Wireless earbuds are a huge trend. Apple, Google, and Amazon all have their own, but so do 60 other lesser known brands. Now, Razer is getting in on that action with its Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds for $100. The company is positioning them as ideal for gaming fans who want to drop all wires near and around their face. And that’s what I want to look at: Should you get these for gaming?
I’ve spent the last two weeks testing the Hammerhead TW buds, and they check all the boxes as affordable alternatives to Apple Airpods. They are compact. You won’t feel like something bulky is jutting off of your head. They also fit snug into the ear. I’ve had no issues with them falling out — your ears are potentially different than mine, though. Razer’s touch controls are responsive and consistent. The battery life is decent. You get 4 hours, and then the case stores another 12 hours worth of charge. And then that charging case is relatively slim.
Oh, and they sound nice, too.
The biggest problem I’ve had is that the Bluetooth radio in the earbuds seems weak. It has occasionally lost signal when I’ve kept a phone in my pocket. I switched out phones, however, to ensure that wasn’t the issue. And now that problem isn’t nearly as bad. I will still lose connection if a kid sits on my lap over my phone, but that has happened with all other Bluetooth wireless audio devices.
So yeah, these are solid wireless earbuds.
Using the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds for gaming
But do you want to use them for gaming? They’ve worked for me in some specific scenarios. For gaming on the phone, these earbuds are great. The biggest issue with Bluetooth wireless is that you can often experience lag where your video and audio end up out of sync. Razer claims that it focused on this and got that latency down to 60ms. That’s close to fast enough to ensure audio and video appears to sync up.
But I still occasionally notice some latency. And I think the issue is that the Hammerhead TW buds don’t support Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec. Instead, it tries to use AAC, which is more lossy, but can usually mitigate lag on iOS. On Android, however, AAC performance is inconsistent. But it’s fast enough that I think most gaming is fine on the Hammerhead TW earbuds. Even though I would prefer to have something closer to 40ms of latency, which is when people stop noticing de-sync.
But even if the Hammerhead True Wireless buds can work for games, I would recommend an actual headset. You’ll get better battery life, fuller sound, and a dedicated microphone.
If you are someone who primarily wants wireless earbuds to consume music or other audio content on the go, Razer’s work well, look fashionable, and then can transition to games when you need it.