Razer Kraken X Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Nov 19, 2020 at 04:20 pm
Razer Kraken X Picture
5.3
Mixed Usage
6.1
Neutral Sound
4.7
Commute/Travel
5.5
Sports/Fitness
5.1
Office
4.9
Wireless Gaming
6.9
Wired Gaming
7.4
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Razer Kraken X are simple gaming headphones. They have a lightweight design that’s fairly comfortable and a bit less bulky than other Razer headsets we’ve tested. Their boom microphone offers excellent recording quality and noise handling capability, and their wired connection ensures an audio latency-free gaming experience. Unfortunately, they feel cheaply made and their simple control scheme is lacking for casual use. They also have a somewhat unbalanced sound profile. That said, if you prefer a more exaggerated, bass-heavy sound, they could be worth considering for console or PC gaming.

Our Verdict

5.3 Mixed Usage

The Razer Kraken X are poor mixed usage headphones. Although they have a lightweight design that’s fairly comfortable, they don’t have a complete control scheme for casual use and aren’t very portable. Their dark sound profile isn’t very well-suited to neutral sound and they don’t isolate very well, which makes them a poor choice for commuting or office use. Their wired connection ensures a latency-free connection, but their integrated cable isn’t very long, so you may need an AUX extension cable.

Pros
  • Lightweight, stable design.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Limited control scheme.
6.1 Neutral Sound

The Razer Kraken X are mediocre for neutral sound. Their mid-range response is very even, but they have overpowering, boomy bass and uneven treble response. Their sound lacks in brightness and clarity while also sounding too sharp and sibilant. Also, they struggle to provide a consistent listening experience, especially if you have long hair or wear glasses.

Pros
  • Low levels of audio distortion.
Cons
  • Inconsistent audio delivery.
4.7 Commute/Travel

The Razer Kraken X are bad for commuting and travel. They’re relatively lightweight and decently comfortable, but don’t isolate very much noise, particularly the deep rumble of bus engines. They have a fairly bulky design that doesn’t fold into a more compact format, so they’re not very portable. Their wired audio connection works with most mobile devices and provides an audio latency-free experience, which is nice if you like to watch videos or play games while traveling, but their unbalanced sound profile may not suit all listeners.

Pros
  • Lightweight, stable design.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Bulky construction.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Limited control scheme.
5.5 Sports/Fitness

The Razer Kraken X are middling for sports and fitness, though they aren't designed for this purpose. Although their fit is pretty stable, they’re not very breathable, so you're likely to sweat more than usual when wearing them. Their wired connection is prone to catching on things while running, which could yank them off your head. Their mic also isn't detachable or retractable, so it may get in the way.

Pros
  • Lightweight, stable design.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Bulky construction.
  • Limited control scheme.
5.1 Office

The Razer Kraken X are a poor fit for office use. They’re fairly comfortable and lightweight, but do a sub-par job of filtering out ambient ambient office chatter. Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound profile won’t be suitable for everyone, and they’re also a bit leaky.

Pros
  • Lightweight, stable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Limited control scheme.
4.9 Wireless Gaming

The Razer Kraken X are wired-only headphones and can't be used for wireless gaming.

6.9 Wired Gaming

The Razer Kraken X are okay for wired gaming. They a fairly comfortable design. They have an excellent boom microphone that should ensure your teammates hear you clearly. Unfortunately, their sound profile is very bass-heavy, which could overwhelm in-game dialogue or music, and their control scheme is quite basic.

Pros
  • Excellent microphone recording quality.
  • Amazing microphone noise handling capability.
Cons
  • Inconsistent audio delivery.
  • Limited control scheme.
7.4 Phone Calls

The Razer Kraken X are satisfactory for making phone calls. Their boom microphone should make your voice sound clear, full-bodied, and detailed. Thanks to the mic's amazing noise handling capability, speech should also be mostly free of background noise, even if you call from a noisy environment. Unfortunately, due to their poor ambient noise isolation capability, background noise may disrupt your call.

