Razer Seiren Elite review: Forged by feedback
While some gamers want a microphone suited to fast, clear and reliable communication when playing multiplayer games, others want something a little more heavy-duty - especially when it comes to live streaming. Unapologetically tapping into the rapid popularity of platforms like Twitch, Razer have again renewed their efforts to leverage their brand power and hardware know-how to swoop in and steal customers away from more traditional audio brands.
Sure, they might have been already doing that to a lesser degree via their efforts in the gaming headphones space for years, but the new Razer Seiren Elite takes things to a new, more-professional level than their usual fare.
Sample Rate: min 44.1kHz / max 48kHz
Capsule: Single Dynamic Capsule
Polar patterns: Cardioid
Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
Connectivity: USB only
Max SPL: 120dB
Pack-Ins: 3m USB Cable, Desk Stand, Microphone Windscreen
Design-wise, the Razer Seiren Elite plays things pretty straight. In form-factor, it’s pretty minimalist. There are a pair of dials (volume and gain) and a manual mute button on the stem of the unit, which offer up a good avenue for getting hands-on with the unit when needed. Otherwise, it’s as stock-standard as condenser mics come.
If there’s any area of the experience that’s been augmented by Razer’s involvement the most, it’s definitely the aesthetics. Even if it's only an accessory, it’s all matte black, lit by the usual glowing LEDs. Surprisingly, as far as we can tell, there’s minimal compatibility with Razer’s existing Synapse software.
According to Razer, Synapse keeps the drivers for the microphone up-to-date but doesn't give you the usual control over the LED lighting as it does in other products by the company's ecosystem. By default, our Seiren unit was set to a moody red (when not in use) and we were happy enough to leave it that way for the ambience. Still, some extra options wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Setup and Performance
When it comes to easy setup, this condenser microphone is as easy to plug in as any other. It arrives mostly assembled out of the box and you simply need to plug it into your PC, wait for the drivers to install and you’re ready to record.
In terms of performance, we came away pretty happy with the Razer Seiren Elite. It wasn’t without the odd crackle. However, it did come across as a noticeable step up from what you’re usually getting out of Razer’s headset microphones. For the most part, audio recorded using the Seiren Elite sounded crisp and clear and, as previously mentioned, the extra settings here give you room to get the most out of the microphone’s capabilities.
Since the Seiren Elite isn’t Razer’s first attempt to woo the streamer crowd, it’s noting how it compares to it to its trio of predecessors: the Seiren , Seiren Pro and Seiren X.
The Seiren X is cheapest option on the menu and comes with a built-in shock mount but only support a 16-bit bitrate. The Pro is aimed more at professional users, boasting an XLR port and high-pass filter toggle. Meanwhile, the regular Siren drops these pro-grade inclusions but shaves away part of the price-tag in the process - landing it somewhere between the two ends of the range. Bringing a high-pass filter back into the fold, the Seiren Elite then sits between the regular Seiren and the Pro. Basically, it’s second to number one - but comes at a cost.
The Bottom Line
While the condenser microphone category doesn’t naturally lend itself to the usual kind slick stylish sell that Razer make when it comes to gaming accessories, they've stuck to their guns here.
The Seiren Elite is as simple as condenser mics come and juggles a winning combination of both looking and sounding good. It’s a shame that the Synapse integration doesn't add more and audiophiles might come away unsatisfied but if you’re looking to upgrade your streaming kit and are already invested into Razer’s ecosystem, there are plenty of reasons to go with the Seiren Elite.
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