Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Apr 16, 2019 at 10:09 am
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Picture
5.1
Mixed Usage
5.1
Neutral Sound
4.6
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
5.2
Office
5.1
Wireless Gaming
7.1
Wired Gaming
6.9
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition are decent gaming headphones. They have a great microphone for online gaming and have a great gaming software app, which the very similar Kraken Pro V2 lacked. They come with a nice dongle that gives you control over bass, volume, and THX surround sound, on top of having a mic-mute switch. However, they sound just okay, and are very bulky and won’t be for everyone. On the upside, they are well-built and, thanks to their wired connection, users won’t have any delay when watching video content or playing video games.

Our Verdict

5.1 Mixed Usage

Mediocre for mixed usage. These headphones have a very boomy and cluttered sound profile, which won’t be great for critical listening. They don’t isolate any low-end noise, which means they won’t be a great option for commuting, especially since they are very bulky as well. They trap a lot of heat and are practically unsuitable for sports. Since they leak a bit, they won’t be ideal to use at the office either. While they don’t have latency issues, they won’t be the best option for watching TV since you're limited by the range of the cable. On the other hand, these gaming headphones are decent for their intended use case due to their great microphone.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable build quality.
  • Great microphone.
  • Good app support.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Poor isolation.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
5.1 Neutral Sound

Okay for neutral listening. The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition have a decently extended, deep, and punchy bass, but it is overpowering and boomy, and also prone to inconsistencies across different users. They have a decent mid-range, though it's a bit muddy and cluttered, which makes vocals sound a little thick. Also, their treble lacks some presence and detail, making the overall tone of these headphones dark and bass-heavy. On the upside, you can easily EQ them inside their PC app.

4.6 Commute/Travel

Sub-par for commuting. While you won’t ever have to worry about a battery life thanks to their wired connection, these headphones are very bulky and don’t block out ambient noise like engine rumbles. A lot of noise will seep into your audio when using these in public transit.

5.2 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports. These headphones are pretty massive and trap a lot of heat inside the ear cups, which will make you sweat more than usual. They also fall very easily off your head with movement and won’t be usable for this use case.

5.2 Office

Sub-par for the office. The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition do a decent job against ambient chatter and A/C systems, but their overall noise reduction isn’t great. Their sound quality is also very boomy and cluttered, which isn’t ideal for listening to your favorite tracks while working. On the upside, you won’t ever have to worry about the headphones dying on you, but they might not be ideal for everyone with their wired connection.

5.1 Wireless Gaming

Decent for gaming. Their microphone is really good for online games and people will hear you very clearly. Their app is also a great gaming software that offers good control over the headset. However, their sound quality is boomy and cluttered, and could be overdone for some, especially in games with explosion sounds. On the upside, you won’t have any latency when playing games.

7.1 Wired Gaming
6.9 Phone Calls
  • 5.1 Mixed Usage
  • 5.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.6 Commute/Travel
  • 5.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.2 Office
  • 5.1 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls
  1. Update 6/4/2020: We fixed the Room Effects test result in the App Support box.
  2. Update 3/26/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  4. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  5. Update 4/18/2019: We've updated the Brethability score to better reflect a typical listeners use case.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Kraken Tournament Edition are almost identical to the previous Kraken Pro V2. They are decent-looking gaming headphones with a bulky design that won't be for everyone. They have large circular ear cups with a lot of padding, and a wide headband that's reinforced with a sturdy metal frame. This makes them look and feel very durable. They also have a retractable mic, but they're not versatile enough to use as casual headphones outdoors. If you're looking for more colorful gaming headphones, check out the Razer Kraken Ultimate. They have customizable RGB lighting around their ear cups that you can set with their companion software.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.77 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

The Kraken Tournament Edition are as comfortable as the Kraken Pro V2. The build is very similar, but there are very slight differences in the padding of the ear cups. The pads are still thick and distribute pressure well. However, they’re a bit tight, and the lack of a proper swivel hinge means they don't always fit well around your ears, which can be a bit fatiguing over time. They won't be the best headphones to wear for long gaming sessions.

6.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Great
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
Yes
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Bass Effect

The Kraken Tournament have a typical gaming control scheme on their in-line remote, but they come with an additional dongle which offers more controls than the Pro V2 model. On the in-line remote, you get a two-sided volume dial and a mic on/off switch. On the dongle, you get physical buttons for volume up and down and a mic mute button. Additionally, on the sides of the dongle, you get a bass slider, a channel mixing slider, and a button to enable THX surround sound. All the controls are fairly easy to use, but when connected they are inverted, which means the ‘minus’ for volume and bass controls is actually on the top of the remote. This isn’t very intuitive. Also, there is no way of knowing which bass setting you're on.

6.5
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.8 C

Update: 04/18/2019: We've updated the breathability score after noticing an error. The breathability picture and score should now reflect the most recent retest of the Kraken Tournament Edition.

