Razer Hammerhead Duo review: If you're still using in-ear earphones, these sound great
Despite /the steady abolishment of the traditional headphone jack, there are plenty of reasons to stick with traditional wired headphones. After all, they still work with pretty much everything else that isn’t a flagship smartphone. If you plan on playing your Nintendo Switch or messing with an Android tablet on the train, you’re still probably going to need to invest in a set of wired headphones.
Razer’s Hammerhead Duo earphones take that foundation and build up an experience that’s robust both when it comes to style and substance. Though pricey, there’s a lot to like about them.
Type: In-Ear headphones
Weight: 17 g
Drivers: Dynamic + Balanced Armature
Cable Length: 1.2m
Noise Cancelling: No
Built-in microphone: Yes, Omni-directional
What did we like about the Razer Hammerhead Duo?
As someone who cycles through in-ear headphones pretty regularly, one of the big things that keeps me coming back to the Razer Hammerhead Duo is the design. I mean, let’s not get ahead of ourselves - Razer haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel here. The Hammerhead Duo look more or less like you’d expect - and they sound even better.
Like the name suggests, the Hammerhead Duo use a dual-driver system where the dynamic driver handles the bassier part of audio output while higher-frequency sounds are left in the capable hands of a balanced armature driver. In action, this two-pronged approach works both seamlessly and well. Still, it’s the smaller touches that won me over with time.
Pretty much everything you could want from a set of wired in-ear earphones can be found in the Hammerhead Duo. Well, aside from noise-cancelling that is. When it comes to the form-factor and material design here, every part of the package feels fully-featured and designed to last - from the aluminum-bodied framing and braided cable that connects the earphones.
There’s a simple enough set of media controls on the way from the earphones themselves to the audio jack at the end of the line. These can be used to pause or play music and modify volume. The omni-directional microphone built into the Razer HammerHead Duo did sounded better than we expected it to but wasn’t particularly exceptional otherwise.
The final piece of the package is compatibility. Though not a feature per-say, it does worth noting that - since they rely on a traditional audio input - the Razer HammerHead will play nice with pretty much anything out there. Tablets, smartphones, gaming hardware like the Nintendo Switch, laptops and even virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Quest (which I found it particularly well suited for).
What didn’t we like about the Razer HammerHead Duo?
Although it should be stressed that our experience with the Razer Hammerhead Duo was mostly positive, there are two key parts of the experience here that left us wanting.
The first is pretty specific. One of the few design flourishes present in these otherwise minimalist earphones is the Razer logo. Nestled on the outer shell of the Hammerhead Duo earphones, it’s a neat detail. However, given the pedigree, I was a little surprised that I wasn’t able to change the color or set any sort of RGB lighting schemes here a la Razer Chroma.
It might be a little unnecessary but also, if you’re going to buy a set of Razer earbuds, why should they offer that extra dimension of customizability that the brand are known for?
My second complaint is more broad. The Razer Hammerhead Duo are good headphones. But they’re also expensive headphones.
At AU$109, they’re a really expensive solution to a problem that can easily be solved with a cheaper solution. I love the sense of style and craft here and what Razer have done with the format but paying over $100 for a set of old-school wireless earphones - even ones as nice as the Hammerhead Duo are - feels like a stretch.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to listen to something that still has a headphone jack on it, rest assured that the Razer Hammerhead Duo will be up to the task. They’re a little more expensive than I’d like but Razer have crafted an exquisite sounding and slick-looking set of earphones here and, should a sale strike, they’re a great place to start and end your search.
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