Published on April 24th, 2008 | by Erich Becker0
Summary: The little perks make this headset stand out from the pack
Many gamers around the globe will recognize the name Razer, long known for its PC gaming products before the niche market was even developed there wasn’t an aspiring PC gamer who didn’t want a Razer mouse strapped to their hang fragging way in Quake III Arena. The company has expanded into all markets of gaming geared products. The lightweight Piranha is the latest headset from the company which offers a combine headset and mic setup, how does the headset fare in the ever crowding marketplace?
The first thing you notice about the Razer is the USB cable dangling off the end next to the red mic and green headphone plugs. This powers the hypnotizing blue Razer logo on each of the earpieces and the cord-based volume control unit. A nice little touch not seen on most headsets that would really make you stand out at the next LAN party.
The headset features a swivel microphone as opposed to the hide-away ones used on SteelSeries’ lineup of headsets. The mic has a 90 degree rotation and meshes in with the contours of the headset while in the up position and rests far enough away from your mouth in the down position. There is very little adjustment to its placement when down, the plastic constructing the unit isn’t very formable, with good reason as moving it too much would prohibit it from return to the up position. The gain on the microphone is excellent for its distance from your face, in our tests microphone recording was excellent, clear, and crisp without any static on the files we created or over Vent.
Sound output was great as well, although a little lighter as far as a medium volume setting goes compared to other headsets we’ve tested. This is by no means a problem; you just need to be careful when switching between headsets, or going to speakers. To test sound we utilized several high quality AAC files in Apple iTunes, a combination of tracks ripped, purchased, and listened to directly from a CD were used, with all sounding excellent. The bass spectrum wasn’t as punchy as we would like, and when compared to the upper models of rival SteelSeries’ offerings I was a little disappointed, but sound output was great otherwise with crisp music and sound effects in World of WarCraft (our benchmark title). Moving the headset to an Apple 5G iPod also yielded similar results, a slightly softer bass but overall excellent quality sound.
Comfort is the biggest thing, besides sound, when dealing with headsets and the Piranha is a light-weight entry into the market with its over-the-head band and padding make it rest easy on the ears without nearly any fatigue after a long raiding session. The padded earpieces fit over the ear for the most part providing a good cone of sound, however the headset is not noise canceling.
The little touches also add up including a ridiculously long cable which is braided until about the last foot when it separates into three distinct wires (mic, headphones, USB). I would have liked to see a little less of the three separate cables as most gamer’s systems are going to have the three ports fairly close together negating the need for so much unbraided cable. The in-line remote, as previously mentioned, features a bright blue Razer logo, microphone mute button, and headset volume control along with a clip to hang it from your clothes while playing.
The $80 MSRP headset is a great addition to your gaming setup with excellent sound quality and the noise-canceling mic is one of the best we’ve seen. The unit doesn’t have some of the flashy bells and whistles found on some of the competing products, and its bass output isn’t exactly gamer tuned, but a solid, light-weight and comfortable construction with its own set of perks certainly put the Piranha in the top of its class.