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Razer Nari Ultimate Review

This wireless headset has some cool features, but can't compare to the best models we have seen
The Razer Nari Ultimate.
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Price:   $200 List | $75 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable for larger heads, haptics can be a cool addition to games
Cons:  Weak bass, falls off most heads easily
Manufacturer:   Razer
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 15, 2019
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Audio - 30% 6
  • Microphone - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 10% 6

Our Verdict

We didn't overly dislike the Razer Nari but its overall performance failed to impress us all that much. It is relatively comfortable and easy to use, with above-average audio quality. It even adds haptic feedback to make the bass really rumble. However, it is quite pricey compared to its performance and fits a bit weird for anyone who doesn't have a large head and ears. The mic quality is mediocre at best and the haptics actually cover up some fairly weak bass. The Nari Ultimate is a solid headset, but we didn't think it was quite as ultimate as its name would suggest.


Compare to Similar Products

 
The Razer Nari Ultimate.
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $200 List
$74.99 at Amazon
$150 List
$113.95 at Amazon
$100 List
$62.85 at Amazon
$100 List
$88.90 at Amazon
$60 List
$49.99 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable for larger heads, haptics can be a cool addition to gamesComfortable, great microphone and audio qualityExceptional sound quality, very comfortableIncredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound qualityDecently comfortable to wear, solid sound quality
Cons Weak bass, falls off most heads easilyExpensive, doesn't block background noiseMicrophone quality is so-so, not as convenient to use as other productsHarder to mute, no mic sidetoneShort cable, mic and cable aren’t detachable
Bottom Line This wireless headset has some cool features, but can’t compare to the best models we have seenIf you want the best of the best, the GAME ONE should be your number one choiceIf you love games with rich soundtracks and want the most immersive experience possible, the Kraken is the headset for youIf you are looking for an excellent, all-around gaming headset without breaking the bank, the Cloud II is a great choiceThe G332 is a decent value pick for anyone shopping on the tightest of budgets for a new headset
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Razer Nari Ultimate Sennheiser GAME ONE Razer Kraken 7.1 V2 Kingston HyperX... Logitech G332
Comfort (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Audio (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Microphone (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs Razer Nari Ultimate Sennheiser GAME ONE Razer Kraken 7.1 V2 Kingston HyperX... Logitech G332
Wired or Wireless Wireless Wired Wired Wired Wired
Measured cable length PC charging cable = 5.05 ft
3.5mm: 4.3 ft
9.65 ft 6.7 ft 10.6 ft 7.35 ft
How to mute the mic Button Lift mic Button on the mic Switch Lift mic
Detachable mic No No No Yes No
Control location Headphone Headphone On mic (mute only) Inline Headphone
Measured weight 15 1/4 oz 9 5/8 oz 11 7/8 oz 10 7/8 oz 10 7/8 oz
Measured ear cushion size 2 1/4" X 2 1/2" 1 5/16" X 2 5/8 " 2 1/4" 1 1/2" X 2 9/16" 1 5/8" X 2 3/8"
Ear cup shape Oval Oval Round Oval Oval
Ear cup fabric type Microfiber mesh with cooling gel Velvet Leatherette Leatherette
Velour included
Leatherette

Our Analysis and Test Results

This headset finished right behind the Logitech Artemis Spectrum and just barely ahead of the Corsair HS50. The Logitech is the most comfortable and easy to use of this group, but has the worst audio quality and a mediocre microphone. The Nari has slightly better sound quality than the Artemis and both retail for about $200. The Corsair matches the Nari when it comes to comfort, audio, and microphone quality, but isn't as convenient. However, it does retail for about a quarter of the price of the Nari, making it a much better bargain buy.

The Razer Nari Ultimate.
The Razer Nari Ultimate.

Performance Comparison


To pick out which gaming headsets are really the greatest, we did extensive research, then bought all the products that looked like they had the most potential to claim the top spot. We tested them all out head-to-head, with the Razer's results discussed below.

This headset is great for larger heads.
This headset is great for larger heads.

Comfort


The Nari Ultimate got off to a solid start in our series of comfort evaluations, meriting a 6 out of 10. We had a panel of testers try out each headset for a decent period of time, then score the headband, the earcups, and the overall fit of the headset. Altogether, these three tests make up 40% of the final score for each product.

