Post updated November 24th, 2014 at 11:50 pm
The Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma USB headphones are Razer’s latest addition into the gaming peripheral company’s line of gaming headphones. Bearing the exact same specifications as its predecessor, the Razer Kraken 7.1, the only difference between the Chroma and standard edition are the addition of Razer’s new Chroma multi-coloured lighting system which is also featured in the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate and Razer Deathadder.
Users of the headphones will be able to control the lighting system which Razer claims is able to reproduce whichever colour the user desires. Through Razer Synapse 2.0, users will have the option to set the colour on the tri-headed snake logo to a single solid colour, a multi-coloured cycling mode and a single pulsating colour or even turn the lighting completely off.
In terms of overall build quality, the headphones sport a black finish that is constructed out of a sturdy plastic; don’t let the material fool you though as the headphones are not flimsy by any means. The earcups are covered with a soft leather material that is comfortable even after long gaming sessions.
Multi-coloured lighting system aside, the Razer Kraken Chroma does what it’s advertised to do—deliver great sound. The headphone features a 7.1 virtual surround sound engine, which gamers will find advantageous as it allows them to better pinpoint the direction where sound is coming from. For example, in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, gamers will be able to properly isolate the direction of footsteps their opponents makes; enabling to get the upper hand on their opponent.
I’ve also played a few multiplayer matches of Battlefield 4 on PC and it’s safe to say that these headphones are a blast to play with. Gunshot sounds packed a punch and were very pronounced and crisp, the thump of the grenade when thrown and the explosion that followed was deep and…impactful. I could clearly hear vehicles coming in different directions with pinpoint accuracy which helped save my life a few times on the battlefield.
One point users must note is the fact that these headphones only have a single option of connection. The headphones only connects via USB, and will not accommodate the more conventional 3.5mm jack. This means that outside of mobile gaming on a laptop, users will find little usage for the Kraken 7.1 Chroma while on the go. However, the Kraken is quite compact as it can be folded into itself to be stored away whenever not in use.
Users will also find that the Razer Kraken is suited for listening to music as well. After having listened to progressive house, heavy metal, and jazz music for a week, the headphone delivers clear and excellent sounding bass thanks to its 40mm drivers. Delivering great sounding bass isn’t the only thing that the Razer Kraken is built for; mids and trebles were very prominent throughout and neither felt like they drowned one another out.
I didn’t really use the Kraken 7.1’s mic much in-game, but VoiP calls with the headphones were great as my voice could be clearly heard under minimal background noise aside from a fan that was blowing towards my direction. During the times that I did use them for gaming, in-game chat proved to be clear and in the two aforementioned games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Battlefield 4.
The only downside that affected me was how uncomfortable the headphone became after long gaming sessions. Not to be confused with the comfort of the leather earcups, the headphones do offer some degree of adjustment but not enough to my liking.￼ I could really feel the headphone clamping onto my cranium after prolonged usage of the Kraken 7.1. Unfortunately, that means if you have a rather large head, you’ll probably be better off looking for an alternative.
All in all, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma is a great buy, especially at its retail price of RM339 save for comfort issues that is naturally subjective from user to user. The headphones’ capability of delivering accurate and excellent sound reproduction is enough of a reason to warrant the purchase of the headphone if you’re a gamer who’s always looking for an edge. Add on a crystal-clear mic and vast colour customisation options for the user and you have a quite a package, though the lack of a 3.5mm connection option prevents it from being an awesome all-round pair of headphones.