Dec 3rd, 2020

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new smartphone from Razer, but the company has been hard at work beefing up its smartphone accessories this past year. After the introduction od the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds last year, the company is back with the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pros. As the name implies, the new earbuds come with a few new features, better audio active noise cancelation.

But is that enough in a year where “Pro” earbuds have become commonplace?

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro specs & features

  • Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
  • THX Certified
  • Touch controls/gestures
  • Comply Tips
  • Custom EQ settings
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • 60ms Low Latency Gaming Mode
  • Battery life: 20 hours (4 hours per charge, 4 additional charges with the case)
  • Price: $199.99

Design

If you’re familiar with last year’s Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro earbuds, the new Pro variant will look quite familiar. The buds have the same basic AirPod-esque bud and stem design as last year’s models with the green Razer logo which acts as a touch control button. The key differentiator this time around is that the True Wireless Pro earbuds feature an in-ear design, offering a much better fit for keeping the earbuds snug in your ears and a tighter seal to ensure that sound waves from the 10mm Drivers don’t get lost along the way. 

To help with that, Razer has stepped things up by including a total of seven different earbuds tips (3 pairs of SmoothComfort and 3 pairs of SecureSeal and 1 pair of Comply Foam Tips). To put it simply, Razer is determined to provide the perfect fit, something that was essential after the open fit of the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless was their main drawback. Razer’s even throwing in a Fit Test in the app which uses the internal and external microphones to analyze the fit and recommends you try different tips if too much noise bleed is detected.

Personally, I’ve been using the Comply Foam Tips most days, but the medium SecureSeal tips came in handy when going out for a run. With the Comply tips, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro’s are extremely comfortable if you wear the earbuds for hours at a time and the SecureSeal tips did a great job keeping them secure while working out. Razer has kept the same IPX4 water resistance from the original Hammerhead earbuds. Having IPX5 would be ideal for intense workouts, but I didn’t find any issues with them after a handful of workouts. 

My only complaint with the design of the earbuds and the case is the choice of soft-touch plastic. I don’t have issues with the texture, but the lightweight material makes the case and earbuds feel hallow and cheap, no something you typically want when spending $200 on a new pair of earbuds.

Performance

The original Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds were a mixed bag, offering decent audio quality that was undermined by the loose fit and seal. That’s definitely not the case this time around, allowing for a much more enjoyable audio experience. Razer even went out of its way to ensure that the new Hammerhead True Wireless Pro earbuds were THX Certified, which tests for clear vocals & dialog, minimal distortion, and extremely high noise isolation. The extra effort they put in results in a night and day comparison between the two products. 

Unlike the originals, the new earbuds also come with active noise cancelation, using two external and two internal microphones to isolate ambient noise on the outside of the earbuds and as it enters the ear canal. Active noise cancelation has become the standard for more high-end earbuds in 2020, but there are few that can match the noise reduction offered by the Hammerhead True Wireless Pros. The combination of the superb noise isolation offered by the Comply tips and the quad-mic system completely silences the constant hum of an air conditioner or an airplane cabin. It would have been nice if Razer allowed for manual adjustment in the app or had a few different options for those who don’t want to complete noise isolation.

As for audio quality, the earbuds deliver a well-balanced sound stage with strong bass that doesn’t overpower the high notes. The Razer Hammerhead also offers five EQ presets to choose from and the ability to fine-tune a custom EQ profile if you want one that’s fine-tuned to your personal preferences. The default THX profile is the most neutral option, but Enhanced Bass is great for up-beat tuned during a workout and Vocal if you listen to a lot of podcasts. 

Anyone who’s into mobile gaming knows that audio latency is still a big issue when it comes to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. Since Razer’s main focus is gaming products, the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro earbuds feature a 60ms Low Latency Gaming Mode. Tap the earbud three times and hold the last tap for two seconds to turn Gaming Mode on and you’ll get to enjoy lower latency audio that definitely improves the experience when playing mobile games on your smartphone. THere’s still a slight delay that you don’t get when plugging in directly with headphones, but it’s definitely an improvement over competing earbuds.

The only downside is that Gaming Mode consumers more power and reduces Bluetooth range, two sacrifices that were necessary to push the latency down to 60ms.

Battery Life

Like many of its competitors, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro offers 20 hours of battery life when you account for the extra power you get from the battery built into the charging case.

The advertised battery life holds up pretty well when compared to our real-world testing. I was able to get a bit over 19 hours of audio playback before fully depleting the batteries in the earbuds and the case. However, if you’re planning to use the low-latency gaming mode on a regular basis, you should expect battery life to take a 20-30% hit.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_empty (4.1/5)

The Good

  • Great fit & noise cancellation
  • Low-latency gaming mode
  • Well-balanced sound stage
  • Good Battery life

The Bad

  • A bit pricey
  • Plastic feels cheap
  • IPX4 isn’t ideal for workouts

The Bottom Line

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro earbuds are a huge improvement over the originals with better audio quality, an incredible fit, and great active noise cancellation. The $199 sticker price is a bit high, but it’s well worth it if noise cancelation is a high prioroty.

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