Our panel had a mixed response to the Nari, with a few testers finding it to be quite comfortable, but the rest finding it to be a bit too large and cumbersome to want to wear on a daily basis. The judges that liked this headset were fine wearing it for 7-8 hours at a time, while the other judges only were happy having it on for 3-4 hours before calling it quits. We did like the mesh fabric headband, but the fit is a little on the looser side for most people, with the headset easily falling off if you leaned over.

The Nari Ultimate fits loosely and may slide off with sudden movements.
The Nari Ultimate fits loosely and may slide off with sudden movements.

The ear cups are absolutely giant, making them a favorite of our testers with larger ears.

The Nari Ultimate has massive ear cups.
The Nari Ultimate has massive ear cups.

They are very well padded and feature "cooling gel" inside the padding, but we found it only worked so well, with our testers noting their ears did start to get warm after extended use.

Volume control is easily within reach.
Volume control is easily within reach.

Audio


Next, we assessed and scored the quality of the drivers of each headset, looking both at how they sounded when listening to music and another player talking. In addition to having our panel of judges score the two aforementioned attributes, we also compared how easy it is to locate the origin of an in-game sound with each headset and how well they block out external noise, as well as their performance in a set of audio benchmarking tests. The Razer did quite well, earning a 6 out of 10 for its performance in this metric, which constitutes 30% of the overall score.

Our panel wasn't terribly enamored with this headset when it came to listening to music, rating it somewhat below average. Most people didn't think the sound was all the balanced and full, instead sounding a bit hollow and empty. We thought the mid-range tones come across particularly strong, but the treble and bass are a bit lackluster, with the bass coming across especially tinny. However, the Razer does feature haptics that somewhat hides the weaker bass, though they can literally rattle our head when turned up all the way.

This headset did about average at blocking external noise, reducing the volume of a fan or a TV in the background by about 15-20%. However, it did do an excellent job in our positional tests, allowing our testers to correctly identify where an in-game sound is coming from almost 100% of the time.

The haptic feedback is really something and unique.
The haptic feedback is really something and unique.

It does fairly well playing other player's voice, with their speech sounding quite clear and crisp. However, it does distort the tone slightly, making them sound like they are talking with a stuffy nose. It finished out our audio metric with a solid showing in our benchmark tests, doing very well in our binaural and driver matching tests overall. It did lose some points by delivering a poor performance with tons of parasitic buzz in the bass quality test — with the haptics off — and having a weird tone anomaly at the upper frequencies in our driver matching test, ruining what would have been an otherwise perfect result in that test.

Our voice chat buddies thought we sounded echoey.
Our voice chat buddies thought we sounded echoey.

Microphone


Following our audio assessments, we next looked at the microphone quality of the Razer Nari, which is responsible for 20% of its overall score. We based this score on the quality of our transmitted voice, as decided by our teammates, and on how well the microphone filtered out external noise, like background music or side conversations. The Nari Ultimate did alright, earning a 5 out of 10 for its middle-of-the-road performance.

The Razer did about average when it came to transmitting our testers' voices, with players on the other end of the line noting that it sounded a bit more echoey and a little lower than in real life. It also had a tiny bit of feedback when having a conversation.

The mic can be stored inside the headset.
The mic can be stored inside the headset.

It does a little better when it comes to blocking out background noises, doing about average with background music and white noise — like a fan — and above average and filtering out side conversations.

The mic is flexible and can be moved to almost any position you need it in.
The mic is flexible and can be moved to almost any position you need it in.

Ease of Use


For the last 10% of the overall score, we compared the ease of using and operating each headset. We specifically scored each product on the ease of muting the mic, if the mic is detachable, if there are any onboard controls, and if you can enable a mic sidetone. The Nari Ultimate wrapped up our tests with a slightly above average performance, earning a 6 out of 10.

This headset is wireless, so it earned some points right off the bat, as we graded the wired headsets on if the cord is detachable. However, the Nari has a relatively short charging cable, meaning you can't really wear it and charge it at the same time.

The onboard controls of the Nari Ultimate.
The onboard controls of the Nari Ultimate.

The Nari does have onboard controls, allowing you to mute the mic and adjust the volume with buttons right on the side of the headset. You also have the option to enable a mic sidetone, but you can't detach it. However, it is retractable.

The mic safely tucked away inside the earcup.
The mic safely tucked away inside the earcup.

Value


This wireless headset isn't a great value, as there are models that cost quite a bit less and only scored a few points worse.

Conclusion


Overall, the Razer Nari Ultimate is a solid headset with a few cool features, but not enough to redeem its otherwise mediocre showing and topple our award winners.


David Wise and Austin Palmer