Razer Hammerhead True Wireless (2021) Review: ANC with a colorful light show

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Razer is suddenly becoming an experienced in-ear headphone brand: the new $ 130 Hammerhead in-ear headphones are the company’s third pair of true wireless loops. They follow the original Hammerheads was released in 2019 and Hammerhead True Wireless Pro I evaluate earlier this year. The latest series is both “professional” and in looks and features: it offers active noise reduction, low-delay gaming mode and has moved to ear design with silicone tips.

But today (and at this price) these features are no longer enough to stand out from the hugely crowded. So Razer decided to add something to his new headphones that is impossible to ignore: RGB lighting. Just like many of the company’s laptops and gaming accessories, the 2021 Hammerhead True Wireless includes Razer’s full Chroma RGB system, which lets you choose from 16.8 million colors and a variety of eye-catching effects that glitter on each earbud. It does what Razer calls an “extreme wireless in-ear headset”. But it’s the flexibility that only other people see: you’ve never noticed the RGB glow when you use earbuds.

By default, when paired with your phone for the first time, the Hammerhead True Wireless buttons use a “spectral effect” that shifts evenly across different colors. To turn on the lighting, you need to install the Razer Chroma RGB app for Android and iOS – separate from the Razer Audio app, which is used to adjust the equalizer and customize the touch controls. Two apps for one in-ear headset? Really? Surely Razer could just repeat the RGB functions in the main audio application to reduce clutter.

Sound meter: RGB lighting responds to the music being played. You can choose this effect to work with a single color – wherever it just looks like the light is at the fritz – or to quickly go through an endless variety of shades.

Respiratory: a slow pulsating effect in which RGB lighting brightens and dims repeatedly. In this mode, you can set two different colors to switch between each “breath”, or let the headphones choose a different color each time.

Spectrum: the in-ear headphones switch smoothly between many different colors.

Static: The RGB lighting remains in the color you selected.

The headphones are now attached to the case vertically, while the original hammer heads were set flat.

Outside the package, the lighting is set to 50 percent brightness, which is enough to draw attention – especially if you use them at night. And I want to tell you that these lights prove to be very useful if you drop the headset on the floor because they are so easy to spot. Razer says RGB lighting is optimized to have the least impact on battery life, but it still costs money. When both ANC and lighting are off, Hammerhead True Wireless can listen for 6.5 hours. Using the RGB feature will cut off the entire hour and the estimate will drop to 5.5 hours. Add ANC to the equation and you only have four hours of continuous repetition. (When RGB is off and ANC is enabled, it lasts up to 4.5 hours.) These figures are consistent with my experience, and I think most people keep the lights on unless they’re on a long flight or in other situations where battery life is a priority.

RGB lighting adversely affects battery life.
Photo: Razer

Razer Audio includes equalizer controls: you can choose from presets like “enhanced bass” or “song,” but it also gives you full control over the equalizer area if you want to adjust each slider to your liking. In the app, you can re-edit touch controls, which are fairly standard by default: tap once to play / pause, twice to skip tracks, three times to go back, or press and hold to change ANC. But Razer gets a little too ambitious. I’m in favor of customizable controls, but “double-tap and hold” is where you start to lose me.

The Razer audio application includes customizing the equalizer and reconfiguring the control.

Whether it’s a user error or inaccurate touch sensors, it’s too easy to confuse this gesture and move on to the next song when you didn’t want to. The headphones went into pairing mode once or twice when I didn’t get it right. And by default, you can adjust the volume – something you want to do often! Frustrating, you can’t give volume to a simpler grip gesture (or anything else). There were also times when the touch controllers stopped responding until I put the headphones in the case and pulled them out, so Razer has more to do with the firmware updates.

Depending on the RGB mode you select, the headphones may be different colors.

In terms of design, Hammerhead True Wireless are very similar to the company’s more expensive Pro model. They have the same general long arm shape and the housings are virtually identical. (Neither set supports wireless charging.) But the more specific differences are small differences: Professionals have a matte finish, while more affordable earbuds are all glossy. The Razer has plenty of tips for professionals (including Comply foam tips), but these only give you typical S / M / L silicone options. And Hammerhead Pros also have a large microphone input for the hybrid -ANC, while the standard model uses a smaller microphone that is better hidden.

Like the pros, the second-generation Hammerhead True Wireless sat firmly in my ears and felt both light and comfortable. The large tips made for a comfortable seal and good noise insulation, which helped improve noise attenuation and made it feel more effective than otherwise. Like many headphones in this price range, the Razer cuts out the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but they can’t knock out the world around as much as premium options like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 or AirPods Pro. But these in-ear headphones eliminate enough noise for you to focus on your own PUBG Mobile a session in a cafe without constant distractions. They are also classified as IPX4 water and sweat resistant, making them a potential alternative for jogging and other exercises. If you’re on an evening run, the lights in your ears can be another gauge to help you stay safe.

RGB lighting is noticeable with brightness of up to 50%.

Hammerheads game mode reduces audio latency to 60 ms, which is enough to avoid sync issues that can quickly pull you out of action. But when it’s in use, you need to stay closer than normal to your device for optimal performance. The Razer recommends keeping it within two feet. The loops have Bluetooth 5.2 and did not show any problematic cuts or other defects when I tested them so far. And while Hammerhead True Wireless professionals lack “THX certification,” their sound quality is quite pleasant for the price. They’re not as detailed or full-bodied as the $ 200-300 level headphones and the recent $ 150 Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 with a more powerful voice. But the Razer gave the 10mm drivers a great, even tuning that covers genres well — and these comprehensive equalizer controls will always help if you want to compromise. They’re neither brilliant nor bad and are in the right place where $ 130 earbuds land so often.

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless headphones don’t suit everyone’s taste: I’m completely happy with the low-key in-ear headphones that don’t send a light wave every time I use them. But by adding RGB lights to its latest headphones, Razer is making an obvious Razer thing, and it’s a unique trick that might attract some of the company’s tough fans. I would rather recommend something like this Galaxy Buds 2 for people looking for an everyday under $ 150 pair of wireless in-ear headphones. But they don’t make people look at you in exactly the same way as these.

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