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Razer Kraken V3 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jan 11, 2022 at 10:48 am
Razer Kraken V3 Picture
7.2
Neutral Sound
4.9
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Razer Kraken V3 are wired gaming headphones with a non-detachable USB-A connector. Like other headphones in Razer's Kraken V3 lineup, they have customizable RGB lighting on both ear cups. Out of the box, they have a warm sound profile that can help emphasize boomy sound effects in your games. That said, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ, presets, and virtual surround features. Their boom mic also offers decent overall performance, so you should be heard clearly when talking to teammates. Unfortunately, they're prone to inconsistencies in their audio delivery, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit to ensure a more consistent sound.

Our Verdict

7.2 Neutral Sound

The Razer Kraken V3 are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a warm sound profile that delivers extra boom to your mixes. Luckily, if you're looking for a more neutral sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to fit your needs. Unfortunately, they're very prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery, so you may need to adjust their fit, seal, and positioning on your head each time you use them.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available via companion software.
Cons
  • Very prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
  • Poor passive soundstage.
4.9 Commute/Travel

The Razer Kraken V3 are poor for commute and travel. They have a bulky, gamer-centric design that can only connect to devices with a USB-A port, so you can't use them with your smartphone unless you use an adapter. While you can remove their boom mic for a more casual look, their audio cable isn't detachable and could snag on something. That said, they have a decently comfortable fit.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design and mediocre stability.
  • No call and music controls.
  • Sub-par noise isolation performance.
5.2 Sports/Fitness

The Razer Kraken V3 are disappointing for sports and fitness. They're not designed for this purpose as they can only connect to devices with a USB-A port like a PC and can fall off your head with moderate movement. Their non-detachable audio cable can also snag on something and pull them off your head. Luckily, you can remove the boom mic for a less gamer-centric look.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design and mediocre stability.
  • No call and music controls.
6.0 Office

The Razer Kraken V3 are mediocre for office use. They're gaming headphones, lack call and music-related controls, and have a bulky design. That said, they have a decently comfortable fit and can block out some office chatter. You can also detach their boom mic for a more casual look or use it to take calls on your PC.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
Cons
  • No call and music controls.
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The Razer Kraken V3 are wired headphones, and you can't use them wirelessly.

7.3 Wired Gaming

The Razer Kraken V3 are decent for wired gaming. They have a USB-A connection with low latency and have robust companion software so that you can tweak their sound and mic to your liking. They also have a virtual surround feature, and their mic offers decent overall performance. However, you can't connect them to Xbox consoles. They're also very prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available via companion software.
  • Very good noise handling performance.
Cons
  • Very prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
  • Poor passive soundstage.
6.6 Phone Calls

The Razer Kraken V3 are fair for phone calls. These headphones only have a USB-A connector, and you can't use them with smartphones unless you have an adapter. They also lack call-related controls. If you're making calls via your PC and if you don't mind their gamer-centric look, their detachable boom mic can capture your voice fairly clearly, even if you're calling from a moderately noisy environment.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable fit.
  • Very good noise handling performance.
Cons
  • No call and music controls.
  • Sub-par noise isolation performance.
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 4.9 Commute/Travel
  • 5.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.6 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jan 11, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 07, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Razer Kraken V3 look very similar to other headphones in this manufacturer's Kraken V3 lineup, like the Razer Kraken V3 X and the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense. They have a mostly black look with metal grilles and the manufacturer's logo on both ear cups. The logo also has customizable RGB lighting that you can adjust to your liking in their companion software. They only come in one color variation: 'Black'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.72 lbs
Clamping Force
1 lbs

These headphones have a decently comfortable fit. The ear cups are made with faux leather padding and a cloth-like material interior. There's also some leather padding in the middle of the headband. While they have a bulky design, which is to be expected from gaming headphones, the ear cups have a poor range of motion and can't swivel left or right.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Razer Kraken V3 have sub-par controls. Like the Razer Kraken V3 X, the controls are on the left ear cup, and there's only a dedicated mic mute/unmute button as well as a volume wheel. Luckily, the mic mute button is indented when you're muted, and it feels a bit clicky and springy. However, the volume wheel doesn't have notches to let you know when you've reached min and max volume.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 8.0" (20.2 cm)
W 7.1" (18.0 cm)
H 3.7" (9.5 cm)
Volume 210.79 in³ (3,454.20 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Razer Kraken V3 aren't very portable, which is common for gaming headphones. They're bulky, can't fold into a more compact form, and don't come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Razer Kraken V3 are well-built. They have a better build quality than the Razer Kraken V3 X as they use a thick, braided audio cable and have metal components to their headband. The headband has measurement marks to let you know the height of the headband, while the faux leather padding feels good. However, the audio cable isn't detachable, meaning if it snags on something, the headphones could be damaged.

