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Razer’s Kraken V3 headsets offer a redesigned look with refined sound

Plus, haptics are back

Razer has announced the Kraken V3 lineup, which has a refreshed design and new features. At the top of the offering is Razer’s wireless Kraken V3 Pro, which costs $199.99 and has built-in haptics. If wireless isn’t important to you, the Kraken V3 HyperSense for $129.99 has the same haptics feature, but with a few other tweaks. The $99.99 wired Kraken V3 doesn’t feature haptics, but it’s otherwise the same as the Kraken V3 HyperSense.

Compared to the previous generation, the V3 looks less bulky and garish. Many of Razer’s headsets have skewed toward looking more like over-ear headphones, and this one’s no exception. Some of its features are borrowed from other Razer headsets. Each Kraken V3 headset has Razer’s 50mm TriForce drivers that originated in the BlackShark V2 lineup, and from its Nari headset comes the HyperSense haptic feedback to two of the three Kraken V3 models.

The most appealing Kraken V3 is the Pro. It costs $199.99 and is coming in Q4 2021, while the other two models launch today. The Pro has the most amount of features and more premium build materials, in addition to cutting the cord. It has leatherette-covered ear cups and headband (other versions have a soft fabric), and its USB-A 2.4GHz dongle works with PC, PlayStation consoles, and with the Nintendo Switch dock. This high-end variant of the Kraken V3 also works wired via its 3.5mm jack, and it charges via USB-C.

Razer Kraken V3 Pro
The Kraken V3 Pro charges via USB-C and has the best build materials of the three headsets announced.
Image: Razer

Compared to the other two models, the Pro’s detachable microphone is a “supercardioid” type instead of the standard cardioid mic. Supercardioid mic pickups have a narrower focus, so it could be great for picking up your voice and little else. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Razer product without Chroma RGB support. Each of the three headsets let you customize the color that displays on the logo and the circular trim of LEDs that surround it.

Another big perk of the Kraken V3 Pro, in addition to the wired V3 HyperSense that costs $129.99, are the built-in haptics actuators. Razer claims that its haptics can translate sounds into vibrations in real time. Haptics company Lofelt confirmed to The Verge that it worked with Razer on these headsets, and that its L5 actuators and Lofelt Wave tech are utilized to accomplish the real-time haptics here. Given that these are actuators and not rumble motors, the sounds should feel more punchy and accentuated. I’m looking forward to trying this, given Lofelt’s expertise in the space. Razer lets you tweak the haptics with a button on the Kraken V3 Pro and V3 HyperSense. Not every game or movie scene is going to sound better with haptics, so it’ll be nice to be able to change the settings on the fly as needed.

The most affordable version of the Kraken V3 is the base model that costs $99.99. It’s missing the haptics, but it features the same sound performance and design as the pricier options. It plugs in via USB-A, and you can change the color of the LEDs through Razer Synapse, as you can with the other two options.

It has been a while since Razer revisited its Kraken lineup of headsets, but these upgrades make it seem like it was worth the wait. I look forward to trying these — particularly the Pro — and we’ll have more coverage soon.