Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch
Drivers: 50 mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
The Razer Kraken Pro V3 is one of those rare gaming headsets that might have actually benefited from fewer features. There’s no denying that the Kraken V3 Pro is a high-quality headset overall, offering excellent in-game sound quality, a comfortable fit and robust connectivity options. But it’s also quite expensive, and that’s probably due to a feature that doesn’t add much to the overall experience.
Like the Razer Nari Ultimate that came before it, the Razer Kraken V3 Pro offers haptic feedback for your ears. And, like the Nari Ultimate, it’s a highly divisive feature. The fact that the Kraken V3 Pro costs $200, when you could get the superior Razer BlackShark V2 Pro for $180 makes it a somewhat tough headset to recommend.
Still, taken on its own merits, the Kraken V3 Pro is quite good — and if you’re in the camp that likes haptic feedback, it’s one of the few headsets you can buy that supports the feature. Read on for our full Razer Kraken V3 Pro headset review.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: Design
The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is one of the best-looking headsets Razer has ever made. With large, stylish earcups, a padded foam headband and a detachable mic, the Kraken V3 Pro ably spits the difference between a “gaming” aesthetic and an everyday high-end headset. The chassis is all-black, although you can program an LED Razer logo on each earcup to light up, if you want to give any onlookers a light show.
On the left earcup, you’ll find a power button, and not much else. That leaves the right earcup a little overcrowded, with a volume dial, a USB-C charging port, a mic mute button, a removable microphone and a haptic feedback button (more on this later). The buttons are spaced out well enough that it’s not hard to find the one you need, though.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: Comfort
I’m of two minds about how it feels to wear the Razer Kraken V3 Pro. In its default state, it’s fine, with plush foam earcups and an adjustable steel headband. The headband has numbered notches, making it easy to remember where your perfect fit is. While the headset felt a little bit tight after a few hours, it was fine for everyday work and play, even with glasses on.
On the other hand, once you turn on the haptic feedback, everything changes. Broadly speaking, the Kraken V3 Pro does for your ears what a vibrating controller does for your hands, amplifying every gunshot, explosion or bass rhythm with a jolt of haptic feedback. You can program the headset to do this for games, music, movies and TV shows — or for none of the above.
While I can’t predict anyone’s tolerance for haptic feedback on their ears, I can say that it’s quite a different experience than feeling it in your hands. Your ears are much more sensitive body parts, for one thing, and frequent buzzing can be distracting, uncomfortable or simply obnoxious. I found the experience to be like a constant, low-grade muscle spasm, and had to turn it off entirely after trying a few different games.
I polled some other journalists in the Future NYC office about the Kraken V3 Pro’s haptic feedback, and it averaged out to somewhere on the negative side of “neutral.” A few other writers hated it outright; one liked it, but admitted that it’s an “acquired taste.” In any case, I wouldn’t recommend paying the Kraken V3 Pro’s premium unless you’re at least open to the possibility of enjoying aural haptic feedback.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: Performance
When it comes to in-game sound quality, the Razer Kraken V3 Pro lives up to its premium potential. I tested the device with a variety of PC, PS5 and Switch games, including Age of Empires IV, Doom Eternal, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Final Fantasy XIV. In every case, the headset provided a rich, nuanced soundscape, whether I was blasting demons with futuristic gunfire, or listening to an orchestral score while traveling across an epic fantasy realm.
Music, on the other hand, was a bit more of a mixed bag. I listened to tracks from Flogging Molly, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Rolling Stones and G.F. Handel, and none of the tracks stood out. Even after I played with equalization settings, most music had a kind of muted, muddied sound to it, which flattened vocals, treble and bass into a single unremarkable soundscape. It’s inoffensive for everyday listening, but it’s less than I expected from a $200 headset.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: Features
The most unusual feature of the Razer Kraken V3 Pro is its haptic feedback, as discussed above. Apart from that, though, the Kraken V3 Pro is a customizable and versatile headset. With its wireless USB dongle, you can connect it to a PC, PS4, PS5 or docked Switch; with its 3.5 mm cable, you can connect it to a phone or Xbox controller. While the 3.5 mm sound quality isn’t as good, some expensive PC headsets choose to eschew this option entirely.
The Razer Synapse software also offers a robust suite of sound options for the headset. You can change equalization levels (music modes, game modes and so forth), customize the RGB lighting, determine how much mic sidetone you want and so forth. The mic itself is clear and does an excellent job of minimizing background noise, while Razer claims the battery can last between 11 and 44 hours, depending on lighting and haptics. We never got anywhere near 44 in our tests, but we also played with lighting and haptics frequently, so expect a few dozen hours either way.
It's also worth noting that you can adjust the haptics to four different levels, either via the physical button or the Synapse software: Low, medium, high or off. I found that “off” was by far the most comfortable setting, but your mileage may vary.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: Verdict
As a wireless gaming headset, the Razer Kraken V3 Pro delivers, providing excellent sound, a comfortable fit and plenty of software options. But as a wireless gaming headset with haptic feedback, it can be a frustrating peripheral. Razer’s own BlackShark V2 Pro offers similar sound at a cheaper price, while the Logitech G Pro X Wireless also costs $200, but has better sound across the board.
If you’re sold on the idea of haptic headsets, the Kraken V3 Pro is a capable peripheral that works well on a variety of systems. But if you don’t want your head to buzz, there are better options.