Razer, as anyone who’s checked out our best gaming mouse picks will know, is rarely shy about adding RGB lighting to peripherals. The second-gen Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds is the latest to get the light-up treatment, with glowing Razer logos on each bud.
The other big addition is active noise cancellation (ANC), which was included on the $200 Hammerhead True Wireless Pro but never on the original, standard-tier buds. These upgrades bump the new Hammerhead True Wireless from $100 up to $129, but that’s still pretty cheap for an ANC set; the AirPods Pro, for instance, can set you back $189 or more.
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As with previous models, the latest Hammerhead True Wireless is designed for mobile use rather than with consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Even so, it has a low latency mode specifically for playing mobile games, and can supposedly cut the Bluetooth delay to 60ms. The freshly announced Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 has a similar gaming mode, though this is only available when paired to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, so Razer’s pair could be a more platform-agnostic alternative.
It’s also worth reiterating that the RGB lighting isn’t boiled down to a handful of colors to cycle through. The Razer Audio app allows you to pick a specific hue from 16.8 million colors, much like how Razer’s Synapse desktop software can configure the lighting on connected PC peripherals.
Besides beating the AirPods Pro on price and color options, the new Hammerhead True Wireless also matches its IPX4 water resistance rating, and claims a superior battery life of 6.5 hours per charge; another 26 is reportedly available from the charging case.
The rise in affordable ANC earbuds has been one of 2021’s more encouraging developments in audio tech; in addition to the Galaxy Buds 2, the $149 Beats Studio Buds and the $99 Nothing Ear (1) have proven themselves worthy of joining the best noise-cancelling earbuds. Whether the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless can stand up to these models remains to be seen, but with its customizable RGB lighting, there’s no denying it’s offering something a little different.
- More: The best gaming headsets, with and without RGB lighting
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James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.