One of the leading peripheral manufacturers in the scene at the moment is Razer. They are more renowned for their keyboards and mice, therefore we thought we would give their audio products a shot. With the announcement that they are the primary sponsor for top team Prophecy, we thought we would go ahead and review one of current products in a long line of gaming headsets. The Carcharias are seen as the standard headset in their expansive range of products, aswell as being one of the only current headsets viable for use at LAN events when used with a mix-amp. Specifications Headphones Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz Impedance: 32 Ω at 1kHz Sensitivity (@1kHz, 1V/Pa): 102 dB ± 4dB at 1 kHzMax Input Power: 200 mW Drivers: 40 mm, with neodymium Magnets Inner Ear Cup Diameter: 50 mm / 1.97” Cable Length: 3 m / 9.84 ft Approximate Weight: 225 g / 0.5 lbs Microphone Frequency Response: 50 - 16,000 Hz Sensitivity( @1kHz, 1V/Pa): -37 dB ± 4dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 50 dB Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional Cable: 3 meters, Braided Fiber Sheath Connector: 3.5 mm jack (headphone and mic) Cable: 3.3 meters, Braided Fiber Sheath Prophecy's Sowerz using the headset at EGL5The first thing I noticed about the headset is that it was exceptionally light, therefore the headset sits nicely on my head and is very comfortable compared to others. The changeable size is a little loose and so during prolonged gaming sessions I regularly found myself taking it off and having to readjust it to the correct size mid-game. Perhaps the mechanism they designed to adjust the headset needs to be firmer, either way it can be a little annoying. Once the headset is set to the correct size though, it sits well and doesn’t put pressure on your ears like some rival products I’ve used in the past. It has a velvety material over the headphones, meaning it’s extremely soft and doesn’t irritate your skin after long session. With lightness however also came a sense of flimsiness. I doubt that this headset could live up to being thrown across the room in a notorious Callum Swan rage. The microphone I've had some issues with. Teammates complained that it picked up unwanted sounds around me. If I have the sound fairly loud, it would leak out of the headphones (particularly sharp sounds like gun-noise) and be picked up by the microphone causing echo, a massive communication taboo: Much to the dismay of my teammates. This seemed to happen a lot and eventually caused me to resist ever having the sound above half way. This could definitely be an issue at LAN events where it’s extremely noisy and good communications are invaluable. One feature that I did notice that I haven’t seen before on any headsets I’ve owned is the noise cancelling microphone. Despite what I said above about the microphone picking up unwanted sharp sounds, the microphone did succeed in cutting out droning background sounds. For instance if somebody was hoovering near me whilst I was playing, the microphone wouldn’t pick it up, despite being noisier than the sharp gun-sounds coming out of the headphones. This is a good addition and something I can see being a necessity in all competitor's new releases. The sound quality itself, didn't quite live up to expectations in game and headsets for a similar price you receive a little better quality. However when it came to listening to music whilst playing, they did offer great quality, with the base really standing out. It is also important to note that in order to use this headset, you will need a mix-amp of some sort to use it. The wire is braded with fibre and consequently, it doesn’t tangle or knot like a rubber cable might. This is ideal for such a long cable, especially for those who consider wire management whilst purchasing for their setups. The in-line control is well designed in terms of aesthetics, however it is too far down the wire. On top of this both the mute button and the volume switch are way too sensitive meaning I found myself muting the mic mid-game without realising. That or cranking the volume and nearly bursting my eardrums by accident. Ratings Sound Quality: 6/10: The sound just can’t compete with top of the range headset. For players who use sound to aid them in game, it can be difficult to tell where players are. I struggled to tell the difference between when people were directly behind me and directly in front of me which at times was frustrating. I would say the sound is more suited to a casual gamer who isn’t particularly bothered about hearing a grenade pin pulled across the map. Value for money: 6/10: For what you are getting, I think £70 is a little bit steep when looking at the competition. Rather than pay the £70 for these, I would recommend breaking the budget and buying something a little more centered on competitive gaming. Comfort: 9/10: The one thing I did find outstanding about this headset was how comfortable it was. The ear pads are probably the most comfortable out of any headset I’ve owned. The material is soft and the padding sits supplely on my ears. The headset is very light and doesn’t bother me even after long gaming sessions, unlike a lot of rival headsets. Aesthetics: 9/10 The headset is actually really well design in terms of how it looks. The ears have a black grill cover on the outside. The rest of the headset is blacked out and branded with the Razer logo. I would definitely say this is one of the better looking headsets I have set my eyes upon. Overall: 7/10 I feel that Razer have failed to decide what kind of headset they wanted to design and therefore I can see it being another headset which will soon be overshadowed by it’s competitors. Conclusion Overall this headset was a bit of a mixed bag. I would say it's fine for talking on Skype or just a casual gaming session, however for the more serious players I would recommend breaking the budget a little bit more if you are looking for that extra super specific sound-whoring. The headset feels a touch fragile, which is obviously something you would expect when trying to compromise on weight. Razer can definitely build upon the positives of this now headset and we imagine it's successor for Xbox will be one well worth purchasing, this one however, it's running a little behind the pack with a worth addition never the less. 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