RAZER KRAKEN V3 HYPERSENSE Review: Feel the bass baby

 The Kraken range is something of a classic among Razer's headsets. The manufacturer has given the venerable veteran a complete makeover and combines the achievements of the newer Razer headsets such as the BlackShark V2 in terms of sound quality with a technical gimmick that was introduced with the Nari Ultimate, but has been largely idle since then. And that in three different models, from which we grabbed the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense, which is priced in the middle at $129.99.


It is clever that Razer is bringing three models of the Kraken V3 onto the market and thus nipping some counter-arguments in the bud. If you want to forego the haptic feedback in favor of the price, you can use the Kraken V3 for $99.99, which is identical to our test copy with the exception of the HyperSense feature. If you don't want cables, you can get the Kraken V3 Pro as a wireless version including haptics for $199.99.


The Kraken V3 not only stuffs newer technology into the old garb, but has also been completely redesigned. It starts with the new design, which brings a handsome look to the skull. The basis is a robust metal headband with the ear cups in the forks. The round ear cups are provided with soft cushions with synthetic leather cover, as is the headband. The contact surface of the ear pads is made of a soft textile material.

RAZER KRAKEN V3 HYPERSENSE Review

The workmanship makes a rock solid impression. As a visual treat, the side panels have a hole pattern, while in the middle an LED ring and an illuminated logo slumber under a high-gloss surface. No question that you can of course configure this lighting in the Synapse software, including Razer Chroma. At 344 grams, the Kraken V3 HyperSense is not a lightweight, but it is still quite comfortable to carry, even with prolonged use.


The connection is made via a USB cable, which unfortunately cannot be removed and therefore cannot be replaced. Too bad. This means that the headset is suitable for use on the PC (primarily) and on the PS4 / 5 (if desired), although the software means you have to do without the surround sound on the console. You can also get the haptic feedback on the console. Why, more on that in a moment. In contrast to the cable, the microphone with pop filter can be removed and impresses with clear, unadulterated voice transmission.


The controls are within limits. A microphone switch, a volume control and a button for setting the haptic feedback and that's it. The Razer Synapse software offers a whole cornucopia of options for this, a whacky 10-band EQ for both sound and microphone, various sound presets (games / music / film), THX spatial settings, bass boost, voice emphasis , Voice Gate, Mic Monitoring and much more. You can create your own profiles, and you can even assign THX Spatial presets to specific games or applications so that you don't have to make manual settings every time.


An important innovation are the drivers that provide the sound. Razer relies on the newer TriForce Titanium drivers in the 50 mm version, which we could already describe as successful with the Razer BlackShark V2. The drivers support THX Spatial Audio and work in the usual frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz at 32 ohms. A sensible step, because the new and patented driver technology has given the Razer headsets a considerable boost in quality. Thanks to the EQ options in the software, you can also give the sound your own footnote.


There is very little to complain about when it comes to the sound. For its price range, the Kraken V3 delivers a powerful and balanced sound with good differentiation between the frequency ranges and a wide range of applications that does not stop at music or videos / films. The spatial perception is also great, especially with activated THX Spatial Audio. The strengths of the BlackShark V2 have been adopted 1: 1.


The second important feature is the haptic feedback called HyperSense. Razer tried this some time ago with the Nari Ultimate. The result was a nice gimmick, albeit with a few teething troubles. The new variant is a lot more sophisticated.

RAZER KRAKEN V3 HYPERSENSE Review

Thanks to HyperSense, you can not only hear certain frequency ranges in the bass segment (20 to 200 Hz), but also feel them. Special drivers convert the sounds into vibrations, almost a bit like the DualSense controller on the PS5. So if a tank rolls in your direction at Battlefield, you not only hear it, but also feel it. This works with all noise sources, for example also with bass drums when listening to music. No implementation in the game or application is required, HyperSense does it automatically and in real time. This means that the effect is also available to you on the PlayStation, regardless of any software.


This even works with a certain dynamic, because the strength / distance of the sound source is taken into account. The same applies to the direction from which the sound is emitted. If said tank is to your left, the vibration of the left auricle is correspondingly stronger than that of the right. Fortunately, the effect can be regulated in three stages directly on the headset (low, medium, strong) and can also be switched off completely. Good thing, because at full strength the effect can be quite exhausting in the long run. We found low to medium to be quite pleasant, depending on the game or the played medium.


The haptic feedback from HyperSense can actually be an enrichment for gaming, as well as for movies or music. Not only hearing the bass, but actually feeling it, has something to offer. Thunderstorms of gunfire and explosions like in Battlefield or Call of Duty get a whole new dimension. However, if you play primarily competitively, you will probably do without it. As we had to find out ourselves, the overall vibration affects the perception of finer details in the gaming environment a little. We also found the maximum level to be too violent, especially because the whole thing feels rather bumpy with quickly successive noises.


CONCLUSION

Good headset with an enriching extra

Razer gives its somewhat outdated Kraken series a much-needed rejuvenation and it's worth it. The TriForce drivers, which have been in use for a few months, also raise the Kraken to a new sonic level. We like the revised design, it's comfortable to wear and the useful configuration options in the software quickly won our hearts. Even with the microphone, the Kraken V3 can collect a lot of points.


The haptic feedback, which was already used with the Nari Ultimate, is now much more dynamic and, thanks to the three-stage control, much less annoying than it was back then. However, it is not always useful because there is still a tendency that one no longer perceives smaller tonal details due to the haptic feedback because the vibration is distracting.


This makes little sense in a competitive game, but in games (and also films or music) where minimal details are not so important, it is definitely an enrichment and if it is a bit annoying in the long run, you simply switch it off . Overall, a successful headset that brings a breath of fresh air to the landscape, updates the Kraken series and largely eliminates the weaknesses of the Nari Ultimate.

Pro

  • good, balanced sound
  • many options in the software
  • haptic feedback adjustable in several levels
  • solid workmanship
  • good wearing comfort
  • good microphone
  • attractive design
  • haptic feedback without additional implementation in games
  • Presetting of THX and presets for individual games / programs possible
  • good THX spatial surround effect

Con

  • no game chat balance
  • HyperSense does not make sense for all games
  • Cable not removable / replaceable


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