Thanks so much for your kind words and for reading my stuff. :) Glad my rambles have been of some help to you!
It’s true, I had my excited Arctis freak-out before the Kraken V2 existed. I’ll do my best to run down some of the differences for you!
I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had durability issues in the past, that sucks. Although I’m confident in the construction of both the Arctis and the Kraken, the Kraken uses more metal parts in its frame, so it’s probably more durable. I don’t do the crazy stress tests that some sites do, I just use my headphones normally…but I’d always bet on metal over plastic, and the Krakens have a unibody aluminum frame.
I can fully sympathize with head size being a problem for headphone use: I have a big head myself, and I wear glasses. Happily, this hasn’t been an issue with either the Arctis or the Kraken, at least for me. Your mileage may vary, so don’t be afraid to use return policies if they don’t fit! I’ve had to do this myself even though it can be embarassing. I can wear both of these models with extra adjustment room. And they’re both comfy overall. The Arctis is a little bit more comfy on the head, although Razer’s pads do seal better around my glasses.
If you’re just using these at home, style is probably not an issue. Just know, the Kraken’s look way more stupid on the head than the Arctis. It’s not even close. I’ve gotten looks wearing the Krakens in public. And not good ones, hah.
The Krakens isolate better. But that shouldn’t matter much for home use. Unless you have a roommate that’s constantly vacuuming, or a really loud pet, etc. :)
Virtual surround is nice…but not 100 percent necessary. In fact, you can download Razer’s virtual surround software for FREE, (just click the download button at the top, to the left of the buy button) and use it with whatever headphones you’d like! You don’t need special hardware either. The Kraken V2 7.1 model comes with the pro version of that software…but honestly the differences are minimal. Razer’s surround algorithm is very good, and I’ve always loved that they give it out for free.
So really, unless you absolutely need the control pod/surround software of the Arctis 5, or the USB plug/Surround software of the V2 7.1, the Arctis 3 or the Kraken V2 will serve you just fine!
It comes down to sound signature then. Do you like bass? Do you want thumping explosions and a warmer, thicker sound signature? Then go with the Krakens. Do you want a brighter, more treble-focused sound? Then go with the Arctis.
If you’re doing some gaming, honestly, the Krakens will probably be a little bit more fun. The Arctis has more of a “budget audiophile” sound that highlights detail and clarity over thumpy bass.
Hope that helps! Thanks again for reading.