Saturday, December 4, 2021

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds

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One of many extra thrilling developments in the previous few years has been the proliferation of wi-fi earbuds. Whether or not it’s Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, or the handfuls of low-cost knockoff manufacturers on Amazon, shoppers have loudly spoken that they need high-quality headphones sufficiently small to slot in your pocket.

Razer is advancing its Hammerhead True Wi-fi Earbuds from late 2019 with a brand new Professional mannequin, which is now accessible. Whereas doubling the value to $200, the highly effective earbuds carry extremely coveted options similar to THX certification and lively noise cancellation (ANC). Toss in IPX4 water resistance, a newly designed carrying case, Razer’s well-known 60ms latency for cell gaming, and you’ve got some very compelling earbuds.

I’ve spent the final week with the Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Execs, and here’s what you have to know and whether or not you should purchase them or not.

Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional: What I like

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds

The Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional design is well-known with an all-black earbud and a stalk that hangs to add stability, grip, battery, and microphones.

The outside options Razer’s commonplace three-headed snake (THS) brand also acts as touch-sensitive management. Faucet to play and pause, double-tap to skip ahead, maintain toggle ANC, etc. All these settings are user-configurable with the Hammerhead app for iOS and Android.

Being “Professional” headphones, Razer incorporates lots of replaceable ear suggestions. Each SmoothComfort silicone for maximizing consolation and SecureSeal is better suited to working or training because they are tackier. Razer additionally consists of Comply “premium foam suggestions,” which mildew to your internal ear canal. In complete, you get seven pairs of ear suggestions in all completely different sizes. Whereas the Comply is probably the most snug due to their reminiscence foam, they put on out over months, which means you have to exchange them for getting the identical passive-noise canceling impact.

Hammerhead Tw Pro 2020  Explode
Razer

This yr’s case can also be very Apple-like, which is an influential factor. The dimensions make the topic extra conducive in your pockets (together with the change pocket) and more straightforward to deal with. An easy flip lid snaps into place; an inexperienced LED on the entrance lets you understand the standing and the case sports activities a Kind-C port on the underside for charging.

Razer can also be promoting a non-obligatory THS Carrying Case for $30. That case slips over the included one, including extra safety, the nifty Razer THS brand, and a carabiner to connect to your bag or pants simply. Whereas very lovely, that is clearly for the hardcore followers.

  • Superior ANC – Hybrid lively noise cancellation with four devoted ANC mics. Additionally passive.
  • THX Licensed – For clear vocals & dialog, no distortion, and nice noise isolation
  • Crafted for Consolation – In-ear design that includes Comply premium foam suggestions
  • Hammerhead True Wi-fi Cellular App – Customized EQ settings, remap contact gestures, earbud match test, and extra
  • 60ms Low Latency Gaming Mode – Extra synchronized audiovisual when gaming and watching movies
  • Fast Consideration Mode – For situational consciousness, every time you want it
  • Cellular Life-style – As much as 20 hours of battery life, IPX4 water resistance, and touch-enabled controls
  • Frequency Response – Clear Vocals, Dialog, & Impactful Bass: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Codecs: SBC, AAC
  • Distortion – No Distortion at Excessive Volumes
  • 10mm Drivers
  • In-Ear Design: Snugger Match + Extra Passive Noise Isolation; 7 Pairs of Suggestions together with Comply Premium Foam + 2 Kinds of Silicone

THX Certification can also be spectacular. Though Razer now owns THX, the corporate operates independently from Razer, which means these earbuds needed to go the inflexible exams laid out by THX to fulfill its excessive requirements. I’ve additionally reviewed the Razer Opus earlier this yr – Razer’s first THX Licensed headphones (over the ear), and so they’re nonetheless certainly one of my favorites.

Razer defined what these tips are:

  • Frequency Response: Headphones are examined to make sure a well-balanced frequency response with minimal channel imbalance.
  • Distortion vs. Output: The most effective sound comes from adequate sensitivity to realize a premium degree of audio output whereas sustaining minimal distortion on the required sound strain degree.
  • Isolation: The design of the headphone’s ear cushions, headband clamping drive, or ear suggestions are evaluated to make sure a superb seal such that undesirable exterior noise is minimized.

The Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional sounds nice, looks nice, and is tremendous snug for hours of wear and tear.

The app options equalizer (EQ) presets, together with THX (balanced), Amplified (elevated low-mids), Vocal, Enhanced Bass (elevated low frequencies), and Enhanced Readability (emphasizes mid-highs). Razer additionally enables you to modify the ten-band EQ to your liking now.

However, what makes the app extra enjoyable is the flexibility to test for ANC. Whereas sporting the earbuds, the app will play audio and detect any sound leakage by the built-in mics. Indeed, my good earbud was barely looser than the left, which confirmed up within the test. The app recommends I attempt a particular dimension, which mounted the problem. Additionally, a “fast join” characteristic permits you to bounce between paired units with ease.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds
Amazon

The real mojo for these earbuds comes from the Gaming Mode. Whereas off by default, this setting permits 60ms ultra-low latency streaming. It’s nearing the latency of wired headphones, and the thought right here is if you play critical cell gaming that depends on pace, low latency, and reflexes, the audio ought to match what you might be experiencing. Razer notes that any Bluetooth headset can technically do that; however, producers don’t allow it because it hits battery life laborious. Razer, no less than, provides you that choice.

General, the audio is excellent. Whereas the THX preset is superb, I most well-liked to use the average mid-scooped EQ (U-shaped) with increased lows and highs and flatter mids.

