights bother you, they can be switched off via the Razer Sy­napse 2.0 menu op­tions. Closer in­spec­tion of the head­set re­veals a donut­shaped serv­ing of wire mesh on the out­side of each ear-cup. The fea­ture has been in­cluded en­tirely for aes­thetic pur­poses as the Kraken, un­like the Sennheiser PC 363D, is a closed back head­phone.

The ear-cups for the Kraken are per­fectly round and hence not er­gonomic. We also found the size of the ear-cups to be a bit small, with the cush­ion­ing in­suf­fi­ciently deep for our ears. This re­sulted in the over­all fit be­ing a cross be­tween a supra-au­ral and cir­cum­au­ral head­phone. While the cush­ion­ing is plush and soft, the syn­thetic leather cov­er­ing has low breatha­bil­ity and re­sults in the lis­tener’s ears over-heat­ing quite quickly. The only fea­ture that pre­vents the com­fort quo­tient of the Kraken from be­ing abysmal is the swivel­ing ear-cups. Th­ese al­low for a snug fit with al­most op­ti­mal con­tact pres­sure.

There are no but­tons, di­als or gizmos on the Kraken it­self. The body of the head­set only fea­tures a re­tractable mi­cro­phone. In our opin­ion this is a much more el­e­gant de­sign when com­pared to the raised boom mi­cro­phone stow-away op­tion found on other con­tenders, such as the Sennheiser PC 363D. The Kraken can only be plugged in to a com­puter via USB.

A large part of the Kraken’s func­tion­al­ity is de­rived from Razer’s Sy­napse 2.0 soft­ware ser­vice. This uni­fied con­fig­u­ra­tion soft­ware al­lows the user ac­cess to a great de­gree of cus­tomiza­tion. For ex­am­ple, the Kraken’s vir­tual 7.1 sur­round sound chan­nels can be tweaked in­di­vid­u­ally with re­spect to po­si­tion. Gamers can also ac­cess EQ set­tings, ac­ti­vate

“A LARGE PART OF THE

KRAKEN’S FUNC­TION­AL­ITY

IS DE­RIVED FROM RAZER’S SY­NAPSE 2.0 SOFT­WARE SER­VICE.”

bass boost and bal­ance in­com­ing voice au­dio.

Over­all, the Kraken most def­i­nitely meets the mark set by the Sennheiser PC 363D with re­gards to gam­ing per­for­mance. The fact that users can cal­i­brate and ad­just the 7.1 vir­tual sur­round sound ef­fect ac­cord­ing to their own pref­er­ences means that their gam­ing per­for­mance def­i­nitely ex­pe­ri­ences a boost. In our opin­ion the Kraken is an ex­cel­lent head­set for FPS fa­nat­ics. How­ever, it must be noted that the Kraken does fal­ter when it comes to mu­sic per­for­mance. Slug­gish mids and boomy bass means that cer­tain songs and tracks are not ren­dered as well as they should have been.

HWM

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