Razer’s Barracuda X wireless headset works well with many platforms

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Razer introduced the Barracuda X, a cross-platform wireless gaming headset that takes inspiration from the design of the company’s Opus noise-canceling headphones. They’re available starting today for $ 99.99, which is more aggressive than I expected, considering the company typically offers a higher price tag.

The Barracuda X is a big step for Razer as it finally launches into USB-C connectivity, both in terms of headphone charging and wireless audio transmission. Included in the box is a small USB-C wireless transmitter which is almost identical to the one SteelSeries has included with some of its headsets since 2019. It allows compatibility with Nintendo Switch in portable mode, the front USB-C port of the PS5, and some phones and tablets directly through their USB-C ports.

Razer includes a five-foot USB-A cable with a female USB-C end that the transmitter can plug into for devices that do not have a USB-C port, such as a PC, PS4, or docking station. home switch. It can also act as an extender if there is interference between the headset and your USB-C port. None of this is state of the art in the headphone world at this point, but it’s wide compatibility for $ 100.

The headset is also wired and includes a 3.5mm cable. The headset is not compatible with Xbox consoles as they operate on Microsoft’s own wireless protocol, which is not supported. This is disappointing, as the SteelSeries Arctis 7X includes a similar dongle with a toggle switch to work on Xbox and other platforms. Razer will likely get there at some point, but not today. You can plug the Barracuda X audio cable into the 3.5mm jack on your Xbox controller.

The USB-C transmitter is relatively inconspicuous.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

This product is the first in the Barracuda line of helmets, and it sets a solid precedent for future iterations. The Barracuda X’s styling is a far cry from that of the Kraken and BlackShark V2, looking more like a headset than a gaming headset. Razer said The edge that it was aiming for a design that seems platform independent, in order to indicate to people that this is a headset that is probably made for your favorite platform.

The Barracuda X weighs 250 grams, and Razer claims it is their lightest wireless headset yet. After about a week of wearing I can guarantee it is comfortable to wear after several hours of use. The ear pads are soft and breathable, yet dense enough to create passable sound insulation. The cups themselves can be rotated 90 degrees, which is handy for fine-tuning their profile and storing them in a bag. But this swivel feature works backwards when you wear them. For some reason, Razer designed them to rotate in the opposite direction to which I prefer, resting the hard side of the cups against your chest instead of the soft ear cups.

Razer Barracuda X

The mic and all controls are placed along the edge of the left ear cup.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

In terms of performance, that sounds good for a $ 100 headset. These use the same “TriForce” driver design originally found in the BlackShark V2 headset, with three separate sections to provide bass, midrange and treble. However, the drivers are a bit smaller in the Barracuda X: 40mm compared to 50mm in the BlackShark V2 series. I still have to test them a little more to give a verdict, but Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PS5 rivaled Sony’s Pulse 3D headphones, both in terms of sound quality and positional audio capabilities.

Other hardware features of note include a removable boom microphone (which unfortunately doesn’t support mic monitoring), and its controls on the headset are all located along the edge of the left ear cup. There is a mute button, volume wheel, and power button, which can act as a multi-function button when connected to certain devices. Tap it once when I’m logged into my Android phone to pause the music.

One thing to note is that it is possible that Razer will release a more complete version of the Barracuda. Historically, products with an “X” in the name tend to be the low end offering, and usually a “Pro” model follows after a few months. It’s hard to say what a Barracuda Pro (if that’s the name) would offer compared to this version announced today, but features like Bluetooth, an additional dial for audio mixing of games and chat, mic monitoring support or Xbox wireless compatibility are just a few that are on the table.


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