As a long-time Razer fan, I was excited when the company decided to release a pair of true wireless earbuds with the Hammerhead True Wireless, but those pale in comparison to the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro. This is the company's follow up to its initial offering in the space. Where the first pair felt a little bit lackluster, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro changes the game as they're a marked improvement over the previous model in every single way.
The gripes I had about the non-pro model have been fixed. For the most part. And there are even some things which Razer added in that I didn't know I wanted. Are the hammerhead True Wireless Pro worth the increase in price? That's what this review aims to break down. But the short answer is yes.
Razer really stepped up its game with the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
I've been using these earbuds for over a week or two now, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well Razer did with them this time around.
Last year when it launched the Hammerhead True Wireless, they were lacking in certain areas. Battery life wasn't great. There was no noise cancellation or ambient mode. Which made it really easy to hear outside noises when listening if you took these on a walk or run.
Yet it was hard to hear people talking to you without taking the earbuds out. Even if your music was paused. With the Pro model, all of this has been fixed. And Razer did an excellent job at fixing those pain points.
The Hammerhead True Wireless Pro come with advanced hybrid active noise cancellation. Razer first-used this technology on the Opus headphones. And the major benefit of it is that each earbud has Feedforward and Feedback ANC mics. One mic on each earbud is internal and one is external, which Razer says helps to cancel out the most amount of outside noises.
So far, I haven't found an instance where this didn't work. I used them during any outings to the store, an area that tends to be noisy. And whenever anything was playing and I had ANC turned on, all I could hear was the music I had in my ears. The fit is also more comfortable and there's a big reason for that. The ear tips.
These have an excellent fit and you can thank the ear tips
Last year's Hammerhead True Wireless fit ok, but they weren't as comfortable as they could have been and the fit could have been more secure.
The Hammerhead True Wireless Pro have a much better fit and it all comes down to the ear tips. Razer tossed in a bunch of them with the earbuds. This allows you to find a pair that really has the best fit.
First, the earbuds come with a new in-ear design which helps them feel more snug and stay in your ears better. Building on that, users can choose between the premium Comply foam ear tips, or from one of the two different types of silicone ear tips that come in three different sizes. Small, medium, and large.
While I have been using the Comply tips mostly, having extras in the form of the silicone tips is a little peace of mind in case I ever lose one of the ones from Comply. Or if those ever get damaged.
I never really had issues with these loosening in my ear either. Unless I was eating, because the constant chewing would cause them to lose the seal a little bit. Even then that was rare. Overall the fit is much more secure than last time and they're much more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
You can even use the Hammerhead True Wireless app to do a fit test. All this does is have you put the earbuds in and make sure they're secure. The app then plays a little bit of audio to see how good the fit is. You can use this to determine which ear tips to use.
The 6 EQ presets help ensure you're getting the most out of the sound
Another new feature of the Pro model of these earbuds is the THX certification. Razer says getting the certification for the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro was not necessarily an easy task. It had to go through a few different revisions to meet the stringent requirements that THX sets forth.
Those revisions have paid off because Razer was able to secure the certification. And with it the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro have a THX EQ preset as well as 5 other options. In addition to the THX preset, there's also a preset for amplified sound, enhanced bass, vocals, and one for enhanced clarity.
Then there's a custom preset where you can fine tune the sound. Though it defaults to flat and you'll have to adjust each of the sliders to get the sound profile you want. I mostly just left it on THX anytime I took these out of the case. As I found it to provide the best sound.
But I do still recommend that you try each of them out and see which one you like best. THX is the default selection out of the box. And that shouldn't be surprising as Razer feels it's the best option as well.
Gaming Mode still makes these the perfect audio accessory for mobile gamers
One of the best features of the Hammerhead True Wireless was the gaming mode. In fact this was really the only major feature. It makes a return on the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro.
So you can still have ultra-low-latency gaming audio while cancelling out other background noises. This helped me stay more immersed in my games. Particularly while spending a few solid hours in Call Of Duty: Mobile during my downtime.
Worth noting is that I did notice an issue when trying to use these in conjunction with Stadia. While they would stay connected to the phone during gameplay, they would frequently cut out for a couple of seconds and then back in.
I didn't try to use these with Xbox Game Pass or GeForce NOW. So I'm not sure if it's just a cloud gaming thing or if it's just specific to Stadia. Either way, the Gaming Mode is great for mobile games. And it's great for cloud gaming too, when the audio is working.
Ambient Mode really makes a huge difference in the experience
When I learned about the Ambient Mode from Razer (Razer calls it the Quick Attention Mode), I lit up. Because this is the one feature that I have been missing on the earbuds I had been using.
