Razer Electra headset review
In my quest to find the perfect headset for the Wii U, I weighed several options before settling on something a little unconventional. The Razer Electra is certainly not marketed as a Wii U headset like some of the “official” headsets from Tritton and Turtle Beach, but that’s a good thing. My experience with Turtle Beach headsets has been mediocre sound quality and absolutely atrocious build quality, so I decided to pass on those. The only other option seemed to be the Tritton Kunai, but having no experience with the Tritton brand, I was hesitant to spend $50 on a headset I may end up hating.
Enter the Razer Electra. As a PC gamer, I’m very familiar with Razer peripherals. I’ve owned headsets, keyboards and mice from the company and I’ve had limited trouble with any of the peripherals I’ve owned. The Razer Electra is a basic 3.5mm jack offering that works superbly well with the Wii U, offering a comfortable fit, great sound, and interchangeable cords that can be detached for easy storage.
One Size Fits All
One of the problems I’ve experienced in the past with headsets marketed toward consoles is that they don’t seem to be very flexible. Either I have a very small head, or peripheral makers like Turtle Beach have found that their average customer has a beach ball sitting on top of their shoulders. The Electra fits me snugly to the point where I can lean forward without the headset falling from my head, which is a win in my books. It’s also quite expandable, so even if your head is larger than mine, I’m sure it’ll fit you well, too.
The overall construction of the headset is pretty solid as well. The ear cups are a hard molded plastic that can be extended to fit you, while the headband features a soft faux-leather material to keep the band from hurting your head. The ear cups feature the same faux-leather material and cup your entire ear, providing a good bit of noise isolation while wearing them. I’ve worn them for 6 hour sessions playing Injustice so far and bought the headset exclusively for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and have experienced no discomfort. Nearly every brand of headset I’ve tried from Logitech to Plantronics has been uncomfortable after just a few hours, but not the Razer Electra.
Of course the most important aspect of a headset outside of whether or not it makes your ears ache is if it sounds good. Razer has that down pat, as I found myself noticing subtle sounds in Injustice and Toki Tori 2 that I had not noticed when playing with the sound coming through my TV. The headset already provides good noise isolation after placing it on your head, but with the Wii U GamePad volume set to medium, I wasn’t able to hear anything beyond the sounds of the GamePad. That’s the kind of immersion you want as a gamer and I commend Razer for getting it right.
As for the mic, it’s a pretty standard affair that’s neither great nor the worst thing I’ve ever used. For one, there are no controls for it since it’s an inline mic. When it’s plugged in, it’s picking up most of the noise around you. The only way to mute it is to unplug it unless you turn off mic settings in the game, which is rather unfortunate. Living with other people in the household, sometimes it’s nice to hit a hardware mute button so I can ask a question or be asked a question without my game companions going, “What?”
The nice thing about the headset is that the cord is completely detachable, making it easy to store. Once you’re done with the Electra, you can fold up the ear cuffs and tuck it away into a drawer, sight unseen. The Electra comes with a wire without a mic and a wire with a mic, so you can choose which you want to use for games. If you’re just playing a game that doesn’t require cooperation like Monster Hunter 3, the non-mic option is great.
Aside from how the headset sounds and feels, looks and build quality can trump even the best sounding headset if it can’t hold up after just a few play sessions. The Razer Electra is available in two colors. I opted for the completely black option, but there’s also a green option that features Razer’s screamin’ green styling that most of their peripherals seem to feature. The appearance you pick is purely up to you, as the headsets operate the same no matter the color. As you can see in the picture below, Razer branding is seen across the top of the headband in both the black and green models, and the Razer ouroboros features on each ear cup.
I’ve used the Razer Electra for about a month now, mostly exclusively with the Wii U. It’s a sturdy headset that can handle being dropped and folded up multiple times and the wires are quite sturdy. They’re also the main thing that tends to go wrong with a headset, as you’ll see in numerous product reviews on Amazon. Since the wire is completely detachable from the headset, the only thing you’ll need to do is replace the wire, which is easily done. Overall, for the price you pay for the headset and the ease of storage, sound quality and build quality, I feel like the Razer Electra is a great deal at $50.