In the world of wireless earbuds the competition is heating up. There are devices at almost every price point and many companies are looking for their point of differentiation. Razer is a popular gaming brand who have recently released their own set of wireless earbuds, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds.
So what’s different? I’d say next to nothing, because that’s the latency they have. Being a gaming first company Razer has come to the table with a low latency gaming mode, just to ensure you get the most out of your gaming. So how did they perform? Read on to find out.
The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds are a bud and stalk design featuring a snug ear piece and a not to intrusive black stalk. While I do like the in ear bud style, I have to admit this pod design is more comfortable as they naturally ‘fall’ into your ear. Being Razer it features their customary green triple snake logo.
The charging case is a long flat design that is comparable to the overall displacement of any other earbud case. I actually found the long and thin design easier to carry in my trouser pocket. The case features USB C for caring (basically a must for me these days) which is consistent for a high end device.
In the box you’ll find silicon tips to allow for better fit, and unless your ear is too small it really is a one size fits most approach to earbud design. You can use the earbuds without the tips but I found they improved the sound isolation just a little.
Internally the Hammerheads are packing Bluetooth 5.0 which is great and had 4 hours battery life per ear bud and another 12 hours in the case. UI wise the Hammerheads feature touch enabled control on the stalk which is common for this style of bud.
WHAT’S IT GOOD AT?
Upfront I have to call out my favourite feature of the Razer Hammerheads, individual L/R pairing. Unlike most wireless earbuds both earbuds of the Hammerheads have their own Bluetooth 5.0 connection back to your phone.
This means that you have full flexibility with how you listen, left only, right only, or both the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds have you covered. For me this was the killer feature, I love it. I often only want one earbud and not always the same ear, these adapted to what I wanted and I loved them for it.
I found the touch control simple and intuitive, while I think I prefer click button controls, I have to admit sliding your finger up and down the stalk for volume control is just better. Summoning Assistant is easy, which is good because you do get limited control via the touch controls, but with Assistant the world is your oyster.
We find sound performance important for audio devices! I have a standard disclaimer about what I consider good others may not, and the content I listen to may be different to yours, however I found the sound of the Hammerhead great.
Clarity was good, volume was great unless it was very noisy outside environment and the balance of upper and lower range was good, they could perhaps have had a bit more bass, but honestly I enjoyed listening to anything on the Hammerheads.
Not having such a tight fit as other wireless earbuds I found that I had better situational awareness when wearing the Hammerheads. This is balanced with less sound isolation in noisy environments but with the silicone tips that can be balanced nicely, and it’s easy to sit the earbuds out just a bit and not have them fall out.
I did try the low latency mode, I’m not sure my 43 year old neurons were able to detect a significant difference with it on, however I know audio latency on Android (well technically Linux) can be an issue so anything that can help there may be an advantage.
One consideration is the low latency mode uses more power, and as such may not really be worth it unless you’re locked in an epic mobile death-match in a battle royale!
How could it be improved?
For a set of true wireless earbuds in 2020 the battery life on the Hammerheads could be improved. While for casual use they are fine, and in my daily usage they never ran out they wouldn’t get me through a long flight or a hard day’s work in the yard without top ups in the case.
You’re going to know your usage, for me 90% of the time the 3- 4 hours I got out of the Razer’s in a single sitting is more than enough. Occasionally it wouldn’t be.
My other comment is actually a feature request I am making to all earbud makers, tracking. These small, light, portable, expensive and easily lost devices need to have tracking built in. I know individual bud tracking may not be battery efficient, but a Tile style tracker built into the case is a must in my book.
Partnering with a Tile or similar will give OEMs the network effect for locating lost items. I have actually had a set of wireless earbuds stolen from my office at work, I would LOVE to have set them to missing in the hope of them rolling back home one day… perhaps after a complete disinfect.
So in balance how did the Razer hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds perform? I actually really liked them. The ability to position the earbuds where you want to get the balance of situational awareness and sound isolation is great.
All of the big features are there, USB C charging, Bluetooth 5.0 with individual L/R pairing Google Assistant on command. All of this for a rather affordable $167.95 Australian Dollars. That’s a compelling price point, and perhaps an admission from Razer that the battery life isn’t competitive, but that price sure is.
If these are a buy for you it is a hard thing to know, you know what you want and know you know what these can do. What I will say is I doubt you’d find a better pair of true wireless earbuds at that price point.
If you’re a Razer fan I’d say grab a pair, the industrial design is great and they do make a perfect companion to a nice gaming laptop. If you’re not a Razer fan I’d challenge you to find a better quality set of earbuds at a lower price.
The Razer HammerHead True Wireless Earbuds can be purchased for $167.95 RRP at Razer.com or from several online retailers and PC gaming stores.