The Razer Kraken Tournament will warm up your ears rather quickly if you use them while exercising. The closed-back ear cups and thick leather-like pads prevent a lot of airflow, which causes a noticeable temperature difference during extended listening or gaming sessions.

5.3
Design
Portability
L 7.6 "
W 6.4 "
H 4.5 "
Volume 219 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like most gaming headphones, these are not very portable. They don’t fold or swivel to lay flat and their overall design is very bulky. The cups are very thick and the design takes up a lot of space. They also don’t come with a traveling case.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don’t come with a case or pouch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The build of the Kraken Tournament is very similar to that of the Pro V2 model. The headband is reinforced with a wide and sturdy metal frame. The ear cups are dense enough that they won't break from accidental drops or impacts, and the padding material of the ear cups looks and feels high-end. It is still better-built than the Kraken Man O' War and Kraken USB.

6.0
Design
Stability

These are barely stable headphones. They're a bit tight on the head so they don't move much during casual listening or gaming sessions. However, the large ear cups and bulky design sway a lot during physical activities, which means they won’t be the best option for sports or if you're often on the go. In this case, you may want to consider the more stable a Kraken X especially if you often use your gaming headsets with your phone.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headphones
  • 7-foot USB dongle
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.41 db
Treble Amount
-5.11 db
5.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.01 dB

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition have sub-par consistency performance. In the bass range, they have quite an inconsistent delivery across users, with a maximum variance of 15dB at 20Hz. They also seem especially prone to a drop in bass if the user is wearing glasses that break the air-tight seal between the headphones and the ear. Their performance in the treble range is more consistent with the maximum deviation below 10kHz of about 7dB, which will also be noticeable, but not as much as the bass inconsistencies.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
5.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.9 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
65.36 Hz
Low-Bass
-12.35 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.33 dB
High-Bass
0.73 dB

The bass range performance is passable. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 38Hz, which is good, but low-bass is lacking by about 5dB. This means that these headphones are light on thump and rumble. Additionally, mid-bass and high-bass are quite flat but overemphasized by about 5dB, which results in excess punch and boominess. Overall, their bass is slightly too boomy and overpowering. You can also get extra bass thanks to the bass slider when using the dongle. However, it would be overdone for most people and there's no way of knowing on which bass setting you're on.

Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

4.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.15 dB
Low-Mid
-0.23 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.76 dB
High-Mid
-11.34 dB

The mid-range of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is mediocre. The response shows a 10dB tilt favoring the lower frequencies. This is actually the continuation of the high-bass bump, which is showing up in low-mid and mid-mid. The result will be a mix that sounds muddy and cluttered, and vocals/lead instruments that sound a bit thick. They will also lack some projection and intensity, relative to the bass instruments and kick drum.

1.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
10.9 dB
Low-Treble
-12.57 dB
Mid-Treble
-5.27 dB
High-Treble
-14.85 dB

The treble range of the Kraken Tournament is okay. Low-treble, and mid-treble, up to 7KHz, are fairly flat but also underemphasized by about 5dB. This has a negative effect on the detail and presence of vocals and other lead instruments. The peak around 9kHz could make S and T sounds (sibilants) sharp-sounding on overly bright tracks. Overall, the treble lacks brightness, especially considering the hyped bass of these headphones.

6.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.76 db
Dips
1.83 db
7.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.42
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.89
Weighted Phase Mismatch
9.85

The imaging performance is good. Weighted group delay is 0.42, which is within good limits. The graph also shows that the group delay doesn't cross the audibility threshold except for a tiny bit in low-bass. This indicates a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. In terms of driver matching, the L/R drivers of our test unit were decently matched in amplitude and frequency response. However, they show a noticeable mismatch in phase both in the bass range and high-treble. The will have a negative effect on the coherency of the stereo image, but shouldn't have a big negative effect on placement and localization of objects like voice and footsteps. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

6.2
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
4.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
5.17 dB
PRTF Distance
16.13 dB
Openness
4.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.9

The soundstage of the Kraken Tournament Edition is decent. The PRTF graph shows a lot of activation and pinna interaction, but it isn’t very accurate. This results in a soundstage that is relatively large, but may sound unnatural. On the upside, there’s a good notch around the 10kHz region, which will help bring the soundstage in front of the listeners’ head instead of inside. However, their closed-back design won’t be as open-sounding as open-back headphones.

2.9
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
Adjustable
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
THX
7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.453
WHD @ 100
0.144
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
USB
Connection
USB
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom
Isolation
5.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-12.27 dB
Bass
0.69 dB
Mid
-9.7 dB
Treble
-28.68 dB

The isolation of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is poor. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling and do not isolate in the bass range, where the thump and rumble of airplane and bus engines sit. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 10dB of isolation which is okay. In the treble range, which is occupied by sharp S and T sounds and A/C systems, they are able to reduce ambient noise by about 29dB which is good.

