The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is the latest in a long line of gaming headsets from Razer. The Kraken name has cemented itself into gaming hardware lore and is generally accepted as being a marker of no-nonsense, no-frills, straight-up audio quality. Heck, it's a (relatively) safe bet that most gamers across all platforms will have had some form of Kraken Razer headset over the years - from the straight-up 'Kraken', to the Kraken Tournament Edition, and the entry-level X and Lites, there have been many, and all have been worthy of the name, some even appearing on the internet's best gaming headset lists, too.
Now, the latest premium, high-end - no, top-end - Kraken enters the fray: the Kraken V3 Pro. This is not only the top end of all the Krane's now, but the top end of the V3 refresh that has been announced and released across the range in the past few months. The entire range is focused on providing some of the best PC headsets for gaming in 2022, but the V3 Pro goes wireless, and also adds a big fun feature too. Let's see how it stacks up.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: design and features
The first thing that's obvious about the V3 Pro is that it's very much a Kraken in its design and build DNA but at the same time a clear evolution too. The form and shape of the earcups particularly, give away that this is definitely a Kraken headset, but it's been redesigned to be slightly narrower and slimmer at the same points, across the cups. Not by much, but it's most noticeable at the very exterior of the cups and where the headband attaches to them. Draped over the entire headset is Razer's plain black aesthetic (though you'd be that a green one is coming at some point, right?) - this is only punctuated by the RGB Razer motifs and rings when the headset is turned on.
The entire headband is cushioned - unlike the new Kaira range of console headsets - and this makes for a comfortable fit however you wear your headset, while the cups are faux leather on the outer sides and a soft material on the head-facing side. All in, this is an incredibly comfortable headset so there are no complaints on this front - or on the wider design and build. Solid.
It's worth noting that the dongle is easy to set up for wireless use, and is also compatible with PS5 and PS4 - you'll even get the haptics for those consoles, too.
Controls are nicely spaced and spread across the two cups and are easy to navigate. The left cup has the mic mute button, the volume dial (which is very sensitive), the power button, and the audio jack, USB-C, and microphone ports (the mic is detachable). The right-hand cup houses the all-important Hypersense haptic button (more on that later).
Much like any other Razer headset, everything can be tinkered with in Synapse, and from my experience, you'll need to spend a bit of time in there to get the very best out of the set.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: performance
Straight out of the box, there is no doubt that the Kraken V3 Pro continues the long tradition of excellent audio that the Kraken range is famous for. Sporting those newer 50mm Razer TriForce Titanium drivers, the in-game audio is of such an excellent depth, richness, across the soundscape spectrum, no matter what you play.
The sounds of the post-apocalyptic landscapes of Metro Exodus - as well as the tighter confines of the tunnels - are incredibly clear and enhance the atmosphere of the places and lands in the game. Everything in Total War: Troy and the Red Alert Remaster is crystal clear and crisp; the eerie sounds in Control are beautifully presented, and the positional and surround sound on offer is terrifically accurate and edge-granting in games like Apex Legends.
Where the V3 Pro cranks it up, however, is the addition of the haptics. Available at three different levels of intensity, these are incredible, and much improved from the (pretty decent) haptics on offer in the Nari Ultimate from a few years ago.
There are a couple of caveats on the sound and haptic fronts though. First, on the sound, the Kraken V3 Pro is quite trebly straight out of the box. I found this when switching from my Razer speakers to the Kraken while music was still playing - it can get a little piercing, so some time in Synapse rebalancing and rejigging the EQ settings is almost certainly a must.
The caveat with haptics is that not only will they rumble your face off in an intense gunfight, but your head will also be shaken about if your teammate asks how your day was. This is a little annoying and meant that the haptics had to be turned off in my co-op play - which is a shame given that many co-op games are some of the most bombastic, and worthy of haptic tech. I really hope that the next step or next development of haptics will be to differentiate between game audio and chat audio.
For what it's worth, and even though it's essentially the same as in the BlackShark V2 Pro, I would rate the mic in the Kraken V3 Pro as fine. It hasn't set the world on fire in terms of some of the best communication that the best microphones for gaming can offer, and it's not terrible. After it warmed up, so to speak, it came out good, but did come across a little tinny - though, of course, you can tinker with this in Synapse a bit too.
Caveats aside, the performance of the Kraken V3 Pro is superb, offering a fulsome, immersion-enhancing audio experience for all games, no matter what you play and how you play them.
Razer Kraken V3 Pro review: should you buy it?
Would I recommend the Kraken V3 Pro? Absolutely. It's easy to recommend on audio quality alone, on build and design execution alone, or on the haptics alone. Combined, though, those qualities make for a really great headset. The cost is the relative elephant in the room because at $200 / £200 it is rather steep - and $20 / £20 more (retail price) than the BlackShark V2 Pro. This is a lot of money, of course, but the haptics probably demands a bit more investment over the BlackShark V2 Pro's price.
Yup, that price tag means the Kraken V3 Pro won't be threatening the best cheap gaming headsets right now, but it is very good and has left me in a challenging (albeit blessed, admittedly) position where I'm having a tough time choosing between it and my BlackShark. My main PC headset may have been usurped.
If you're a fan of haptics then that extra bit of cash over the BlackShark is probably going to be acceptable to swallow - underneath the hood, they are similar in terms of drivers and mic etc, after all - but if you're not bothered about the haptics, then I might still recommend the BlackShark. Just. It's really tight to call at the top end of the Razer headset line right now.
All in, however, and cutting to it, the Kraken V3 Pro is a triumph in heightening immersion; the features and audio quality combine to make one of the very best wireless gaming headsets going right now, and if you do go for it, you will not be disappointed.