If you're looking to step up from those tinny speakers on your gaming laptop or monitor and you don't feel like wearing a headset all day, the Razer Nommo Chroma speakers are probably for you. These gaming-minded stereo speakers deliver rich, directionally accurate sound for hearing the competition coming, while also doubling as a pretty solid set of speakers for music and movies. Factor in customizable Chroma lighting and multiple sound modes, and you've got an excellent gaming audio solution that makes just about any media sound great at a reasonable price.
Simple Design, Cool Chroma Lights
The Razer Nommo speakers are big and cylindrical, with each unit looking a bit like a high-tech hair dryer. They're large enough to stand out in your command center, but unassuming enough to not look out of place. At about 8 inches long and roughly a foot tall, the Nommo should blend into most bigger desk setups without a problem, though folks with limited space might find them to be on the bulky side.
The Nommo speakers keep it simple in terms of controls and ports, with just two knobs: one that controls volume, and one that controls bass. (The volume knob also doubles as a power button.) The Nommo sports two 3.5-mm audio ports on the back of the right speaker: a headphone jack for plugging in your headset, and an aux-in port for connecting an external audio source, such as your smartphone.
As its name suggests, the Razer Nommo Chroma sports a thin LED strip around its base that can glow millions of colors. Using Razer's Synapse 3 software, you can customize the Nommo with Razer's usual array of Chroma lighting options, such as making the speakers glow a static color, pulsate in and out, or cycle through the entire rainbow on Spectrum Cycling mode.
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If you want to get more granular, you can use the app's Chroma Studio to program your own lighting effects. As a nice added touch, the Nommo's two speakers glow blue and green to indicate the bass and volume levels whenever you're adjusting with the knob.
The Nommo Chroma speakers delivered consistently impressive audio, offering lots of immersion for cinematic titles and clear directionality for competitive games. They're also quite loud, pumping out more than enough sound to fill my small New York apartment.
The guttural superhero brawling of Injustice 2 sounded extra beefy and detailed on Razer's speakers. High-pitched noises, such as the slices of Robin's sword and zap of Supergirl's eye lasers sounded sharp, while punches, kicks and explosions came through with a satisfying sense of impact, especially with the bass turned up.
The Nommo continued to impress me when I switched gears to the survival shooting of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, a game in which hearing your opponent coming means everything. Fortunately, Razer's speakers delivered on that front, allowing me to pinpoint the direction and distance of enemy footsteps and gunfire with extreme accuracy. (The speakers didn't, however, cure my knack for dying early and often in the game.)
Razer's speakers were largely as impressive for entertainment as they were for games. The Nommo made a great fit for the pop-rock of The Dangerous Summer, giving each track's bright guitars, full bass and snappy drums plenty of room to breathe.
The Nommo preserved every crushing guitar riff and rollicking double-bass-drum fill of the Doom soundtrack, and did a nice job of highlighting the groovy bass of Justin Timberlake's "Midnight Summer Jam."
The Nommo also made it easy to get immersed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I could hear every tiny crumble in Maz's Castle during the climactic Battle of Takodana, and the sounds of blasters firing, lightsabers swooshing and TIE Fighters soaring all sounded crisp and satisfying, with no shortage of bass for the big explosions.
In addition to letting you tweak Chroma settings, the Synapse software allows you to toggle among the Nommo's four sound modes: Default, Game, Music and Movie. The Game and Movie presets seem to emphasize bass (more so with the Movie setting), while Music mode provides a brighter, more treble-rich sound. I mostly stuck with the Default setting, as it found a nice middle ground among the three others.
The Razer Nommo starts at $99, which gets you two stereo speakers, with 3-inch drivers in each. Stepping up to the $149 Nommo Chroma, as you might expect, gets you Chroma lighting, as well as an option to plug into your PC via USB rather than just analog.
If you want something higher-end, you can hold out for Razer's Nommo Pro, which is set to launch sometime later this year. This $499 THX-certified speaker set adds silk dome tweeters and a downward-firing subwoofer to the mix, as well as Dolby Virtual surround sound for maximum immersion. The Nommo Pro also features Bluetooth and optical connections, a remote control pod and the same Chroma features as the Nommo Chroma.
The Razer Nommo Chroma is an impressive set of stereo speakers that offers big, crisp sound and cool RGB customization for a decent price. They're a bit on the bulky side, but if you have the room for them, you'll be treated to solid directional audio for competitive games and full, immersive sound for everything else. The Chroma lighting is a nice bonus, particularly if your gaming setup already consists of a ton of glowy Razer gadgets.
If you can live without the fancy lighting, the $99 Nommo, which delivers the same impressive sound, is another option. Folks looking for something more versatile and TV-friendly should consider Razer's $199 Leviathan soundbar, which offers virtual surround sound and Bluetooth support. If money's not an issue, you may want to consider holding out for the upcoming $499 Nommo Pro, which promises even better sound and more features for a premium price. But if all you need is a solid-sounding set of speakers tuned specifically for gaming, the Razer Nommo Chroma is well worth the cash.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide