When it comes to audio, Razer has actually been in the business for a long time now. Going all the way back to their Barracuda HP-1 headset back in 2006. Then in 2009 they got into the mobile market with the Razer Moray so they aren’t new to the market, they have actually continued to bring out new earbuds a few times now but the new Razer Hammerhead BT’s are their first wireless earbuds. In the past, Razer has stayed within their gaming market but these push out into the mobile market more. They peaked my interest and with summer being a great time to test a set of mobile headphones I got the Hammerhead BT’s in and have been toying around with them. Today let’s check them out and see what they are all about.
Product Name: Razer Hammerhead BT
Review Sample Provided by: Razer
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20kHz
Impedance: 32 ± 15% Ω
Sensitivity: 116 ± 3 dB @ 1 kHz
Max input Power: 10mW
Drivers: 10 mm with Neodymium magnets
Cable length: 63 cm / 2.07 ft.
Approximate Weight: 0.06 lbs (28.0 g)
Frequency response: 300 Hz – 3.4 kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 55 dB
Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 42 ± 3 dB
Pick-up pattern: Omnidirectional
Music Controls: Play/pause, next, back
Call Controls: Answer, end, reject call
General: Volume, pair, power
Battery type : 160 mAH rechargeable Li-Po battery
Battery life : Up to 8 hours*
Charge time : Up to 2 hours
Bluetooth wireless range : 10 m / 30 ft
The Hammerhead BT stuck with Razers tried and true flat black with green trim on its packaging. The box has a photo of the entire headset floating on the front with just the branding and a Bluetooth logo, keeping things clean. On the back things are simple as well but at least here they talk a little about battery life, 10mm drivers, and the IOS and Android inline remote.
Inside the box, the headset sits in foam but is out on the front to display it. Then for documentation on the left, there is a pouch congratulating you on your purchase signed by the CEO with the manual inside.
The Hammerhead BT’s also some with this hard case to store them in when not in use. The bottom half is formed to hold them perfectly with a pouch on the top half that holds the included accessories. You get a USB to Micro-USB cable that is extremely short and two other sizes of rubber inserts for different sized ears.
Photos and Features
So the Razer Hammerhead BT’s really stick with the same theme we saw on the packaging and the same look of all Razer products. Everything is blacked out with green accents down the wires. Now you may be wondering why a Bluetooth headset would have wires. Well, the two earbuds connect via a wire down to the controller where the battery is also at. Basically, they wrap around the back of your neck with the small oval controller being down at the bottom of your neckline. This isn’t unheard of when it comes to wireless earbuds, especially if you plan on running with them. This design lets you take them out without losing them and offers a little protection from dropping and losing one if it falls out as well.
Around on the back of the neckband, the Hammerhead BT’s have a magnetic clip with the Razer logo on it. This can help hold everything in place and the clip also helps give the room to house the battery and the Bluetooth unit. The clip is held on with a piece of rubber and when you open it all up you will find all of the information on the device. All of the certification logos are on the strap and on the unit itself you have the model information and serial number.
The earbuds themselves are a big step up from the old Morays I have hiding around the office. These have an aluminum shell construction with a textured grip on the outside. Then on the side that goes in your ear they use rubber plugs that are very similar to earplugs with a dual bump design. They include two other sizes for the rubber inserts to make sure it all fits your ear no matter the size. Inside for drivers, Razer went with 10mm drivers with Neodymium magnets. They have a frequency range of 20 Hz - 20kHz, this isn’t too bad for a wireless device and with a sensitivity of 116 they should be decently loud.
Each of the earbuds also has the Razer triple-headed snake design on them. The snakes also light up with the typical Razer green. They use this lighting to show when the Hammerhead BTs are on or flashing indicates Bluetooth pairing mode.
For mobile users, you don’t really want to have to dig your phone out to answer a phone call, flip through songs, or to change the volume so they also have an inline controller. It is compatible with both IOS and Android. You just have up and down buttons for volume or tracks then the center button does play/pause or accept/end call. This also has a small built-in microphone. It is omnidirectional and has a very small frequency range of 300 Hz – 3.4 kHz so don’t expect it to sound like your gaming headset or a table microphone. This is simply for voice commands with your phone, recording notes, and talking on the phone. The inline controller is also where we charge the Hammerhead BT as well. It has a flip-out rubber cover that hides a tiny Micro-USB plug so you can charge it using the same cable as some phones or use the tiny cable included with the headphones.
