Razer is all of the sudden turning into a seasoned earbuds model: the brand new $130 Hammerhead earbuds are the corporate’s third pair of true wi-fi buds. They observe the unique Hammerheads launched in 2019 and the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professionals that I reviewed earlier this yr. The most recent set is extra “Professional” than not in each appears and options: they provide energetic noise cancellation, a low-latency gaming mode, and have switched to a in-ear design with silicone ideas.

However nowadays (and at this value), these options are not sufficient to face out from a massively crowded subject. So Razer determined so as to add one thing to its new earbuds that’s not possible to overlook: RGB lighting. Identical to lots of the firm’s laptops and gaming equipment, the 2021 Hammerhead True Wi-fi embody Razer’s full Chroma RGB system, which helps you to decide from 16.8 million colours and a wide range of flashy results that shine by way of the snake emblem on every earbud. It makes for what Razer calls “the last word wi-fi earbud flex.” But it surely’s a flex that solely different individuals will see: it’s not such as you’ll ever discover the RGB glow if you’re sporting the earbuds.

By default when first paired together with your telephone, the Hammerhead True Wi-fi buds use a “spectrum” impact that easily transitions by way of a wide range of colours. If you wish to swap up the lighting, you’ll want to put in the Razer Chroma RGB app for Android and iOS — separate from the Razer Audio app that’s used for EQ changes and customizing the contact controls. Two apps for a single pair of earbuds? Actually? Absolutely Razer may simply replicate the RGB performance in the primary audio app to scale back litter.

Audio meter: the RGB lighting reacts to the music being performed. You may select to have this impact work with a single shade — the place it truthfully simply appears like the sunshine is on the fritz — or quickly cycle by way of an countless array of various hues.

Respiratory: a gradual pulsating impact the place the RGB lighting repeatedly brightens and dims. On this mode, you may set two completely different colours to modify between with every “breath” or have the earbuds decide a unique shade each time.

Spectrum: the earbuds easily swap between a variety of various colours.

Static: the RGB lighting will keep on whichever shade you select.

The earbuds now slot into the case vertically, whereas the unique Hammerheads laid flat.

Out of the field, the lighting is ready to 50 {2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} brightness, which is sufficient to attract consideration — particularly in case you’re sporting them at night time. And let me let you know, these lights will show very helpful do you have to drop an earbud onto the ground since they’re really easy to identify. Razer says the RGB lighting is optimized for a minimal affect on battery life, but it surely nonetheless takes a toll. With each ANC and the lighting turned off, the Hammerhead True Wi-fi can hit 6.5 hours of listening time. Utilizing the RGB function cuts off a whole hour, and the estimate drops to five.5 hours. Add ANC to the equation and also you’re left with solely 4 hours of steady playback. (With RGB off and ANC enabled, they’ll last as long as 4.5 hours.) These numbers lined up with my expertise, and I think about most individuals will maintain the lights on except they’re on an extended flight or different eventualities the place battery life is a precedence.

The RGB lighting does have a detrimental affect on battery life.
Picture: Razer

The Razer Audio app consists of equalizer controls: you may decide from presets like “enhanced bass” or “vocal,” but it surely additionally offers you full management over the EQ vary if you wish to regulate each slider to your liking. The app is the place you may remap the contact controls, which by default are pretty customary: faucet as soon as to play / pause, twice to skip tracks, 3 times to return, or press and maintain to toggle ANC. However Razer will get a bit over-ambitious past that. I’m all for customizable controls, however “double faucet and maintain” is the place you begin to lose me.

The Razer audio app consists of EQ customization and management remapping.

Whether or not it’s consumer error or imprecise contact sensors, it’s too straightforward to mess up that gesture and skip to the following music if you didn’t imply to. The earbuds went into pairing mode a couple of times once I didn’t get it excellent. And by default, that’s the way you management quantity — one thing you’ll need to do usually! Frustratingly, you may’t assign quantity to the easier maintain gesture (or any of the others). There have been additionally occasions when the contact controls stopped responding till I cased the earbuds and pulled them out once more, so Razer has extra work to do with firmware updates.

Relying which RGB mode you select, the earbuds may be completely different colours.

Design-wise, the Hammerhead True Wi-fi are similar to the corporate’s pricier Professional mannequin. They’ve acquired the identical total long-stemmed form, and their circumstances are virtually similar. (Neither set helps wi-fi charging.) However there are delicate variations if you look nearer: the Professionals are extra matte, whereas the lower-cost earbuds are all shiny. Razer features a deluge of ideas with the Professionals (together with Comply foam ideas), however you solely get the standard S / M / L trio of silicone choices with these. And there’s additionally a big mic inlet on the Hammerhead Professionals for his or her hybrid ANC, whereas the common mannequin makes use of a smaller mic that’s higher hid.

Just like the Professionals, the second-gen Hammerhead True Wi-fi had a strong slot in my ears and felt each light-weight and comfy. The massive ideas made for a pleasant seal and good noise isolation, which helped increase the noise cancellation and made it really feel simpler than it in any other case would. Like plenty of earbuds on this value vary, Razer will lower out among the hums and rumbles of on a regular basis life, however they will’t knock out as a lot of the encircling world as premium choices like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 or the AirPods Professional. However these earbuds will cancel sufficient noise to maintain you targeted in your PUBG Cellular session on the espresso store with out fixed distractions. They’re additionally rated IPX4 for water and sweat resistance, making them a possible possibility for runs and different exercises. When you’re on a night jog, having lights in your ears might be yet one more visibility measure to assist maintain you protected.

The RGB lighting is sort of noticeable even at 50 {2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} brightness.

Gaming mode on the Hammerheads cuts audio latency all the way down to 60ms, which is sufficient to keep away from any sync points that would rapidly pull you out of the motion. However when it’s enabled, you’ll want to remain nearer to your machine than regular for optimum efficiency; Razer recommends maintaining inside two ft. The buds have Bluetooth 5.2 and didn’t exhibit any problematic cutouts or different bugs in my time testing them to date. And regardless of missing the “THX certification” that the Hammerhead True Wi-fi Professionals have, their sound high quality is sort of pleasing for the worth. They aren’t as detailed or full-bodied as earbuds within the $200-300 tier, and the latest $150 Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 outperform them with extra dynamic sound. However Razer gave the 10mm drivers a pleasant, even-handed tuning that spans genres effectively — and people complete EQ controls at all times assist if you wish to tinker. They’re neither sensible nor unhealthy and are proper in that place the place $130 earbuds so usually land.

The Razer Hammerhead True Wi-fi earbuds aren’t going to be a match for everybody’s style: I’m completely proud of low-key earbuds that don’t emit a lightweight present every time I’m sporting them. However by including RGB lights to its newest earbuds, Razer is doing the plain Razer factor, and it’s a novel trick which may attraction to among the firm’s diehard followers. I’d sooner suggest one thing just like the Galaxy Buds 2 to individuals searching for an on a regular basis, under-$150 pair of wi-fi earbuds. However these received’t get individuals you fairly the identical means that these do.

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