Razer Hammerhead Pro Review: Small Fish in a Big Pond

Rating: 6/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $199
The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds in front of the case
Cameron Summerson

If you took Razer’s Hammerhead true wireless earbuds and gave them features found on the company’s over-ear Opus headphones, you’d get the Hammerhead Pro. These earbuds are the lovechild of what Razer has been working towards with its audio game over the last 18 months or so, but it’s a tough market out there. The question is: Can they compete with killer options from companies like Apple and Jabra?

Here's What We Like

  • Good sound quality with THX certification
  • Very comfortable
  • Multiple types and sizes of tips included

And What We Don't

  • Less than great ANC compared to some other options
  • Not a great value
  • No wireless charging

Note: They’re actually called the “Hammerhead True Wireless Pro,” but that’s just too much, so I’m calling them the Hammerhead Pro in this review.

In short: maybe. They’re good, but not great … and they’re certainly not revolutionary. Like the Opus, these are THX certified. They also have ANC to block out noise and Ambient Mode so that you can hear what’s going on around you. None of these features are truly great—but they’re all pretty good.

But here’s the thing: There’s some stiff competition in the market of true wireless earbuds right now. At $199, these are priced in the premium market, which is a tough place to be for even dedicated audio manufacturers, much less a company that isn’t really known for putting out killer audio equipment. To me, these are about as middle-of-the-road as a set of premium earbuds can be—they’re good, but I have to wonder if that’s enough anymore.

Let’s talk about it.

Making a Case for the Case

The Razer logo etched into the top of the case
Cameron Summerson

You want to hear something weird? Keeping in line with Razer’s more consumer-and-less-gamer focus for some recent products, this is the most understated case I’ve ever seen—well, aside from the AirPods/AirPods Pro. That has to be weird for Razer, a company known for bright-ass green and RGB everything. But this case? Nah. It’s black. Like, that’s it. The only logo is on the top, and even that’s easy to miss.

Normally, I’m all about that. I love minimal stuff, especially when it’s flat black. But I’d also be lying if I said this case didn’t look a little … generic. Because it does. If someone just handed it to me, I’d think it was some knockoff brand until I opened it up and saw the triple snake logo on the ‘buds themselves.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds with a focus on the touchpad and Razer triple snake logo
The logo is the touchpad. Cameron Summerson

Now, is that a big deal? Nah. It’s fine. If you’re buying your earbuds based on how the case looks, well, you’re buying them for the wrong reasons, son. But at least Razer sells cases for the case, so you can put the case in a case—with a little extra flare, too.

So yeah, the case. Plain. Boring. There’s a little LED on the front for the charging indicator, and a USB-C port on the bottom for, uh, charging. No wireless charging here, which is sort of a bummer—after getting used to that feature on the AirPods Pro, Skullcandy Indy Fuel, and Jabra Elite 85t, plugging earbuds in to charge them feels almost archaic. Wireless charging, with its slow(er than wired charging) rates, was made for stuff like this. At $199, I would like to have seen it here.

As for the size, it’s not too bad. It’s a little bigger than the AirPods Pro case but smaller than the Skullcandy Indy Fuel. It’s pretty close to the Jabra Elite 85t case, though a little thinner. Overall, the size isn’t bad—it’s pocketable, which is really the only thing that matters.

It’s fine.

“Crafted for Comfort”

Razer claims that the Hammerhead Pro are “crafted for comfort,” and I’ll give them that. These are among the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever worn. Now, make sure you read that correctly: They are among the most comfortable. They’re still not the most comfortable. But they take second place (The Jabra Elite 85t still win first).

A focus on the oval tip of the Hammerhead Pro with other tips surrouding
The oval-shaped tip is great. Cameron Summerson

Unlike the original Hammerhead buds, the Pro model has what you’d expect from earbuds with “Pro” in the name: changeable ear tips. Razer is going all in on the “crafted for comfort” thing here, too, because it comes with seven different sets of tips. There are three types in the box: SecureSeal, SmoothComfort, and even Comply Foam tips. The first two come in three sizes each (small, medium, and large), but the Comply tips only come in medium. So if you have big ol’ earholes like yours truly, the Comply tips won’t work for you.

And you may be asking yourself, “But Cam, how will I know which tips work for me? What if I wear the wrong ones for all of eternity and end up with a horrible experience?” Well, friends, here’s where to find the answer: the Hammerhead app. In the app, there’s a “Fit Test,” which—yeah, you guessed it—tests the fit of the buds. It’s an interesting sort of test, too.

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds with all the tips
Look at all them tips. Just look at ’em. Cameron Summerson

It plays a short beat, and I assume it measures the ‘buds response using the internal mic. From there, it tells you if the buds have a good fit (read: a proper seal) or not. For me, it took the large-sized tips to get a good deal, but I was expecting that since the Hammerhead Pro uses oval-shaped tips similar to the excellent Jabra Elite 85t. While I need the larger tips overall with that shape, it’s so much more comfortable than even round tips for me.

