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Not sufficient bang in your 200 bucks

Razer launched its first fully-wireless Bluetooth earbuds final yr, the Hammerhead True Wi-fi. The earbuds had been practical sufficient, however they finally failed to face out towards competing merchandise from Apple and Samsung. Razer has now returned with an upgraded mannequin: the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional.

Razer’s new earbuds characteristic an in-ear design, assist for lively noise cancellation, and the identical low-latency Gaming Mode. Nonetheless, battery life continues to be a sore level, Gaming Mode is not extremely helpful, and there isn’t any assist for Qualcomm aptX.

Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

The outdated Hammerhead earbuds resembled Apple’s authentic AirPods, with a design that sat in your ear as a substitute of forcing the information into your ear canal. Razer determined to go along with a extra frequent in-ear design this time round, partially attributable to buyer suggestions from the unique buds, however largely to permit lively noise cancellation. ANC solely works effectively with an in-ear design — Samsung tried to implement ANC with its open-ear Galaxy Buds Dwell, to no avail.

The earbuds look much like the AirPods Professional, with a bit pointing in direction of your ear with a rubber tip (a number of tip sizes are included within the field), and a protracted stem on the underside containing the battery and a microphone. The part going through outward with the Razer brand is the touchpad, which you need to press in varied mixtures to alter the earbud’s choices.

By default, urgent the touchpad as soon as performs/pauses your media, double-tapping skips, triple-tapping rewinds, and a triple faucet (with the final faucet held for 2 seconds) allows Gaming Mode. Biking between ANC on, ANC off, and ambient sound is completed by holding down for 2 seconds. The controls are finicky, and there isn’t any choice to alter the quantity until you re-map one of many current controls, however there’s admittedly no more room for added buttons. The Razer earbuds robotically pause music playback while you take considered one of them (or each) out of your ear, so at the very least you will not have to make use of the ambient mode typically.

Razer has up to date the case design from the unique Hammerheads with a brand new design much like the case for the OnePlus Buds or AirPods Professional. It is a black rectangle, and it fees through the USB Sort-C connector on the underside. I anticipated extra right here for $200 — the case looks like low-cost plastic, and there isn’t any wi-fi charging assist. Even the $39.99 EarFun Free earbuds have Qi wi-fi charging within the case.

Within the field, you get the earbuds, the charging case, giant and small rubber eartips, a set of froth eartips, Razer brand stickers, and varied instruction manuals.

Sound high quality, options, and battery life

Excellent news first: sound high quality is great on the Hammerhead Professional earbuds, to the purpose the place I struggled to inform the Razer earbuds (on the default THX equalizer setting) and Audio Technica ATH-M40x studio headphones aside, when each had been related to my Galaxy S20. The mid frequencies are louder, giving vocals extra emphasis, however the base and better frequencies nonetheless sound clear. There are a couple of further equalizer presets out there within the Razer Hammerhead app, or you’ll be able to create your personal setting. The cellular app can be used for putting in firmware updates and altering the contact controls.

Nonetheless, the Hammerhead Professional solely helps the AAC and SBC audio codecs, similar to Razer’s authentic earbuds. I’d have anticipated to see Qualcomm aptX assist at this value, even when the latency and sound high quality is not a lot better than AAC. Gaming Mode can be disappointing — I could not inform a big distinction with it on or off when taking part in a couple of rounds of Fortnite on my Galaxy S20. Even with the mode enabled, Razer says the latency is round 60ms, so wired headphones will present a greater gaming expertise. In each modes, there is a little bit of delay between on-screen actions and listening to the audio, however I do not suppose it will trouble most individuals.

Lively noise cancellation on the Hammerhead Professional is first rate. It tends to solely barely decrease the quantity of ambient sound, somewhat than blocking it out fully (or coming shut), nevertheless it did work effectively once I was vacuuming. Sony’s WF-SP800N earbuds come out barely forward on this space, although they nonetheless battle with high-pitched noises.

One other excessive level for the Razer earbuds is microphone high quality. I often haven’t got lengthy calls over Bluetooth earbuds, since Android reduces the sound high quality to attain decrease latency, however at the very least the opposite individual on the decision will clearly hear you (although there’s a little bit of echo in some instances).

Microphone demo studying from The Hitchhiker’s Information to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Lastly, battery life is disappointing. In my testing, the earbuds lasted for about 4 hours with ANC enabled, or roughly six hours with ANC off. Razer wasn’t clear on how a lot additional battery the case has, solely saying the earbuds might get “as much as 20 hours” of life with the case (so about 14 hours with ANC off). The everyday 4/6-hour battery life is sufficient for me, as I hardly ever maintain headphones on for longer than that in a single sitting, nevertheless it does not stack up effectively towards the competitors. Sony’s WF-SP800N earbuds final round 9 hours with ANC enabled, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ can push 11 hours with out ANC.

Do you have to purchase it?

Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional


Not until you get it at a steep low cost. Sound high quality is unbelievable, however that is the Hammerhead’s solely actual saving grace. Gaming Mode and ANC do not appear to do a lot, battery life is just too brief in comparison with the competitors (even when I personally haven’t got a problem with it), and there isn’t any assist for Qualcomm aptX or Qi wi-fi charging.

Among the shortcomings may very well be accepted on the proper value, however the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professional earbuds price a whopping $200. The Sony WF-SP800N is identical value, providing nice sound high quality, practical ANC, and 9 hours of battery life on a single cost with ANC enabled. In case you do not care about ANC, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Dwell+ final nearer to 11 hours with out going again within the case, and there is additionally the Galaxy Buds Dwell to contemplate.

Purchase it if:

  • You care about sound high quality above all different options.
  • You actually like Razer merchandise.

Do not buy it if:

  • You need best-in-class noise cancellation.
  • You care about wi-fi charging.
  • You’ll be able to’t spend $200 on earbuds.

The place to purchase:

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