With the Barracuda X, Razer wants to launch a model that is at least visually different from the previous gaming headsets. Razer is known for its high-quality headsets, very good sound and elaborate design. We therefore eagerly awaited the new headset and immediately subjected it to an extensive practical test. How we rate the device, to what extent it can stand out from previous models of the manufacturer and whether we recommend it, you can read in our detailed review.
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
- Sensitivity: 96dBSPL/mW@1KHz by HATS
- Drivers: Customized Dynamic 40mm Driver
- Inner ear cup diameter: 60 x 40mm
- Connection type: USB Type C or wired 3.5mm connection
- Cable length: 1.5m / 4.92 ft
- weight: 250g / 0.55lbs
- Oval ear cushions: Full-ear coverage with fabric and plush leatherette, for sound isolation and comfort
- Frequency response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 60 dB
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): -42 ± 3 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
- Volume up and down
- Mic mute on/off toggle
- Wireless audio usage: USB-C dongle
- Wired audio usage: 3.5mm analog
- Surround sound: Only available on Windows 10 64-bit
Design and workmanship as well as wearing comfort
As mentioned at the outset, the Barracuda X is relatively different from most other Razer headsets in terms of appearance: it has a more unobtrusive design, forgoing garish colors, elaborate extras, and other visual highlights. Instead, it presents itself as a largely ordinary, all-black headset that could easily be worn on the street without drawing all eyes to itself. You will also look in vain for RGB lighting. Razer itself says that it has created a product that is aimed at all those who prefer a more discreet aesthetic. In our opinion, the headset lives up to this claim: Like other Razer headsets, it is impeccably manufactured, relies on high-quality materials, but does without the otherwise usual excess. The outer casing, which encloses both the ear cups and the headband, gives the headset the impression of being made from a single mold. This in turn contributes to the fact that it leaves a very high-quality first impression.
It is also noticeable that the Barracuda X is surprisingly light. It weighs just 250 grams and sits correspondingly smoothly on the head. In the test, this design aspect proved to be extremely positive: Even hours of wear do not lead to unpleasant pressure on the head or even headaches. The same applies to the ear cups, which also hardly exert any pressure on the ear and are comparatively light. We also noticed the angle at which the ear cups rest positively: The design helps to avoid strong pressure points.
All in all, then, the Barracuda X impresses with an extremely simple, yet thoroughly classy design, good workmanship, and exceptional wearing comfort. But that’s not all that’s expected of a good gaming headset. So what about connectivity and especially sound?
Connectivity and compatibility
The Barracuda X is a headset that can be operated both wirelessly and wired. A 3.5mm jack cable is included and allows it to be used in combination with a wide variety of output devices that have a corresponding port. Wireless becomes a bit more difficult, since the headset does not work with Bluetooth, but only with a 2.4 GHz wireless connection. Specifically, this means that the device can only be used with output devices that are able to accept a USB-C dongle and thus support the wireless connection. With the included extension cable, the dongle can also be used on USB-A ports. Thus, the Barracuda X is compatible with computers, PlayStations, Nintendo’s Switch, and all those Android devices that support USB-C audio. Users of iPhones or iPads, on the other hand, can only use the headset wired.
The omission of Bluetooth is used by Razer with the superiority of the 2.4 GHz connection, which is faster and latency-free. In fact, this is not an argument for completely omitting Bluetooth, but only one for using the 2.4 GHz connection: This connection might be superior; however, all those who cannot use it would still be better served with Bluetooth than with the current state, in which they can only use the headset wired.
If the headset is used wirelessly, it will need to be recharged after twenty hours of playtime at the latest. This value stated by Razer seems to be consistent. The headset is charged via USB-C cable, which is included.
In terms of connectivity and compatibility, the Barracuda X only convinces us to a limited extent due to the described decision to do without Bluetooth, although the connection setup worked flawlessly in the test even through three walls and the specified battery life could be maintained. However, the USB-C adapter is a bit annoying especially on the smartphone.
Sound and microphone
This brings us to the core point of our test: How is the sound of the headset? Razer’s TriForce drivers are used in the Barracuda X, which produce highs, mids and lows in different ranges in order to be able to emphasize the respective characteristics more strongly. In theory, this improves the sound significantly. But how does it look in practice? The sound actually convinced us in the test. Basses were reproduced clearly and there was no overdriving worth mentioning even with pronounced trebles. Overall, the sound can be described as extremely authentic and balanced, whereby the bass reproduction in particular stands out positively. Although the Barracuda X does not use 50 mm drivers, but instead relies on 40 mm drivers, you do not have to reckon with noticeable sound losses compared to models like the Black Shark V2. 7.1 surround sound is also available with the Barracuda X, but it can only be used with the 64-bit version of Windows 10. Those who want to use the headset with another operating system or console will have to do without the surround sound.
The integrated microphone could also convince us in the test. With noise cancellation and a basic windshield, it ensures a pleasantly clear transmission of the voice, which should especially suit team players. Overall, we rate the sound and microphone quality as slightly above average for the headset’s price range, which strengthens the overall positive impression so far.
Ultimately, it remains to be said that Razer presents an unobtrusive headset with the Barracuda X that should by no means be overlooked. In terms of design, it is aimed at those who want to do without eye-catching colors, lighting and extras, but do not want to compromise on wearing comfort or workmanship. The device’s sound is also convincing and outshines some competitors in the same price range with its TriForce sound. The connectivity is the only point of criticism: Razer does not use Bluetooth for quality reasons, but this will probably upset some interested users who can only use the headset with cables due to the lack of compatibility of their devices. Those who do not see any hurdle in this or have a compatible output device and are looking for a not too expensive, not very flashy, but sound and workmanship flawless device should grab it!