Kraken V3 HyperSense Review
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Kraken V3 HyperSense
$129.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Awesome haptics, great bass, plush ear cup padding, removable mic||Flip to mute mic, sturdy build, comfortable ear cups||Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality||Decently comfortable to wear, solid sound quality||Inexpensive, exceptional microphone quality|
|Cons||Cord is stiff, cord can't be removed||Can get hot, headband relatively difficult to adjust||Harder to mute, no mic sidetone||Short cable, mic and cable aren't detachable||Not the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette|
|Bottom Line||This headset offers great sound quality, awesome haptic feedback, and comfort to keep you in the saddle for hours on end||An all-around decent quality wireless headset that performs above average while costing less than average||An excellent and affordable all-around gaming headset that's extremely comfortable, even for long sessions||The G332 is a decent value pick for anyone shopping on the tightest of budgets for a new headset||This headset has a great mic and offers strong value for more limited budgets|
|Rating Categories||Kraken V3 HyperSense||Corsair HS80 RGB Wi...||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Kraken V3 HyperSense||Corsair HS80 RGB Wi...||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...|
|Measured cable length||USB-A: 6ft 5in||Wireless
charging cable is 6ft
|10.6 ft||7.35 ft||10.5 ft|
|How to mute the mic||Toggle||Lift||Switch||Lift mic||Lift mic|
|Measured weight||13 oz||12.8 oz||10-7/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||9-1/2 oz|
|Measured ear cushion size||1" x 7/8"||1" x 1"||1-1/2" X 2-9/16"||1-5/8" X 2-3/8"||1-5/8" X 2-9/16"|
|Ear cup shape||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval|
|Ear cup fabric type||Memory foam, leatherette, cooling mesh||Microfiber fabric||Leatherette
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kraken V3 HyperSense is one of the best headsets we have reviewed to date. In fact, the list of things that we like about this device is so long that the biggest knock against it is its cord. However, that's a minor point considering that its audio, comfort features, and micro scores are at the top of the class.
The most important metric in our evaluation of gaming headsets is comfort. Our assessment of comfort looks at all aspects of the ear gear, including construction material, fit, insulation qualities, padding, sizing, and fit. Razer has a well-deserved reputation for producing industry-leading gaming gear, and the Kraken V3 HyperSense is no exception. Case in point, the Kraken V3 HyperSense is a class leader in this metric.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of our comfort assessment is how long we could wear the headset before our ears began to feel sore. In the case of the Kraken V3 HyperSense, we could wear them all day long (over 10 hours). Such longevity in comfort is only possible because the model lacks hard plastic inside the ear cup and has ample room to accommodate varying ear sizes. Additionally, the ultra-soft ear padding fabric is comprised of leatherette outside and cooling mesh where it comes in contact with the skin. This fabric combination keeps the user relatively cool while providing a good fit. The ear cups fit very well and create an amazing noise-reducing seal. They're very comfortable, especially with the cooling mesh.
Adding to the Kraken V3 HyperSense's exceptional comfort is the padded headband with a mesh-fabric-covered-squishy-foam that maintains some firmness. All testers agreed that it was among the most comfortable designs in the class. Additionally, the headband has numbers above each ear cup marking the sizing — we found this to be a nice touch to avoid lopsided fitting. Finally, the V3 weighs 13 ounces, which isn't the lightest.
Following the comfort metric in importance to user satisfaction and enjoyment is the audio metric, which evaluates the quality of sound produced by the headset. In its own way, a headset is a haptic device in that it gives a player sensory information about the environment that they are operating in; that information allows them to react to the input. As such, we test headsets for positional audio. Additionally, we assess the headset for voice quality, external noise canceling, music quality, and muting. The Kraken V3 HyperSense's audio quality is without peer.
We assess positional audio using Razer's Surround Helicopter Youtube video that moves the sound around the available speakers in a circular pattern as if a helicopter was orbiting overhead. The Kraken V3 HyperSense performs exceptionally in this test, making it easy for testes to identify which quadrant the sound was coming from. We also conducted a series of experiments using Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO). Using CS:GO, we could run tests on zonal sound with gunfire (both in a circular pattern and from different directions) and footsteps (again, in a circular pattern and from different directions). Here too, the audio on the Kraken V3 HyperSense was stellar — seriously, we couldn't have imagined better results. All testers could easily identify the zone where the sound originated without difficulty.
As far as voice audio is concerned, the Kraken V3 HyperSense has a very clear, full sound. The headset also has special sound support through Discord which enhances the quality of voice audio produced by the headset. The sound is further improved by the headset's high-quality sound blocking. The Kraken has closed back ear cups which give it an edge in noise canceling as the cup essentially seals the ear. As one would expect, the closed back does a good job blocking both external music and the hum of a large fan — the two noises we used in our tests.
As for the music that the Kraken V3 HyperSense produces, we found it to be quite good overall. While the bass is upfront and clear, it can drown out the treble if cranked up. However, the mid-range is pronounced and not easily overrun by the other EQ settings. All in all, you can't beat the audio on the Kraken.
While it might not seem important at first blush, the mic on a gaming headset is critical to the community gaming experience — how else are you supposed to coordinate an attack or talk some friendly trash to the competition? Given the importance of this peace of hardware, we thoroughly test and grade it for the audio it picks up. Here again, the Kraken V3 HyperSense is near the top of the class.
To assess the microphone on the headsets, we use Audacity (an audio recording software) to record a standardized script. We then play this recording to a panel of judges along with the other headsets' recordings. Using this comparative measure, we found that the Kraken V3 renders awesome quality, wherein there are almost no sibilant issues. All told, the sound is crisp and faithful to the original audio.
Ease of Use
Whereas comfort and audio are the most heavily weighted metrics in our assessment of headsets, the ease of use metric is the least weighted. However, ease of use is an important metric to pay attention to as it will greatly influence the satisfaction you feel with your purchase. If a piece of hardware is a pain to operate, it will erode your appreciation for its performance in other areas. Unfortunately, ease of use is one area that the Kraken V3 HyperSense didn't set the standard for the class. However, this is largely because the unit is a wired device and not because it is hard to set up and operate.
Let's begin our discussion of the Kraken V3 HyperSense's ease of use from setup. First, the Kraken has software that helps with customization but is not needed. The Kraken is what you would call a plug-and-play device. The unit has onboard controls for mute, volume, and a light that indicates whether the unit is muted. Additionally, the mic is easily detachable if you don't want to use it, but if you want to push it up and out of the way, it stays where you put it. As mentioned above, the main issue with this device's ease of use is that its USB-A cord is relatively short at 6 feet 5 inches, can't be detached, and the cord is a bit stiff. That said, the cord's stiffness speaks to its durability. Finally, the seal in the ear cups is so good that it is hard to hear how loud you are talking. Some headsets have ways of mitigating this effect, but the Kraken does not offer such a feature.
Should You Buy the Kraken V3 HyperSense?
Yes, you should buy this headset. While it is a high-end device, it is not priced as such. In fact, it's below the average price for the class and yet sets the standard in performance and quality. The only reason we can think that one would not be completely satisfied with this purchase is that it is wired. If you have to have a wireless device, there are some very good options such as the Corsair HS80 RGB but expect to pay a bit more to go wireless.
What Other Gaming Headsets Should You Consider?
As was mentioned above, if you are interested in a wireless device, the Corsair HS80 RGB is a great option. If you are new to gaming or just aren't sure if a headset is worth the cost of taking a date out to a nice meal, check out the HyperX Cloud Stinger. This headset costs a fraction of what the top models run. Yet, it received respectable comfort and audio scores while its mic ranks with the best in the class.
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