Sunday, August 17, 2014

Razer Kraken 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset (Model No.: RZ04-0101)

I'm not a hardcore gamer or audio-maniac. The only two games I play are DotA2 and CS:GO and I play both on a laptop. So the time arose that I need a headset/headphone when I couldn't accurately pinpoint the direction of footsteps and my voice command is really noisy (full of static). Of cos I don't blame my laptop, it's not even Alienware. I needed something that runs on USB instead of 35mm jack. 

So I was deciding between the Siberia Elite and Razer Kraken when Razer sent me a newsletter with a slight discount and the new L33T pack; and I thought why not.

The Razer Kraken 7.1 is around SGD168 (after discount) takes them 3 working day to process and 1-2 days for their courier to deliver. I kicked a big fuss and the receptionist personally delivered me my Kraken after work (around 8pm.. Yea I'm kinda nasty) to my doorstep!

The new L33T pack lanyard (bottom) with the older version which I got in Australia.

For those who are unfamiliar, 5.1 or 7.1 means surround sound. For headsets, there's usually a sound card/chip that simulates the surround sound, so don't mistaken it for a headband that straps 5 mini speakers around your forehead. It's not magic, but I personally feel and appreciate the directional sensitivity especially when I'm trying to accomplish a clutch situation. 

So underneath the leatherette cushion pad of the left speaker (gently slip it off or unwrap) is it's registration number which you will use for your warranty. You may wanna register it in the Razer Synapse 2.0 program so you can authorise other programs such as Razer Surround at the same time. For Razer 7.1 users, you won't be needing the Razer Surround software as it's already in-built. 

What I like about the Razer Kraken 7.1 is that it's lightweight and really comfortable. I've used many headphones which you feel that it's suffocating your ears and you are dying to take it off between every match; these Krakens have really nice and comfy pads that keeps you going for hours.

I'm very happy with the audio, robust bass and clean high/low tones. Then again I'm not an audio-maniac, so it's a bonus. In the first match that I used these Krakens, the awp shots and grenade explosions felt really solid. 

The mic is fantastic for the price I'm paying. It's smart enough not to pick up the noise from the standing fan which I have blasting at me 24-7. Also it compliments my melodious rants and swear words when I lose a game.

Best part, it looks really sexy aesthetically sitting on your head. It doesn't make you look like an awkward Hatsune Miku. Also when you are not using it, you may fold it and it sits beautifully on your table/desk (I refuse to pay $50 for a headphone stand).


Tech Specs for the Geeks

System Requirements
- PC/Mac with USB port
- Windows 8/7/Vista Mac OS X (10.6-10.8)
- Internet connection (for driver installation)
- At least 100MB free hard disk space

Headphones
Drivers: 40mm neodymium magnets
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Impedance: 32 ohm
Sensitivity at 1kHz: 112dB
Output power: 30mW
Connector: Gold played USB
Cable length: 2m/6.56ft braided USB cable
Weight: 340g

Microphone
Frequency response: 100Hz-12kHz
Sensitivity at 1kHz:  -40dB +- 4dB
Signal-to-noise-ratio: 63dB
Pick-up pattern: Omnidirectional

Not sexy enough? Here's Aniki 趙辰祥 (one of my favouritest Taiwanese model) posing with what I believe is the Razer Kraken Pro Neon Series (green).

Some people may experience Kraken failing to work in-game. What you have to do is to right click on the little speaker icon on your desktop (bottom right), select Playback devices, set Headset Earphone as default device and communication device (you may also like to disable the former speakers).

In CS:GO, under Options, Audio Setting, you may wanna select Headphones or 5.1 Speakers depending on your personal preference. Your call.



Like it? Buy it!

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