Razer has a huge number of products these days, including gaming laptops, microphones, and webcams, but it hasn’t forgotten about one of its earlier offerings: personal audio equipment.
The company’s latest refresh is to its line of Hammerhead earbuds. It has made them wireless with the Hammerhead BT (for Bluetooth), which is available now for $100. I’ve spent a few weeks testing them, and I’ve found them delightful to use with a couple of small annoyances. And you may find them a viable alternative to the $159 Apple AirPods.
What you’ll like
Clear audio quality
The Hammerhead BT sounds really nice. The latest Bluetooth tech means you won’t get static or interference in your games or music. Instead, you get the full audio spectrum piped right in your ears. And because this is a wireless headset with its own power, you tend to get louder and more distinguishable audio than with standard earbuds that plug into the 3.5mm jack.
Earbuds can often struggle with bass, and that’s one of the things people pay a lot of money to get with in-ear audio. The Hammerhead isn’t going to blow your mind with its low-ends, but it can respectably reproduce rumbling notes and explosions. But it really excels with high-frequency sounds. They break through the rest of the noise and can overtake the high-mids. You’ll probably hear every instrument or the distinct sounds around you in a shooter, but cymbal crashes will splash through louder than a woman’s voice and zippy gunfire will seem more prominent than the thud of a huge rifle.
The microphone also works well. Wireless mics are never great for recording voice-overs, but it can handle communication. That means answer phone calls or chatting on Discord.
Decent battery life
I’ve used the Hammerhead BT often for a couple of days at a time without having to recharge. Razer claims 8 hours of continuous playback, and I think that’s respectable for something so small. That’s enough for a cross-country flight and the ride home from the airport, which is a good benchmark for any battery-powered device. Of course, you can get more than 20 hours from Apple’s AirPods, but Razer’s earbuds are more affordable and come with a mic and music controls.
What you won’t like
Not always comfortable
I’m not big on earbuds, but I can wear most without a ton of issues. The Hammerhead, however, did cause me some discomfort. The buds often made my ears itch, and I would have to take them out and put them back in often to deal with that issue.
The Hammerhead also uses a magnetic clip to attach to your shirt for security. This enables you to let the buds hang out of your ears without fear that they’ll fall to the floor. But the clip is a bit too bulky. It’s kind of unwieldy — especially on shirts with a collar.
I like the Hammerhead, and I wish it didn’t literally rub my ear holes the wrong way. That said, I think it’s a solid option for anyone looking to drop the wires from their lives. You should make sure to check the return policy first in case you have similar problems with the comfort, though.
Razer provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review.