Windows Central Verdict
Razer's Barracuda is a mid-range gaming headset that can double up as headphones for music and movies. Whether you need 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, or a wired connection, the Barracuda is capable of handling it. Easily switch between PC, Android, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch with a simple, high-performance dongle.
2.4GHz or Bluetooth wireless
Great battery life
No wireless Xbox support
Why you can trust Windows Central
To say there's a good choice of gaming headsets out there would be the understatement of the year. We've looked at the best PC gaming headsets and best Xbox gaming headsets to see what works and what doesn't. Companies often sacrifice audio quality or some other important features for style points or to keep costs low.
The Razer Barracuda is positioned for those who take not only their games seriously, but also music and other forms of media. This gaming headset has integrated microphones that make it easier to use outside without having to disconnect a physical mic each time, as well as 50mm drivers for punchy sounds.
I've taken the Razer Barracuda for a spin over the course of two weeks and here's what I find to be worth the price and what could be improved.
Availability, price, and specifications
The Razer Barracuda is the second of three new headsets launched by Razer to form the revamped Barracuda family of cans. It costs $159.99 and comes with integrated microphones and larger 50mm drivers compared to the more affordable Razer Barracuda X.
|96dBSPL/mW@1KHz by HATS
|Razer TriForce Titanium 50mm
|Inner ear cup
|62mm x 42mm
|USB-C Wireless (2.4GHz)
|Row 6 - Cell 0
|Row 7 - Cell 0
|Dual Integrated ECM beamforming noise-cancelling
|Row 10 - Cell 0
|Row 11 - Cell 0
The Razer Barracuda is only available in black without Chroma RGB lighting. Inside the packaging with the Barracuda are a Type-C wireless dongle (for the 2.4GHz connectivity), Type-C charging cable, Type-A to Type-C adapter cable, and a 3.5mm combo cable.
Razer Barracuda: What you'll like
Gone are the days of a headphone jack in most portable devices. Everything must be wireless in 2022, and the Razer Barracuda is the company's answer to gamers who not only want to enjoy smashing skulls in their favorite games but also music and movies all using the same pair of cans.
Bluetooth is decent enough, but there are still latency and quality issues, which leaves us with USB dongles for 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. These are fantastic for alleviating the problems with Bluetooth but come at the cost of needing to be plugged into anything you want to connect the headset to.
The Razer Barracuda dongle works with Android smartphones, the Nintendo Switch, PCs, and PlayStation making it one of the most versatile headsets available. There's no Xbox support, which I'll go into more detail with in a later section of this review. At least Razer includes everything you need to connect the Barracuda to pretty much any device.
The audio quality with the Barracuda is brilliant, thanks to the Razer TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers that are present in both cans. That's not all, however, as Razer offers THX Spatial Audio for PC, which offers EQ, presets, and the option to boost the bass.
Razer Barracuda: What you'll dislike
The included 2.4GHz wireless dongle is fantastic, and it has no issue delivering high-quality audio within a decent range, but it's still a dongle that requires to be plugged into your chosen platform. It's a little on the long side and I don't mean coming away from the USB port; the dongle is at a 90-degree angle. This could block some ports on devices.
The extension cable is meant to solve this problem, but who wants to use a cable with the dongle hanging somewhere? It would have been good for Razer to allow the dongle to swivel to 180 degrees for those who don't mind sacrificing signal strength a little. Lastly, on the dongle, there's nowhere to stow this little companion when you're on the move.
So long as you make notes as to the current location of this dongle, you shouldn't lose it when hopping between devices. Finally, we've got Xbox support, or lack thereof (thanks, Microsoft!). Companies like Razer need to use the proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol, which costs more. You can rely on the 3.5mm cable, but that means you'll be tethered using a wireless headset.
Razer Barracuda: Competition
There's plenty of healthy competition for the revamped Razer Barracuda range of headsets. Not only does Razer itself produce multiple gaming headsets that are worth considering, but there's also strong competition from the likes of Corsair, SteelSeries, HyperX, and Turtle Beach.
We're big fans of the HyperX Cloud II Wireless, and our Executive Editor Daniel Rubino gave it a glowing review for its blissful comfort, solid audio, and excellent portability. It was priced the same as the Barracuda at launch, but you can find it on sale, undercutting Razer's latest cans.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7+ is another fine headset. I reviewed the SteelSeries Arctis 7 back in 2018, and the updated 2021 model takes things to the next level with a USB-C dongle for 2.4GHz wireless and better battery life. Like the Cloud II Wireless, you can find this headset at a slight discount compared to the Razer Barracuda.
Razer Barracuda: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You jump between devices frequently
- You want excellent, reliable wireless audio
- You like Razer's more understated designs
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You tend to lose dongles (no holder for the 2.4GHz wireless)
- You want to use this wirelessly with Xbox (or an iPhone)
The mid-range Razer Barracuda is the most interesting of the three headsets for me. It's a good middle ground between affordability and enthusiast-grade features, lasting up to 40 hours on a single charge. Whether you're prepping for a long PC gaming session or need a pair of cans for a short trip, the Barracuda will easily do both.
THX Spatial Audio is a neat feature not many other headsets can compete against, especially in the competitive scene. While the integrated microphones aren't anywhere close to being crowned the best in the business, they're more than adequate for Discord and less obnoxious than a fixed microphone.
USB-C is here across the board with Razer's latest gear, and it's fantastic to see for 2022. It's just a shame we're not able to utilize the power of this wireless headset on Xbox without using cables. It's clear Razer went for styling with the Barracuda refresh so people can wield these outside as a fashion statement, repping the brand.
Thankfully, audio quality hasn't been sacrificed, resulting in quite the compelling mid-range gaming headset.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.