Pros
  • Excellent microphone recording quality.
  • Amazing microphone noise handling capability.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Limited control scheme.
  • 5.3 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.7 Commute/Travel
  • 5.5 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.1 Office
  • 4.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.9 Wired Gaming
  • 7.4 Phone Calls
  1. Update 11/19/2020: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Update 3/24/2020: 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.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Razer Kraken X look quite similar to the manufacturer's other gaming headsets, especially the Razer Kraken USB. They have large, circular ear cups that feature Razer’s logo on each side and a wide headband. They have a slightly more casual look than the Razer Kraken Pro V2 or the Razer Pro Tournament Edition since they’re a bit less bulky, but they’re still large headphones. They’re available in an all-black design or with blue accents.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.54 lbs
Clamping Force
1.0 lbs

These are decently comfortable headphones. They’re a bit bulky and their headband feels tight, clamping down a bit on the head. Thankfully, they have thick ear cup padding that helps distribute pressure well around the ears. Their headband is also decently padded and they’re very lightweight, so they don’t feel uncomfortably heavy. They may not be ideal for your longest gaming marathons, but they’re comfortable enough for more casual gaming sessions. If you want a more comfortable pair of gaming headphones, check out the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless.

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 X have a sub-par physical control scheme. It's easy to use but somewhat limited in overall functionality. There's a volume wheel and mic mute button on the left ear cup. The mic button feels clicky, but the volume wheel doesn’t provide much tactile feedback since there are no distinct notches while scrolling. It’s lacking some more gaming-specific controls like channel mixing or call management as well as music playback controls that would be helpful for more casual use.

6.0
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.9 C

Like most over-ear gaming headphones, the Razer Kraken X have mediocre breathability. Their 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. They can start warming up your ears after a couple of hours of casual use, and so they're likely to make your ears sweat if you wear them while exercising.

5.2
Design
Portability
L 8.6 "
W 6.6 "
H 4.2 "
Volume 238 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like most gaming headphones, the Razer Kraken X have poor portability. Since they have a rigid headband, they can’t fold into a more compact format. Their large ear cups don’t swivel to lay flat, which makes them a bit of a hassle to carry around.

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 carrying case or pouch.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

These over-ears have passable build quality. The plastic in their build feels cheap and weak and the headband is very rigid, as though it could snap if the headset is twisted too far. The cable also feels a bit fragile, and it isn’t detachable, so if it breaks you have to replace the entire headset.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Razer Kraken X have a stable fit. Their lightweight design fits securely on the head and doesn’t move around much unless you shake your head very vigorously. That said, their cable isn’t detachable, so if it gets caught on something, the headphones could get yanked off your head.

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

  • Razer Kraken X headset
  • Y-splitter
  • Instruction manuals
  • Surround sound 7.1 download promotional code

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.23 db
Treble Amount
-3.06 db

The Razer Kraken X have a dark, imbalanced sound profile. The bump across the high-bass range through low-mid range adds a slightly boomy quality to some mixes and can slightly muddy vocals and lead instruments, and the dip in the low treble range can veil the finer details of some higher notes.

5.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.12 dB

The Razer Kraken X have sub-par frequency consistency performance. They're prone to variances in bass and treble delivery across different re-seats, especially if you have long hair or wear glasses.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.65 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
12.6 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.71 dB
Mid-Bass
3.94 dB
High-Bass
7.41 dB

The Razer Kraken X's bass accuracy is okay. It's lacking a bit of low-bass, which can rob some sound effects, not to mention EDM and hip-hop tracks, of thump and rumble. The overemphasized high-bass response can add some extra warmth, but it also adds a boomy, muddy quality to some mixes. That said, their bass delivery can vary drastically depending on their fit, seal, and positioning, so your experience may vary.

8.3
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.33 dB
Low-Mid
1.66 dB
Mid-Mid
1.11 dB
High-Mid
-1.29 dB

Their mid-range performance is impressive. The overemphasis in bass continues into the low-mid range, which can slightly muddy and clutter dialogue as well as vocals and lead instruments. The rest of the response is fairly even and well-balanced though, so vocals and lead instruments should sound present and detailed.

