Gaming Bluetooth earbuds are now a thing, and it appears that serious mobile gamers care about latency. Enter the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
Considering that the Bluetooth earbud market is already starting to get a little saturated, it’s kind of a weird move by Razer to enter. Even more so when you consider that they pulled the plug on their own mobile gaming devices earlier this year to focus on smartphone accessories and extras like cases — and now Bluetooth earbuds.
That said, gamers have a slightly different set of criteria for peripherals and hardware in general. Razer’s rich history in the gaming space means you could argue that they know just what the community wants — and that appears to be low-latency truly wireless audio for when you’re gaming on your smartphone.
This is our full review of the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
For those itching for a black version of Apple’s AirPods, Razer might have you covered. The steam-style buds have learnt a thing or two from the most-popular wireless earbuds. The matte black color, of course, adheres to the tried-and-tested Razer color scheme. It’s neatly complemented by the triple-headed snake Razer emblem on the bulb of each earbud too.
Razer has merged the AirPods shape with a more sizeable nodule that connects to the stem and I think it manages to differentiate itself enough from Apple’s design to look good. Once you attach the silicone tips that are included, it really affects the look — negatively in my opinion, as they look like an afterthought.
The case is a little confusing as you place the right earbud on the left and the left earbud on the right. I have no idea why Razer thought this was a good idea but it’s a bit of a nitpick. It was a bit annoying initially, as for the first few days I was placing the buds in wrongly and not having them charge correctly.
I was shocked at just how light the carry case with the earbuds inside actually is. The polycarbonate shell really makes a difference. It does make the Hammerhead True Wireless feel a little cheap though. There is also a little bit of a rattle in the case that, I must admit, really feels poor. Despite that cheap feeling though, the magnetic clasp will keep your buds safe and sound and tightly inside with even the most rigorous of shakes.
The little elongated earbud sarcophagus is small enough that it can fit inside your pocket with no real issues. It also, naturally, comes with a USB Type-C port for charging but isn’t able to take a charge wirelessly — which would have been a solid addition.
Fit and comfort
Because the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are mainly polycarbonate, they weigh next to nothing and, therefore, are pretty comfortable for the most part. I find the shape a little inhibiting for sound isolation but they sit really comfortably in my ear canal.
The lack of an attached silicone tip does mean that there is no pressure put on the inside of your ears, which is part of the reason the Razer buds are great for most ears. Inside the box are two attachable silicone tips for those that want to add them for a better seal — I did find this affects the audio experience. I also find that wearing them for a long period is not an issue at all simply because of how light they are.
However, they aren’t the most securely fitting earbuds that I’ve tried. The stem does help stabilize when fitted but it can’t prevent them from shifting if you move a lot.
There is no special pairing process with the Razer True Wireless right out of the box. Unless that is, you install the dedicated application that enhances the pairing procedure and provides a tutorial on how the earbud controls work. It’s a bit disappointing that you can’t tweak the audio but this may come with a future update.
Once you have synced and paired with your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you will have to deal with an annoying “Bluetooth connected” message when opening the carry case and picking up a bud. A short beep or tone probably would have been enough to confirm that your buds are paired.
Sound quality, controls & gaming performance
I need to be completely honest, the sound quality of the Razer Hammerhead True wireless earbuds is not quite as good as some buds in and around the same price-point. The lightweight design and shape are comfortable and easy to manage but the isolation is lacking — even with the tips attached — to give you a truly ‘sealed’ sound.
That does mean that at medium volumes you get some ambient audio creeping in. I personally don’t mind this, as it helps me better understand what is going on in my surroundings. Bump up the volume though and you can block out background sound a little better.
For me, the sound profile is solid, if unspectacular. I found that in certain bassy tracks it could sometimes infringe upon vocals. I chalked this up to the streaming quality of some of my playlists on YouTube Music as, in general, the 13mm drivers can deliver some acceptable bass despite the smaller form factor. As someone that predominantly listens to bassy tracks, there is just enough ‘thump’ to keep me listening, while the soundstage is nice and wide for a pleasing experience.
The maximum volume is very impressive, reaching almost painful levels at 100%. Should you be in a noisy environment, you’ll have no difficulties being able to hear your favorite playlists or podcasts. I don’t think that there many wireless earbuds that are particularly aimed at audiophiles — and neither are the Razer True Wireless earbuds.
Call quality is excellent though. I know that this isn’t super important to a vast portion of potential buyers but there are some of us that still like to make calls. The stem design really helps as the microphone is closer to your mouth and therefore the person your calling will be able to hear you nice and clearly.
Razer touts the latency, and honestly, I think they’ve cracked it. I haven’t noticed a single issue with audio latency when playing Call of Duty Mobile or watching YouTube videos. I’m not sure how much difference the dedicated ‘gaming mode’ makes but to activate it you triple-tap and then holding the side button. It’s quite hit and miss if it does activate too.
If you’re a heavy mobile gamer then I think you’ll be really happy with the 60ms latency and the overall sound on offer. It really had me yearning for ‘one more match’ when playing the classic Call of Duty maps I spent countless hours playing over a decade ago.
Battery life and charging
Razer claims that the buds can manage three hours on a full charge, with the carry case providing a total listening time close to 14 hours. In my experience, I had that closer to 12 hours when listening to music and podcasts at around 60% volume.
Having a USB Type-C charge port is welcome inclusion, as you can use your other chargers without worrying about having to carry another cable. It’s a little disappointing that there is no wireless charging included but it’s not too much of a problem considering how quickly the battery charges. You’ll be able to charge the case from zero to 100% in around an hour and a half — which stacks up with many other similar earbuds.
9to5Google’s Take – Razer Hammerhead True Wireless review
At $99, if you’re a gamer, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless might be near the top of your list. While the audio is solid, the battery even better, the entire audio package isn’t quite as comprehensive as some other wireless buds at lower prices.
For Android smartphone owners, I do think the Galaxy Buds will offer better audio and sound isolation, while the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 are by far the most comfortable that I have ever used. Both of these options now come in at $120 and $99 respectively.
Despite that, I will say the stealthy matte black color might be perfect for people looking for an alternative to the AirPods but aren’t looking to spend nearly $170. For that reason, then the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are a solid alternative.
Where can I get the Razer Hammerhead earbuds?
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