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Razer Hammerhead Pro Review: Small Fish in a Big Pond

Rating:
6/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $199

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Cameron Summerson

If you took Razer’s Hammerhead true wi-fi earbuds and gave them options discovered at the corporate’s over-ear Opus headphones, you’d get the Hammerhead Pro. These earbuds are the lovechild of what Razer has been running in opposition to with its audio sport during the last 18 months or so, nevertheless it’s a tricky marketplace in the market. The query is: Can they compete with killer choices from firms like Apple and Jabra?

Here’s What We Like

  • Good sound high quality with THX certification
  • Very at ease
  • Multiple sorts and sizes of pointers incorporated

And What We Don’t

  • Less than nice ANC when compared to a few different choices
  • Not a nice worth
  • No wi-fi charging

Note: They’re in reality known as the “Hammerhead True Wireless Pro,” however that’s simply an excessive amount of, so I’m calling them the Hammerhead Pro in this overview.

In quick: perhaps. They’re excellent, however no longer nice … they usually’re not at all progressive. Like the Opus, those are THX qualified. They even have ANC to dam out noise and Ambient Mode in an effort to pay attention what’s happening round you. None of those options are really nice—however they’re all lovely excellent.

But right here’s the object: There’s some stiff pageant in the marketplace of true wi-fi earbuds at this time. At $199, those are priced in the top class marketplace, which is a tricky position to be for even devoted audio producers, a lot much less a corporate that isn’t in reality identified for placing out killer audio apparatus. To me, those are about as middle-of-the-road as a set of top class earbuds may also be—they’re excellent, however I’ve to wonder whether that’s sufficient anymore.

Let’s discuss it.

Making a Case for the Case

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Cameron Summerson

You wish to pay attention one thing bizarre? Keeping in line with Razer’s extra consumer-and-less-gamer center of attention for some fresh merchandise, that is essentially the most understated case I’ve ever observed—smartly, except the AirPods/AirPods Pro. That needs to be bizarre for Razer, a corporate identified for bright-ass inexperienced and RGB the entirety. But this example? Nah. It’s black. Like, that’s it. The best emblem is at the most sensible, or even that’s simple to omit.

Normally, I’m all about that. I like minimum stuff, particularly when it’s flat black. But I’d even be mendacity if I stated this example didn’t glance a little … generic. Because it does. If anyone simply passed it to me, I’d assume it used to be some knockoff logo till I opened it up and noticed the triple snake emblem at the ‘buds themselves.

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The emblem is the touchpad. Cameron Summerson

Now, is that a large deal? Nah. It’s fantastic. If you’re purchasing your earbuds in keeping with how the case appears to be like, smartly, you’re purchasing them for the unsuitable causes, son. But no less than Razer sells circumstances for the case, so you’ll put the case in a case—with a little further flare, too.

So yeah, the case. Plain. Boring. There’s a little LED at the entrance for the charging indicator, and a USB-C port at the backside for, uh, charging. No wi-fi charging right here, which is form of a bummer—upon getting used to that function at the AirPods Pro, Skullcandy Indy Fuel, and Jabra Elite 85t, plugging earbuds in to fee them feels virtually archaic. Wireless charging, with its sluggish(er than stressed charging) charges, used to be made for stuff like this. At $199, I wish to have observed it right here.

As for the scale, it’s no longer too dangerous. It’s a little larger than the AirPods Pro case however smaller than the Skullcandy Indy Fuel. It’s lovely with reference to the Jabra Elite 85t case, regardless that a little thinner. Overall, the scale isn’t dangerous—it’s pocketable, which is in reality the one factor that issues.

It’s fantastic.

“Crafted for Comfort”

Razer claims that the Hammerhead Pro are “crafted for convenience,” and I’ll give them that. These are some of the maximum at ease earbuds I’ve ever worn. Now, be sure you learn that appropriately: They are amongst essentially the most at ease. They’re nonetheless no longer the maximum at ease. But they take 2nd position (The Jabra Elite 85t nonetheless win first).

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The oval-shaped tip is excellent. Cameron Summerson

Unlike the unique Hammerhead buds, the Pro fashion has what you’d be expecting from earbuds with “Pro” in the title: changeable ear pointers. Razer goes all in at the “crafted for convenience” factor right here, too, as it comes with seven other units of pointers. There are three sorts in the field: SecureSeal, CleanComfort, or even Comply Foam pointers. The first two come in three sizes each and every (small, medium, and big), however the Comply pointers best come in medium. So when you’ve got large ol’ earholes like yours really, the Comply pointers received’t give you the results you want.

And you will be asking of yourself, “But Cam, how will I do know which pointers paintings for me? What if I put on the unsuitable ones for all of eternity and finally end up with a terrible revel in?” Well, buddies, right here’s the place to find the solution: the Hammerhead app. In the app, there’s a “Fit Test,” which—yeah, you guessed it—checks the are compatible of the buds. It’s a fascinating form of check, too.

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Look in any respect them pointers. Just have a look at ’em. Cameron Summerson

It performs a quick beat, and I guess it measures the ‘buds reaction the usage of the interior mic. From there, it tells you if the buds have a excellent are compatible (learn: a right kind seal) or no longer. For me, it took the large-sized tricks to get a excellent deal, however I used to be anticipating that because the Hammerhead Pro makes use of oval-shaped pointers very similar to the very good Jabra Elite 85t. While I want the bigger pointers general with that form, it’s so a lot more at ease than even spherical pointers for me.

So yeah, they nail the “crafted for convenience” bit. They’re indisputably at ease, even for prolonged listening.

