Razer Kraken Pro V2 Review: A Slick, No-Frills Headset

I always admire gadgets that have a single purpose and excel at it, and the Razer Kraken Pro V2 is absolutely one of those products. This headset makes no bones about being a competitive gaming peripheral, with a no-frills design that focuses on comfort and durability above all else. It doesn't hurt that the V2 also sounds great, making it easy to pinpoint enemies in heated multiplayer matches. The Kraken Pro V2 isn't the nicest-looking or most feature-rich headset out there, but it's a great choice for gamers who regularly travel and compete.

Design

The Razer Kraken Pro V2 headset is simple, slick and quintessentially Razer. The all-black headset features huge, extra-cushy ear cups, which rest on an aluminum frame that feels surprisingly sturdy given the peripheral's light weight. I've traveled with the V2 in my bag for the better part of a month, and I've yet to notice any significant wear and tear.

The Pro V2 looks nearly identical to Razer's USB-based Kraken 7.1 V2 headset, though it lacks the customizable ear-cup lighting of its pricier sibling. The Pro V2 is also just a bit too bulky to pass as a normal pair of headphones in public, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is a headset built for pro gamers through and through, and what it lacks in style it makes up for in performance and comfort.

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Comfort

The Pro V2 is built for long hours of competitive play, and for the most part, it has the comfort to back it up. The headset's feathery, 12-ounce frame and thick, faux-leather ear cups make it a pleasure to wear, though I had to tinker with the cans more often than I usually do to find the right fit.

You can adjust the Pro V2's ear cups a few inches up or down, but they felt either too snug or too loose when I first put them on. Fortunately, once I found a sweet spot, I often forgot I was even wearing the headset during my marathon multiplayer sessions.

The V2's ear cups come off with a quick twist, should you ever need to replace them. Razer plans to sell an alternate pair of oval-shaped cups for the V2, though it hasn't yet set a price.

Gaming Performance

Because the Kraken Pro V2 is aimed at competitive gamers, I put it through its paces on some of my favorite multiplayer titles. Although the headset didn't make me any less lousy at shooters or sports games, it did make all of the action around me sound loud and clear.

The Razer Kraken Pro V2 headset is simple, slick and quintessentially Razer.

Razer's headset was especially handy for Gears of War 4, helping me pinpoint the footsteps of enemies aiming to sneak up behind me and take a chain saw to my torso. And once I finally met my demise, the V2 did a nice job of preserving every gory sonic detail as my character's body got ripped apart. I found the V2 to be similarly accurate for pointing out footsteps and gunfire in games such as Overwatch, Halo 5 and Rainbow Six Siege.

The V2 was also a fine companion for the car-soccer action of Rocket League. The game's vrooming rocket car engines sounded crisp, and I could easily hear where both the ball and enemy vehicles were coming from.

When I switched gears to the hypnotic rhythm-game action of Thumper, the V2 continued to hold up well. The game's haunting industrial soundtrack came through clearly, making it easy to time my button press with each spooky bass and snare hit.

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Microphone and Cables

Razer's headset features a retractable and very flexible boom mic. According to my Xbox Live friends, my voice came through pretty clearly, though one person noted that my mic volume sounded lower than usual. I took a quick recording of my voice on the V2, and although it sounded perfectly crisp for game chat, it was too fuzzy for podcasting.

The Pro V2 plays equally nice with consoles and PCs. The headset's 4.3-foot, 3.5-mm audio jack gives you plenty of slack for plugging into a PS4 or Xbox One controller, and you can attach it to a 6.6-foot headphone/microphone splitter cable in order to connect to your PC from just about anywhere. The V2's main cable also features a handy inline remote for adjusting the game volume and muting your mic on the fly.

Kraken Pro V2 versus Kraken 7.1 V2

The $79 Kraken Pro V2 and $99 Kraken 7.1 V2 have nearly the same design, but they have some key differences in other areas. As the name suggests, the Kraken 7.1 has the unique advantage of offering virtual surround sound on PC. The 7.1 is USB based, which allows you to tweak its sound and ear-cup lighting via the Razer Synapse app. However, that also limits the headset to PC and PS4.

As an analog headset, the Pro V2 will work on just about anything with a headphone jack. You won't get any of the software bells and whistles found on the 7.1, but you will get better versatility.

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Bottom Line

As a no-nonsense headset built for competitive gaming, the $79 Kraken Pro V2 satisfies. Its lightweight design and cozy ear cups make it ideal for long sessions, while its sturdy aluminum frame ensures that it will stay safe on the way to your next tournament. The V2 doesn't disappoint on the audio front, either, offering crisp, balanced audio that makes it easy to hear the competition coming.

Still, the V2's no-frills design isn't for everyone, and there are plenty of good alternatives in this price range. The $79 SteelSeries Arctis 3 is more stylish and offers virtual surround sound for the same price, while the $99 Kraken 7.1 V2 packs surround sound, LED lighting and customizable audio into the same design as the Pro. Still, if your main priority is to find a headset that will hold up both in-game and on the road, there's a lot to like about the Kraken Pro V2.

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