One of the premier manufacturers of gaming accessories, Razer is a trendy brand that is synonymous with eSports and gaming in general.
Most of the entries in their catalog of peripherals are well-received by the majority of gaming audiences. From their keyboards and mouse to their headsets, each has garnered various degrees of praises.
One of their more recent releases for the latter is the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. The Kraken headphone series is known for its sturdy and straightforward design.
No bells and whistles here when it comes to the aesthetics, it is all about performance and functionality with the Kraken Tournament Edition.
It is also quite affordable compared to other Razer headsets making it even more enticing to the general consumer.
In terms of design, the Kraken Tournament Edition has a pretty straightforward appearance. Nothing too eye-catching included in its aesthetics, but it does come in two variants: the matte black and the neon green and black version.
It features the standard over-the-ear design with huge ear cups. The circular plastic ear cup shells are connected to the metal headband, which provides just enough flexibility for a comfortable fit.
The headband is also adjustable locks in place, preventing it from being shaken off accidentally.
The earpads use a combination of memory foam and cooling gel to prevent heat build-up during prolonged gaming sessions, an extremely welcome feature.
The pads are also covered by faux leather material underneath breathable fabric for further improved comfort.
This is a wired headphone and utilizes a 4-feet 3.5mm audio jack, making it compatible with PC, consoles (PS4, Xbox One, and Switch), as well as smartphones and tablets.
The microphone is not detachable, but it does retract into the ear cups.
The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is exceptionally comfortable thanks to the combination of impeccable design, construction, and materials. The headband fits quite snug and is easily adjustable to fit all head sizes.
However, the "secret ingredient" for the Kraken Tournament Edition's impressive comfort is with its ear cups and ear pads. The earpads are generously spacious, which evenly distributes pressure.
The ear cushions are also infused with cooling gel which helps dissipates heat and keeps your ears from getting sweaty after hours of gameplay.
The headset is also surprisingly lightweight even with its rather bulky appearance. This can be attributed to the well-balanced combination of different materials such as durable, lightweight plastic and memory foam.
The headband can also be adjusted to the right size thanks to the numerous notches in the headband.
Audio and Microphone
In terms of audio quality, the Kraken Tournament Edition produces near-identical sound to that of the Kraken V2. The Tournament Edition does feature a Bass toggle option which is a welcome inclusion.
This is due to the Kraken V2's weakness which was that it was rather tricky to adjust the bass response. With the Tournament Edition, users can easily adjust the bass to their preference without the need to open a separate audio software from their PC.
As with all Razer headphones, the Kraken TE excels when used for gaming. But it also falls short when it comes to listening to music as complex audio mixes will give the Kraken some difficulty. This can lead to certain songs sounding flat.
That being said, the Razer Kraken TE is generally best suited for gaming. The left and right stereo quality is accurate and produces reliable audio. The chat mix is also surprisingly competent considering that this is an under $100 gaming headset.
One of the Kraken TE's most significant selling point is with its THX Spatial Audio surround sound feature. The surround sound can be easily toggled on and off, which is a welcome feature to have as you won't need to tinker with the software all the time.
It uses the latest Synapse audio software which has gone through several updates making it far more user-friendly to use compared to previous versions. However, Synapse still takes a decent chunk of memory space, but at least it is more streamlined now and less complicated to operate.
As we have stated earlier, the Kraken TE won't satisfy audiophiles with its audio quality, but it is not designed for that. The Kraken TE will deliver a fully immersive experience with games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Battlefield V, and the upcoming re-release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
I also found it to enhance games like Resident Evil 2 Remake, Resident Evil 7, and Alien: Isolation which had me on edge during the more tense moments of these games.
The THX Spatial Audio definitely earns its keep with the Kraken TE. When toggled on, the surround sound considerably enhances the experience for games that feature sweeping and epic gameplay.
I particularly enjoyed zooming around the air past all the gunfire, explosions, and mech battles in Titan Fall.
If you are looking for a quality Razer headphone with substantial surround sound capability at an affordable price, the Kraken TE will deliver on all of those.
For a below $100 Razer headphone, the Kraken TE exceeded a lot of my expectations. The Kraken V2, its predecessor, had several noticeable shortcomings that prevented it from reaching its potential. All of those issues were taken into account and rectified with the development of the Kraken TE.
As a gaming headphone, it shines with its THX surround sound feature. It manages to produce stable sound quality, but nothing too mind-blowing.
It is also one of the most comfortable to wear in the market thanks to its cooling gel-infused ear pads. Overall, this is a good gaming headphone that moderately surpasses what you usually expect from headphones in its price bracket.