Razer Barracuda Pro review: A less embarrassing gaming headset | Digital Trends

    Razer Barracuda Pro
    MSRP $250.00

    “The Barracuda Pro makes some unfortunate sacrifices to create a discrete gaming headset, but it makes up for it with strong audio quality.”


    Discrete design

    Balanced audio

    Versatile connectivity

    Long battery-life


    High value

    Loose match

    Weak microphone

    Razer’s Barracuda Pro is a gaming headset that asks an vital query: What if being a gamer wasn’t utterly embarrassing? As somebody who enjoys video games however not the loud “gamer” aesthetic that comes with it, I can’t stand most merchandise and equipment marketed towards avid gamers. Ridiculous chairs, obnoxious RGB lights, gaudy headsets — it’s arduous to play video games with out having some kind of loud assertion piece in your house.
    Though Razer could be very a lot an instigator of that pattern, the Barracuda Pro is aimed toward folks like me. Rather than making a futuristic headset with glowing inexperienced accents, Razer’s newest is as unassuming as a pair of Bose or Sony wi-fi headphones. It’s an try to fuse the particular qualities of a gaming headset right into a extra lifestyle-friendly design. It’s an admirable pitch, although typically these two concepts are slightly at odds with each other.
    The Barracuda Pro is a stable choice for gamers who desire a extra multi-purpose gaming headset with a discrete look. It simply comes with a number of key trade-offs and quirks, together with poor microphone high quality and a excessive price ticket.
    Design and luxury
    Perhaps crucial function of the Barracuda Pro is that it appears to be like like a wonderfully regular pair of headphones. It’s a stable black pair of cans with no glowing accents and minimal decals (the Razer brand seems on both sides, however it’s extraordinarily delicate). My preliminary response when unboxing them was “thank God.” It’s merely good to have a great gaming headset that I may put on out in public with out drawing consideration to myself.
    It’s a snug match, with rectangular earcups which can be exceptionally smooth. Though it’s a comparatively unfastened match too, at the very least on my head. If I nod my head ahead, I discover that the headscarf slides down the highest of my head reasonably simply. By comparability, the Razer Kaira Pro is a tighter match with firmer cups and it doesn’t wiggle round practically as a lot. Just be cautious should you’re a headbanger.

    The headphones include a compact carrying case too, which is a pleasant contact. It features a small compartment that holds its varied dongles and wires. That presentation helps make the Barracuda Pro really feel extra like a premium product reasonably than a high-end toy for avid gamers. It’s not one thing you’ll wish to haphazardly toss in your desk after you’re completed sporting them.
    Sound high quality
    At this level, Razer is aware of the way to create a gaming headset, so it’s no shock that audio high quality is a powerful level. During my exams, I discovered that the audio combine was pretty balanced throughout a variety of video games because of the highly effective bio-cellulose 50mm drivers. Most notable is its decrease vary, which permits it to provide thumping bass fairly nicely. That’s key, as a result of the Barracuda Pro isn’t only a gaming headset. With its life-style design, Razer is hoping you’ll use it for different functions too, like music listening. That balanced default sound profile helps make it more practical as a jack-of-all-trades, even when it doesn’t excel in any particular class.
    I’ve discovered that it does battle a bit with mid-range tones. When enjoying Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which options chaotic battles crammed with clashing assault tones, I may really feel the audio peaking a bit. That’s an excessive instance (I’m not satisfied Xenoblade’s battles sound good on any headset), however I did discover it slightly harsh to hearken to in that setting.

    Luckily, you may change the equalization utilizing the Razer Audio app, which I’d suggest doing. The app additionally helps you to tweak mic noise cancellation, allow don’t disturb mode, and extra. It’s a pleasant companion app, although I personally would have appreciated to see a number of sound profile choices on the headset itself to make some fast tweaks when the combo will get harsh.
    One good onboard customization choice the Barracuda Pro does present is hybrid noise cancellation. With the press of a button, I can simply toggle Active Noise Cancellation on or off. I may activate Ambient mode, permitting some outdoors noise if I would like to concentrate on my environment — once more, a helpful addition for many who wish to use their headset for extra than simply gaming. I can completely hear the distinction between every mode as I cycle by the choices, with ANC chopping out a good quantity of background noise. However, some ambient noise does nonetheless make it by even with ANC on, so don’t count on a wonderfully remoted expertise.
    Your voice goes to sound prefer it’s popping out of an outdated landline phone’s answering machine.

