Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi evaluate: RGB and ANC for much less

MSRP $130.00

“The brand new Hammerhead True Wi-fi brings an RGB mild present to your ears together with pretty efficient ANC.”

Professionals

Snug match and improved design

Strong passive and energetic noise cancellation

Eye-catching RGB lighting

Cons

Buggy beta software program and finicky contact controls

It was once that Razer was an even bigger title within the gaming world than the audio world, however after releasing a number of generations of audio merchandise, it’s secure to say that’s not the case. The Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi earbuds are the newest in Razer’s audio lineup, and the second technology of Razer’s true wi-fi earbuds centered on players.

They bear a good resemblance to the first-gen Hammerhead True Wi-fi, however they’ve a number of vital design refinements, flashy Razer Chroma RGB lighting, and stable energetic noise cancellation (ANC), and audio capabilities. That mentioned, the software program was nonetheless very a lot in beta once I was testing, and there have been some points with finicky controls, so my score is prone to change after I’ve had extra time with the ultimate launch software program.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Developments

Design and match

The speedy and apparent comparability for the Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi is to the AirPods Professional. Coming in shiny black, they’ve angled earbuds hooked up to a stem, in-ear silicone eartips, and a pillbox-sized charging case that expenses with USB-C. Out of the field, you get three totally different sizes of silicone eartips, however the default pair labored completely for my ears.

The match is comfortable with out feeling uncomfortable for lengthy intervals of wear and tear. At simply 53g, the earbuds are barely noticeable when sporting them. This wasn’t the case with the earlier technology, which have been half-ear and didn’t go immediately into the ear canal. The in-ear design additionally improves passive noise isolation, which works properly to spice up energetic noise cancellation.

A lightweight present in your ears

That is all pretty customary stuff you’ll discover on different true wi-fi earbuds, although, together with Razer’s personal Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional. The massive characteristic right here is Razer Chroma RGB, Razer’s full-color lighting ecosystem that it makes use of throughout all its gaming gadgets and peripherals. In spite of everything, how have you learnt one thing is for players with out RGB?

On the again of each earbuds, you’ll see Razer’s brand illuminated with RGB lighting. The lights are energetic by default in Respiratory mode, however you possibly can alter brightness and modes with the Razer Chroma app. One of many extra attention-grabbing modes is Audio Meter, which reacts to the music being performed to provide individuals round you a light-weight present. It’s an attention-grabbing characteristic that definitely drew some stares within the elevator and the grocery retailer.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Developments

Apart from the aesthetic impact, I can even see it being helpful for evening joggers. Razer says it’s labored to optimize Chroma, so it doesn’t excessively drain your battery life, and that it’ll last more than the first-gen Hammerheads.

Software program and battery

Each the Razer Audio and Razer Chrome companion apps I examined have been nonetheless in beta and required sideloading on my Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely, so I can’t pretty consider their capabilities till the patron model is on the market. Upon preliminary use, the app was sluggish to attach with the earbuds every time, and making tweaks a chore, however this may hopefully change with the ultimate launch. With that in thoughts, the Razer Audio app does supply the important thing customizations most individuals search for in true wi-fi earbuds.

You get customizable EQ controls and a set of pre-programmed profiles, together with Amplified, Default, Enhanced Bass, Enhanced Readability, and Vocal. As a metalhead, I used to be notably keen on utilizing Enhanced Bass for music and Enhanced Readability for podcasts and audiobooks.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Developments

ANC might be turned on to blot out most background noise, set to Ambient mode so you possibly can hear some quantity of background noise (which is useful whereas commuting or having to speak to somebody), or turned off solely if you wish to save battery.

The Hammerhead True’s controls are all touch-sensitive and might be remapped to totally different faucet gestures for play/pause, skipping tracks, voice assistants, controlling ANC modes, and extra. The contact controls have been a bit finicky, and I by no means obtained fairly used to adjusting the amount, which requires you to double-tap and maintain. It nearly by no means labored proper on the primary strive, and sometimes paused my music or skipped my observe as a substitute. Possibly it’s one thing that requires observe, however I’d have most popular to remap double-tapping to do one thing else, even when it meant shedding the amount perform.

In response to Razer, the earbuds ought to final for 4 hours with RGB and ANC on, and 16 hours with recharges from the case. With each off, they estimate 6.5 hours for the earbuds and 26 hours from the case. I’ll must spend extra time with the earbuds to know for positive, however my testing with each RGB and ANC on and quantity at a average 20% to 30% simply lasted at the very least 4 hours, if not longer.