6.0
Design
Stability

These headphones have mediocre stability. While they should stay on your head while you're gaming in front of your computer or TV, they can easily fall off your head with moderate head movements. Their cable isn't detachable either, and the headphones could be pulled off your head if it gets snagged on something.

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

  • Razer Kraken V3 headphones
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.16 dB
Treble Amount
-3.75 dB

The Razer Kraken V3 have a warm sound profile that delivers extra boom to your gameplay, which can help emphasize sound effects. Their mid-range is also fairly flat and neutral, so dialogue in cutscenes sounds clear and accurate. However, the headphones are very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, and their position, fit, and seal on your head can all affect the consistency of your audio each time you use them. Luckily, you can use their companion software's graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

5.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.01 dB

The frequency response consistency is sub-par. Bass and treble delivery can vary depending on their fit, positioning, and seal. You may experience a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses, as this can break the ear cups' seal on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.4
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.82 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
13.16 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.7 dB
Mid-Bass
2.28 dB
High-Bass
6.27 dB

The Razer Kraken V3 have decent bass accuracy. Although they're a little lacking in thump and rumble, their mid and high-bass are overemphasized. This adds body and intense boom to your mixes, which help emphasize sound effects. However, some users may find they sound boomy and muddy.

Note: The response here represents the average bass response. Bass delivery can also vary across users, so your experience may vary.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.54 dB
Low-Mid
1.8 dB
Mid-Mid
0.08 dB
High-Mid
-0.68 dB

These headphones have excellent mid accuracy. The low-mid is slightly overemphasized, which can muddy your mixes. That said, the mid to high-mid is very flat and neutral, resulting in accurate and clear vocals and lead instruments.

7.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.59 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.16 dB
Low-Treble
-2.66 dB
High-Treble
-8.68 dB

The Razer Kraken V3 have good treble accuracy. It's underemphasized across the range, so vocals and lead instruments sound veiled and lacking in detail. Sibilants like S and T sounds are also dull and lispy.

Note: The response here represents the average treble response. Treble delivery can also vary across users, so your experience may vary.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.73 dB
Dips
1.09 dB

The peaks and dips performance is decent. There's a dip in the low-bass that reduces thump and rumble, while a peak in the high-bass adds extra boom, which some users may find muddy. Another dip between the low to mid-mid thins out vocals and lead instruments while also nudging them to the back of your mix. A dip in the low-treble veils the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments, while the uneven mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals alternatingly dull and piercing.

5.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.32
Weighted Phase Mismatch
87.49
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.14
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.82

The Razer Kraken V3 have a sub-par imaging performance. Unfortunately, our 'Phase Response Mismatch' graph doesn't fully represent what we hear when using the headphones, and we had to redo many passes to get matching or close-to-matching results. We don't know if this is an issue with our dummy head or with our software. However, we have retested imaging to achieve results that better match their real-life performance, and you can see this graph here. We've kept the original results in our review as we also hear imaging issues with the bass range.

The weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also matched when it comes to amplitude and frequency response. However, the large mismatch in phase response skews the stereo image and indicates inaccuracies. Sound effects like footsteps and voices may not be localized correctly. That said, our results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.03 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.43 dB
PRTF Distance
6.11 dB
Openness
4.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.7

The Razer Kraken V3's passive soundstage is sub-par, common for closed-back gaming headphones. Their soundstage seems natural but not very wide or open. Sound also seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.

2.9
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
Adjustable
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
THX

The Razer Kraken V3 are compatible with THX virtual surround. There are several modes to choose from: 'Game Mode', 'Movie Mode', 'Music Mode', and 'Custom Mode'. Each mode changes the speaker modeling set up to better suit that genre of audio. You can also calibrate each mode to your liking or create a new mode. In addition, you can select which app uses which audio mode or let the program automatically set itself.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.357
WHD @ 100
0.129

The Razer Kraken V3's weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. Although there's a slight peak between the low to mid-treble at high listening volumes, it can be hard to hear with real-life content, and it may not be noticeable to all users. That said, the rest of the range falls within good levels, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
USB
Connection
USB
Codec
PCM, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
DEFAULT (Flat)
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test the Razer Kraken V3. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
5.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-14.44 dB
Bass
0.62 dB
Mid
-12.62 dB
Treble
-32.51 dB

The Razer Kraken V3's noise isolation performance is disappointing. Like most over-ear gaming headphones, they don't block out the low rumble of bus engines. That said, they do a decent job of cutting down office chatter and can block out the high-pitched hum of an AC unit.

