Razer Hammerhead Professional Assessment: Small Fish in a Massive Pond

Razer Hammerhead Professional Assessment: Small Fish in a Massive Pond


Ranking:
6/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Sizzling Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Execs, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Finest-In-Class
  • 8 – Improbable, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Value: $199
The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds in front of the case
Cameron Summerson

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

This is What We Like

  • Good sound high quality with THX certification
  • Very comfy
  • A number of varieties and sizes of suggestions included

And What We Do not

  • Lower than nice ANC in comparison with another choices
  • Not an incredible worth
  • No wi-fi charging

Be aware: They’re truly known as the “Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional,” however that’s simply an excessive amount of, so I’m calling them the Hammerhead Professional on this assessment.

In brief: possibly. They’re good, however not nice … and so they’re definitely not revolutionary. Just like the Opus, these are THX licensed. In addition they have ANC to dam out noise and Ambient Mode in an effort to hear what’s happening round you. None of those options are actually nice—however they’re all fairly good.

However right here’s the factor: There’s some stiff competitors available in the market of true wi-fi earbuds proper now. At $199, these are priced within the premium market, which is a tricky place to be for even devoted audio producers, a lot much less an organization that isn’t actually identified for placing out killer audio gear. To me, these are about as middle-of-the-road as a set of premium earbuds could be—they’re good, however I’ve to marvel if that’s sufficient anymore.

Let’s discuss it.

Making a Case for the Case

The Razer logo etched into the top of the case
Cameron Summerson

You wish to hear one thing bizarre? Conserving according to Razer’s extra consumer-and-less-gamer focus for some current merchandise, that is essentially the most understated case I’ve ever seen—nicely, except for the AirPods/AirPods Professional. That needs to be bizarre for Razer, an organization identified for bright-ass inexperienced and RGB every thing. However this case? Nah. It’s black. Like, that’s it. The one brand is on the highest, and even that’s straightforward to overlook.

Usually, I’m all about that. I like minimal stuff, particularly when it’s flat black. However I’d even be mendacity if I stated this case didn’t look slightly … generic. As a result of it does. If somebody simply handed it to me, I’d assume it was some knockoff model till I opened it up and noticed the triple snake brand on the ‘buds themselves.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds with a focus on the touchpad and Razer triple snake logo
The emblem is the touchpad. Cameron Summerson

Now, is {that a} massive deal? Nah. It’s advantageous. In case you’re shopping for your earbuds primarily based on how the case appears to be like, nicely, you’re shopping for them for the incorrect causes, son. However at the least Razer sells instances for the case, so you may put the case in a case—with slightly additional flare, too.

So yeah, the case. Plain. Boring. There’s slightly LED on the entrance for the charging indicator, and a USB-C port on the underside for, uh, charging. No wi-fi charging right here, which is kind of a bummer—after getting used to that function on the AirPods Pro, Skullcandy Indy Fuel, and Jabra Elite 85t, plugging earbuds in to cost them feels nearly archaic. Wi-fi charging, with its gradual(er than wired charging) charges, was made for stuff like this. At $199, I wish to have seen it right here.

As for the dimensions, it’s not too dangerous. It’s slightly greater than the AirPods Professional case however smaller than the Skullcandy Indy Gas. It’s fairly near the Jabra Elite 85t case, although slightly thinner. Total, the dimensions isn’t dangerous—it’s pocketable, which is absolutely the one factor that issues.

It’s advantageous.

“Crafted for Consolation”

Razer claims that the Hammerhead Professional are “crafted for consolation,” and I’ll give them that. These are among the many most comfy earbuds I’ve ever worn. Now, be sure you learn that appropriately: They’re amongst essentially the most comfy. They’re nonetheless not the most comfy. However they take second place (The Jabra Elite 85t nonetheless win first).

A focus on the oval tip of the Hammerhead Pro with other tips surrouding
The oval-shaped tip is nice. Cameron Summerson

In contrast to the unique Hammerhead buds, the Professional mannequin has what you’d count on from earbuds with “Professional” within the title: changeable ear suggestions. Razer goes all in on the “crafted for consolation” factor right here, too, as a result of it comes with seven totally different units of suggestions. There are three varieties within the field: SecureSeal, SmoothComfort, and even Comply Foam suggestions. The primary two are available in three sizes every (small, medium, and huge), however the Comply suggestions solely are available in medium. So when you have massive ol’ earholes like yours actually, the Comply suggestions gained’t give you the results you want.

And you could be asking your self, “However Cam, how will I do know which suggestions work for me? What if I put on the incorrect ones for all of eternity and find yourself with a horrible expertise?” Properly, associates, right here’s the place to search out the reply: the Hammerhead app. Within the app, there’s a “Match Check,” which—yeah, you guessed it—exams the match of the buds. It’s an attention-grabbing kind of take a look at, too.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds with all the tips
Take a look at all them suggestions. Simply have a look at ’em. Cameron Summerson

It performs a brief beat, and I assume it measures the ‘buds response utilizing the interior mic. From there, it tells you if the buds have a superb match (learn: a correct seal) or not. For me, it took the large-sized tricks to get a superb deal, however I used to be anticipating that because the Hammerhead Professional makes use of oval-shaped suggestions just like the wonderful Jabra Elite 85t. Whereas I would like the bigger suggestions general with that form, it’s a lot extra comfy than even spherical suggestions for me.

