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Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro review

Razer’s new wireless earbuds have quite a bite

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro may not exactly stack up against other wireless earbuds, but they still offer a good set of features for its price tag. Where things take a miss is with the sub-par call quality and ANC, which are features that other earbuds are more than capable of delivering on.

For

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • Customizable sound and functionality

Against

  • Clumsy touch controls
  • Poor Ambient Mode
  • Poor mic and call quality
  • No quick or wireless charging

TechRadar Verdict

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro may not exactly stack up against other wireless earbuds, but they still offer a good set of features for its price tag. Where things take a miss is with the sub-par call quality and ANC, which are features that other earbuds are more than capable of delivering on.

Pros

  • + Excellent sound quality
  • + Comfortable
  • + Customizable sound and functionality

Cons

  • - Clumsy touch controls
  • - Poor Ambient Mode
  • - Poor mic and call quality
  • - No quick or wireless charging

Razer is mostly associated with gaming peripherals, but its latest offering, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro, looks to push the boundaries a bit and aim for the general user market. It’s a competitively priced $199 wireless earbuds that offer a ton of features including the highly publicized THX certification, that might entice users away from similar solutions from Apple or Sony.

After spending over two weeks with the earbuds, it’s hard not to be impressed with what Razer have done with the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro. It’s almost a complete package, with excellent sound, low latency and above average noise cancellation. But its wonky touch controls and subpar microphone hinders it from reaching for the top slot.

 Price and availability 

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro cost around AED 735 ($199.99). They’re positioned against the Apple Airpods Pro (AED 999), and Sony WF-1000XM3 (AED 799), both of which offer similar features and performance, and could be found for cheaper on online retail stores like Amazon and Noon. 

 Design

 The premium price tag of the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro almost oozes out of the product. The charging case is finished in smooth black plastic with a glossy interior. The contrast gives it a feel of a high-end product, though it’s prone to smudges and scratches. Besides that, there is minimal design on the case - there is a subtle Razer logo embedded on the top of the lid, and a tiny LED in the middle to indicate the charge status. There is no pairing button - instead the earbuds can be paired to any other device by simply opening the lid of the case. 

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

It’s an attractive package even if not wholly original or unique; it is quite clearly inspired by the Apple AirPods. However, unlike Apple’s solution, the Hammerhead’s case is a bit wide and possibly a bit thicker. It doesn’t make it less portable though, as we had no problems stashing it away in our jeans pocket, but it’s slightly more chunkier than we would have liked.

The earbuds look nearly identical to the original Hammerhead True Wireless, with the familiar stump design and plastic construction to make a fairly unobtrusive earbud. The only bit of pop in the design is the large green Razer logo, which also doubles as the area for touch controls.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Razer has gone above and beyond to include all kinds of ear tips, including a premium memory foam ear tip from Comply. Overall, you have no less than seven ear tips of various sizes and fit, which strangely creates a decision paralysis. You have three sets of SmoothComfort black silicone tips which are meant for long term comfort, and another set of Secureseal Translucent silicone tips which are more grippier and provide increased stability. 

We ultimately settled for the Comply ear tips as it provided the best balance between comfort and bass response. The tips sort of contour to your ears, but they also get squished and extremely dirty as they are made of foam. Thankfully, they are easy to wash but you’ll have to clean them every other day if you want to keep them in pristine condition.

The in-hand operability of the earbuds is a bit clumsy. They are hard to take out from the case as you’ll have to dig into the sides of the earbuds to pull them out. It’s great that they are fully secure in the case, but it’s just a bit cumbersome to take them out. 

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

 Luckily, once they are in your ears, they remain firmly positioned and do not move around a lot. We have tried them on while running and during several lifting sessions in the gym, and they remain perfectly stable in all situations (we have not tried them during HIIT or similar strenuous exercise routines so your mileage may vary). From a comfort perspective, they’re quite good. Whether it’s gym time or watching several feature length films, we never found the need to remove the earbuds for a break. 

Touch Controls

 The Hammerhead True Wireless Pro provides an exhausting list of touch controls that covers every bit of functionality right from the earbuds. You can answer and reject calls, play/pause media (which also works if you take out one of the earbuds), cycle through different ANC settings, activate voice assistant on your mobile phone, turn on low latency mode, skip tracks, and even clear paired devices.  

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The touch controls are a mix of single, double and triple taps, with some requiring a combination of tapping and holding for the action to trigger. This works well for some of the basic functions that require only a single or a double tap, but things start to get clumsy when you try the more complex controls. For example, activating the low latency Game Mode requires you to triple tap and hold the touch area for two seconds, and then repeat that to deactivate it. This doesn’t always pan out, as the earbuds would sometimes register it as a double tap and skip the track instead. 

The touch area is a mixed experience when it comes to sensitivity. We always seem to trigger media playback while taking the earbuds out of the case, and there would be times when the touch area simply wouldn’t respond to taps. Also the single tap is more like a ‘longer’ tap as a quick tap won’t do anything, so you have to kind of tap and hold for half a second for it to register. It’s a bit weird and frustrating as it goes against normal conventions, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Software 

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro comes with its own mobile app that can be downloaded from the iOS and Android store. The app connects and can make changes to the earbuds even if they are not connected to the same device you are using it from. This is a good bit of design decision from Razer as it allows you to make quick changes to the earbuds even when you are watching a movie on your TV or have connected to your iPad for a gaming session.

