Razer Kaira and Kaira Pro for Xbox review

Razer is well-known for its PC peripherals, but the firm is not shy to dabble in console accessories as well. Consider the latest Razer Kaira and Razer Kaira Pro Gaming Headsets for Xbox. The headphones, which have built-in Xbox Wireless support, fit natively with the whole Xbox console lineup – from Xbox One to the current Xbox Series X – bringing another headset to gamers’ arsenals.

The main difference between the Razer Kaira Pro and the standard Kaira, despite their titles, is that the former embraces Bluetooth 5.0 while the latter does not. This ensures that the Kaira Pro will attach via Bluetooth to PCs, Macs, and cell phones, but all need a separate dongle to connect to the Razer Headset Setup for Xbox app on PC for complete customization choices.

Fortunately, the headphones provide an excellent detachable microphone that sounds fantastic, and the side RGB illumination has a good visual appeal. They’re still very convenient, due to their foam earpads.

Otherwise, they’re nothing special: their 50mm drivers sound good but not fantastic, and the structure is lightweight but mainly plastic. These aren’t deal-breakers, and they also manage to render the Razer Kaira a viable option to competitor Turtle Beach headphones.

Price and date of release

Razer announced both the Kaira and Kaira Pro in November 2020, at the same period as the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles were released.

The Razer Kaira costs $99 (£99, AU$169) and supports only the Xbox Wireless link, while the Razer Kaira Pro costs $149 (£149, AU$259) and supports both the Xbox Wireless connection and Bluetooth.

Although it is a decent price for a wireless headset, it pits the Razer Kaira against Microsoft’s recent Xbox Wireless Headset, which we adored for its excellent audio reproduction capability. The Razer Kaira Pro appears to be a good value as well, but we believe that other headsets, such as the Steelseries Arctis 9X, provide better for a little more cost.

Create a design

The Razer Kaira is very stylish… for a gaming headset. With a black and green paint scheme and RGB illumination on the sides of the earcups, it has that gaming aesthetic – so much so that you wouldn’t want to wear it somewhere else outside of your home – but it’s not a bad look by any means.

The Razer Kaira is mainly made of plastic, with the exception of a small metal band that extends across the bridge of the headset. That is, although the bridge is relatively strong, the joints are made of plastic and are more resistant to snapping. That’s not something you expect to learn while purchasing a $149 headset, but that’s what Razer does here.

The positive news is that, while it’s mainly made of plastic, it’s a very thin headset, weighing just 293g for the standard Kaira and 330g for the Razer Kaira Pro. Because of the lightweight construction, as well as the memory foam padding and fabric earpad coverings, the headphones are soft and easy to use for longer periods of time.

When it comes to the earcups, each one has its own collection of controls. On the left, there is a mic mute key, a volume wheel, and a power button; on the right, there is an Xbox pairing button, a chat/game volume balancer, and a Bluetooth pairing button (exclusive to Kaira Pro).

The headset’s only port is for a USB-C charging cord, which can also be used to attach the headset to your PC for firmware upgrades – but that’s it. Since no headphone has a 3.5mm audio port, they cannot be used wired.

Last but not least, there’s the detachable, noise-canceling headset, which helps you sound fantastic. All you have to do to remove it is tug on it, and you can reattach it at any point by easily plugging it back in.

Exemplification

The Razer Kaira and Kaira Pro fall right in the center of the continuum in terms of tonal balance and overall audio consistency. To put it another way, the headphone focuses on the mids rather than the treble or bass to ensure the dialogue is heard clearly. As a consequence, the headphone sounds good but isn’t expressive, spacious, or full of clarity.

We tried out a few different games with the Kaira Pro, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Xbox Game Pass and Overwatch, a professional shooter staple. We could hear some good nuances in the ambient noises and a few spatial audio clues in both scenarios, but it missed the clarity we’ve heard on other headsets.

The Kaira and Kaira Pro are adequate for music and film, but not exceptional. When combined with consoles, you’ll find an emphasis on the mids and also a tiny bit of bass response, yet it lacks the details you’d hear with a pair of proper over-ear headphones.

The good news is that, although their audio replication abilities aren’t stellar, they do render you sound fantastic to everyone thanks to Razer’s HyperClear Cardioid microphone. The microphone does an excellent job of picking up the speech which greatly decreases the volume of background noise that passes in from the other end. We called anyone with music playing in the background and bring it to the test. Surprisingly, the individual on the other hand claimed they couldn’t sense anything except our speech going through the mic.

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