6.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
41.85 dB

The Kraken Tournament Edition are slightly leaky. The significant portion of leakage is spread from 300Hz to 2kHz, which is a narrow range. This means that their leakage will sound fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as bright and loud as open-back headphones. However, the overall level of leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 42dB SPL and peaks at 56dB SPL, which is just about the noise floor of most offices. Overall, their leakage will be audible to people around you at moderately loud volumes.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No
7.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
153.22 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.97 dB
HFE
11166.8 Hz
Weighted THD
8.69
Gain
21.54 dB

The microphone has a very good recording quality. Low-frequency extension is at 153Hz, which is good, and the response is also flat up to 10kHz, which is good. The HFE of 11kHz means that speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will be full, natural, and easily understandable.

8.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
44.22 dB

The boom mic of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition has excellent noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 44dB, meaning they should be able to separate speech from background noise even in very loud and noisy environments.

Note that this microphone has a noise gate, which seemed to be always on, even if we turned it off in the app.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

These headphones are passive and don’t have a battery.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Razer Synapse
iOS No
Android No
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

Update 06/04/2020: We had previously incorrectly listed the app to have room effects. The test result has been updated, but the overall App Support score didn't change.

The Razer Synapse app is a complete and very useful software. While you don’t have RGB lighting or controls over haptic feedback like the Nari Ultimate, there’s plenty of controls offered with the Kraken Tournament Edition. You can EQ the headphones, calibrate your surround sound, and you can also control your microphone level and noise gate. You can also create multiple profiles and easily switch between them inside the app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

These gaming headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. If you want a Bluetooth-capable gaming headset, check out the Turtle Beach Elite 800 or the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.

Since the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headphones are wired, you practically don’t have any latency, which is great for gaming and watching video content.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
Analog to USB adapter
Detachable No
Length 4.7 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The Kraken Tournament can be used with or without their USB dongle. With the normal 1/8” TRRS connector, they support audio and microphone on all platforms with the appropriate jack. With the USB dongle, they can be used on PC and PS4, but aren’t compatible with Xbox One.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wired USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

The USB dongle on the Kraken Tournament Edition doesn’t have any inputs, but supports audio and microphone for PC and on PS4. However, to use this headset with an Xbox One, you’ll need to connect the 1/8” TRRS cable to the controller.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Kraken Tournament Edition is a very similar headset to the Kraken Pro V2 but sets itself apart with the useful dongle that offers good control over volume, amount of the bass, and channel mixing. Overall, they might not be the best gaming headset out there due to their very boomy sound. We suggest taking a look at our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best gaming PS4 headsets, and the best gaming headsets for PC.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud Alpha are better wired gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. The Alpha feel much more comfortable and durable, as well as being more stable on the head. They also have a detachable boom microphone, and a significantly better-balanced sound profile that's much more versatile. On the other hand, the Kraken have companion software that gives you a ton of customization options, and their in-line remote is easier-to-use. Their microphone also performs slightly better, though both are great overall.

Razer Kraken Ultimate
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Kraken Ultimate are slightly better-performing gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. While they look almost identical, the Kraken Ultimate have RGB lighting as well as cooling gel ear cups, which help to keep you comfortable during long gaming sessions. They also have a better-balanced sound profile with a touch more bass. However, they use a non-detachable USB-A cable instead of a standard TRRS cable, which limits their versatility and connectivity to other gaming systems. On the other hand, the Kraken Tournament Edition have better controls, and their boom microphone has better noise handling. They also have both a USB cable as well as a TRRS cable.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud II are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. They are one of the most comfortable gaming headphones we’ve reviewed so far. They are also better-built and feel more solid thanks to the metal frame of the headband and hinges. They sound quality is also superior, although you can’t EQ them inside an app like you can do with the Razer headphones. The HyperX is also a bit more outdoor-friendly since you can detach the microphone. Their overall design isn’t as bulky as the Kraken.

Razer Kraken X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The Tournament Edition feel better-built and have a more complete control scheme that provides better feedback and includes channel mixing. Although both headsets have similar bass-heavy sound profiles, the Tournament Edition is compatible with the Razer Synapse application, which provides access to a graphic EQ so you can tweak the way it sounds. That said, the Kraken X have a less bulky design, are more lightweight, and have a more stable fit, which some may prefer.

Razer Kraken Pro V2
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is a better gaming headset than the Razer Kraken Pro V2 thanks to its USB dongle, which offers multiple controls and access to the Razer Synapse app. They are practically built the same and sound the same way, but app support is definitely a major difference. With the Tournament Edition, you get an EQ, presets, calibrated surround sound, channel mixing, and many features to control volume and your microphone.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Both the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition and Turtle Beach Elite Atlas are decent gaming headphones. The Atlas offers an overall more comfortable fit and parts like the ear cups padding are easily switchable and replaceable. Their audio quality is also more accurate than the Kraken, but it can’t be EQ’ed since they don’t have any companion app or software. On the other hand, the Kraken can also enable surround sound and have better controls than the Atlas.

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Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Price

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