It’s been more than a week since I have unboxed the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds and they have been my go to earbuds ever since, while my Apple earbuds are lying on my side table tied up in several knots. I am aware that you can’t really compare wireless and wired earbuds. You might also think that maybe I just find the former more convenient. But here’s the thing, I am fairly old-fashioned when it comes to earphones. I prefer absolutely nothing over the simplicity and comfort of a good pair of wired earphones. Because I review hardware for a living, I always have a number of options lying around. But I haven’t looked at a single item yet and thought, “Maybe I want to keep this as my own,” until I came across the Razer Hammerhead Earbuds. And that is huge.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The earbuds were in no way perfect. In fact, almost every pro they had was accompanied with a con. But somehow, at the end of the day, the pros managed to outweigh the cons, especially considering the earbuds’ economical price.
Intuitive Design with a Little Room for Improvement
Overall, the concept of the earbuds work fairly well. The Razer Hammerhead consists of small and lightweight earbuds with rather long sticks coming out from the bottom. The stick is thankfully long enough to maintain a firm grip on the earbuds while navigating their controls. The exterior of the earbuds are minimally designed with nothing but the Razer logo on them. They come with a carry case cum charger, like all other true wireless earbuds. A small but unnoticed detail on the carry case is its strategic design and how the buds go in. The case is marked with a L and R and so are the earbuds. The left earbud goes in its right slot and vice versa. It sounds confusing but makes complete sense if you think about which hand you use to plug which earbud in. The slots have magnets embedded in them which produce a reassuring click sound once you’ve successfully planted them.
Here is where the ‘room for improvement’ part comes in. The case is rather flimsy. Even for $100, the case comes off as rather cheap and low-end. In fact, it has a wobbly lid and loose hinges. It looks as if the box was dropped from a height a couple of times before it arrived. The earbuds have a larger-than-usual size and no extra ear tips sizes to accompany them. I was comfortable in these until I started organizing my room and I found myself tightening their grip inside my ear canal every few minutes.
Great Connectivity (Almost Always)
The Razer Hammerhead’s ability to instantly connect and offer a blindingly fast setup is one of the primary reasons behind them becoming my favorite in a matter of a few days. Once I had connected them to my phone, all I had to do was open the case’s lid. In a volume loud enough for me to hear with the buds are in the box, I was notified that they have successfully connected. By the time I plugged them in my ears, the setup has already been done in just a few seconds.
However, the connection tended to drop during their usage. At times, only one earbud would output audio and I’d have to wait a second or two for the other one to catch up. But this wasn’t a very common occurrence and it is thus easily forgivable. All in all, the connection was strong and reliable. Moving across the room also compromised it in no way.
Audio that Checked Every Box
I put an EDM track by Serhat Durmus on the Razer Hammerhead and was nothing less than blown away. Not because I have never heard bass like this, but because for earbuds to turn out this powerful in terms of performance was surprising. The bass didn’t get muddy at any point and provided that much-needed thump.
I was concerned that while they’re able to deliver power, they might suffer in delivering detail and precision. But the Razer Hammerhead came through in that aspect too. I put on a country song to gauge the extent of the depth they’d provide in terms of acoustic resonance. The notes delivered plenty of texture. They were spread across a rather spacious soundstage and each one of them could be easily discerned.
For Gamers. By Gamers.
A low-latency connection is what’s advertised as one of the USPs of the earbuds. After thoroughly testing them with a variety of video game genres, I can fully attest to this. Razer’s tagline, ‘For gamers. By gamers,’ made much more sense after spending a few days with these incredible earbuds. The lag-free connectivity on offer here is precisely the kind of low-latency connection gamers require. The product has clearly been designed by a team of highly qualified professionals who had the exact needs and requirements of gamers in mind. Staying true to their slogan, Razer came through with its seamless, no-stutter input latency providing a huge competitive gaming advantage.
There is also a separate gaming mode that the earbuds offer, but a difference of a few milliseconds could not really be detected. There is no actual way to test a difference as small as this, unless it is clearly evident in performance, which it wasn’t.
The accompanying Razer Hammerhead app comes with an entire tutorial on their touch-enabled controls, and they’re still extremely complex to master. Learning when to single, double or long tap according to what you want the buds to do is a challenge to begin with. But even when you’ve successfully learnt this part, it’s fairly difficult not to mess up the exact speed and duration that’s needed. Every control demands a very specific motion and a difference of a few milliseconds can lead to the earbuds doing something completely different. It can get a bit frustrating.
Across The Board
All in all, the Razer Hammerhead impresses. Its app allows you to install firmware and view the battery status along with providing a couple of presets. It might not impress an audiophile though, considering how limited its presets are. After using these for several days, I barely ever had to worry about the battery. The carrying case takes just 30 minutes to fully recharge, which I found very impressive. The battery level of the earbuds clearly shows up on the top of your phone screen, and thanks to the carry case’s efficient charging mechanism, I’ve never seen it drop below 50%.With most true wireless earbuds these days having at least an IPX5 rating, the IPX4 rating on the Razer Hammerhead may put you off. But then again, a $100 pair of earbuds can only offer you so much.
Is it Hardcore?
Oh, yes. Definitely.
Sure, it may take a while to fully master the navigation on these buds, but it’s not an unforgivable flaw. And if you’re getting phenomenal audio, fast connectivity and a great battery life for $100, what more do you want?