Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense headset review: Sound with some added force feedback

Use the Force, Razer.

Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense
(Image: © Windows Central)

The Razer Kraken headset lineup is one of the firm's most iconic range of gaming PC headset products, and also one of its oldest. This year, they refreshed their Kraken series with its "V3" line, which includes various options and different price points.

The Kraken V3 HyperSense is their mid-range option, which includes some unique force feedback motors that add a vibration sensation into the powerful 50mm cups. The downside is the $130 price point, which puts them a fair bit higher than most decent gaming headsets in this form factor. Does the HyperSense feedback make the price worthwhile? Let's take a listen.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: Price and availability

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The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is generally available at all major retailers in most Razer-supported regions. The headset costs $130 as standard, but may enjoy a sale when Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day roll around. The supplies of this headset are stable as of writing, with many stocks in at both Amazon and Razer.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: The good stuff

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As headset construction goes, Razer once again proves it's among the best in the business. The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense easily scores top marks for design and execution, with strong metal clasps atop a reinforced headband, all polished with thick, airy cushions. The fibers used on the earcups as of particularly high quality, and should keep your ears plenty comfy even across marathon gaming sessions.

The Kraken V3 headset also has Razer's typical RGB light-up earcups, with the logos on the side cycling across a rainbow color spectrum slowly. The microphone is detachable, and also well executed, with very clear comms reproduction and rigid flexibility, meaning it conforms to exactly where you intended to put it. The USB cable for connectivity is also generously long, and fabric, as is customary with Razer products.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

On sound, the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense delivers in a big way. Beefy 50mm titanium speakers offer a broad cavernous soundscape, which can be elevated further by activating Windows spatial audio features on PC. Crystal clear reproduction of bass and mids, with good separation, clarity, and balance. Often I've found gaming headsets come off a bit crunchy, tuned to accentuate sound effects that might give you a tactical edge, but Razer's does so in a way that is subtle, without punching through the soundscape. And then, there is HyperSense itself.

HyperSense is a uniquely Razer vibration feedback motor that revs up alongside game sounds. HyperSense uses an algorithm to inject a sense of physicality to certain audio frequencies, across things like explosions and animal roars. Playing Monster Hunter — a game well versed in animal roars — was an interesting experience with the HyperSense. The screeching Bazelgeuse dragon was uniquely irritating with the HyperSense feedback motor on maximum; thankfully, you can adjust it down three stages, or turn it off completely.

It's strange, because sometimes I really enjoyed the HyperSense feedback, and other times I did not, and its implementation is clearly factored into that $130 price tag.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: What's not so good

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Razer HyperSense motors undoubtedly added to the price of the Kraken V3 HyperSense, and it's hard to say whether or not it's a worthwhile addition. Most games won't support the feature natively, leaving you to rely on an algorithm. When the vibrations kicked in on animal movements or attacks it made a lot of sense, but when they triggered on menu sound effects or inventory selection, I found it to be irritating. Eventually, I just turned it off completely, which kind of nullifies the whole point of the headset.

There is a cheaper version of this headset that comes without the HyperSense, and I'm feeling more inclined to recommend that instead. This headset could've done a bit more to sweeten the deal. It has no integration with Razer Synapse as far as I could tell, meaning there's no way to configure or disable the lights on it, which generally look a bit silly in my view — but I'm not a twent-teen-something game streamer. There's also no mic monitoring, which is a strange omission in a USB-based PC headset at this price point.

I would recommend the HyperSense to people who might enjoy it, but the kicker is, you can't really try it without buying it. Some of you may really like it, and keep it activated all the time — for those who will turn it off, there are far cheaper headsets that also don't have it.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: Competition

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The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense ironically competes with itself a bit. The Razer Kraken V3 sans HyperSense is probably a much better deal, and comes in at a far more price appropriate $100. I think for the vast majority of gamers, I would recommend the regular Razer Kraken V3 instead, over the HyperSense.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense: Should you buy it?

Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is a curious product. Considering its near-identical Razer Kraken V3 sibling is $30 cheaper, I'm more inclined to recommend that instead of this, since the value of HyperSense force feedback is potentially subjective. It was fun for a while, but after getting vibrations while cycling through menus in games became irritating, I turned it off and never looked back, which isn't a great representation of its value.

That being said, almost every other aspect of this headset was flawless. Immaculate and balanced sound, gorgeous materials, with a high-quality mic and reassuring construction. Thankfully, there is a $30 cheaper version of this headset without HyperSense I am absolutely eager to recommend instead.

Haptics probably do have a place in headsets at some point, but I think until the algorithms are smart enough to determine what should and shouldn't have sound, the value is hard to determine. Still, Razer has shown a strong capacity to partner up with studios on some of its more niche features. It's always cool to see when a PC game syncs up with my Razer Chroma lighting products, so it's likely that Razer will work with developers and refine how the feature resonates with games. For now, though, it's a sensation that's hard to put into words. For $30 extra you can try it yourself, or $30 less, go with a tried and tested HyperSenseless version — whichever you choose, you won't be disappointed. This is a truly great headset overall.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!