So, for my first review of 2020, I’m not tackling a game, which is a bit surprising. In the past, I’ve usually started off my writing year with some sort of title that either blows my doors off or leaves me wondering how soon the rest of the year will get better. But this time around, I’ve decided to try my hand at an unlikely piece of tech — earbuds.
I’m not generally a fan of earbuds. I prefer the sturdiness and richness of a headset, with its built-in features. For that matter, it’s easy to lose one of these earbuds, which means you’re either just stuck with one or having to pay a fortune to get another pair. That’s why I never really “adapted” to Apple’s models for my iPhone.
But Razer decided to send me a pair of the Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds, in an effort to see what kind of wireless performance they deliver. They’re not really for game consoles, but rather mobile devices, making them ideal for game sessions like DeathSmiles, Angry Birds or whatever you feel like playing. And for $99, they seem like a fairly good deal — although that doesn’t mean they’re perfect.
First off, the pods are well built. They’re made with comfort in mind, and fit easily into any given size of lobes (mine, anyway) without slipping around. They’re very AirPod-like in terms of design, and convenience in putting in and taking out. And, to further add the Razer touch, the company’s logo is on the ends. Because, hey, why not show off the tech you’re using?
What’s more, the earbuds come with a charging case. It’s simple to plug them in and charge them, though you won’t need to do it that often. That’s because they last a pretty good while, around three hours or so per charge. Technically, they’re supposed to go around four, but I’m a decent mobile gamer during travel, so I can understand the difference. Plus, they did really well with my sessions of The Pinball Arcade.
One interesting thing with the tech here is that it’s not quite on the same level as AirPods. For instance, the music continues to go even after one of them fall out of your ears, whereas with Apple’s, they pause. Not the end of the world, though, and there’s only so much tech that can go into these considering the somewhat cheaper price tag.
The touch buttons work quite well, including being able to pause and play what you’re listening to, as well as pairing with ease with your device via Bluetooth. That said, sometimes it can take a bit, depending on how far you are from it.
It does take a bit of time to adjust to the Hammerhead’s gaming mode. You can set it up, but it takes more tapping than expected if you don’t have access to the app that comes with the device. Also, sometimes the volume can get a wee bit too loud, and adjusting can, again, take a while.
The sound quality is pretty good, but not amazing; and the fact you have to do so much tapping to get the Hammerhead set up the right way might leave a few folks bothered. But once it hits that sweet spot, it gets the job done. Still, its limitations leave it best for the mobile crowd, and for those that really don’t mind sticking something in their ear, compared to, say, a more convenient headset. (Which, by the way, Razer does make.)
For $99, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds deliver where they need to, for those that absolutely want to go with that option. But, for that price, you can buy a way more stylish headset (like the company’s Star Wars branded one, which is pretty rad) and still have something left over. Here, it just seems like the tech is merely good, not great, especially when it comes to adjusting and having to get everything in the right spot. They’re not bad, but they’re something that could’ve used a little more oomph in the design department.
Now then, where’s my headset?