Razer Nari Ultimate Headphones review: Are they worth the price?

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When a new feature is brought to a peripheral, it’s usually met with a lot of trepidation. From the AirPods with their pausing feature when one is taken out, to noise-cancellation as a whole.

With the Nari Ultimate by Razer, a new feature, even eighteen months after its release, is still a new concept and one that should be looked as a standard in gaming headsets.

After reviewing their other headsets, it was refreshing to review their high-end peripheral and to see just what Razer had available in 2020.

With that, here’s a run-through of the Razer ‘Nari Ultimate’.

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Design - Score 85

There’s no getting around it; it’s big. The cushions are very comfortable here, able to cover probably 95% of ears out there, while the adjustable headband helps to get that comfort just right.

It's the same design as the previous Razer headphones, so there's not much new to say here that we haven't mentioned in our other reviews, but the familiar controls are here, with adjustable voice and speaker volume.

Razer finally decided to add wireless connectivity to the headphones here, which is a very welcome touch, which meant plugging in a USB-dongle to a spare slot in the PC, and then Synapse did its thing.

But the 3.5mm headphone jack is still here, which is also welcome if the Bluetooth runs out.

Yet, there's no getting away from just how huge these headphones are. Size isn't everything and that's definitely true here. It felt like I was going to direct aircraft on a runway with these, but for a peripheral that's only going to be used for a PC, it does its job.

It would be nice to see a refresh for the design language that Razer has been abiding by in these last few years. Other high-end headphones in different sectors have been coming out with thinner, sleeker peripherals that do the same or better job, and right now the clunky, black, loose wire design is starting to become past its prime.

These are big; it's as if you're about to direct planes to land on the runway of StealthOptional Airport

Features - Score 92

You may have thought that a higher price in a high-end range of headphones from Razer would produce great sound, and it's only 'good' here. The volume had to be turned up to really catch up on the gains of sound-effects and cut-scenes, especially from games like Doom, Half Life, Street Fighter 4, and Ace Combat 7.

It does okay, but you will need to go into Synapse to adjust the levels that makes it acceptable.

Of course with Synapse, that means RGB settings, and on each cup there's a Razer logo that can be customised to mirror the settings of any other Razer peripheral you have, or just have it do its own thing with its own set of colours.

It goes without saying that the microphone is incredibly useful, especially if you podcast or stream; so you can pop out the wire and talk away. It also comes with the noise-cancellation that's on the

Kraken Ultimate

, and even though friends couldn't really spot the difference, it's a useful by-product regardless.

But it's still baffling that there's no noise-cancellation for the headphones themselves. For a high-end peripheral I would have expected this, especially at the £199.99 price-point, but hopefully next time.

Let's go into the main-topic, which is the 'HyperSense' haptics. Think of it like the rumble in a DualShock controller; every shot from a gun, every boost from a car, it reverberates into the headphones. At first I was hesitant, thinking that it wouldn't work well at all, and it would barely cover any sound, and at low latency too.

But I was surprised here. Even just playing through a level on the original Tomb Raider, each shot from the pistols were haptic feedbacks in the headphones, and it made the whole level just a bit more terrifying. Hearing enemies with their grunts and distant attacks made me feel on edge, and that's not before I mention my time with Mr X in Resident Evil 2: Remake.

It's paranoia and shock turned up to 11 here with the 'HyperSense', and it's incredibly immersive. When trying it out on YouTube and Spotify, it all worked as expected; even a rogue click to an Eastenders episode on iPlayer, had the 'HyperSense' generate loud haptics when the drums began in the opening theme. I haven't watched the show in years, but I'm sure if you watch an episode with the Queen Vic and Pat Butcher, you'll feel like you're there, if you'd like a justification for buying these.

I find it odd that since its release at the end of 2018, the feature hasn't appeared in another Razer product, and that's a shame. It's a feature that really should be shouted about more, and it can really give a massive justification to those wanting to lay down £199 on some gaming headphones.

It's strange to not see Hypersense on other Razer headphones, it's simply a fantastic feature.

Our Score

Pros

  • Amazing 'HyperSense' Haptics
  • Wireless Razer Headphones, finally
  • Very useful microphone and noise-cancellation
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Cons

  • And yet, no noise-cancellation for the headphones?
  • HUGE headphones that look like they're designed to signal ships
  • Design is starting to look dated and messy in 2020
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Overall, the headphones are a stretch for £199.

The design seems clunky and outdated now, not to mention just how huge they are; you won't be using these outside.

But it's welcome to finally have wireless connectivity here, even if it requires a dongle.

The 'HyperSense' really is something you will need to try in a store once it's allowed again; they really do help that immersion of being in a game like Resident Evil and Tomb Raider, and that's even before a mention of Burnout is discussed.

But the sound is what appeals to someone looking for headphones, and they're average at best here. It's baffling to us that there's noise-cancellation on the microphone, yet nothing on the headphones. For £199 we expect better here, especially when the

Sony WH-1000XM3

features this for £50 more, and with much better sound quality.

These really depend if you own other Razer peripherals for your PC, and if you really want to try out the 'HyperSense' feature, as it's something that we'd like to see on more headphones from Razer, and even to shout about more; it's a fantastic effect which really helps you get into the game when needed. Or an Eastenders episode.