+The Kraken’s boast an extremely simple and sturdy design
+Lightweight, comfortable and work well for long gaming sessions
+Impressive sound that doesn’t get muddied during intense action moments
+Comes with an inline remote for quick volume adjustments and an ext. cable
-Ear cups take some getting used to.
Since August of last year, I’d been steadily been hunting a pair of headphones that could take on the ever-so-affordable HyperX Cloud Stingers. While price became no concern, somehow, David pulled through with one of the best holiday gifts I’d received: a pair of Razer Kraken Pro V2’s. Because of Razer’s unique designs in their gaming accessories, I’ve had a lot to admire in recent years. Their keyboards, their mice and their headsets are all amazingly well done, so there’s no question I could be disappointed in a set of headphones… Right?
The single purpose of creating a pair of headphones is to do so and excel at doing so. That’s where the Razer Kraken Pro V2 come in. They are absolutely one of those products that does just what a company should set out to do. The headset doesn’t hold back in any way. It wants you to know that it’s a competitive piece of gaming hardware and it comes with a no-frills design so that it can focus on comfort, durability and overall quality.
Even without the 7.1 or 5.1 Dolby Digital features, the Razer Krakens don’t hold back in any way. Audio is amazingly well done, giving you an easier time than before pinpointing players during heated matches of PUBG, Halo 5: Guardians, or audio heavy sounds such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. But lets be clear. These headphones aren’t the nicest looking out there nor are they the most feature-rich on the market, but if you’re just looking for a set of headphones that don’t come with bells or whistles, then these are right up your alley.
Lets talk design.
Much like the Razer Kraken Pro V2 7.1 USB models, the headphones are simple, slick and will easily appeal to fans of Razer. The all-black or all-white headset come with some huge features including extra-cushy ear cups, an aluminum frame and an overall lightweight feel to them. For the course of the past few weeks, I’ve been using the V2’s quite a bit since they were gifted to me by my own father.
Just as expected, they haven’t shown any signs of wear or tear due to the extensive amount of usage they receive. After all, I do a lot of video editing, audio dubbing and quite a bit of streaming when not writing articles here or websites I contribute to. Toss in the fact the cushion over the headband is just as cushy as the ear cups and you’re in for quite a reason to snag these off the shelf.
The only difference between these and their Kraken 7.1 V2 headset is that these big guys don’t come with a USB nor do they come with customizable ear-cup lighting. If you’re one for passing on bulkier pairs of headphones when out in public, then these may not be for you. But this design isn’t bad by any means. These headphones were built for pro gamers through and through, and they make up for all of their lacking features with their performance and comfort they offer.
Comfort. Do they really live up to this feature?
Razer isn’t known as just some generic brand. Their brand is one that sticks out among the most hardcore players out there. Their brand is known for being used for long hours of competitive play and for Razer as a company and a brand, they have to live up to this initiative. Weighing in the headset, they come in at a feather 12-ounce’s even with their thick frame, faux-leather ear cups, and the retractable microphone that slides right into the left ear cup itself.
But there is only one minor nuisance that these headphones have built into their design: you can’t swivel the cans at all. They’re locked in place and can only be fluffed until they fit just right and offer the comfort you may want. As someone with glasses, this took a bit more time than expected, but it was nothing I can write home about. They’re comfy, they’re light and I barely remembered I had them on during some of my 5-6 hour sessions with PUBG on both Xbox One and PC.
The best part about the V2 headphones? The ear cups come off with a simple twist. Should you ever need to replace them, you can easily do so by ordering them right off Razer’s website. You can even purchase an alternate pair of oval-shaped cups for the V2’s if you so desire. But the bigger question now? Performance and sound quality.
There’s a lot of bang in these cans.
As we’ve already established, Razer’s brand is aimed at competitive gamers. As someone that’s familiar with their brand, I decided to take them through the paces of being brutalized through some of my favorite multiplayer games. You can check the list below.
- Halo 5: Guardians
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- Call of Duty: WWII
- Destiny 2
But I even decided to go one step further. I decided to test them out on some of today’s most demanding audio designed titles on the market. Lets take a look at that list below.
- DOOM (2016)
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Resident Evil VII: biohazard – Gold Edition
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
With that being said, you can tell all of these games come with demanding requirements for sound output. The surprising part here? The headset didn’t take away from any of my immersion. Rather, sounds were crisp, they were loud and they were extremely clear with some mid-range sounds coming in slightly muddied once in a blue moon.