So yeah, they nail the “crafted for consolation” bit. They’re undoubtedly comfy, even for prolonged listening.

Nevertheless, what’s not as comfy are the contact controls. I’m of the opinion that contact controls on earbuds aren’t nice—I favor bodily, soft-touch buttons. I’ve by accident triggered options on the Hammerhead Professional when adjusting the match extra occasions than I care to confess throughout this assessment interval, which drives me completely bonkers.

I’m Torn on the Sound High quality

As I stated earlier, the Hammerhead Professional are THX Licensed. However I really feel like Razer leveraged every thing on that certification as a result of it’s actually the one means they really sound good. In case you load up the customized EQ (extra on that in a bit) and set it to flat, they sound very not good.

Most earbuds are crafted with a flat EQ, so it’s bizarre to toss a set into my headholes that isn’t designed that means, as a result of if I attempt to dial in a customized EQ, it doesn’t sound like I count on it to. I’m simply glad the THX licensed EQ setting sounds good by itself.

A screenshot of the Hammerhead Pro app's main screenA screenshot of the EQ presetsA screenshot of the flat EQ.

Since that’s how Razer meant for these for use, that’s additionally how I spent most of my assessment time. Total, the sound high quality is fairly good—these little ‘buds are able to producing some severe sound. I’d say they’re in my prime 5 favourite ‘buds for sound high quality proper now—although they fall wanting the Jabra Elite 85t, which truthfully isn’t shocking. In that assessment, I known as the 85t “the brand new benchmark,” so this stands to motive.

The general stability of the ‘buds continues to be fairly good, though I want that that they had slightly extra oomph. If I’d by no means heard the Elite 85t, then they might’ve ranked increased for me, however in a direct comparability, the 85t are simply a lot fuller and extra alive. However in the event you’re in search of good sound high quality and don’t need the 85t for some motive, the Hammerhead Professional aren’t a foul alternative.

There’s additionally a customizable EQ, which is a brand new factor right here. One in all my complaints towards the Opus was that you just couldn’t customise the EQ, so I’m glad to see that as an choice right here. It’s not fairly as helpful as another choices I’ve used the place you can begin with a preset and customise from there—you need to begin with a Flat EQ—however it’s nonetheless good nonetheless. It’s additionally 10-band, so you may actually dial within the sound.

However there are additionally just a few presets to select from. The default is THX, however there’s additionally Amplified, Enhanced Bass, Vocal, and Enhanced Readability. There’s a big quantity enhance with the Enhanced Bass setting, which is each jarring and complicated. Like, why does the quantity bounce a lot for this setting? The setting is ok general, however the quantity bounce is just not.

Total, the Hammerhead Professional sound good, however not nice—at the least within the realm of equally priced earbuds. Actually, in the event you can reside with out ANC or transparency modes, you may get equally good sound high quality for half the value.

A screenshot of the fit test A screenshot post-fit testA screenshot of the customizable mapping options

However in order for you ANC and Ambient Mode, you’ll get them right here. Like nearly every thing else concerning the Hammerhead Professional, these options are advantageous—they’re good, however not nice. The ANC doesn’t block out as a lot noise as different earbuds I’ve tried. That features the Jabra Elite 75t, which acquired ANC as an replace. The Hammerhead Professional’s ANC function blocks out some ambient noise, however I used to be nonetheless capable of hear a fan working in my workplace with the function enabled—this can be a sound most different headphones/earbuds simply block out nearly solely.

The Ambient Mode function is best, because it offers a reasonably pure expertise. It’s higher than nearly each different clear mode function I’ve personally used—save for the AirPods Professional. Jabra’s HearThrough function can be comparable, however I believe the Hammerhead Professional truly bests it as a result of it doesn’t transition to a different, related function when on cellphone calls the best way 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. However each time you turn between modes, it cuts any audio that’s taking part in to make the suitable announcement (e.g. “ANC on”), which is fairly annoying as a result of it’s simply so extreme. I don’t thoughts the audio immediate in itself, however reducing out something that’s taking part in is fairly obnoxious. It additionally looks like it takes it endlessly to get the purpose throughout—the voice immediate s p e a ok s  s l o w l y.

Conclusion: A Good Set of Earbuds, however Nonetheless a Exhausting Promote

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbud case in another caseq
The case for the case is flashier than the case with no case. Cameron Summerson

Critiques like this one are the toughest to write down as a result of the Hammerhead Professional is such a middle-of-the-road product. It’s a superb set of buds, don’t get me incorrect—in all probability in my prime 5 for the 12 months—however there’s nothing that actually makes them stand out. You will get higher earbuds, just like the Jabra Elite 85t, for just a bit bit more cash, which is what I’d advocate doing. In case you’re already spending $200, you may as nicely spend $230 and get the most effective on the market.

However for lots much less, you can even get buds that sound nearly nearly as good in the event you don’t thoughts doing with out ANC and Ambient Mode. That’s what makes the Hammerhead Professional so arduous to gauge—they don’t current the most effective function set or the most effective worth.

They’re good. However they’re not nice. And that’s simply not a superb place to be within the true wi-fi earbud market.

Ranking: 6/10
Value: $199

Right here’s What We Like

  • Good sound high quality with THX certification
  • Very comfy
  • A number of varieties and sizes of suggestions included

And What We Do not

  • Lower than nice ANC in comparison with another choices
  • Not an incredible worth
  • No wi-fi charging



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