Just in time for the holiday season, Razer came around the corner with a new pair of wireless earbuds. They are called Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds, which sounds like a lot, but is often just hot air. Small spoiler: There’s not much hot air to read in this review, because the earbuds are really great.
But enough is said in advance. We took a closer look at the earbuds and – as mentioned – tested them extensively. Let’s see to what extent Razer can deliver in terms of wireless earbuds.
|Frequency range||20 – 20,000 Hz|
|Noise reduction||ANC, hybrid|
|Battery runtime||Headphones 4 hrs, charging case 16 hrs|
|charging cable||With USB-C port|
|Number of microphones per headphone||2|
|Noise ratio||64 dB|
|Frequency range (microphone telephony)||100 Hz – 10,000 Hz|
|Sensitivity (microphones)||-26 dBFS/1 khz|
|Supported codecs||SBC, AAC|
|Dimension (charging case)||50 x 63.8 x 25 mm|
|Weight (headphones)||53 g|
|Price||Price not available *|
The US-based company also presents its new Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds in a pristinely chic package. Topped by the typical fabric loop and printed in the typical black and green colors, the exterior alone makes you want more.
What comes to light is the charging case along with the two headphones equipped, the charging cable with protective caps on the plugs and a total of 7 pairs of attachments. There are one pair made of memory foam and three sets each made of different silicone – but more on that later.
The delivery is extensive in any case. We were especially hooked on the memory foam attachments.
Looks don’t match anything wild
Named after the hammerhead shark, the Wireless Earbuds and case are made entirely of plastic. Per se, nothing new from Razer, but the right choice in the case of the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds, where they need to be lightweight.
If we take a closer look at the headphones, we notice that their appearance is nothing innovative. But even that doesn’t matter in our opinion, as long as they don’t look like clunky pieces of plastic hanging out of your ear. The round touchpads are drawn from the Razer logo, which adds a chic contrast to the design.
The charging case also comes in the matte black that the headphones also wear. At 50 x 63.8 x 25 mm, it seems a bit large, but can still fit in a pocket or two since it’s kept flat. However, the size is also due to the size of the in-ears, which have a long stem.
Touch control and a sensor do a good job
Several functions can be controlled at once via the touch control. Different commands such as “double tap” or “triple press” allow the wearer to act in an uncomplicated way without having to constantly pull out the smartphone. The commands can be changed in the corresponding app.
Overall, the general functions play/stop, previous track, next track, activate/deactivate ANC and activate/deactivate game mode are preset. Beyond that, you have five more options in the field of telephony to issue commands via the touch controls. Alternatively, the common voice assistants can also be used.
What’s missing is a volume control, which Razer intentionally didn’t include. The smartphone has to be taken out for that after all.
However, the touch control is supplemented by sensors in the headphones. These detect whether the Earbuds are in the ear or not. Accordingly, they stop or pause the running music. A charming extra, whose initial problems have been solved via a firmware update in the meantime. Thus, the sensors were namely so sensitive that they detected and misinterpreted even minor movements, for example, when readjusting.
High wearing comfort, but not with memory foam
As mentioned at the beginning, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds come with a total of seven pairs of attachments. However, they differ not only in size, but also in texture. Six of the pairs are made of silicone, with two different types used. Called SmoothComfort, the three sizes of attachments are soft and intended primarily for many hours of wear. The three SecureSeal attachments, on the other hand, are for a snug fit and, more importantly, more noise reduction.
The seventh pair, on the other hand, does away with silicone and features memory foam. If you squeeze them before inserting them, the foam unfolds once inserted into the ear and fits it to a hair’s breadth. Although the foam insulates and thus guarantees a great sound, they are not suitable for long wear. The high seal makes the Earbuds a bit uncomfortable with these attachments.
Although the memory foam is supposed to be a highlight of the included accessories, it takes less sensitive ears to take advantage of it. In the end, it’s a matter of feel that may vary from wearer to wearer. In summary, however, we can attest to the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds being very comfortable to wear.
This sounds like quality
Comfortable is all well and good, but the sound of headphones is especially important. Here, Razer has come up with quite a bit. For example, the audio quality has been certified by THX Ltd, which Razer boss Min-Lian Tan also chairs as CEO. The former company of George Lucas is concerned with ensuring that the created sound reaches the listener in a balanced way. The quality seal of the same name has primarily become known in cinemas, but is no longer limited to that, but also assesses speakers and headphones.