However, what’s no longer as at ease are the contact controls. I’m of the opinion that contact controls on earbuds aren’t nice—I want bodily, soft-touch buttons. I’ve unintentionally brought on options at the Hammerhead Pro when adjusting the are compatible extra occasions than I care to confess all through this overview length, which drives me completely bonkers.

I’m Torn at the Sound Quality

As I stated previous, the Hammerhead Pro are THX Certified. But I think like Razer leveraged the entirety on that certification as it’s in reality the one method they really sound excellent. If you load up the customized EQ (extra on that in a bit) and set it to flat, they sound very no longer excellent.

Most earbuds are crafted with a flat EQ, so it’s bizarre to toss a set into my headholes that isn’t designed that method, as a result of if I attempt to dial in a customized EQ, it doesn’t sound like I be expecting it to. I’m simply happy the THX qualified EQ environment sounds excellent by itself.

(*7*) (*10*) A screenshot of the flat EQ.

Since that’s how Razer supposed for those for use, that’s additionally how I spent maximum of my overview time. Overall, the sound high quality is lovely excellent—those little ‘buds are able to generating some critical sound. I’d say they’re in my most sensible five favourite ‘buds for sound high quality at this time—regardless that they fall wanting the Jabra Elite 85t, which in truth isn’t sudden. In that overview, I known as the 85t “the brand new benchmark,” so this stands to explanation why.

The general steadiness of the ‘buds continues to be reasonably excellent, even supposing I want that they’d a little extra oomph. If I’d by no means heard the Elite 85t, then they might’ve ranked upper for me, however in a direct comparability, the 85t are simply such a lot fuller and extra alive. But should you’re on the lookout for excellent sound high quality and don’t need the 85t for some explanation why, the Hammerhead Pro aren’t a dangerous selection.

There’s additionally a customizable EQ, which is a new factor right here. One of my court cases in opposition to the Opus used to be that you just couldn’t customise the EQ, so I’m happy to peer that as an choice right here. It’s no longer reasonably as helpful as every other choices I’ve used the place you’ll get started with a preset and customise from there—you’ve initially a Flat EQ—nevertheless it’s nonetheless great however. It’s additionally 10-band, so you’ll in reality dial in the sound.

But there also are a few presets to choose between. The default is THX, however there’s additionally Amplified, Enhanced Bass, Vocal, and Enhanced Clarity. There’s a large quantity spice up with the Enhanced Bass environment, which is each jarring and complicated. Like, why does the amount bounce such a lot for this environment? The environment is ok general, however the quantity bounce isn’t.

Overall, the Hammerhead Pro sound excellent, however no longer nice—no less than in the world of in a similar fashion priced earbuds. Honestly, if you’ll reside with out ANC or transparency modes, you’ll get in a similar fashion excellent sound high quality for part the cost.

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But if you wish to have ANC and Ambient Mode, you’ll get them right here. Like virtually the entirety else concerning the Hammerhead Pro, those options are fantastic—they’re excellent, however no longer nice. The ANC doesn’t block out as a lot noise as different earbuds I’ve attempted. That comprises the Jabra Elite 75t, which won ANC as an replace. The Hammerhead Pro’s ANC function blocks out some ambient noise, however I used to be nonetheless ready to listen to a fan operating in my workplace with the function enabled—that is a sound maximum different headphones/earbuds simply block out virtually solely.

The Ambient Mode function is healthier, because it supplies a lovely herbal revel in. It’s higher than virtually each different clear mode function I’ve in my opinion used—save for the AirPods Pro. Jabra’s HearThrough function may be related, however I believe the Hammerhead Pro in reality bests it as it doesn’t transition to some other, identical function when on telephone calls the way in which the Jabras do. So for that, I applaud Razer.

To toggle between ANC on, ANC off, and Ambient Mode, you employ the earbuds’ contact controls. But each time you turn between modes, it cuts any audio that’s enjoying to make the best announcement (e.g. “ANC on”), which is lovely traumatic as it’s simply so over the top. I don’t thoughts the audio recommended in itself, however chopping out the rest that’s enjoying is lovely obnoxious. It additionally turns out find it irresistible takes it eternally to get the purpose throughout—the voice recommended s p e a okay s  s l o w l y.

Conclusion: A Good Set of Earbuds, however Still a Hard Sell

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The case for the case is flashier than the case with out a case. Cameron Summerson

Reviews like this one are the toughest to jot down for the reason that Hammerhead Pro is such a middle-of-the-road product. It’s a excellent set of buds, don’t get me unsuitable—most probably in my most sensible five for the yr—however there’s not anything that in reality makes them stand out. You can recover earbuds, just like the Jabra Elite 85t, for simply a little bit more cash, which is what I’d suggest doing. If you’re already spending $200, it’s possible you’ll as smartly spend $230 and get the most efficient in the market.

But for a lot much less, you’ll additionally get buds that sound virtually as excellent should you don’t thoughts doing with out ANC and Ambient Mode. That’s what makes the Hammerhead Pro so laborious to gauge—they don’t provide the most efficient function set or the most efficient worth.

They’re excellent. But they’re no longer nice. And that’s simply no longer a excellent position to be in the real wi-fi earbud marketplace.

Rating: 6/10
Price: $199

Here’s What We Like

  • Good sound high quality with THX certification
  • Very at ease
  • Multiple sorts and sizes of pointers incorporated

And What We Don’t

  • Less than nice ANC when compared to a few different choices
  • Not a nice worth
  • No wi-fi charging