The world of wireless headphones is beginning to get crowded, and who can blame manufacturers, because why should you have a cable around when Bluetooth is perfectly capable of transmitting audio quickly.
Razer’s take on the category looks to provide booming sound for gamers and music without the cord they’re so reliant on. Is it a worthwhile addition for the gamer in your life?
Razer isn’t a company known for high-end sound, or at least isn’t one we connect with the sound category. It is known for making products for gamers, and apparently great headphones are something gamers want, too. After all, you can’t bombard the house with loud noises from CounterStrike or StarCraft after dark when everyone is sleeping, so headphones are a must.
Generally, the headphones used for games will be, like most headphones, wired, keeping you plugged into your desk, but now that Bluetooth has shown itself to be quite good at transmitting audio, Razer is having a stab with its Adaro headphones, cutting the cord and providing some decent audio innards in a pair you can wear comfortably for an extended period of time.
For this pair of headphones, Razer is embracing the supra-aural design, that is cans that sit on top of the ears, with leatherette ear cushions that provide a nice level of comfort to those fleshy things on the side of your head.
Plonk them on and you’ll find they’re reasonably well weighted, thanks to an aluminium chassis being used for the cans, which helps this considerably. You’ll find a couple of controls on your left side, with a power switch and a volume controller, the latter of which being used to trigger pairing.
There’s also a microUSB charge port, which will take the same microUSB cable frequently used for charging most phones out there, sending power to a battery which apparently has enough juice for near a full day of listening, which is around 20 hours.
We didn’t get to play with the Adaro wireless headphones for too long, mind you, to see if they can match the 20 hour life, but we’ve seen similar battery life from other over-the-ear headphones, so we know this sort of life is easily possible.
Listening to tracks in our headphone test, it’s easy to see just who this pair of headphones is made for, and that’s gamers. Specifically, gamers expecting large booms, explosions, and very little talking.
In music, we started the testing with Muse’s “Supremacy,” finding the pair of headphones relatively warm and with a heavy oomph to the bass. The mids are taken care of here too, but we found slightly less impressive highs that really take a backseat to the rest of the sound. You can hear them, mind you, but they’re definitely not as prominent as the bottom end of the scale.
That same strength can be found in electronic music, too, with pumping bass, the lows overpowering everything, with a thundering presence, which we felt in Mooro’s “M66R6.”
One big catch to this pair of headphones appears to be the range for using them, which in our tests appears to be limited, at least for phones.
Testing it with a smartphone in our pocket and the headphones on our, well, head, the Razer Adaro wireless cans cut in and out frequently, losing the connection to the mobile handset and making it impossible to listen to a track.
Hold the phone up a little higher and closer to your waist, and everything is fine, the headset returning to normal and providing solid sound across the board, but stick the phone back in your pocket and the headset returns to its regularly scheduled program, and one that consists of audio cutting in, then out, then in, and then lots of out.
For a computer user and frequent gamer, that’s unlikely to be a problem, as the Bluetooth on the computer will probably have more power and be more useful for longer distances, but testing it with a smartphone handset while we walked, we found the cutting out was too frequent to ignore.
But on a computer, these should totally be fine, especially if gaming is what you’re into, which being made by a brand known for gaming, is likely the market buying them anyway.
There’s also no microphone, as far as we can tell, which will cramp the style of gamers used to chatting while they’re gaming. That’s a surprise omission for us, since we’d have expected a microphone would be on a pair of cans marketed at gamers.
At a hair under $200 ($199.95), they’re not the cheapest cans you can buy, either, but if the cable really bothers you, and you have no need for a microphone, they’re an interesting pair to try out. Just don’t bet on them for all your mobile music needs, as they could be a touch hit and miss.