For matches of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the headphones truly stuck out. I was able to pinpoint precisely where gunshots were coming from. Let alone was I able to do so, I was even able to have an idea of just how far the opposing player was. Even though I did manage to end up being eliminated a time or two, the headphones lived up to what had been expected while being used on PC or Xbox One.
During matches of Destiny 2 (you can read our review here), I was still able to take note of where opposing players were. I could clearly hear an enemy Warlock sneaking about or a Titan charging forth preparing to use his supercharge. But no matter what game I played, the V2’s stood out against the HyperX Cloud Stingers by a mile. They were much more pinpointed. Even without being surround sound, the headphones did just as I had expected. Their sound felt omni-directional. It wasn’t scared to show this off by any means.
When I wasn’t playing a game or streaming, I decided to take them for another test drive through a few animes, TV shows, and movies. You can see this list below as well.
- Marvel’s The Gifted
- The Devil is a Part-Timer
- Suicide Squad
As expected, each of these viewing options come with their own use of sound quality, direction and what they want the viewers ears to hear. During Leatherface, I was quite impressed with how the headphones performed regardless of being used with a console, mobile device or even a PC. The audio was crisp, it was clear and I didn’t notice the sound bleed out as it had with the HyperX Cloud Stingers. I didn’t notice the 20% that had been missing with the HyperX headphones nor did I notice that explosions were missing the “boom” they had before.
Instead, everything was beautiful, loud and surreal. Even when gaming explosions, gunshots, and car collisions came in just as they should. When listening to songs, they came in crystal clear. I didn’t take any notice of drum clashes phasing out nor did I take notice that the sharp cracks of the Kar98 from PUBG being muddled. The same could even be said for Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. Audio there came in crystal clear as well and it seems that these headphones have been optimized to handle the highs, the lows and the in between while managing treble and bass as intended.
Now for the mic, connectors and quality of life.
Just as stated earlier, Razer has gone out of their way to make the boom mic with this headset one of the coolest out there. Visually it looks nice thanks to its retractable state and its flexibility. With my friends that I game with on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it was noted that my voice came in loud and clear compared to normal.
It didn’t have the robotic tone they’ve noted with my PlayStation Gold Headphones or even the HyperX Cloud Stingers. Instead, my voice was perfectly crisp during both streams and game chat. I even decided to test them out in one of our most recent guides, having noted the level of clarity they provide and only a slight fuzziness to them. Then again, that could have also been the editing software during compression as I didn’t notice it pre-compression.
Thanks to the 3.5mm audio driver and its 4.3-foot cable, the Kraken Pro V2 plays just as nice with consoles as it does with PC. Coming bundled with the headset itself is a free-to-own 6.6-foot headphone/microphone splitter cable for fans to use, making this headset more versatile than most on the market. The main feature of the V2 is also one that many may notice from past headsets by Turtle Beach or Astro: an inline remote for adjusting game volume and muting your mic on the fly.
Unlike the HyperX Cloud Stringers, you won’t find yourself lifting up your hand, slapping the microphone up to mute and going about your business. But there are still a clear few features that we must note. Unlike the Kraken 7.1 V2 headphones, the Pro V2’s are slightly different. The 7.1’s do allow for Dolby Digital 7.1 due to the the USB base, which allows for users to tweak the sound the headphones have as well as ear-cup lighting when used in tandem with the Razer Synapse app.
However, the 7.1’s are limited to PC and PlayStation 4 as the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One do not utilize USB headphones at the time of writing. Thanks to the Kraken Pro V2’s being an analog headset, they will work on just about anything you own ranging from your phone, a PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and yes, even your Nintendo Switch.
This makes these headphones one of the most versatile ones on the market. Remove the bells and the whistles from the 7.1s and you’re going to be hard pressed to find another headset with as much versatility as the Pro V2’s.
And the final thoughts.
This time around, it seems we’ve found a no-nonsense headset. These headphones are here to do business for competitive gamers. At a $79.99 USD price point, the Pro V2 will satisfy any gamer out there. Their lightweight design, cozy earcups, and sturdy aluminum frame are here to ensure that the headphones will stay safe, remain free of damage and will ultimately work well for long sessions of gaming.
Thanks to their crisp and well defined audio, versatility, and sound, the V2’s no-frills quality is not one to shake your finger at. These babies mean business and they can easily take on the HyperX Cloud Stingers around the block and run a few laps around them. If your main priority is to find a headset that provides both quality and quantity and holds up both in-game and on-the-go, then there’s a lot to think about when looking at the Razer Kraken Pro V2’s. These could quite easily be some of the best headphones on the market at their price point and we’ll gladly stand behind our word on the explosive performance they deliver.
Our review is based upon a retail version headset we obtained by our own budget. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You