RAZER KRAKEN 7.1
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
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.