REVIEW: Razer Kraken 7.1 v2 Gaming Headset

Kraken 7.1 v2 Gaming Headset
Kraken 7.1 v2 USB Gaming Headset

In 2013, the Razer corporation launched the original Kraken 7.1 gaming headset. In 2016, the Razer corporation launched the updated Kraken 7.1 v2 and the Kraken Pro v2. These two units are virtually the same, with the only real differences being the Kraken Pro v2 uses the older headphones and microphone jacks and the Kraken 7.1 v2 uses a USB connection. Additionally, the Kraken 7.1 v2 also utilizes Dolby Surround 7.1 to bring two new channels of audio and sound direction to match the action on-screen. It should be noted that the Kraken Pro V2 can utilize Dolby Surround 7.1 only when it’s plugged into your PC which is using a 7.1 audio driver, the same cannot be said if you use the Kraken Pro on a gaming system, whereas the Kraken 7.1 v2 will.

Features

Audio: The audio frequency range of the Kraken 7.1 v2, has a response range of 12Hz on the low end to 28kHz on the high end. The audible range of the human ear is between 20Hz and 20,000Hz (20kHz). On the low end, any bass frequency lower than 20Hz can’t be ‘heard’, but can be ‘felt’. If the bass frequency was above 20Hz, it would mean you would need to add in an additional sub-woofer to your system to feel the base. The Kraken Pro 7.1 v2 has an ultra-low base range and a piercing high treble range.

Cable: Arguably, the most delicate part of any headset is the cable to connect the headphones to the PC or gaming system. The cable gets twisted, yanked, removed in/out of the device, rolled over by a wheel, and even chewed on. Because of this, it’s the part that usually breaks first on your headset.

The cable connects several wires to your device (speaker wires, microphone wires, lighting, audio controls, etc.) and is covered with a variety of materials with the most common being rubber. The Kraken ships with a stock Kevlar reinforced braided cable, which makes it virtually impossible to break. I’m actually surprised we’re not seeing more manufacturers utilizing this feature, but it’s likely related to keeping their price-points lower by using cheaper cables.

Microphone: The Kraken comes with a retractable microphone that slides in/out of the right ear cup. Users can even leave the microphone fully inserted into the ear cup and its unidirectional feature will still pick up on your communications. Other headset competitors will attach the microphone externally to the ear cup, where the user needs to flip the microphone up/down. By allowing the user to retract the microphone when not in use (e.g. listening to music or gaming without the necessity of online collaboration), it saves wear and tear on the device and thereby increases the lifespan of the product as there’s less external parts to break. At the end of the microphone is a RGB light, which turns red when muted.

Additionally, the Kraken microphone is officially Discord Certified. What this means is that in order for any headset to be Discord Certified, it need to meet an established set of audio quality and interacts through the Discord chat protocol. It’s then graded on a set of Discord variables regarding audio across a variety of popular games. Users that purchase Discord Certified headsets can guarantee the same audio and sound quality across different games.

Razer Replaceable CushionsCushions: Because the cushion is the part that has direct skin contact, it suffers from direct wear and tear, sweat, and dirt. The Kraken uses a soft leatherette heat transfer material over top of a cooling gel layer which is molded to it’s memory foam. This results in ear cushions that feel extremely soft. Razer indicates that this leatherette material is highly durable and I’ve yet to experience any issues with mine and it’s going on two (2) years now.

The Kraken utilizes a closed-ear cup design, which reduces ambient background noise from interfering with the sound quality. The default cushions in the Kraken is a round ear cushion, however users can purchase oval replacement cushions directly from Razer, which are compatible with all Razer headsets (Kraken, ManO’War, Thresher).

Razer has also created a special “in-mold channel” in the ear cushions for people that wear eyeglasses. The frames of your glasses can fit perfectly into the pre-made channels, providing a decent fit without the discomfort of pressing your eyeglass frames
into your head. If you don’t wear eyeglasses, the cushions still seal perfectly against your head without added pressure.

