Should you get a headset from HyperX or Razer?

Gaming headsets didn’t exist until 2004 — before that, gamers used regular music headphones. But in the nearly two decades since the introduction of a headset specifically designed for video games, there has been a lot of progress. Built-in microphones let players communicate, and larger drivers improve audio quality.

While neither HyperX nor Razer made headphones in the early days, the companies have become known for their high-quality headphones.

HyperX headset

HyperX started as a gaming memory division in 2002 under Kingston Technologies and is well-known in gaming circles for its plethora of entertainment products. Its first headset came out in 2014. Seven years later, Kingston sold HyperX to tech giant HP for $425 million.     

HyperX headset pros

Wireless headsets connect to a computer through Bluetooth or the 2.4GHz frequency, but it is a bit different for certain consoles. Microsoft uses its own proprietary Xbox Wireless technology, and if a gadget doesn’t have it, it won’t work. HyperX has one compatible wireless gaming headset, while other manufacturers require a Bluetooth dongle.

Another drawing card for HyperX headsets is their robust build. Most use an aluminum frame that can withstand rough handling, thick memory foam on the ear cups and synthetic leather that doesn’t flake over time. The headbands are sturdy, adjustable and well designed.

The company is also well-known for its high-quality microphones. Several models have detachable microphones, while others feature the flip-to-mute function. Its microphones are generally noise-canceling, preventing other people from hearing your background sounds, and there is an LED mute indicator, so you know when your microphone is off.  

But for any headset, the sound quality is the most important. It differs among headsets, but the high-quality ones use HyperX Dual Chamber audio drivers. The ear cups are divided into two sections that separate the bass frequencies from the mids and highs. With less interference, the dual chamber design provides more accurate sound.

HyperX headset cons

While there is little to fault HyperX for, most complaints against its headsets are about their bulky build. Gaming headsets are heavier and more cumbersome than street headsets, but the aluminum frame adds more heft than some gamers realize. 

Also, the company strongly focuses on wired headsets, as only three of the 30 models are wireless. 

Best HyperX headset

Best HyperX Cloud Alpha S Wired PC Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud Alpha S Wired PC Gaming Headset

This wired headset is compatible with computers and gaming consoles, connecting through the 3.5-millimeter jack. It uses HyperX’s custom-tuned 7.1 surround sound for spatial audio and has 50-millimeter dual chamber drivers. The noise-canceling microphone is detachable, and the ear cups are padded with memory foam and synthetic leather.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Surround Sound Headset

HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Surround Sound Headset

With thick padding on the 53-millimeter ear cups and headband, this wired headset has 7.1 surround sound and a detachable, noise-canceling microphone certified for TeamSpeak and Discord. It is compatible with Windows-based PCs and gaming consoles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best HyperX Cloud Stinger Core

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core

This wireless headset connects to computers and gaming consoles through a 2.4-gigahertz USB transmitter. The soft ear cups are covered with a fabric mesh, and the flexible microphone swivels to mute.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Razer headset

Razer is the older of the two companies, starting in San Diego in 1998 and initially creating the Boomslang gaming mouse. Its first headset, the Barracuda HP-1, came out in 2006 and Razer has consistently released at least one new headset every year since. All Razer headsets are named after aquatic predators such as sharks, whales or the deadly Portuguese man-of-war. 

Razer headset pros

It currently promotes three models with a few variations for each, but they are all built to Razer’s robust, sturdy specifications. The ear cups have ample padding and are covered in synthetic leather, while the headbands are strong, adjustable and padded enough for long gaming sessions.

There are fewer headsets for console gaming, as the focus of Razer is clearly on wired headsets used on computers. Most of its PC headsets use THX (owned by Razer) Spatial Audio to give an immersive experience, and Razer says that it “delivers a performance greater than 7.1 surround sound.” Spatial audio lets you pinpoint the exact location of a sound’s origin.

Selected headsets also incorporate the company’s Hypersense, which lets you feel the action instead of just hearing it. The headsets have built-in haptics, much like the rumble from console controllers, that are triggered by big in-game events such as explosions. 

Razer headset cons

While any wired headset can work with the Xbox or PlayStation consoles by plugging them into the controller, Razer’s options for dedicated console headsets are limited. It only has separate versions of the Kaira for both consoles, while PlayStation gamers have the added choice of two Kraken models.

Best Razer headset

Best Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset

This wireless headset has generous 50-millimeter Triforce Titanium audio drivers divided into three parts that let you adjust the highs, mids and lows individually. It also has THX 7.1 Surround Sound for accurate spatial audio, a thick padded headband and a detachable microphone with voice isolation.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless Headset

Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless Headset

With Razer’s Hypersense haptic feedback, THX Spatial Audio 7.1 surround sound and large 50-millimeter audio drivers, this headset is the ultimate in gaming. It has a retractable microphone and ample padding, and the battery lasts several hours.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Razer Barracuda X Wireless Multi-Platform Headset

Razer Barracuda X Wireless Multi-Platform Headset

Whether you need audio from your computer, console or mobile phone, the Barracuda covers you. It has 40-millimeter drivers that are divided into three parts so you can fine-tune the highs, mids and lows, and a detachable microphone that suppresses background noise.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Should you get a HyperX headset or a Razer headset?

HyperX has a great selection of headsets made from durable materials and boasts excellent sound quality. On the other hand, Razer has a wider spread of headsets, touching on almost all elements you could look for.

You’ll typically find two Razer versions (the named version and an ‘X’ version) of the same headset but with different configurations. For example, the BlackShark V2 has THX Spatial Audio, a removable microphone and a USB soundcard. This contrasts with the more affordable BlackShark V2 X, which has 7.1 surround sound, a bendable microphone and no USB soundcard as it uses a regular 3.5-millimeter jack.

Razer’s naming and model convention make it easier to differentiate between headsets, whereas HyperX might have one model with up to five variations. But that shouldn’t diminish HyperX’s excellent headsets. 

They are great and definitely worth the investment, but Razer inches ahead with THX Spatial Audio (HyperX uses DTS), a varied selection and the otherworldly rumble of Hypersense.

 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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