Audio Quality and Performance
For audio testing, I spent part of the time with the Hammerhead BT’s paired with my PC and the rest with them paired with my phone. I did testing with my PC simply because that is where I listen to most of my music and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could. With both most of that time was listening to music. Now earbuds and I have always had a precarious relationship, literally. I have multiple pairs of high-end earbuds and I love the way they sound but I’ve always fought with just keeping them in and with them being comfortable but I was hoping things would be different this time around. The Hammerhead BT’s are labeled on each ear and then the cord wraps around the back of your neck hanging there. You can then clip them to your shirt to keep them in place. I found the battery/control box in the middle to be a little heavy so it was good that you can attach them. The magnet isn’t very strong but they did grip my shirt but I did notice that a nice shirt with a collar, for example, would be too much for the magnet. The magnet design did make it quick and easy though.
With my big head, I was curious if I would have any issues with the length of the cord between the earbuds. I had my wife test them out and the cord length was more than enough for her small frame but on my larger neck/head, I was reaching the limits of the cord length. The earbuds fit best with the cord facing down but when I would turn my head it would pull them slightly and face the cord across my ear. The double bump on the rubber seal though kept the earbuds in, even when the cord was pulled. Given my past issues, this was a surprise. They fit will for me with the standard adapter and I didn’t even have to swap them out. It cut down outside noise and like I said kept them in place without being too tight or uncomfortable.
The in-line control behind your right ear was easy to pick up and understand without ever looking at it or any instructions. This was a combination of having a standard format that matches everyone else with the up and down buttons and a middle button. But the plus shape helped orientate me as well, as did the bars the show you when a volume button ends and the middle button starts. The built in charging port was covered to keep water and dust out and I love that they went with micro-USB for charging. Sadly everyone is moving to USB type-c now for phones, but most people have micro-USB charging cables all over in addition to the included one. The included carrying case is nice as well. It was bigger than I would want to keep on me day to day but great for trips or for longer term storage. The hard shell was solid and I had no concern about the hammerhead BTs getting damaged while in the case.
Now wireless performance was what you would expect for a Bluetooth device and very dependent on the room and device you are connecting to. I had to fight to get a good signal from my PC but only because it sits inside of a Faraday cage aka the wire rack that it sits in the middle of. With my phone the range was great and I could leave my phone in the office when using the treadmill, going to the bathroom or the kitchen, or on my toolbox in the garage while working on the card on the other end of the garage. This was all in a house that is infamous for having really bad wireless interference on every device. As for battery life, well the Hammerhead BTs are rated to get up to 8 hours of life and I came close to that in my testing at somewhere between 7 and 7 and a half hours (I lost track at one point), most of that was using them with the volume at an above average setting.
Now for audio performance, the main limitation is the wireless interface. You get the same 20 Hz - 20kHz frequency range that the ever popular Jaybirds have. In my testing, though they did sound good. Bass in Still Dre hit hard when jamming to The Chronic 2001. It was just missing the vibration of the patched together car stereo from when I was 17. Pink Floyd had good mid’s and great highs when listing to the entire Wish You Were Here. David Gilmour’s guitar solo in Shine On You Crazy Diamond would have been a lot better laying in bed but sounded just as good while on the treadmill and taking advantage of the wireless connection. It would have all been better on a wired connection but this was still up there close (but still behind) the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless headphones I reviewed at the end of 2016.
Overall and Final Verdict
Testing out the Razer Hammerhead BT’s was a nice change of pace. It gave me the opportunity to just crank up a few of my favorite albums and get away from my desk. Being wireless I was able to move around the house with my phone in the office playing music. As for the performance, there are still hard limitations with wireless audio devices and The Hammerhead BTs do run into that wall. They sound great for wireless and for most people that will be more than enough. Bass is decent and mids and highs were crisp with enough volume to make you go deaf if needed. Battery life was as promised and good, just enough for the average work day and the Micro-USB charging connection should be easy to find if they need to be charged. The clip/cord design is a good way to make sure you don’t lose the earbuds and it helps make room for a battery big enough to get good life from. I also loved the included carrying case, I’ve spent good money on similar cases for other devices and Razer included the case.
Now the magnet design was okay with a t-shirt but I did find it to be a little weak when used on a collared shirt and if you can’t clip it the weight of the battery does pull on the earbuds. Also, as I mentioned while the audio performance was surprisingly good a wired set would still be a better option unless you need the mobility.
The Hammerhead BTs are going to run you just under $100 and I wouldn’t consider that to be chump change. After shopping around this puts them in between the 25-50 cheap wireless earbuds online and the 200+ for premium brands like Beats or Apple Airports. Notice I said premium brand, not premium products, but that is for another time. Overall if I was on the market for wireless earbuds this is about the range I would be shopping in, you can find a few other well reviewed models at about the same price. I think the Hammerhead BTs are a good buy for wireless earbuds simply because going higher end isn’t going to scale up with performance, especially with the wireless tech itself holding things back. I would still go wired myself, but I’m not exactly very mobile lol.
Live Pricing: HERE