Our less dependent review confirms the seal of quality. The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds are real sound wonders, which can easily compete victoriously with good counterparts from other manufacturers in the same price range. In the default setting, the headphones deliver an ideal balance between high, mid and low tones. However, additional profiles can be selected via the app, which we will soon examine. Each profile has a different audio focus. The sound is transmitted by one 10 mm driver each.
For example, if we contrast Apple’s AirPod Pros with the review units, Razer wins not only in terms of sound, but also when it comes to noise reduction. Equipped with ANC, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds allow you to filter out outside noise – not all, but most. Combined with the memory foam attachments, the isolation effect doubles again, but as mentioned, these detract from comfort.
A hybrid ANC is installed, which is why both a forward- and a backward-coupled microphone are installed. These are visible on the inside of the headphones. The microphone for telephony, on the other hand, is on the underside. While one picks up sounds to filter them out, the other deliberately transmits them in case you want to talk to someone and thus depend on the ambient noise. The ambient mode can again be switched via the touch controls.
We come to a highly pleasing conclusion: the sound quality is convincing. They are worth a purchase.
Low latency due to gaming mode
For all gaming fans, there is an additional plus point: by switching on the gaming mode (via the touch control or the app), the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds deliver the sound with low latency of 60 milliseconds – of course also usable for movies. This means that sound and picture are perfectly synchronized, and you’ll run off the court as the winner in competitive games even more often.
60 milliseconds of latency also means the Razer Earbuds are ahead of most competitors. The usual latency is still 160 to 180 ms.
And they can also make phone calls
The bottom-mounted microphones on both headphones of Razer’s Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds are designed for telephony, voice assistance, and other voice chats. These also work to filter out distracting background noise, but in moderation. If the environment is particularly loud, it will also be uncomfortable for the ears at the other end of the line. Apart from that, the two microphones provide an optimal transmission of the voice, which is not disturbed by any unnecessary noise.
The Hammerheads can’t last long
On the subject of battery, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds meet the average for the first time. They can deliver a total of four hours of music before recharging with the portable charging case. With this, a total of four more charges are possible, which adds up to a total of 20 hours of battery life. Gaming mode or not, but four hours is little for a gaming session. On the other hand, four hours in one piece is completely sufficient for on the go in our opinion. If ANC is also enabled, the battery life is even shorter.
The charging case can be recharged via USB-C charging cable. Fast charging is not possible.
With app from Razer
In order to further optimize the sound and adjust it to the user, as well as to make further settings, Razer also provides a matching app. It is available for both Android and Apple’s iOS.
First of all, the app provides information about the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds’ battery status and offers the option to install firmware updates. Also, as mentioned earlier, reassignment of the touch controls can be done, with no additional functions to select than those listed above. The functions can only be assigned to other commands on the left and right respectively.
In addition, the Razer app also offers an equalizer that can map ready-made profiles, but also offers a possibility for individualization. For example, the THX profile can also be selected, which guarantees the best sound, even at high volumes. A total of four additional profiles are preset: Vocals, Clear, Improved Bass and Amplified.
A little extra is provided by the fit test. This helps to adjust the sound and noise reduction to the real conditions. This is done by measuring the escaping sound waves due to a lack of isolation.
Otherwise, the game mode, speech, noise reduction (also for the surroundings) and fast connection to a device can be activated or deactivated. At this point, it should be mentioned that the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds can only be connected to one device at a time. If you want to change it, you have to do so manually. Also, the app asks for permission to access the location, although there is no feature that would justify this.
There is still room for improvement in IP certification
Having managed 95 percent of the review, the remaining five percent is just IP certification and the fact that the Razer Earbuds can be used individually.
However, when it comes to the IP certification, we have to note that the headphones only comply with IPX4. In other words, they can withstand splashing water, which is what the 4 expresses. Razer does not reveal anything about the dust protection, which again marks the X. However, at least an IP54 certification should be standard for good earbuds in this price range. A point that we definitely want to see improved in the next generation.
After a debauched review – which is justified in the case of the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Earbuds – we sign off the buy recommendation with a Gold Award. Even though the wireless earbuds have a lot to offer, such as good sound, the gaming mode, optimal ANC or wearing comfort, there is still room for improvement in some areas.
Compared with competing products, the Hammerheads perform equally or even better in most cases. Razer also pays for that with the hefty price of just under 210 Euros. That is the same price that Apple charges for its AirPods Pro. If you consider that these are usually overpriced and are inferior to the Razer Earbuds in many respects, it is a borderline price, but acceptable.
If that’s too much money for wireless headphones, you can take a look at the slimmed-down Hammerhead True Wireless variant. This one forgoes ANC, for example, is not THX-certified, and offers less battery life.