Razer Kaira X Budget Gaming Headset Review
A shocking blend of price and performance
The Razer Kaira family launched alongside the Xbox Series consoles in the fall of 2020. It initially featured two models that were both designed to connect wirelessly to Xbox consoles. It represented Razer’s first big push to get Xbox gamers to pay attention to their brand.
I had the chance to review the Kaira Pro shortly after it launched, and it was an exceptional headset with only a few quirks. Before the review, I was also fortunate enough to participate in a one-on-one media briefing. Razer’s marketing reps talked me through its features over a video call. During that chat, I asked “will you ever bring this headset to the PlayStation or other consoles?” Rather than the usual “no comment at this time,” they hemmed and hawed and referred me to the Razer Thresher, a much older product.
It seemed like such a waste of R and D money to create this new headset family and not put it in as many hands as possible. The Xbox Wireless tech is cool, but pretty limiting in terms of broad compatibility.
Sure enough, late last year Razer greatly expanded the Kaira lineup. The PlayStation got its own versions of the two wireless models, with some new features added into the mix. Budget-conscious gamers can opt for the wired Kaira X for Xbox, a headset that will work with any platform you’d like to use it on in spite of Microsoft’s logos being all over it. If you’d rather have a PlayStation logo on your box, you could get the Kaira X for PlayStation.
Regardless of which console license you choose, this is an excellent wired headset that should make waves in a crowded field.
Note: I bought this headset myself at retail. Razer doesn’t talk to me anymore because my contact there left and no one else reached out. My full reviews policy is right here. I don’t get a kick back or any other kind of incentive if you decide to buy this headset, and none of my stories contain affiliate or tracking links.
The Razer Kaira X for Xbox sells for $59.99 (official site here) and it’s available in five different colors. There’s nothing special about the “for Xbox” on the packaging. The headset will work with any platform that supports a 3.5mm connection. The Xbox branding is just a licensing deal, and it means Razer got access to the logo and to paint schemes that perfectly match the Xbox Series S and X. I bought the white version which matches my Series S.
The identically-priced “Kaira X for PlayStation” is painted to match the PS5, but again, it’s just a cosmetic difference with a logo on the box. So feel free to buy these for your Switch or PC just to spite these other platform-holders!
In the box you get the headset itself, which has a permanently attached microphone and cable. You also get some basic instructions and two classic green Razer stickers.
The headset uses the same non-Titanium-coated variant of the Razer TriForce speaker drivers found inside the excellent BlackShark V2 X. However, their tuning here in the Kaira X is more flat and accurate to the source audio. Where the budget BlackShark has a boomy bass-heavy sound that’s super fun, the Kaira X is much more neutral and precise. The bass is still present and enjoyable to listen to, but it won’t blow you away with thumpy energy. Mids and highs are quite clean and clear, without the extra edge present with the Titanium version of these drivers seen in more expensive models.
This is an excellent- sounding headset, not just for this price point, but even up against headsets that sell for much more. If you’re looking for intense bass energy you’ll be disappointed, but everyone else would have to really nitpick these to find something “wrong” with the audio presentation.
I’m just as excited about the comfort as I am about the sound. The padding is the same nice padding from the more expensive pro model. The ear cushions are covered in a nice breathable fabric. The dense padding inside and large size of the openings mean my ears float freely and comfortably while wearing the headset. The clamping force was a little intense for the first hour or so, but they quickly loosened up and they’re just as comfy as the pro model.
I’ve had several three hour plus sessions during my testing with the headset and no comfort issues arose whatsoever.
This is all refreshing, considering that so often these budget headset editions cut the padding and sound quality to save on manufacturing costs. Razer has a history of doing that with terrible cheaper models I’ve tried in the past including the Kraken V3 X and the miserable Razer Electra. The Kaira X thankfully didn’t fall into the same pit.
Unlike the performance and comfort, the build did take some small downgrades from the pro model in order to get the price down. Aside from the obvious lack of wireless, RGB, and the permanently attached mic — the frame is entirely plastic on this Kaira X variant. The metal reinforcements inside the headband and on the adjustment mechanisms are gone.
Fortunately, it still seems quite sturdy for an all-plastic design. The size sliders have a good firm click, and I’ve had no creaks or squeaks with it so far, though I’ll write update if that changes over a longer time. Every part of the plastic feels just as solid as the plastics on the $150 Pro model, just with the metal bits removed. One upside to the metal and wireless hardware being gone is that it’s an even lighter headset now (at 283g vs 330g for the Pro model). The light weight makes them even more comfortable over long sessions.
The performance wins keep coming with the microphone. The Kaira X uses the same “HyperClear” cardioid capsule from many other modern Razer products. Here’s a link to a sample I recorded. It has a natural, smooth sound and plenty of acoustic background noise cancelation. The back of the left ear cup includes a simple mic mute switch and an analog volume wheel.
In spite of the unnecessary console-specific branding that might just end up confusing customers, the Razer Kaira X is an excellent and affordable wired gaming headset. It’s one of the best headsets you can buy in this price range. The BlackShark V2 X sells for about ten fewer dolllars, and its design provides marginally better isolation — alongside a big increase in bass. If you’re looking for a reasonably normal- looking lightweight gaming headset and don’t mind the attached mic and cable, you’ll be rewarded here with excellent performance for the money.
Highly recommended! I might even go for a second color in the future just for the heck of it!