The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is a superb wireless headset for gaming or listening to music, despite its HyperSense force feedback being an acquired taste at best.
- The sound is rich and well-balanced.
- Microphone that is crystal clear
- THX Spatial Audio provides good simulated surround sound.
- Comfortable to wear
- The audio balance and direction perception are thrown off by HyperSense haptic input, which is unsettling.
- Lacks Bluetooth
RAZER KRAKEN V3 PRO SPECS
|Type||Circumaural (over-ear), Gaming|
|Connection Type||USB, Stereo 3.5mm|
|Active Noise Cancellation||No|
Sub-bass frequencies are what give music, movies, and games their thump, and they usually take up a lot of room to produce. Subwoofers do this by shaking enough air at low enough frequencies to cause rumble with powerful speakers in huge enclosures. This is a concern for headphones and gaming headsets since they don’t have enough area to produce such frequencies and are so near to the ear that the listener’s hearing would be damaged. The $199.99 Kraken V3 Pro from Razer employs the company’s HyperSense technology to securely reproduce that sensation by using vibrating motors to simulate sub-bass without the sound. It’s an attention-getting impact, but in our studies, we found it to be more disruptive than useful. The Kraken V3 Pro is an outstanding wireless gaming headset, despite the unnecessary gimmick.
Kraken is a classic creature.
The Kraken V3 Pro features Razer’s original headset design, with wide, circular over-ear earcups (the Barracuda and Blackshark lines have more “traditional,” oblong earcups, but Krakens have remained the same form for more than half a decade). The earpads are made of thick, soft memory foam, with leatherette lining on the sides and breathable fabric on the part that comes into contact with your head. A considerable amount of faux-leather-covered memory foam is wrapped around the underside of the headband as well, resulting in a snug, slightly warm, yet pleasant fit.
The majority of the Kraken’s controls and connectivity are located on the left earcup, including a volume wheel, power button, mic mute button, USB-C charging port, detachable boom mic connector, and a 3.5mm port for using the headset wired. The HyperSense button on the right earcup activates the haptic feedback feature.
Each earcup has an RGB light ring on the rear that can be customized using the Razer Synapse software to show a multitude of colors and lighting effects.
The Kraken V3 Pro works best with a PC when it comes to wireless communication. With the Razer Synapse program, you can modify settings and enable numerous capabilities, like THX Spatial Audio. The USB transmitter can also be used with a docked Nintendo Switch, as well as the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Any device with a headphone or headset port, including the Xbox Wireless Controller connected to an Xbox and the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, can use the 3.5mm wired connection. Bluetooth connectivity is not available on this headset.
Voice Chat with a Clear Tone
Razer has developed a reputation for producing high-quality headset microphones, and the Kraken V3 Pro is no exception. The unidirectional cardioid boom mic on the headset captures full, clear sound while suppressing outside noise. In test recordings, my speech sounded clear, and surrounding coffee shop noise was kept low enough that I could be heard clearly. If you’re serious about streaming or podcasting, we still recommend having a separate USB microphone, however the mic on this works fairly well.
What Is HyperSense and How Does It Work?
The HyperSense feature on the Kraken V3 Pro adds haptic feedback to the music that comes through the headset. Each earcup’s vibration motors engage in synchronization with the sound, giving the audio a physical sense. The feature works without the use of the Razer Synapse program; simply press the HyperSense button on the right earcup to activate it (a tone lets you know that the feature is activated). Before deactivating, it cycles through three intensity settings, allowing you to simply modify the vibration strength. In practice, HyperSense produced a mixed bag of results.
The Sound Quality of the Razer Kraken V3 Pro
The Kraken V3 Pro produces a lot of bass. With HyperSense deactivated, the kick drum beats in The Knife’s “Silent Shout” reach low enough to give a sense of vibration, and it doesn’t distort at maximum volume. When you turn on HyperSense, the motors begin to pulse in rhythm with the impacts and bass synth notes, providing the impression of a subwoofer without actually hitting the low frequencies needed to rattle your skull (and potentially damage your hearing).
The initial acoustic guitar plucks in Yes’ “Roundabout” sound full, and because to the headset’s high-frequency fineness, much of string texture comes through. The bassline and vocals sit at the front of the mix when the music truly starts in, while the high-hat and guitar strums settle a bit behind them. The later elements aren’t completely overshadowed, but there’s certainly some sculpting going on to make the bass and voice stand out the most.
“Born Too Slow” by The Crystal Method sounds fantastic on the Kraken V3 Pro. The shrieking vocals and synth riffs break through the mix, and the backbeat has enough low frequency presence to propel the song forward. Again, HyperSense enhanced the music by creating the sense of subwoofer force without really producing sub-bass sound; however, it worked best at the low and medium settings, as the maximum setting triggered too frequently and felt out of sync with the backbeat.
HyperSense adds thundering bass to dance recordings, but it should be turned off for most other music. The vibrations were harsh and weird when the feature was turned on for “Roundabout,” and they threw off the deep, synthless mix. Even when it complements the music, like in “Silent Shout” and “Born Too Slow,” the rhythmic vibrations against the sides of your skull persist and can be disorienting after a time, particularly at the highest setting. The constant throb of club music is clearly a feature designed to work best with occasional sound effects like explosions in games (though even that is iffy, as explained below), and the feature is clearly designed to work best with occasional sound effects like explosions in games (though even that is iffy, as explained below).
With THX Spatial Audio, you may have a great gaming experience.
On the Kraken V3 Pro, Fortnite sounds rich and clear. Gunshots pack a punch, while other effects (such as grass underfoot) come through clearly on the headset. The THX Spatial Audio function delivers an excellent simulated surround sound experience, with strong left-right directionality and a good feeling of whether a sound is coming from the front-right or rear-right.
Monster Hunter Rise sounds great when played on the Kraken V3 Pro. The beasts’ roars and thrashes are audible, and the headset’s simulated surround sound aids in locating the creatures when they’re splashing around in the water. The game’s soundtrack is also well-balanced and enjoyable, notably Hinoa and Minoto’s vocals.
Unfortunately, HyperSense interrupts the well-balanced sound of the headset and the simulated surround effect afforded by THX Spatial Audio. The throbs of the vibration motors are unsettling, especially if a game has a soaring soundtrack that’s just as likely to trigger it as gameplay sound effects. The physical shaking also obliterates any sensation of directionality that the higher frequencies may provide. I liked to use the Kraken V3 Pro with HyperSense turned off most of the time.
It’d be fantastic if it weren’t for the gimmick.
The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is an amazing headset with a force feedback effect that detracts from its performance and possibly drives up its price. The headset is comfy, sounds fantastic for both games and music, has a clear microphone, and incorporates THX Spatial Audio for capable simulated surround sound. The HyperSense vibration motors are an innovative add-on that enhances certain media by providing the physical sensation of a subwoofer’s rumbling without requiring the frequency range to really impact it. However, for many games and music tracks, the rumbling is unsettling and distracting. You might enjoy it if you enjoy thumping party tracks or having your skull rattle while playing shooters. HyperSense, on the other hand, messes up the audio mix too much. You can, thankfully, turn it off.
Nonetheless, the Kraken V3 Pro is an excellent wireless PC gaming headset. The HyperSense technology inflates the headset’s $199 price, especially since it lacks Bluetooth, unlike the JBL Quantum 800, which is also $199. There’s a hole in Razer’s Kraken lineup where a non-HyperSense Kraken V3 Pro may sit, possibly in the $150 to $170 bracket, slightly above the $129 wired Kraken V3 HyperSense and Kraken Ultimate (we’re excluding the $149 Kraken Kitty, which is more of a novelty). The $179 Razer BlackShark V2 Pro, which lacks HyperSense but has a lighter construction and great THX Spatial Audio-powered audio, is a little more inexpensive alternative to the Kraken. Editors’ Choice selection The Razer Barracuda X is a $99.99 option that sounds amazing, but for simulated surround sound, you’ll need your own THX Spatial Audio license or a similar solution (like Dolby Atmos for Headphones).
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