Razer Nari Ultimate Xbox headset review: Wirelessness meets haptics

The Razer Nari Ultimate isn't the first to introduce haptics into a headset, but it's among the first major players to give it a try. Will this revolutionize how you play? Let's take a look (and listen).

Razer Nari Ultimate
(Image: © Windows Central)

The Razer Nari Ultimate Xbox headset packs rumble motors inside the earcups, which add a sense of haptic feedback to in-game bass sounds. Explosions, gunfire, and other low tones produce vibrations, which, in theory, should add an extra layer of immersion into your gaming experience. How is it in practice, though?

Here's our review of the wireless Razer Nari Ultimate, a headset that goes a step further than great sound and comfort.

What you'll love about the Razer Nari Ultimate

Source: Windows Central

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

The Razer Nari Ultimate is an impressive headset when it comes to construction and design. While it is a little on the bulky side, it feels sturdy and hard-wearing, with a self-adjusting aluminum headband and coolant gel-infused cups. Across long sessions, I found them to be pleasant and airy, with nothing worthy of complaint on the comfort side.

The Nari Ultimate comes with a retractable microphone that produces solid audio for video game comms, but don't expect to be creating content on it. The earcups are also very large and should provide a comforting fit for most ear shapes.

Audio-wise, they're excellent also. Using Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic, the Nari Ultimate provides a crystal-clear sound that impresses on the highs and lows alike, with good channel separation and a broad soundstage. Although there is no software for performing tweaks, the default sound is solid for movies, music, and gaming, with a crispy accentuation on tactical audio cues like footsteps and reloads. There are better-sounding headsets out there at this price tier, but you won't find yourself disappointed.

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

The earcups come baked with all the necessary controls. It's easy to balance the sound between comms and game chatter, with a handy mic mute button for good measure. On the other side is volume control, which also acts as a control for the headset's haptic vibrations — which we'll discuss in just a moment.

What you may dislike about the Razer Nari Ultimate

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

The first downside of the Nari Ultimate is the lack of mic monitoring. In a headset that is as good as this at isolating outside noise, typically, you'd want to be able to hear yourself speaking while chatting on voice comms. Unfortunately, Razer didn't include the feature, which is something I consider standard in any headset around this price.

It's also a bit disappointing that Razer didn't include any Xbox software for configurations, considering this is a dedicated Xbox Wireless headset. The Razer Xbox controller and Turret Keyboard and Mouse get software for configuration on Xbox; why not this?

I just wasn't a fan of the haptics Razer included in this headset.

Finally, I just wasn't a fan of the haptics Razer included in this headset. On bassy tones in things like explosions or tank shelling, and so on, the Nari Ultimate vibrates, adding some tactile sensations to gameplay. The problem is, I just found it irritating. In games like The Long Dark and Battlefield V, which have loud heartbeat sounds to signify damage, having that added vibration pounding in my head simply wasn't a pleasant experience. And hey, maybe that's the point since well, I was dying in the game after all.

On the flip side, our Exec Editor Daniel Rubino told me that he is a fan of the haptics, and has been using them in Borderlands 3. As I said, they do add a level of immersion into proceedings, and you can adjust them to your taste. I just found that I kept changing them lower and lower until I'd ultimately turned them off.

Whether or not you'll enjoy the haptics ultimately may depend on the shape of your head and/or skull. If I wanted a throbbing sensation in my temples while gaming, I'd just take a look at the list of Windows Central work I have overdue.

Should you buy the Razer Nari Ultimate?

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

The Nari Ultimate is a great headset when it comes to the basics. While I miss mic monitoring a lot in this price range, the sound quality, build quality, and the comfort factor is certainly present in abundance. Where things get a little confusing is in its headline haptics feature.

While I wasn't a fan of the vibration sensations the Nari Ultimate offered, other colleagues tell me that they do enjoy it, which indicates it may ultimately hinge on how the headset rests on your skull. And that will be different for everyone. If you're a Razer fan and find yourself curious, they may be worth giving a try.

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!