In a world where smartphone makers have the courage to remove the ubiquitous headphone jack and call it “consumer focused”, the need for a new wired connection isn’t just looming on the horizon, it has arrived. With almost all of the flagship phones (and a lot of the mid tier ones too) now moving to USB C connectors, we’re slowly starting to see USB C headphones hit the market.
Razer, makers of the Razer phone as well as numerous premium PC gaming accessories and systems have released a USB C version of their popular Hammerhead earbuds. While the USB C Hammerheads are clearly intended as a premium accessory for the Razer phone itself, that doesn’t stop the rest of us giving them a go, assuming you have the requisite USB C port.
Razer is known for making some great quality gear. I’ve bought a few Razer products over the years and absolutely love them. Between their colour scheme, material and design and build quality I’ve always been drawn towards their gear. So when I got the opportunity to take a look at the Hammerheads I couldn’t say no.
Like all of Razer’s premium products the Hammerheads are superbly made from the metal earbuds to the silicone tips. They are of course adorned by Razer’s signature black and green colouring, and as with most of their premium devices feature an illuminated version of Razer iconic triple-headed snake logo.
The back of the earbuds, where the illuminated logo sits, are magnetic which significantly reduces tangles when the Hammerheads are not in use. The cord is a sturdy flat style cable that is slightly longer than your typical headphones cord (measuring in at 1.3m total length) which makes it great for reaching your pocket or a tablet/ laptop a reasonable distance away.
Down at the other end of the cable is the USB C connector, in the middle is a standard volume/ single button combo switch and as you’d expect from a set of headphones that’s about it. Of course being from Razer any part of the Hammerheads are beautifully made.
An inescapable part of earbuds like the Razer Hammerheads is how they fit YOUR ears. We all have preferences of the style of earbuds that we feel best suit out ears. The Hammerheads are in-ear style earbuds.
Like most good earbuds the Hammerheads come with a set of swappable tips to let you get the best fit. I found the “default” doubled flanged tips the best for me. With those the buds were secure and I got excellent sounds isolation, at times maybe too good — I actually wasn’t able to hear people in my immediate surroundings: sometimes that’s desirable!
Overall the hardware was a well put together and high quality as you would expect from anything out of Razer.
I’ll start right off with an acknowledgement that audio quality is an incredibly personal thing. Also headphones can be tuned to represent some types of audio better than others. With that said I loved the audio quality of the Hammerheads.
Between the excellent sound isolation offered by the tips the Hammerheads had an excellent range with a good bass feel for such a small device. As for volume they were loud, really loud. Even in quite noisy environments I never had them dialled up to 100.
I used the Hammerhead mainly for Podcasts and for that they were excellent. I also tested on several styles of music as well as a few PC games (thanks to that USB C connector) and they performed just as well with anything I threw at them.
In short unless you’re precious about your audio quality then I have no doubt that the Hammerhead will provide you with an excellent audio experience.
Connectivity on a wired headphone review. Yep, sorry to break it to you friends the world has let us down again. You see there’s unfortunately nothing standard about how companies implement the USB C standard.
From a “media-out” perspective the Hammerheads universally worked with every device I tried it with. Unfortunately as a headset for phone calls I wasn’t able to test them. I want to be clear here this isn’t specifically a fault on Razer’s behalf.
Unfortunately the devices I have access to are not on the list of devices who have used the same USB C implementation for handsfree calling that the Hammerheads USB C have used. I believe that in time the standards will settle and we will get interoperability, unfortunately that’s not the case today.
The inline controls still work on all of my devices, so thats play/pause, volume up down etc.
If you’re looking for a great set of audio only headphones then I doubt this will ever be an issue for you. If you regularly use your headset for voice calls then you’ll need to check if they’re compatible with your device at that time.
Razer keeps a list on their site, though I’m not sure it’s kept up to date with newer devices as I’ve gotten them to work with newer devices not listed here.
The Razer Hammerheads USB C earbuds continue the lineage of a long line of excellent accessories from Razer. Everything that they do they do well. From the choice of materials, to the fit and finish to the overall audio quality there’s nothing about these not to love.
Sure if you’re an earpod kind of person, or an over the ear audio warrior then perhaps these aren’t for you, and I think Razer knew that when then specifically and meticulous crafted these in-ear style earbuds.
At $124.95 AUD the Hammerheads are neither the cheapest or the most expensive headphones on the market. Razer is unashamedly a premium brand and their products always demand a premium. To check them out head on over to their Australian webstore.
If you’re in the market for a set of USB C headphones then I’d recommend you add the Razer Hammerheads to your shortlist.