Since the Kraken Tournament Edition debut last year, there has been a constant stream of little enhancements and minor modifications. Even though some PC gamers disdain Razer goods, the Kraken Pro V2 has become an iconic figure in the gaming headphone market. It’s time to discover how the younger model stacks up against its older, more polished relatives.
The Kraken is surprisingly subtle even if you’re not a fan of Razer goods and their sometimes RGB-heavy appearance. Plastic earcups are attached to a headband made of painted plastic, and the two oval earcups themselves are similarly painted plastic. Weighing just over 320g, the headset is very light, yet it also has a sturdier feel than other headsets we’ve tried because of its lack of metal and essential leather components. That said, Kraken is very flexible; however, you wouldn’t want to drop the Kraken on a hardwood floor too often or pull it apart so wide when removing it from your head.
Each earcup has a metal frame surrounding it, which is linked to the headband’s internals. In terms of structural integrity, it does provide a degree of rigidity to the whole piece, in addition to the retractable microphone and the 3.5 mm jack wire.
It has in-line controls, but they’re fundamental, and the Tournament Edition, which costs the same but has bass controls (critical), game/chat balance, and the option to turn off its THX Spatial audio for non-gaming use, offers far more for the same money. Sadly, the Kraken does not have any of this.
The foam padding around the ears is soft and supple, and additional cushioning on the headband is a great touch. The cushioning is so thick and comfortable that even those with tiny heads may use it. However, it’s entirely up to the wearer’s own choice if it doesn’t fit snugly enough. The numbered notches on the edge of the headband make it simple to fine-tune the fit for different head sizes, which works well for us. On the earcups themselves, a pleasant black wire mesh completes the look, which is mostly open-back.
We tried the Kraken’s gaming capabilities, and it performed well. Although the Tournament Edition is more PC-centric, this one was tested on all current gaming platforms. The Kraken sounded great in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, our current top-of-the-the-the-line testing title from Ubisoft. For those times when the Adestria comes face-to-face with rough seas, this headset performs well.
As a result, each thud and impact in battle seems substantial and complete because of the heavy focus on the bass. The Kraken’s treble and higher frequencies aren’t as full-bodied as they may be, and here is where the Kraken falls short. When you’re standing and listening to the environment around you, there’s a lack of detail that other, more expensive headsets can pick up on.
Comparing the Kraken to headphones that cost twice as much is unfair, and the overall sound spectrum is outstanding for the money. However, our testing TV (in this instance, a Samsung Q9FN) was able to pick up several audio details that the app missed, such as the quiet crackling of the fire in several situations.
However, the Kraken does an excellent job of handling language in games like Assassin’s Creed since its somewhat lower range of sound means there are fewer difficulties with how talk and background noise are mixed. Odyssey’s soundtrack has a few issues with clarity regarding the higher-pitched guitar numbers, but overall the in-game music is excellent. The sound quality is decent for a single-player headset, but it’s no better than a high-end television’s speakers.
The Kraken shines in Apex Legends, where we put it through its paces. Because these headphones were designed for gaming, they provide a good sense of imaging, and the bassy tuning is ideal for hearing those massive explosions both close and far away. Even while the stereo sound isn’t the most intricate surround audio system, you’ll find it on Pro-grade gaming headsets. It nevertheless delivers a good feeling of where you are to the rest of the world.
With your ears perceiving footfall and gunfire, you know where your colleagues are at all times. The functionality here isn’t spectacular, but it’s crucial – and that’s an issue for the Kraken. The tournament boasts THX Spatial audio, which provides a better job of imaging in multiplayer games for the same price as its somewhat older sibling (it depends which unit has the more significant price cut in the online sales they both frequent). When you’re playing online and offline, you’ll appreciate the TE’s ability to switch between THX on and THX off.
And what about the vanilla Kraken’s preference for low-frequency audio? Yes, on the Tournament Edition, you can change the bass level to make it less (or more, if you are a beast). We tested the headset’s in-game audio capabilities for a change of pace by playing the music puzzle game GNOG. Even though there is a lack of nuance in music portions and an ambiguous sensation in the auditory feedback when you click, we’d say the audio here is above average for a lower/mid-range gaming headset.
The 50mm speakers do an outstanding job of bringing the game’s soundtrack to life. Kraken’s simplicity is both its greatest virtue and its worst flaw. It has to make a lot of effort in various situations since it can’t change the sound settings.
The Kraken is a good headset for listening to music, although it isn’t as good as dedicated headphones. Even if it excels in action flicks like Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War, it falters miserably in dramas and talk-heavy TV series due to a lack of aural range. Although the headset is okay with bass-heavy music (especially metal), the treble and more subtle guitar-based tracks don’t farewell. We recognize that the Kraken’s primary purpose is for gaming, and we wouldn’t suggest it if you’re searching for a headset for watching movies, listening to music, or watching television.
There are no bells and whistles with the Kraken gaming headset. The only extras are the retractable microphone and in-line volume control. Here we go, the microphone. When you don’t need it, you can slide it out of the way. Audio through it is straightforward if you’ve got it lined up correctly, and there’s a notable improvement here over the mic in the earlier Kraken Pro V2. Even though it can’t eliminate all noise, the sides and back of the mic do an excellent job of noise isolation.
The in-line control is just an in-line control. The volume dial pokes out on both sides of its housing, an innovative ease-of-use feature, and there’s a mute mic button. It rests a reasonable length from the earcup, so you’re not poking yourself in the face while trying to use it, and it seems appropriately linked to the nylon cable that the 3.5mm jack dangles from.