Review: Razer Kraken Tournament Edition

Dec 18, 2018


Thanks to Razer for providing GWW with this review unit.

  • Great sound
  • Well built
  • Only $99!

The Razer Kraken TE has a solid build and striking green and black appearance. Best of all, it features a wide sound gamut through large ear cuffs that actually are comfortable for a $99 headset. 

What’s Good

The Kraken sets itself apart from other sub-$100 headsets with it’s overall build quality and excellent sound clarity. While there are some plastic components, the overall feel is sturdy. It also looks super cool with a large external speaker grill that isn’t actually a speaker. But it makes sense when you look at it, perhaps because the Kraken is a tool for audio. I love Razer’s braided cables, and they included it here. It extends from the headset to either your device (laptop, phone, etc.) or the included THX Spatial Audio adapter. The adapter also has a braided USB-A cable for your PC. Effectively, this booster makes everything, simply, sound better. I noticed increased clarity with THX turned on, and I left it on after testing the headset. I played several games, such as The Witcher 3 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. My favorite experience was in testing Battlefield V and Star Wars: Battlefront 2. I’m an average player when it comes to competitive first person shooters. I need every edge I can get! I was more immersed with these headphones than I would otherwise be by using stereo speakers. I could certainly hear the highs and lows of the game better with the headphones on, versus stereo speakers. But I also heard less of the physical world around me. In this review I’ve included close-up pictures of the head and earpads. Notice how thick they are. These are comfortable headphones all the way around! My longest gaming session was probably just over 90 minutes. I typically use PS4 Gold headphones, which anger my ears after an hour or so of use. But the Kraken kept my ears calm.

Both the headset and the THX adapter have 3 key controls: mute on/off, volume, and a lever to favor either chat or speaker volume. The THX adapter also has a bass adjustment.

​As always, the Razer Synapse 3 software is easy to use. In the case of these headphones, it’s quite simple. You can adjust the presets (Default, Gaming, Music, Movies), and create custom settings. The Kraken does not support Razer’s trademark Chroma lighting. In fact, there isn’t any lighting at all with these headphones. ​The Synapse software also allows you to toggle between stereo and surround sound (THX) on a per-app basis. This is a gripe against the software, but it will affect owners of this headset: you can’t make any adjustments to the headset unless they’re plugged in. That may sound odd, but even as I write about this I figured I’d make a few changes to Chrome, but I can’t because my headset isn’t plugged in - I’m working remotely and didn’t travel with them. Bummer.

These are comfortable headphones all the way around!

What Needs Improvement

The THX Spatial Audio adapter is extra stuff to carry around and it occupies a USB port. Wehreas the headphones themselves occupy simply a standard headphone jack. If you don’t have a spare USB-A port or you don’t want to carry the adapter with you to a LAN party, for instance, then you’re missing out on what makes these headphones special. Since the THX adapter requires a USB port, it would have been great if these headphones supported Chroma lighting. Some people find it obnoxious, but I absolutley love it. I honestly don’t go ape with customizations. But I do like some of the preset lighting options, such as wave and breathing.

Who is this For?

Any gamer looking for a comfortable headset with good sound should consider the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition.

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