7.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
35.8 dB

The Razer Kraken V3's leakage performance is good. Leakage is spread out across the range and sounds full-bodied, especially when compared to in-ear headphones. That said, escaping audio shouldn't be too noticeable if you're gaming in a moderately loud environment.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes
6.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
578.47 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.33 dB
HFE
6,639.82 Hz
Weighted THD
0.09
Gain
14.86 dB

The Razer Kraken V3's detachable boom mic has an alright recording quality. Your voice sounds natural but lacking in body and brightness.

7.8
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
40.43 dB
Noise Gate
On/Off Toggle
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
8.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is very good. It's able to separate your voice from moderate ambient sound. If you're chatting with friends by a window with traffic outside, they should have no problem hearing you clearly.

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
No
Charging Port None
8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Razer Synapse
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Razer Synapse software is great. It offers a 10-band graphic EQ and presets like 'Bass Boost', 'Sound Normalization', and 'Voice Clarity' to help you adjust their sound to your liking. You can also adjust the brightness and the effect of the RGB lighting or turn it off if you prefer. If you like to game with others, you can adjust the mic's volume, turn on or off the voice gate as well as sidetone, and use 'Volume Normalization', 'Voice Clarity', and 'Ambient Noise Reduction'. The mic even has a 10-band EQ to help you tweak its sound.

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
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
8.4
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
USB Type A
Detachable No
Length 6.50 ft (1.98 m)
Connection
USB
Analog/USB Audio Latency
21 ms

These headphones come with a non-detachable USB-A cable. They have very low latency, though, so you shouldn't notice audio or visual syncing issues while gaming.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can only connect to PCs via wired USB as they don't support any other connection. However, they have full audio and mic support using their USB-A connection.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

You can use the Razer Kraken V3 on PS4 and PS5 consoles with full audio and mic compatibility via their USB-A connector.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Razer Kraken V3 come in one color variation: 'Black', and you can see our model's label here. These headphones are also part of the manufacturer's Kraken V3 range, which comprises four headphones with RGB lighting and virtual surround. The entry-level Razer Kraken V3 X have a more simple and plasticky design but lack robust customization features. The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense are a step above the Razer Kraken V3 and use the manufacturer's HyperSense haptic technology to produce vibrations for a more sensorial gaming experience. Finally, the Razer Kraken V3 Pro Wireless are top-of-the-line gaming headphones with a wireless design and HyperSense technology. They also support an analog connection.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Razer Kraken V3 are part of Razer's Kraken V3 range. Like other headphones in this lineup, they support Razer Chroma RGB lighting that you can customize in their companion app, and they use a USB-A connection, so they're mostly designed with PC gamers in mind. Unlike the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense or Razer Kraken V3 Pro Wireless, they lack haptic technology to help give you a more immersive gaming experience.

Check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best headsets for PS5, and the best wired headphones.

Razer BlackShark V2

The Razer BlackShark V2 and the Razer Kraken V3 are similarly performing gaming headphones, and you may prefer either one. The BlackShark V2 are more comfortable, have better frequency response consistency, and their passive soundstage is wider as well as more natural. However, the Kraken V3 are significantly better-built, have more robust virtual soundstage features, and their mic performs slightly better overall. Unfortunately, you can only use them with devices that have a USB-A port.

Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless

The Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken V3. While both headphones have similar overall microphone performances, you can use the Nari Ultimate wired or wirelessly, are more comfortable, and have a better passive soundstage performance. They also have low non-Bluetooth wireless latency and can be used on Xbox consoles via their 1/8" TRRS cable. However, the Kraken V3 have more robust virtual soundstage features.

Razer Kraken V3 X

The Razer Kraken V3 are better than the Razer Kraken V3 X. While both headsets are decently comfortable, the V3 are significantly better-built, have a more balanced sound profile out of the box, and have more robust virtual soundstage features. Their boom mic also offers better noise handling, and their companion software offers more customization features like a graphic EQ and presets. Ηowever, the V3 X's boom mic has a better recording quality.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense are the next step up from the Razer Kraken V3. While both headphones have a similar build quality and use USB-A connectors, the HyperSense have an adjustable haptic feedback feature, which helps give you a more sensorial gaming experience. Otherwise, they both have the same customization features, RGB lighting, and very good microphone performances.

HyperX Cloud Stinger

The Razer Kraken V3 offer a more customizable gaming experience, but if you're looking for headphones that you can just plug in and play, the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II offer a solid performance out of the box. The Razer have more robust virtual soundstage features and have companion software that offers a graphic EQ plus presets and mic customization features. They even have customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup. However, the HyperX are significantly more comfortable and better built. Their boom mic also offers better overall performance, and they also have a 1/8" TRRS cable, meaning you can use them with consoles with an AUX port.

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