The Razer Kraken Ultimate is the company’s flagship wired gaming headset, offering loads of features like programmable lighting and simulated surround sound, along with powerful bass response and an excellent microphone. There’s one Kraken model that offers just a bit more, providing an exclusive extra feature for $20 extra. That feature is a pair of glowing cat ears, found on top of the $149.99 Razer Kraken Kitty Edition. It’s a Kraken Ultimate with a reasonable premium for its cosplay appeal.
Below the headband, the Kraken Kitty Edition looks just like any other Razer Kraken headset. Available in black or pink, it features large, circular earcups emblazoned with a glowing Razer logo on the back, and large, soft, faux-leather-wrapped earpads that easily cover even large ears. A 4.3-foot, fabric-wrapped USB cable is hardwired to the bottom edge of the left earcup, while a volume wheel and a button to enable THX Spatial Audio sits on the back edge of the same earcup. The boom microphone is also mounted on the left earcup, and is a cylindrical plastic capsule mounted on a flexible arm that retracts directly into the cup. The capsule can be clicked like a button to mute it, and lights up red to indicate it’s muted.
The headband is where the kitty part of the Kraken Kitty Edition comes into play. The headband itself is fairly typical, with faux leather along the top and fabric-covered padding on the bottom edge, except for the two big, plastic cat ears that extend from the top. These ears are permanently attached to the headband, and feature built-in multicolored LEDs just like the Razer logos on the sides of the headset. Like other Razer headsets with colored lighting, the ears and Razer logos can be programmed in the Razer Cortex PC software to shift between whatever colors you want at your chosen pace. They’re certainly eye-catching, lending an unmistakable feline silhouette to the wearer.
This is a PC-only gaming headset. It’s designed specifically to plug into any computer with a USB port, and won’t work if you plug it into an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 (and the cable is too short to play comfortably with if your game console is connected to a TV). It also doesn’t have a 3.5mm connector for using with the Nintendo Switch or the headset ports on the Xbox One and PS4 controllers.
Besides the cat ears, the Kraken Kitty Edition is identical to the Kraken Ultimate in seemingly every way. It feels the same (quite comfortable over long listening periods), sounds the same (sporting identical 50mm drivers), and packs the same features (THX Spatial Sound and a noise-cancelling microphone). It just has glowing cat ears.
Cat Ears and Cosplay Mode
Those kitty ears are fun and festive for cat-themed cosplay, which is why the headset features a Cosplay Mode among the programmable lighting functions you can adjust in the Razer Synapse software. You can set the lights on the earcups and ears to rotate between all colors, fade between one color and off (or two colors), or just show one color.
While most Razer headset lighting requires you to have the headset plugged into a compatible system to work, Cosplay Mode sets your lighting preferences and remembers them for when the Kraken Kitty Edition receives any power over USB. With it enabled, you can just plug the headset into a portable battery and the lights will do what you want, whether you’re in front of your computer or walking around a convention floor.
The Kraken Kitty Edition’s microphone is fantastic. It’s just like the Kraken Ultimate’s mic, which means it captures crisp, clean audio and features an outward-facing microphone for active noise cancellation, to block out surrounding noise. The active noise cancellation feature can be helpful if you’re in a noisy environment, but it injects some artifacts into the audio.
You can also use the Razer Synapse software to tweak the microphone’s sensitivity manually, adjust sidetone, and enable or disable volume normalization and voice enhancing features. Of course, if you want the best recording experience, we recommend getting a dedicated USB microphone.
For music, the Kraken Kitty Edition puts out powerful bass and solid balance with a slight emphasis in the low-mids and lows, just like the Kraken Ultimate. The Knife’s “Silent Shout” produces powerful, nearly head-rattling thump at maximum (and unsafe) volumes without a hint of distortion. The backbeat in The Crystal Method’s “Born Too Slow” stands out with the most presence in the track, though the guitar riffs and screeching vocals still come through clearly. The opening acoustic guitar plucks in Yes’ “Roundabout” get appreciable string texture and plenty of resonance, and when the song really kicks in, the electric bass stands out with force while the guitar strums and vocals settle slightly in the background. If the bass is overwhelming for you, you can turn it down using Razer Synapse’s 10-band EQ.
Games sound powerful on the Kraken Kitty Edition, once again showing an identical sound signature to the Kraken Ultimate. Gunfire and explosions in Doom (2016) are thunderous, with the THX Spatial Audio simulated surround sound giving a solid sense of directionality. It’s easy to pinpoint the source of demonic growls from left to right, and there’s even some impression of when threats are behind you in those directions. The rumble of off-road vehicles and the screech of sports cars come through with plenty of bass-heavy power in Forza Horizon 4, while dialogue from announcers and your GPS can be clearly heard.
For a more in-depth look at audio performance, see our review of the Kraken Ultimate, but know that this is ultimately a sound signature that places on emphasis on bass first, and on highs second.
The Purrfect Headset for You?
The Razer Kraken Kitty Edition is exactly what it says it is: a Kraken headset with cat ears. Specifically, it’s a Kraken Ultimate headset that adds cat ears at a $20 premium. The ears light up and the headset has an additional feature that lets you drive those lights with a portable battery if you want to wear it as part of a costume, but otherwise it’s identical to the Kraken Ultimate in features and performance. If glowing cat ears are worth the extra cash to you, go for it. Otherwise, the standard Kraken Ultimate is an excellent headset, and a bit less expensive.
If you’re looking to save some money, the $99.99 Kraken Tournament Edition offers similar sound and mic quality to the Kraken along with simulated surround, but it doesn’t light up at all, while the $99.99 Razer Nari Essential is a good option for wireless connectivity. If you want to splurge, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro + SuperAmp and Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp are both fantastic wired alternatives with excellent build quality and performance, and with their own on-desk mixers for on-the-fly adjustments and more connectivity options, for around $250 each.
Razer Kraken Kitty Edition Specs
|Type||Circumaural (over-ear), Gaming|
|Active Noise Cancellation||No|