3.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
8.69 dB
Low-Treble
-8.38 dB
Mid-Treble
3.38 dB
High-Treble
-4.52 dB

The Razer Kraken X have bad treble performance. Low-treble is severely underemphasized, resulting in a loss of clarity, detail, and articulation in vocals and lead instruments. There’s also a spike in the mid-treble range, which can make sibilants sound sharp and piercing on certain tracks. However, treble varies noticeably across users, so your experience may vary in the real world.

5.2
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
3.31 db
Dips
2.96 db

These headphones have disappointing peaks and dips performance. The bump in the high-bass range generates boominess in some mixes while the following dip in the low-mids thins out vocals and lead instruments. The bump in the mid-mids can create a slightly forward, boxy quality while the drop in the low-treble range lessens the clarity of vocals and lead instrumentals. The peak in the mid-treble range can make sibilants overly bright and piercing.

7.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.31
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.64
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.2
Weighted Phase Mismatch
24.23

These over-ears have decent stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Additionally, the L/R drivers are well-matched in regards to amplitude and frequency response but severe phase mismatch is present. This has a slightly negative impact on their ability to accurately place and localize objects in the stereo image. It should be noted that these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

5.3
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
5.24 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.98 dB
PRTF Distance
13.96 dB
Openness
4.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.0

Like most closed-back headphones, the Razer Kraken X have a disappointing passive soundstage. It should be perceived as being out of the head and somewhat large, but also fairly unnatural.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

The Razer Kraken X don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.320
WHD @ 100
0.111

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is very good. There's some slight distortion in the low treble range at moderate volumes, but the rest of the frequency spectrum falls within good limits. This should ensure mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
5.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.58 dB
Bass
-0.03 dB
Mid
-9.8 dB
Treble
-31.68 dB

The Razer Kraken X have poor noise isolation. They don’t really block out any ambient noise in the bass range, like the rumble of plane and bus engines. They do slightly better with mid-range background noise, but you're still likely to hear some background chatter. Higher-pitched treble range ambient noise, such as the hum of an A/C unit, is mostly blocked out.

6.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
42.54 dB

The Razer Kraken X have alright audio leakage performance. If you listen to content at high volumes in a quiet room, you may disrupt people nearby, but the bulk of escaping audio should be drowned out by the ambient noise of an average office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No

The Razer Kraken X have a boom microphone.

8.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.48 dB
HFE
9805.86 Hz
Weighted THD
0.244
Gain
26.45 dB

The microphone has an excellent recording quality. Recorded speech sounds full-bodied, clear, and natural, but also slightly lacking in terms of brightness. The JBL Quantum 100 is a comparably-priced alternative that delivers similarly impressive microphone recording quality, though it should be noted that the JBL's boom microphone is detachable.

8.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
37.29 dB

The boom microphone has excellent noise handling. People on the other end of the line should be able to understand you clearly, even in very noisy environments.

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

The Razer Kraken X don’t have a battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones aren't compatible with any companion software. If you want a wired gaming headset with a good app, then consider the very similar Razer Kraken USB or the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition.

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 headphones are wired and don't have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a wired gaming headset that also supports Bluetooth for use with your mobile devices, then check out the HyperX Cloud Mix Wireless.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The Razer Kraken X are wired-only.

9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 4.4 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The Razer Kraken X have a 1/8” TRRS audio cable that provides audio and microphone support when plugged into an AUX port. They also come with a Y-splitter headset for mic and audio compatibility with desktop PCs.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

The Razer Kraken X provide full audio and microphone compatibility with PCs and PS4 consoles when they're plugged into an AUX port or a controller. They come with an additional Y-splitter cable for mic and audio compatibility on PCs.

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

The Razer Kraken X provide full audio and microphone compatibility with Xbox One consoles when they're plugged into a controller.