Headband: Razer built the Kraken using a light-weight aluminum frame encased in soft memory foam and covered with the same leatherette material found on the ear cups. The underside of the headband that touches your hair/skin is covered with a breathable black fabric.

Adjuster: The headset uses a sliding adjuster on each side of the headband where it connects to the ear cups. The adjuster if plastic and provides for approximately 1/16” adjustments per side. While I’m nota fan of these types of adjusters, they’re pretty commonplace in headsets.

Lighting: The Kraken utilizes Razer’s Chroma technology and through it’s software interface, you can match the colored lighting of your headset to your Razer keyboard and mouse. You can completely customize the lighting to whatever you prefer or even have it alternate colors.

What I Like

The Razer Kraken 7.1 v2 is an extremely comfortable headset and the sound quality on the PC utilizing the Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound is top-notch. You can even customize the sound effects using the Razer software.

I like the ability to change the lighting color of the headset to match my PC (currently purple) and if I change my PC to a new color later on with an upgrade (e.g. red), I can change the color of the headset lighting to match. I also like that there’s a mute light on the microphone.

While the Razer uses a “leatherette” material for the ear cups, I don’t get hot ears
from this device and seeing that I’m prone to hot ears, this is a huge plus for me. I also like that the ear cushions are removable and you can replace them with others through Razer.

I also like the braided Kevlar cord to the unit, as my family has broken numerous sets of other headphones in the past that use cheap cords.

Lastly, I like the frequency response of the speakers in the headset. Not only are you getting a deeper base than 20Hz, you’ll be able to feel it as it’s range drops to an impressive 12Hz, which is only found on very high-end headsets. Its treble range is equally popular, exceeding the range of human hearing at 28,000 Hz. This allows the user to listen to CD quality music without missing a beat.

What I Don’t Like

The ONLY thing that I don’t like about the Kraken 7.1 v2 is the headband adjuster. I’m not a fan of these plastic adjusters that only lock in/out every 1/16”. I’d rather see a slider type of adjuster found on audio headphones.

Verdict – Would I Buy It Again?

Yes – I really like this headset and wouldn’t think twice about purchasing it again, or others for my family. It’s extremely comfortable and the audio and sound quality is amazing. When looking for headsets and headphones, I specifically look for products that won’t give me hot ears. The Kraken 7.1 v2 fits that bill nicely. Its price point is that of a mid-range headset, yet it has better audio responsiveness and quality control than some high-end headsets.

Detailed Product Information

Product: Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma v2 Gaming Headset
Price: $99.99
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
Warranty: 1 Year
My Rating: 8.5 out of 10

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Razer Kraken 7.1 v2 Gaming Headset

  • May 8, 2018 at 3:41 pm
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    Love the Kraken headset, looks amazing! I personally use a model very similar to this but I have been thinking about getting another since I have had mine so long. This look promising.

    I do like the surround sound on this, might even be better than mine. I also like the logo!

    Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • May 8, 2018 at 5:35 pm
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      Yes the surround sound coupled with the frequency response allows for game developers to make use to directional sound characteristics and the Kraken utilizes this feature giving the user an environment-rich experience.

      Reply
  • May 9, 2018 at 5:37 pm
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    Hi Dave I appreciate you giving the specifications of the head sets along with your honest review. My husband plays on his gaming console and is always using headphones very similar to these as described. I have been looking into gifting him something for his birthday in June so thank you for this review.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2018 at 10:45 am
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    I have the original Kraken, and it has held up very well. I love the sound that is produced through the speakers and the mic is very clear, I have thought about upgrading but mine are still in great shape.
    My headset goes everywhere with me that is how much I love it, and my three kids have used it for their devices as well. It has stood up to plenty of wear and tear! Two of my children are ages 8 and 9, so that should give you a pretty good idea of the abuse the Krakens see LOL
    Thanks for this review!

    Reply

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