Razer Piranha review

The second part of the Christmas gift from Razer is the Razer Piranha

The Piranha is Razer’s second attempt to create a gaming headset. You can read what I thought of their first attempt here.

Piranha logo

First impressions

piranha1.JPGThe Piranha looks like a typical headset. On-ear cups, flexible mic-boom and an adjustable headband. The Sennheiser PC150 follows the exact same recipe.

An obvious difference (at least in the dark) is the glowing Razer logo. To power these LEDs the Piranha has a small USB plug. This plug is not used for anything else, so if you don’t like the blue LEDs, simply unplug the USB connector.


Cables and connectorspiranha3.JPG

A nice touch is the braided cable. This rope-like cable feels like you could climb a mountain with it and will certainly last a long time. The braided cable splits into three rubber wires for the audio, mic and USB plugs. The three seperate wires are very long compared to the two short wires on the Sennheiser PC150. This enables you to have the microphone input and headphone output some distance apart.
The Piranha’s heaphone-plug is connected to the control unit of my Logitech Z-5500 on my desk, while the microphone is plugged directly into my soundcard. This wouldn’t be possible with the Sennheiser PC150 without an extension cord.

Volume dialHalfway the braided cable there’s a small inline volume control, mic switch and shirt clip. The volume dial feels ok, and the shirt-clip does what it’s supposed to. Unfortunately the mic switch feels very cheap and flimsy. You could easily switch the mic on/off accidently.

Headset and sound quality

The headband has some padding and can be adjust to fit nearly any head. The mic-boom is attached to the left earcup and can be easily adjusted. The boom itself is flexible and you can bend it into position.

microphoneThe microphone will enable others to hear you loud and clear.

I’m not too impressed by the ‘uni-directionality’ of the microphone. Typing on my keyboard was picked up just as easily as my voice. Overall the microphone is good for a gaming headset.

The other important aspect is the sound quality of the headphone. The Piranha produces a darker and bassier sound than the Sennheiser PC150, which is also a bassy headphone. Overall it’s not bad for a gaming headset, but it’s not really better than the PC150.

Conclusion

The Piranha is a nice headset. Decent sound and microphone quality, good ergonomics and a solid quality feel (mostly). The Piranha doesn’t offer any new features for a headset, but it does a good job of the basics.

It suffers most from headsets like the Sennheiser PC150, which offer almost the same features for half the price. In the end I would recommend this headphone to anyone looking for a good gaming headset. But I’d also point out the cheaper alternatives and HiFi headphones.

Pro

+Well built headset, very nice cable

+Microphone and sound quality are OK

+Good ergonomics, comfortable

Cons

-Expensive

-Cheap microphone switch

9 thoughts on “Razer Piranha review

  1. Hi, just came across this site. I’m looking for a gaming headphone, and my current target is Piranha. I guess this headphone has done a pretty decent job. From the picture, this thing looks kinda fragile and the microphone, it will eventually be loose under heavy usage I assume(hope it won’t). I previously bought a Barracuda HP-1 which was utter crap. Anyway, nice review I would say!

  2. Hi Jon, thanks for your comment.

    The build quality doesn’t really justify the price, but it’s not that bad either.
    The worst part is the inline volume control, especially the microphone switch. In Team Fortress2 I sometimes I get comments from people that they can’t hear me, because the switch got tripped accidently.
    When I turn it back on, they also say I sound very clear. So when it works the microphone is rather nice.

    My thoughts about the HP1 are exactly the same, luckily the Piranha is a lot better.

  3. id like to know whether the barracuda can be used on laptops or only on PC?? because as far as i know the barracuda have 4 3.5mm jack but unfortunately there are only 2 holes(for speakers and mic) on my laptop.thanks you very much.

  4. Hi aimano.

    This review is about the Piranha, which you can use on any sound card. The Piranha also has a USB plug, but it’s only used to power the lights, so you don’t have to plug it in.

    About the Barracuda:
    It has 4 audiojacks + 1 USB jack. Actually the Barracuda has this weird DVI-like plug but using the included convertor you can connect it to 3.5mm jacks.
    The Barracuda has a built-in amplifier which is fed from a USB plug. So to use the Barracuda on a laptop you’ll need 1 mic jack, 1 audio jack and 1 USB plug.
    You won’t have surround sound with just 1 plug, but it will work.

  5. I see that you know a lot about headphones so tell me what is your opinion. Piranha or Barracuda ? Or something else ?

  6. Something else. For the money you pay for a Piranha or Barracuda you can buy a decent headphone with a clip-on microphone.

    For example: Sennheiser HD515/555/595 with a Zalman clip-on mic.

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