    There is one space the place audio high quality is sorely missing. As a part of its smooth design, the Barracuda Pro doesn’t function an attachable growth microphone like most gaming headsets. Instead, it opts for an in-line one, which creates a key choice for consumers. The lack of a microphone dangling out in entrance helps it retain that life-style look, however at the price of sound high quality. Your voice goes to sound prefer it’s popping out of an outdated landline phone’s answering machine. It’s a harsh digital high quality that’s not precisely splendid for crew communication. As a consequence, the Barracuda Pro might be greatest suited to solo gamers.
    The Barracuda Pro has some neat methods up its sleeve in terms of connectivity, although a notable blind spot too. Its most spectacular function is its Smartswitch twin wi-fi connection. That permits the headset to be hooked as much as a tool by way of Bluetooth and related to a different, on the identical time, by way of 2.4GHz. For instance, I related my headset to my Steam Deck by way of Bluetooth, however concurrently related to my PS5 because of the USB-C dongle that comes with the headset. With a fast double faucet of a button, I may change between each methods effortlessly.
    The Barracuda Pro can connect with a variety of gadgets out of the field.

    I did run right into a slight downside with that setup after I unplugged the dongle from my PS5 whereas related to it. After doing that, I discovered I used to be unable to get again to my Steam Deck audio except I disconnected and reconnected. Similarly, I bumped into the identical situation after I by chance converted to 2.4GHz mode (with out having the dongle plugged into something) whereas related to Bluetooth. I don’t assume these are use circumstances many customers will actually run into, however there’s a little little bit of fuss to the method. Other than that, the Smartswitch tech works fairly nicely and makes it straightforward for me to reply a cellphone name whereas enjoying a sport with out taking my headset off.
    Because of its hybrid method, the Barracuda Pro can connect with a variety of gadgets out of the field. I may get it hooked as much as my Nintendo Switch, PS5, Steam Deck, and iPhone with out battle. Xbox is the odd one out, because the Series X doesn’t have native Bluetooth assist nor a USB-C port (as a rule of thumb, I’m at all times against USB-C dongles, because the port isn’t frequent sufficient but to be common). That makes it really feel a contact incomplete as an ideal gaming headset, even when there are workarounds.

    Note that the Bluetooth choice does include some latency points. In my exams, I caught a noticeable audio lag when enjoying on Switch, because the sound of switching biking point out choices in video games didn’t correctly line up. For a lag-free connection, 2.4 GHz is a safer wager.
    Battery life
    Razer notes that the Barracuda Pro lasts about 40 hours, and that tracks with my exams. Naturally, there are variables in both course, however I discovered I may get by a protracted gaming session with out having to fret about my headset dying on me. The headset auto-powers off when not in use too, which helps preserve some battery.
    I did encounter two ache factors in terms of battery. It’s only a contact disappointing that there’s no wired choice for the Barracuda Pro. While it does embrace a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, you continue to have to attach wirelessly it doesn’t matter what. Far extra annoying is the headset’s low battery indicator, which continuously interjects with a vocal warning — typically for hours on finish as a consequence of how lengthy the battery is. It’s the identical annoyance I’ve had with my Razer Kaira Pro and I’m shocked it carries over into this extra “high-end” mannequin.
    If it seems like I’m nitpicking on a number of these factors, it’s for a great purpose: These value $250. At a better value level like that, I don’t simply desire a headset to look the a part of a premium product. A couple of lacking touches right here and there add up, making it clear that Razer isn’t fairly able to battle Bose or Sony as a way of life model. This is a gaming headset in the beginning; it’s only one you could put on outdoors with out elevating eyebrows if you might want to.
    Our take
    The Razer Barracuda Pro is an effective all-around headset for gamers who can’t stand the loud design of most gaming equipment. Its discreet design, lengthy battery life, and balanced audio make it a powerful choice whether or not you wish to sport at residence or hearken to music on an airplane. Its hefty $250 price ticket makes a few of its points stick out greater than they might, although. Problems like its weak onboard microphone make me really feel just like the excessive value is extra about sustaining the phantasm of a gaming headset turned status life-style product.
    Is there a greater various?
    For a stable gaming headset with a low-key design, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless is comparable in value and has a greater microphone. For a comparable life-style headset, take a look at the Jabra Elite 85H.
    How lengthy will it final?
    The battery can last as long as 40 hours on a cost, which suggests it’ll final any marathon gaming session. The constructed high quality itself is stable and its carrying case ought to defend it from long-term harm.
    Should you purchase it?
    Yes. If you simply desire a much less embarrassing gaming headset, it’s a wonderfully good choice. Just be ready for some quirks.

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