Sound high quality and options

The Hammerhead True Wi-fi have Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, 10mm drivers, and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. In observe, this interprets to stable sound high quality with balanced lows, mids, and highs. The Default audio profile is crisp and well-balanced, and EQ might be custom-made to your preferences in case you like punchier bass or crisper vocals. I notably loved Enhanced Bass for listening to Sabaton and Iron Maiden, whereas Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast benefitted from Enhanced Readability. Watching Netflix reveals sounded good on default settings.

The Default audio profile is crisp and well-balanced

As a gamer, I took benefit of Gaming Mode, which reduces audio latency to 60ms, albeit at the price of ratcheting up audio compression and shortening common Bluetooth vary from 33 toes to about 2 toes. That’s probably not an enormous deal except you’re utilizing the Hammerhead True Wi-fi along with your console or gaming PC and sitting a ways away from the supply machine. I solely used it with my cellphone and laptop computer, so I didn’t encounter any vary points.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Developments

I used Gaming Mode to play Genshin Affect, Murderer’s Creed Rebels, and Asphalt 9 Nitro on my cellphone. Asphalt 9 was the place I heard the largest influence of the diminished audio latency — there was no noticeable delay between seeing my automobile burn rubber and listening to the tires screech.

General, I discovered the sound profile in contrast favorably when it comes to element and soundstage to the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional I sometimes use, although it received’t maintain up towards extra premium true wi-fi earbud choices or over-ear Bluetooth headphones.

Energetic noise cancellation

The opposite large standout characteristic right here is feedforward ANC, which signifies that the earbuds have twin microphones that soak up noise and cancel them out with counter noise. Feedforward isn’t nearly as good because the hybrid ANC that’s on the True Wi-fi Professional, which has microphones on each the within and outdoors, however mixed with the passive noise cancellation, it will get fairly shut. It was undoubtedly higher than the ANC on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Reside, which don’t type a bodily seal along with your ears.

Ajay Kumar/Digital Developments

I stored ANC enabled nearly on a regular basis and located it very efficient at blotting out most background noise, together with the rumbling of my window air conditioner, the sound of my fan, and the overall bustle and cry of the subway. I additionally didn’t have any drawback listening to audio over the sound of my rowing machine once I was figuring out. That mentioned, it received’t match the ANC capabilities of the Sony WF-1000XM4 or AirPods Professional, which might blot out a wider vary of sounds extra constantly, and chances are you’ll discover a slight background hiss when no audio is taking part in.

Worth and availability

At $130, the Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi fall in the midst of Razer’s audio lineup, proving less expensive than the $200 True Wi-fi Professional however larger than the $100 first-gen True Wi-fi. They’ll be obtainable beginning August 11 within the Razer Retailer.

Our Take

The Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi are a compelling pair of true wi-fi earbuds regardless of some software program quirks and finicky controls — audio high quality is stable, RGB lighting provides a enjoyable and classy look, and ANC is sweet sufficient to make use of throughout a commute or whereas figuring out.

Are there higher options?

If value isn’t any object, the $249 Apple AirPods Professional supply extra seamless connectivity for iOS customers with Apple’s H1 chip and superior noise canceling. Sony can also be a market chief in noise-canceling, and the $280 WF-1000XM4 are full of options and assist codecs like LDAC. The lately introduced Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 supply comparable ANC, IPX7 water resistance, and even higher battery life for $150 in case you’re prepared to attend for them to reach in shops August 27.

Anker’s Soundcore model has loads of moderately priced true wi-fi earbuds for these on a funds, together with the $70 Liberty Neo, $80 Life P3, $130 Liberty Air 2 Professional, and lots of extra, although these received’t provide the similar stage of audio high quality or noise cancellation.

How lengthy will it final?

The Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi helps IPX4 water resistance, which ought to shield them towards splashes and sweat so you need to use them for exercises. I additionally unintentionally dropped them a number of instances, they usually survived with none bodily harm. In addition they include Bluetooth 5.2, which was solely simply launched in January 2020, so that ought to hold you future-proofed for a number of years. The earbuds additionally include a two-year restricted guarantee.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. With the caveat that the software program I examined with was nonetheless in beta, you received’t be disenchanted with the Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi’s sound high quality, noise cancellation, or flashy RGB lighting.

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