ANC additionally works very effectively, blocking out most background noise with a constant sample, e.g., similar to engine noise or crowds of individuals. Whereas not so good as over-the-ear designs, the ANC was highly pleasing when paired with adequately fitted ear suggestions. As a result, ANC can use extra battery life. Customers can disable it and even allow an “ambient” mode to amplify exterior sound if you need to speak to somebody without eradicating the earbuds.

As anticipated with premium earbuds, the Hammerheads additionally pause, play, and toggle energy based primarily on whether or not you might be sporting them or not.

Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional: What I do not like

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds
Amazon

Razer is not shy that the battery life on the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Execs is not groundbreaking. Apart from that’s by design like that 60ms low-latency mode. That is the tradeoff for cell players, and it is the precise alternative for a corporation like Razer to make.

If utilizing expected latency, which nonetheless had no lag when watching movies and mixed with ANC enabled, you are roughly 4 hours of battery life relying on quantity settings. The case can recharge the Hammerheads one other four occasions, where Razer will estimate around a 20-hour estimate. Like different wi-fi earbuds, the precise one drains barely quicker than the left because it performs because of the grasp.

These are some of the best cell gaming earbuds in the marketplace.

Talking of low latency, I did have a tricky time noticing a distinction between Gaming Mode and never having that characteristic enabled. Your mileage might differ on how helpful it’s. Comparable arguments might be made about 120 frames-per-second and return in worth for 144Hz or increased shows. It was mainly diminishing returns.

The $30 THS case is freeway theft. Whereas purely non-obligatory and never required, that looks like straight cash seize.

Pulling the earbuds out of the case is … not satisfying. It’s kind of laborious to get a grip on the earbuds to yank them out.

There is no direct assist for any good assistant options like Alexa, Google, or Siri, though utilizing “Hey, Google” works simply fantastic on Android.

Lastly, the contact controls are OK. I feel Razer did an implausible job contemplating how small the contact goal is, and it does work. Nevertheless, it does take a while to get used to too.

The competitors

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds
Amazon

Many wi-fi earbuds are competing in opposition to these; however, few focus a lot on gaming.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 retail at over $200; however typically might be discovered for $160. Sony is aware of audio and ANC, making up for options and total high quality, whereas they lack ultra-low latency.

Apple’s AirPods Pro is additionally ubiquitous as long as you might be OK with them being white and do not thoughts the $220 privilege (besides, they’re much less enjoyable if you happen to be on Android).

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2 runs for around $270; however, they have one of the best all-around audio for earbuds.

Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds ($200) are additionally distinctive, specializing in all-day battery life and luxury. Whereas genuinely good earbuds, they’re a vastly completely different market than Hammerheads (i.e., productiveness versus gaming).

For you simply reasonably priced, go together with Aukey EP-N5, which might be discovered for as little as $45. Whereas nowhere close to nearly as good because the Hammerheads or any of the above talked about, they’re nonetheless a lot better than that value displays (and you will not feel unhealthy if you happen to lose one).

For different concepts, look at Android Central’s Best Wireless Earbuds checklist for extra suggestions.

Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional: Must you purchase

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review: THX and ANC make these the ultimate gaming earbuds
Amazon

You should purchase this if …

You are into cell gaming.

Razer is a gaming firm at the start, and these are made with players in thoughts. Whereas they work excellently even when you don’t sport, the true worth right here is that 60ms low latency for first-person shooters in your cell. If you don’t plan to model, you are not using these earbuds.

You need THX and ANC.

No different earbuds at the moment rock THX certification, which isn’t insignificant. When mixed with ANC (and passive), these earbuds ship excellent sound ends in a superb total bundle.

You worth consolation

I’ve delicate ear canals and usually don’t favor in-ear headphones; however, I might put on the Hammerhead Execs for hours without even a touch of discomfort. They’re mild, stayed in my ears, and have been straightforward to overlook. I used to be sporting them. Plus, they are not AirPods.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

You don’t want low latency.

When you do not like sport, you are, in all probability, off shopping for Sony’s WF-1000XM3 or much more informal Google’s Pixel Buds ($180). Even if you happen to solely often sport, the entire concept of 60ms latency could appear moot if you happen to already can’t understand the distinction.

You do not just like the design or brand.

These earbuds look a lot instead of like Apple AirPods, however, in black. That’s not horrible; however, some might favor a singular design. Likewise, you might not just like the Razer THS brand, which, whereas low-key, remains to be apparent.

General, Razer has accomplished a superb job with the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional. They pair with ease, sound excellent, has simply the correct amount of customization, have been snug, and look typical, which isn’t unhealthy.

Whether or not you get actual worth out of 60ms latency depends on how hardcore you might be for cell gaming. That makes these Hammerheads a bit area of interest; however, they’re nonetheless an excellent alternative even if you happen to do not sport.

THX and ANC in some tiny, low-key earbuds are options price having.

The more significant drawback is that the ANC earbud market is filled with beautiful choices, making these tricky alternatives. And if you happen to do not want or worth THX and ANC, however, nonetheless need that low latency, you’ll be able to seize the standard Hammerhead True Wi-fi for around $70, which is a practical worth.

Lastly, as somebody who by no means fell into the earbud-craze (particularly whereas working from dwelling), I used to be impressed by these Hammerheads. With the small carrying case, ease of sporting them, and the high audio quality, I plan to make use of them if I ever can commute once more or stroll across the metropolis.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.


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