The app is well laid out and intuitive to use. On the front screen, it shows you the battery status of the two earbuds, and also allows you to change the sound profile with the built-in equalizer. It  features several EQ presets as well, namely THX, Amplified, Enhanced Bass, Enhanced Clarity and Vocal. We found the THX profile to be the most balanced for overall sound quality, but you can also customize the equalizer to get them to sound just the way you like it.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As mentioned above, the list of touch controls on the Hammerheads is quite comprehensive and could be overwhelming to learn. If you are having trouble keeping up with some of the more complex controls, you can simply remap each action from the ‘Remapping’ tab. You can change the actions for each earbud, with the control sets divided between common usage and during a call.

Digging into the settings page, you can make some quick changes to the device, such as activating noise cancellation, going through the tutorial, configuring the auto play/pause feature, and also perform an earbud fitting test that checks if they are placed correctly. It plays a short audio clip to check for audio leakage and passive noise cancellation, and will recommend you to change the eartips if the results are not satisfactory. 

Performance 

The 10mm driver on the earbuds are well-tuned and a joy to listen to. There’s a surprising amount of bass that has the capacity to swell and drone, and it's extremely well controlled for a punchy response. Of course, the level of bass is dependent on the ear tip you are using. The SmoothComfort and SecureSeal ear tips provide the most bass - maybe a tad bit too much for our taste - while the Comply ear tips are a lot more controlled. 

We found the THX profile to be the most balanced preset for all purposes, be it for gaming, watching a movie, or listening to music or a podcast. The earbuds are sharply tuned for clear mids, while the highs are nice and smooth for long term comfortable listening. We phased the Hammerheads through a multitude of music genres, and it aced them well enough, with an impressive soundstage that’s able to produce distinctive positional accuracy, as well as having enough detail in the sound to differentiate between textures. 

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As good as the sound quality is, the active noise cancellation features don't exactly meet those standards. It’s not bad per se, but it’s certainly not on the same level as the competition. With music playing around 80% or above volume, the ANC works well enough to block out most of the outside noise. This includes the engines of passing cars, kids playing in the living room, or the obnoxiously loud music in the gym. Listening to anything quieter such as a podcast, lets all of that noise in, but not to an intrusive level. Of course, if you want complete silence, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro certainly doesn’t have that capability.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Ambient Mode, which can be activated by tapping and holding the touch area for two seconds, leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t reduce the music volume by a lot and neither does it let enough outside noise in, making it practically useless as you can’t really hear anything clearly. We simply found ourselves removing an earbud if we ever wanted to converse with someone rather than going through the laborious process of activating the ambient mode. Also, cycling through the ANC settings from On to Ambient Mode to Off to back to being ON, takes a lot of taps, and an equal amount of patience.

Thankfully, the auto play/pause on the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro works just fine. Simply remove an earbud and the media will pause, and putting them back on resumes it. It’s as seamless as it can get, and works across all devices including TV, iPad, mobile devices, etc.

The Gaming Mode, or low latency mode, is one of the top billed features on the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro and is obviously catered to the gaming audience. Razer claims it reduces the latency down to 60ms, and while we have no means to accurately measure that, what we can say is that it definitely works as intended.

The low latency mode isn’t really required for YouTube videos or feature length films as we didn’t find any sync issues with the normal mode. However for gaming, it does make a difference. The sound of footsteps or a gunshot in Call of Duty Mobile fires without any lag, whereas in normal mode it feels a bit off. We would wager the difference in performance will vary based on the game you are playing, but for fast paced games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile and Fortnite, it should help in eliminating any sort of audio lag. 

The microphone and call quality is where the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro truly drops the ball. The voice quality of the other person sounds muffled and bassy, and it’s also on the quieter end making it hard to hear in crowded places. The microphone quality was described to us as if we had put the call on speaker, with a bit of echo in the background and somewhat bassy voice quality. However, no one really complained of not being able to hear us clearly so at least it’s not all bad, we suppose. Here’s a sample of the microphone recorded via iPhone’s Voice Memo app which accurately represents how it sounds when you are making a call:

Battery Life

Razer promises around 4 hours of battery life from the earbuds with ANC on which aligns with what we were able to get out of them. The case itself provides another 16 hours of additional charge, for upto to 20 hours of total use. The battery life is nothing extraordinary but should provide a full day of use for light to moderate users. The case charges via a USB-C cable, as there is no quick charge, and neither does it support wireless charging. 

Final Verdict 

While it may not exactly stack up against competing giants like the Apple Airpods or the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro does hold on its own with a comprehensive set of features that justifies its pricey $199 tag. They are a great-sounding pair of earbuds with rich and expansive sound, with a versatile set of comfort options and touch controls, and an excellent companion app. 

However, those looking for excellent call quality and ANC features may not be pleased with these, and it’s the only real place where Razer seems to have cut corners. 

Mufaddal Fakhruddin

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is an experienced Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the computer games industry. He is skilled in social media, video idea creation and production, media relations, and journalism.