If you love your music, you may not realize how important an Ambient Mode is until you don't have it anymore. It makes taking the earbuds out when at checkout stands or just when talking to anyone else a chore. Then there's the risk of dropping and losing one of the earbuds.
With the Ambient Mode I never had to worry about this. To activate Ambient Mode, you tap on the earbud once and then hold it for two seconds. This will turn Ambient Mode on. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to hear incoming noise and voices. So I could leave them in my ears if I ever needed to respond to someone.
Once you're ready to turn it off, tap and hold again for two seconds. The only thing I wish would have been different here is a completely separate touch control for activating Ambient Mode. Because once you deactivate it, ANC is also deactivated. Then you have to tap and hold for two seconds a third time to re-activate ANC.
Other than that, it's a very welcomed feature and something that will really help Hammerhead True Wireless Pro do much better than the non-pro pair.
The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro work pretty damn well for voice chat
Truth be told, initially I was worried about how well these would work for voice chat. I'm used to a proper gaming headset from Sennheiser. It has a flip to mute noise cancelling boom mic that has so far had unparalleled clarity. Both for the mic and for the audio in my ears.
While I won't say that the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro are better (they are earbuds after all), I was very surprised at how well they performed.
Of course I didn't have any problems with the audio. But I wasn't so sure that other people in the chat would be able to hear me very clearly. To my surprise I came through quite clear and loud enough to where it wasn't an issue.
I happily used them through two runs of Destiny 2's latest raid, Deep Stone Crypt. Which required constant communication between me and my teammates over the span of a couple hours per run. And, communication was great the whole way through. Basically if you plan to use these for voice chat, rest assured they'll easily get the job done.
I do want to point out though that these are probably better on mobile. But if you do use them with the PC, you shouldn't have any problems. I used them when playing from a laptop all of last week when I was away from home, and they worked just fine.
Battery life is better, but could still use improvement
Razer didn't change a whole lot with the battery life. So you're still getting a passable amount for each earbud on a single charge. But there is still room for improvement.
The official rating is up to 4 hours per charge. With up to an additional 4 recharges with the case. Where Razer did end up improving things here is with how many additional charges the case provides. It now allows up to 16 additional hours of listening time on top of the initial 4.
On the Hammerhead True Wireless, you had only 12 additional hours from the case. So Razer did bump that up. This is definitely useful. But an increase in hours of listening time per charge would have been nice. Even if it was just a bump from 4 to 6 it would have been fairly helpful.
Now, granted most people may not use these for longer than a few hours at a time. But I personally would use these mostly for playing games, and sometimes my game sessions are fairly long. I do take frequent breaks, but usually not long enough to fill the battery on these back up all the way.
In short the battery life could be better. But it's not a deal breaker that these don't offer upwards of 8 or 9 hours.
Utilize the fit test
Something that was important for Razer when designing and developing these was a great fit. Part of that manifests in the ear tips. But don't sleep on the fit test within the companion app.
This is designed to suggest which ear tips to use to help prevent the most amount of sound leakage possible. The test will be able to recognize that both earbuds are in your ears and then it'll feed you results for how the fit is for each ear.
In my case when trying it with the Comply tips, both had a perfect, secure fit. But if the test does detect some sound leakage it'll suggest you either adjust the earbud in the ear where the sound leakage was detected, or try a different size ear tip.
This is all to ensure you're getting the most out of the earbuds when it comes to audio quality. So I highly recommend using it.
Should you buy the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro?
Honestly, it really depends on a few things. These are a very good pair of true wireless earbuds. They aren't without their faults, but they're very good. And certainly a lot better than the original Hammerhead True Wireless.
If you want a pair of earbuds that either delivers longer battery life or a multitude of features, these may not be for you. But, as someone who has been using them for over a week now when I had other options at my disposal, and still chose to stick with these, I think you should at least consider them.
The improvements to comfort and fit, as well as the audio quality with the addition of the THX certification, the Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation, and the Quick Attention Mode, help make these one of your best options for true wireless earbuds if you play games.
If you don't play games, at all, then these are still very good. But they are definitely a better fit for gamers. Both mobile and otherwise. At $199 they're also not cheap. And one could argue that for the money, there may be better options out there for non-gamers.
Again though, if you play any games at all, I personally don't think there are any other true wireless earbud options out there that perform better. All of the improvements to these on top of the Gaming Mode for ultra-low-latency audio puts these in a league of their own. These are what the original True Hammerhead Wireless should have been. And gamers will recognize that.
If you want to pick these up for yourself, they went on sale today through Razer's website. They're also available through retail partners in December of 2020.