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

The Razer Kraken X don’t come with a dock. For a gaming headset that comes with a wireless transmitter, consider the Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset or the Astro A20 Wireless.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Razer Kraken X come in two color variants: 'Classic Black' and 'Classic Black/Blue'. We tested the 'Classic Black' variant, but expect the other model to perform similarly overall.

If someone comes across a differently-equipped model, let us know in the discussions so that we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Razer Kraken X are budget-friendly gaming headphones with excellent overall microphone performance and an audio latency-free wired connection, but unfortunately, their sound profile isn't especially well-balanced. They also don't have any companion software and have a somewhat limited control scheme. See our suggestions for the best gaming headsets under $50, the best Xbox One gaming headsets, and the best PS4 gaming headsets.

HyperX Cloud Stinger

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a better gaming headset than the Razer Kraken X. The Stinger are more comfortable, feel better-built, and have a more balanced sound quality. Their microphones perform similarly, but the Kraken X’s can make speech sound a bit fuller and deeper, which is great. The Kraken X also have a control scheme that’s easier-to-use and provides better feedback than that of the Cloud Stinger.

Razer BlackShark V2 X

The Razer BlackShark V2 X are somewhat better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The BlackShark V2 X are more comfortable, deliver bass and treble more consistently, and leak less sound. They also have a downloadable virtual soundstage feature, and they come with a soft pouch. However, the Kraken X's boom microphone is slightly better at noise handling.

SteelSeries Arctis 1

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 are slightly better wired gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The Arctis have a much better-balanced sound profile and leak less audio. On the other hand, the Razer feel slightly better-built and more durable, and feel much more stable on the head.

Corsair HS50

The Corsair HS50 are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The Corsair are more comfortable, feel much better-built, and sound significantly more balanced overall. However, the Razer have a better-sounding boom microphone and a more lightweight design.

Razer Kraken Pro V2

The Razer Kraken X and Razer Kraken Pro V2 are similarly-performing gaming headphones. Both are fairly comfortable with a bulky, gamer-centric design. The Pro V2 feel better built, but the Kraken X are more lightweight and have a more stable fit. Both headphones have excellent boom microphones and similar bass-heavy sound profiles. Neither are compatible with the Razer Synapse support software, but the Kraken X has an easier-to-use control scheme. The Pro V2 are best if you’re looking for something that feels a little more premium at the expense of added weight, while the Kraken X are preferable if you prefer a more lightweight design.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

The HyperX Cloud Alpha are better wired gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The HyperX are quite a bit more comfortable and look and feel a lot more durable and well-built. Their sound profile is a lot better-balanced out-of-the-box, though both headphones are very susceptible to fit, seal, and positioning, so you may experience their sound reproduction differently. The Razer feel more stable on the head, and have a better mic with much better recording quality, which can be important if you play a lot of online games.

JBL Quantum 100

The Razer Kraken X are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum 100. The Razer are less fatiguing to wear, feel sturdier, and have a boom microphone that does a better job of isolating speech from background noise. Conversely, the JBL are a little easier to carry around and look a little more casual thanks to their detachable boom microphone.

Razer BlackShark V2

The Razer BlackShark V2 are better overall headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The BlackShark V2 are more comfortable, and their boom microphone is detachable. They also have a better-balanced sound profile, and you can even adjust the sound and the microphone settings using their companion software and USB Soundcard. The Kraken X aren't compatible with Razer's software and they don't come with a USB Soundcard. However, their mic does have a better out-of-the-box performance than the BlackShark V2.

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition

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.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II

The HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II are better wired gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The HyperX sound much better-balanced, they're more comfortable, and their USB DAC provides additional features like channel mixing and virtual surround sound. The Razer's microphone sounds even more natural, though. They also come with a Y-splitter, which is helpful when connecting to certain desktop PCs, especially since it helps eliminate the latency a USB DAC can cause.

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless

The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The Pro can be used wirelessly, and they come with a wireless USB dongle that's compatible with Razer Synapse software and all of its customization features. The Pro are also more comfortable. However, the Kraken X have a better microphone recording quality out-of-the-box.

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