It feels like everybody is going through a complete refresh of its headset range at the moment with the likes of SteelSeries and Sony both introducing high-end models with noise cancelling. It’s now Razer’s turn to do the same with the brand new high-end Razer Barracuda Pro.
Much like the SteelSeries Arcos Nova Pro Wireless, Razer’s very clear objective with with the design of this headset both aesthetically and feature-wise was to make it so that it was a great gaming headset, but also one that would double as the perfect headset for work, play or travel.
The design of the headset is all black and quite sleek looking, although quite a bit chunkier and heavier than a few of the counterparts that I’ve used, but I actually dig the design. The stainless steel headband is able to be expanded out to fit a wide variety of head sizes, the headband has a good amount of cushioning and the memory foam cushions are not only comfortable but do a great job or blocking noise out (even without nose cancelling). It felt big on my head, but not necessarily in an uncomfortable way.
The Barracuda Pro come with a USB-C dongle and is compatible with your PC, PS5/PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Just like both Sony/SteelSeries headsets, it can also connect to a Bluetooth device, but it’s handled a little bit differently to these two devices. Razer has opted to make it so that whilst you can connect to both your gaming console and a Bluetooth device (such as your phone) at the same time, you have to swap between them and can’t listen to both at the same time. You can also set it so that a call can automatically switch, which you might either love or hate.
Whilst it sounds like a minor thing, I actually really would have liked the ability to have audio sources coming through Bluetooth and dongle at once. With other headsets that have dual simultaneous connection, I like to be able to watch a few Tiktoks between round of games, listens to quick audio memos or listen to music without having to take my headset off. It’s quite clear that the technology is there given the headset can do both connections at once, and thankfully it is really easy to swap between them (with a button on the headset), but it feels like a missed opportunity to me.
I really love having active noise cancelling on a gaming headset, and the Barracuda Pro actually does a pretty good job with its noise cancelling. Whilst it’s still not at the level of a good Bose headset or the Sony XM range, I actually think it did a slightly better job at blocking out certain noises than the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless did (unsure if this is due to better isolation of noise from the cups or noise cancelling tech), but I also really enjoyed the ease of use when swapping between modes. Unlike the Arctis Nova Pro, which I found finnicky, there is a very clear audible voice to tell you which mode you’re swapping to, and also a dedicated button to do so. Outside noise cancelling, there’s also ambient mode which lets sounds in from the outside and amplifies them using the headsets microphones.
Another thing I really loved about this headset over the others is that Razer’s companion smartphone app which lets you quickly change between noise cancelling modes, equalisation modes, the ability to turn off incoming calls swapping the headset to Bluetooth modes as well as update the headset. Another small thing thatI found weird though is that even when you’re connected via Bluetooth, you actually need to be on that headset mode to control the headset, which isn’t so useful if you’re using your PS5.
When it comes to the microphone, the Barracuda Pro does not have a boom mic, instead opting to use beamforming noise-cancelling microphones. To be honest, I was surprised how good the microphones sound and how good of a job they do with cutting out the outside noise. I don’t think it quite rivals other high-end headsets that have a boom mic, but it does a really good job for what’s in the cans, and I can totally understand how the design was more what they were going for with this headset.
Battery life on the Barracuda Pro is advertised as about 40 hours and that was about my experience (maybe a few hours less). Something I did find odd is that the headset will start audibly warning you about the battery being low hours and hours before they actually die, which is super annoying, given it interrupts whatever you’re listening to. It’s worth mentioning that there is no 3.5mm jack, so there is no option to use this headset in wired mode, so once you’re out of battery, that’s it. If you’re also wanting to use these in an Airplane, you’d be flat out of luck without some kind of Bluetooth attachment.
The headset can’t be folded down at all, but included in the box is a sturdy case for your Barracuda Pro, which is definitely appreciated as this headset is definitely designed to be taken out of the house and used on your commute so to keep your investment protected is a great inclusion. It even have has a place for your cables which is appreciated.
Both when gaming and listening to music the Barracuda Pro sounded crisp in the right places with a good amount of bass, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was a little bit of a lack of punch especially when compared to the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, although this is a $250 cheaper headset, so that needs to be taken into consideration.
All-in-All, the Barracuda Pro Wireless gaming headset feels like a solid step for Razer. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless which can simultaneously connect to two devices, has dual batteries and can also connect to both consoles, but it does do a lot right and comes in at a decent amount below price-wise.
The Razer Barracuda Pro gaming headset offers up a fairly complete experiences with some new and exciting features, but ultimately falls a little bit flat when compared to other recent high-end offerings in the headset space.