So yeah, they nail the “crafted for comfort” bit. They’re definitely comfortable, even for extended listening.

However, what’s not as comfortable are the touch controls. I’m of the opinion that touch controls on earbuds aren’t great—I prefer physical, soft-touch buttons. I’ve accidentally triggered features on the Hammerhead Pro when adjusting the fit more times than I care to admit during this review period, which drives me absolutely bonkers.

I’m Torn on the Sound Quality

As I said earlier, the Hammerhead Pro are THX Certified. But I feel like Razer leveraged everything on that certification because it’s really the only way they truly sound good. If you load up the custom EQ (more on that in a bit) and set it to flat, they sound very not good.

Most earbuds are crafted with a flat EQ, so it’s weird to toss a set into my headholes that isn’t designed that way, because if I try to dial in a custom EQ, it doesn’t sound like I expect it to. I’m just glad the THX certified EQ setting sounds good on its own.

Since that’s how Razer intended for these to be used, that’s also how I spent most of my review time. Overall, the sound quality is pretty good—these little ‘buds are capable of producing some serious sound. I’d say they’re in my top five favorite ‘buds for sound quality right now—though they fall short of the Jabra Elite 85t, which honestly isn’t surprising. In that review, I called the 85t “the new benchmark,” so this stands to reason.

The overall balance of the ‘buds is still quite good, although I wish that they had a little more oomph. If I’d never heard the Elite 85t, then they would’ve ranked higher for me, but in a direct comparison, the 85t are just so much fuller and more alive. But if you’re looking for good sound quality and don’t want the 85t for some reason, the Hammerhead Pro aren’t a bad choice.

There’s also a customizable EQ, which is a new thing here. One of my complaints against the Opus was that you couldn’t customize the EQ, so I’m glad to see that as an option here. It’s not quite as useful as some other options I’ve used where you can start with a preset and customize from there—you have to start with a Flat EQ—but it’s still nice nonetheless. It’s also 10-band, so you can really dial in the sound.

But there are also a few presets to choose from. The default is THX, but there’s also Amplified, Enhanced Bass, Vocal, and Enhanced Clarity. There’s a huge volume boost with the Enhanced Bass setting, which is both jarring and confusing. Like, why does the volume jump so much for this setting? The setting is fine overall, but the volume jump is not.

Overall, the Hammerhead Pro sound good, but not great—at least in the realm of similarly priced earbuds. Honestly, if you can live without ANC or transparency modes, you can get similarly good sound quality for half the price.

 

But if you want ANC and Ambient Mode, you’ll get them here. Like almost everything else about the Hammerhead Pro, these features are fine—they’re good, but not great. The ANC doesn’t block out as much noise as other earbuds I’ve tried. That includes the Jabra Elite 75t, which received ANC as an update. The Hammerhead Pro’s ANC feature blocks out some ambient noise, but I was still able to hear a fan running in my office with the feature enabled—this is a sound most other headphones/earbuds easily block out almost entirely.

The Ambient Mode feature is better, as it provides a pretty natural experience. It’s better than almost every other transparent mode feature I’ve personally used—save for the AirPods Pro. Jabra’s HearThrough feature is also comparable, but I think the Hammerhead Pro actually bests it because it doesn’t transition to another, similar feature when on phone calls the way the Jabras do. So for that, I applaud Razer.

To toggle between ANC on, ANC off, and Ambient Mode, you use the earbuds’ touch controls. But every time you switch between modes, it cuts any audio that’s playing to make the appropriate announcement (e.g. “ANC on”), which is pretty annoying because it’s just so excessive. I don’t mind the audio prompt in itself, but cutting out anything that’s playing is pretty obnoxious. It also seems like it takes it forever to get the point across—the voice prompt s p e a k s  s l o w l y.

Conclusion: A Good Set of Earbuds, but Still a Hard Sell

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbud case in another caseq
The case for the case is flashier than the case with no case. Cameron Summerson

Reviews like this one are the hardest to write because the Hammerhead Pro is such a middle-of-the-road product. It’s a good set of buds, don’t get me wrong—probably in my top five for the year—but there’s nothing that really makes them stand out. You can get better earbuds, like the Jabra Elite 85t, for just a little bit more money, which is what I’d recommend doing. If you’re already spending $200, you might as well spend $230 and get the best out there.

But for a lot less, you can also get buds that sound almost as good if you don’t mind doing without ANC and Ambient Mode. That’s what makes the Hammerhead Pro so hard to gauge—they don’t present the best feature set or the best value.

They’re good. But they’re not great. And that’s just not a good place to be in the true wireless earbud market.

Rating: 6/10
Price: $199

Here’s What We Like

  • Good sound quality with THX certification
  • Very comfortable
  • Multiple types and sizes of tips included

And What We Don't

  • Less than great ANC compared to some other options
  • Not a great value
  • No wireless charging

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support Review Geek.