Razer Kraken Tournament Edition HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.1
Mixed Usage
6.7
Critical Listening
5.5
Commute/Travel
5.7
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
5.8
TV
7.5
Gaming
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.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Sound 6.5
Isolation 5.2
Microphone 8.4
Active Features 8.0
Connectivity 6.2
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.
  1. Update 4/18/2019: We've updated the Brethability score to better reflect a typical listeners use case.

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6.5

Design

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is a very bulky gaming headset that is well-crafted, but still has a few flaws. The headset is decently comfortable but traps a lot of heat inside the ear cups. The mic is not detachable, and the overall style won’t be suited for outdoor use or sports. On the upside, the headphones are very well-built and feel solid. They offer a few gaming-oriented controls like chat mixing and mic-mute, but for some reason the controls are inverted for use when wearing the headset. They are still very versatile as you can use them with 1/8” connector and also with the USB dongle.

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.

7.0 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.

6.9 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
Yes
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : 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.

6.4 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 Portability
L : 7.6 "
W : 6.4 "
H : 4.5 "
Volume : 219 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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 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 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 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.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 4.7 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

Their 1/8” TRRS cable is 4.7-feet long, but the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition also come with a 7-foot USB dongle.

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Headshots 1
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6.5

Sound

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition are okay sounding closed-back over-ear gaming headphones. They have a decently extended, deep, and punchy bass, but it is overpowering and boomy, and prone to inconsistencies across different users. They have a decent mid-range, but 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.

Note that these headphones were measured with the bass slider set at the level that would give you the same amount of bass you'd have without the dongle.

6.3 Bass
Std. Err.
:
5.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
37.76 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-4.55 dB
Mid-Bass
:
5.33 dB
High-Bass
:
6.54 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.

6.0 Mid
Std. Err.
:
5.37 dB
Low-Mid
:
6.49 dB
Mid-Mid
:
3.1 dB
High-Mid
:
-4.68 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.

6.5 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.66 dB
Low-Treble
:
-5.44 dB
Mid-Treble
:
1.2 dB
High-Treble
:
-3.69 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.

5.8 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.

7.5 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.

6.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
4.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
5.17 dB
PRTF Distance
:
16.13 dB
Openness
:
5.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.9
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

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.

7.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
3.392
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.482

The harmonic distortion of the Kraken Tournament Edition is decent. The overall THD is within good limits but the spikes around 3.5-4kHz could make these frequencies a bit harsh and impure. On the upside, there is no big jump in THD at 100dB SPL, which is good. This could be due to the increased flexibility of the drivers under heavier loads or could be cause by the noise floor of our testing environment.

5.2

Isolation

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition are not the best headphones to use in loud environments. Like a lot of the gaming headsets we've tested so far, they only passively isolate against ambient noise, which should be fine in a relatively quiet setting. However, in a competition-like environment, you will easily be able to hear the chatter around you, which won't be ideal depending on your use case. They also leak a bit at high volumes, so they may be a bit distracting if you're not gaming alone in a quiet room.

4.5 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-12.27 dB
Bass
:
0.69 dB
Mid
:
-9.7 dB
Treble
:
-28.68 dB
Self-Noise
:
23.46 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 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.

8.4

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
No

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition’s boom microphone has a great performance. In quiet environments, speech recorded with the mic will sound deep, full, and natural, but lacking slightly in brilliance and airiness. In noisy situations, the microphone is able to separate noise from speech to a great degree, making it ideal for very loud environments such as a loud gaming competition.

7.9 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 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.

8.0

Active Features

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is a passive, wired gaming headset so it doesn’t have a battery. On the other hand, it is compatible with the Razer Synapse app that gives you access to multiple controls and customization options and is on-par with most gaming headsets software we've reviewed so far. However, these headphones do not have RGB lightning.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

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

8.0 App Support
App Name : Razer Synapse
iOS : No
Android : No
Mac OS : Yes
Windows : Yes
Equalizer
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : Yes
Room effects
:
Yes
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : Yes

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.

6.2

Connectivity

The Razer Kraken Tournament are wired-only headphones that can be used without their USB dongle thanks to a 1/8" TRRS connector. Those two options make them very versatile and they can be used with any platform. However, you'll have to use the USB dongle to get access to Razer Synapse. Since they are wired, you won't have any latency when watching video content or gaming, which is great. Unfortunately, this means you'll be limited by their cables' length, which amounts to about 12ft when using the USB dongle on top of the analog cable.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
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.

10 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone

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.

4.2 Base/Dock
Type
:
Wired USB Dongle
Optical Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
USB Input
:
Yes
RCA Input
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
No
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Power Supply
:
USB
Dock Charging
:
No

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.

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

These headphones are not wireless, so they don’t have any range. However, you can get up to about 12ft of range with their 1/8” cable and USB dongle.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

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.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

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 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.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Both the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition and HyperX Cloud Alpha are decent gaming headphones. The Kraken offers you access to a nice and complete app and their microphone is clearer for online games. On the other hand, the Alpha is more comfortable and better-built. If you want more features, then the Razer is a better choice, especially since you can use them for audio and mic support on any platform. However, the style and design of the HyperX headphones might be better-suited for outdoor use since you can detach the microphone.

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.

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.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas
SEE PRICE
Amazon.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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Conclusion

6.1 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.

6.7 Critical Listening

Okay for critical 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.

5.5 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.

5.7 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.

5.9 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.

5.8 TV

Also sub-par for watching TV. The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition are good for watching video content because of their wired connection which means you won’t get any delay. However, since they aren’t wireless, you’ll be limited by their cable’s length. They also won’t be great to block out your household noise and they can get quite hot after a while, meaning they won’t be ideal for watching full movies or binge-watching TV shows.

7.5 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.

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