The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense isn't just one of the best Razer headsets around, but also one of the best gaming headsets that you can buy. As expected from a brand that's been making audio accessories for a long time, the Kraken V3 HyperSense feels very much like the culmination of several years' worth of fine-tuning, on an admittedly somewhat iterative design into what's now the best in the Kraken line.
The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is wired so if you're after one of the best wireless gaming headsets on the market, you may need to wait for the Kraken V3 Pro that's coming later down the line. The V3 HyperSense's retail price of $129.99 / £129.99 means it certainly won't go down as one of the best cheap gaming headsets, but it's more than worth the money if you're after a competitively priced premium gaming experience this year.
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: design
This time around Razer has opted for a black-on-black color scheme which is suitably understated save for the large RGB badge that adorns either cup on the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense. There's no accounting for taste, of course, but I think this is one of the more stylish gaming headsets that the company has ever put out, especially when considering the memory foam and leatherette construction combined with the steel-reinforced headband. Because of the lighting, I won't go for far as to call its overall aesthetics subtle, but it is one of the cleaner-looking headsets in the brand's line-up for sure.
Unsurprisingly from a premium Razer gaming headset, the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is exceedingly comfortable for long periods of time, too, without any pinching of the head, nor ear soreness that can build up in some cheaper gaming headsets made of less premium materials. The overall build quality as a whole is to be commended, being a major step-up from the likes of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition, and the subsequent X line of budget models in the range, so if you're after a long-lasting headset, the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense definitely delivers on this front.
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review: features
The standout feature of the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense has to be the haptic in-ear feedback, the titular HyperSense technology. This provides an adjustable level of physical responsive rumble that adapts in real-time to your games and music. I'll preface my next point by saying that my daily driver headphones for almost three years were the Skullcandy Crushers, one of the first and most popular headphone models to feature haptic feedback, and quite frankly the sophistication of the HyperSense built into the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense blows them cleanly out of the water.
This level of engrossment isn't going to be for everyone, and some gamers might find the maximum setting a little too intense. I personally didn't have this issue, and it's easily alleviated anyway due to a dedicated toggle button where you can set the strength, but it's something to keep in mind. I found that actively switching between medium and high worked most efficiently for games such as Deathloop and Far Cry 5, especially when you can physically feel the power of a shotgun blast tearing a man to shreds or a sniper round blitzing straight through an unaware guard's helmet, and frontal cortex, from far away. Simply put, there's nothing else like it on the market right now from its competition, and it's a feature that aids immersion to no end that I just can't get enough of.
The physical controls present on the back and underside of both cups are simple but get the job done well, as you can feel the differences easily between the volume slider, HyperSense toggle, and microphone mute button. I've never been a fan of touch functionality when editing on-the-fly audio preferences, so I'm happy Razer chose to go the tactile route here.
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review: performance
The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense features 50mm TriForce Titanium audio drivers that have been present in many of the brand's more recent gaming headsets, such as the excellent Razer BlackShark V2, and these drivers sound every bit as good here, too. There is a real sense of warmth, depth, and clarity to the sound prowess on display with faithful and accurate audio reproduction across the board.
Headset microphones are never going to rival the best microphones for gaming though the detachable cardioid microphone present on the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense does a good job of making you sound every bit as clear and loud as you need to be. I found this out through extensive testing of Far Cry 5's co-op campaign mode issuing commands to my partner while mounting the gun turret on the side of an attack helicopter that all came through clear as day. I also tested the microphone up against my Blue Snowball USB microphone and was similarly impressed by how close the two compared through Audacity and Reaper for voice recordings.
The functionality with Razer Synapse is fairly basic but it ticks all the boxes that you need to tailor your audio experience to your liking. Particular focus is placed upon the microphone control, with options to add real-time normalization and vocal clarity (active noise reduction) which I found to work exceptionally well removing any need to add any post effects that I would otherwise use with my dedicated microphones.
In terms of pure gaming support, the sound mixing option allows you to toggle game-specific settings for titles that include THX Spatial integration, as well as any music or video apps you may be using on your PC. As expected, there's also Razer Chroma / Visualizer support for the lighting, too. It isn't the most in-depth, but you've got more than enough customization here for most situations, and I found myself hot-swapping between the 'music' and 'gaming' preset to much success.
THX Spatial is present and accounted for as one of the better ways to experience 3D Audio surround sound in-game right now, and it does a fine job of providing a realistic soundscape that matches the visuals onscreen. This was most apparent when I could hear a conversation taking place in an apartment building in Deathloop from a rooftop from a distance - it genuinely sounded as though they were not only underneath me but also behind several walls, too.
The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense has been advertised as also being compatible with PS5 as well, and while the haptic feedback wasn't quite as dynamic on the console, the headset sounded great when plugged into that system. What's more, because the console has support for THX Spatial 7.1 surround sound, you're getting that immersive audio experience as well. There's little doubt in my mind that the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense could be one of the best PS5 headsets around, though the cable might prove a little short to see it truly excel here.
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review: should you buy it?
The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is not only my favorite gaming headset that I've used all year but also an easy contender for the best PC headset for gaming going right now. It's not going to do as much for the console crowd, but if you've been after an incredible sounding, all-encompassing headset with a few tricks up its sleeve then it's a very easy recommendation. A world-beater, and a triumphant return - or refresh - of the Kraken name.