Razer Barracuda Xt wireless gaming headset review
"A truly gaming mouse cannot be wireless" - it was thought many years ago, today this position is completely irrelevant. In the wake of it, over time, the position "a truly gaming headset cannot be wireless" also went. Of course, models with Bluetooth connectivity are not suitable for the role of a gaming headset, and it's not at all about the delay, which even on modern TWS models has already decreased to a comfortable value. The fact is that the Bluetooth protocol loses a lot in quality when switching to headset mode – for the sake of a working microphone, you have to sacrifice the sound quality in headphones. Another thing is wireless headphones that work not via Bluetooth, but via a radio channel. There is nothing to sacrifice there, and the sound delay is minimal. And so, today Razer Barracuda Xt will defend the honor of wireless gaming headsets.
Unpacking "fresh" models from Razer is a special pleasure. When I opened the package with Barracuda X, I immediately remembered another Razer model that I recently tested - Kraken V3 X. There, too, the headset was packed in a separate soft bag. Only in the case of Barracuda X, the bag is significantly larger, because each accessory is packed separately from the others. And so, in the box we will find: the headset itself, a removable microphone, an audio cable, a USB Type-C dongle, a Type-C cable to USB, an adapter cable from Type-C (mom) to a regular USB (with its help, the dongle connects to a regular USB port), a booklet with instructions and stickers. Let's just say a couple of rumors about the dongle. The transceiver is a small plastic rectangle with a Type-C connector. It does not take up much space and it is convenient to connect it to the appropriate port of a computer, laptop, game console (ideal for Nintendo Switch), or smartphone /tablet. There is no Type-C port, or it is busy, you can connect it to a regular USB port by means of a complete adapter cable.
Now, finally, let's move on to the headphones themselves. These are large full-size over-ear headphones. The cups are made of plastic, like the headband, but the adjustment mechanism is made of metal. The headband has manual adjustment, on top there is a soft cushion covered with leatherette. The ear pads are covered with fabric, inside there is a soft foam with a memory effect. I think it is not necessary to explain that this combination (fabric + foam) gives not only a comfortable fit, but also good ventilation of the ears, which saves from fogging during prolonged wear.
The design of the cups, really, is so simple and strict that it looks even too simple against the background of many gaming competitors. There is no RGB backlight, inserts with a glossy coating. It's exclusively the realm of matte plastic, and personally I like this solution more than competitors with a more pretentious appearance.
The right cup is completely smooth and "empty" - all connectors and controls are focused exclusively on the left cup. There is a socket for connecting a removable microphone, a Type-C port for charging, a 3.5mm audio port for connecting by wire, a power switch (aka the control button), a volume control (a regular wheel) and a two-position microphone switch button. Simple, concise, but clear and functional. As for the microphone, it has a conventional audio connector, a flexible leg and a simple pop filter / windscreen is installed on it from the factory.
My own impressions
Now let's talk about personal impressions and interesting details. Let's start with ergonomics, of course – the headphones sit comfortably on the head, the clamping force is optimal. The filler of the ear pads is soft, the fabric is pleasant to the touch, the ears practically do not sweat. The headband is manually adjustable, the selected position holds perfectly. What's there to find fault with?
Let's move on. Theoretically, you can find fault with the fact that because of its universal purpose, the manufacturer did not develop software for Windows OS separately – so PC users do not receive any preferences in the form of additional settings, equalizers and other things. Razer's position regarding the Barracuda X model is simple – "plug and use". Whether it's good or bad, let everyone decide for themselves. Personally, I'm a little offended, but this is my personal opinion.
Let's move on. I liked the sound quality of the Barracuda X – the sound is voluminous, fairly balanced, at high volume the basses become very assertive and elastic, the upper frequencies do not annoy with excessive sharpness – they are moderately bright, but absolutely not annoying. Subjectively, I cannot characterize the frequency response form, in my opinion, the frequency response is more or less balanced, it is difficult to say that any particular range dominates the rest. The games have the same volume that allows you to accurately position the sound source (steps, shots). These headphones are also suitable for listening to music, of course I can't say that the detail, resolution and scene excite the imagination, but if there are no music headphones, it is quite possible to listen to music in Barracuda X. As for the delay, we can assume that there is no delay, because there is not Bluetooth, but a radio channel.
For which you can shake hands with the manufacturer separately - wired mode of operation. Not only do the headphones work by wire in the off state (which means if the battery is dead, we calmly connect the cable and continue playing), but the microphone also works in wired mode. If you look at many Bluetooth headsets - in wired mode, most of the models work exclusively as headphones.
The microphone has a cardioid directional pattern, a fairly high sensitivity and, in my opinion, a good noble sound. Background noise is practically absent. Personally, I really liked the microphone, but I hope you listened to the test recording and made up your own opinion.
Now about autonomy. The manufacturer does not specify the capacity of the built-in battery, but indicates the autonomy - 20 hours. This is a good indicator, of course not a record, but for a wireless headset, the figure is more than decent. Even if you play "from dusk to dawn", and do not play only when you sleep - headphones will have to be charged only at night. If the use time is limited to 6-8 hours per day, the charge will last for 3 days of operation.
Well, in the end, one interesting point is that the only control button (with which the headset is turned on) can also control music playback: one press – play / pause, double press – the next track, triple - the previous track. Only you need to click very quickly, which is not very convenient. Well, we adjust the volume with a wheel, everything is even easier here.
Perhaps the price of Razer Barracuda X will seem high to someone, but we need to approach from the position that this model is universal and it can (and should) be used always and everywhere – we connect it to a computer at home, on the road – to a smartphone /tablet / game console, arrived at work - you can connect it to a work computer or laptop and use it as a headset for video communication. And then the cost for a device that will be with you always and everywhere will no longer seem so high. Yes, even if you use it only at home, but paired not only with a computer, but also with a game console – you will already feel the buzz from the versatility of the Razer Barracuda X.
Lutovinov Maxim (aka. Kok)