At this point, I’d be surprised to come across a legitimate gamer who hasn’t heard of Razer. The Singaporean-American tech company has been around north of two decades and has always dedicated itself to creating premium hardware for gamers. Starting off developing top-tier computer mice, Razer quickly transitioned to keyboards, mice, microphones, webcams and headsets and now even have laptops and smartphones in their repertoire.
They’ve found great success with their impressive lineup of gaming headsets, such as the fan-favourite BlackShark and Kraken series as well as the noise-cancelling Opus. Razer wanted to kick it up a notch with the Razer Nari Ultimate, a headset designed to take immersion to new heights. In this Razer Nari Ultimate review, we’re going to find out for ourselves if it lives up to the hype or if it’s just a run-of-the-mill headset piggybacking on a novel gimmick.
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What is the Razer Nari Ultimate?
Razer introduced the Nari line of headsets towards the tail end of 2018. It debuted three devices, starting with the Nari followed by the Nari Essential and Nari Ultimate a few months after. The headsets were obviously designed for gaming and you need not look further than Razer’s “For Gamers. By Gamers.” slogan to figure that out.
All three devices are pretty much identical in looks, but while the Nari was designed as a watered-down version of the Nari Ultimate and the Nari Essential was focused on excelling as a wireless headset, whereas the Nari Ultimate had all the features of its siblings with the added goal of revolutionizing the industry with next-level immersion via its HyperSense technology. Revolutionary ideas don’t come cheap, however, as the Razer Nari Ultimate sits squarely in the premium peripherals column with its $199.99 price tag.
The Nari Ultimate sports 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity through the use of a USB dongle which works great with PCs, Playstation 4s, and Nintendo Switches. It won’t work on phones though since it requires a USB port. If you prefer a wired connection, the headset comes with a 3.5 mm cable.
Battery life/Charge time
With RGB and HyperSense turned off, the Nari Ultimate rivals the superior battery life of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 at 24 hours. Turning them on, however, takes a heavy toll on the device, dwindling it to a meagre 8 hours which really isn’t great. It takes around 4 hours to bring it back to full charge which is fairly long.
The Nari Ultimate is a little thin on freebies, with the only things packed in the box being the cables and a manual.
Active/Passive Noise Cancellation
This wireless headset doesn’t support noise-cancellation but it does a decent job of isolating mellower ambient sounds. While it can’t match up to ANC headsets like the Sony WH-1000XM4, for example. It’s good enough at drowning out lesser noises like the sound of your sibling’s bickering in the other room or the low rumbling of your air conditioner. Just don’t expect much isolation while you’re walking down a busy street, though chances are you won’t be using a Razer gaming headset for your daily walks.
The materials used in the Nari Ultimate’s uniquely designed earcups ensure that excessive sweat is never a problem. The leatherette pads do tend to run a little hot though. Powder and makeup, however, is another issue entirely which you’ll want to avoid unless you’re ready to spend a lot of time and patience cleaning.
The headset supports Razer Synapse 3 which allows you to play with a host of exciting features, including RGB settings, haptic feedback, and the audio equalizer. As a bonus, the headset memorizes your settings and will carry them over to the next device you use it with.
HyperSense is the Nari Ultimate’s selling point which is a haptic feedback mechanism that they worked on with specialist company Lofelt. They function by integrating L5 haptic drivers into the headsets, which works in tandem with the audio that you’re listening to by converting the sounds into touch-sensory feedback that you’ll feel in realtime, providing gamers with the pinnacle of immersion.
To put it bluntly, the Nari Ultimate’s bass is overdone, to say the least. But bear in mind, it’s a gaming headset, after all, so the exaggerated bass profile does give gunshots, explosions, and other meaty sound effects a lot more oomph. While it may be a plus for gaming purposes, it doesn’t do music any favours and usually causes tracks to sound somewhat muffled. The mids and trebles are pretty good overall, though the lower-mids can come across as a little distorted on account of the over-emphasized bass and the higher trebles sometimes feel a bit flat. All-in-all, the Nari Ultimate’s decent sound quality is geared mostly towards video games, especially action-oriented ones with lots of loud, chunky sounds.
The headset’s mic is great at getting your voice across comprehensively, but it lacks any sort of intensity and usually comes off sounding a tad thin. It does, however, have stellar noise-cancelling capabilities, blocking out most background noises in the room while you’re playing with your buddies.
What’s it like to use?
Razer’s Nari Ultimate is pretty much good to go straight out of the box. The HyperSense is functional right from the get-go, and all you have to do is plug in the headset, sit back, and enjoy. The controls are a little hit and miss. While the scroll wheels are easy to use and the button layout is functional, the buttons are way too small (especially if you have hands as big as mine) and take some getting used to.
Establishing a wireless connection to your devices is as easy as plugging in the dongle, whether it’s your PC, Playstation 4, or docked Nintendo Switch. Xbox One owners will be disappointed to know that the Nari Ultimate can only connect to the console’s controller via a wired 3.5mm connection. This variant doesn’t support a wireless Xbox One connection. Fortunately, Razer has come up with a special version, particularly for Xbox fans.
While the headset is comfortable enough for most people thanks to its well-padded earcups, it grips a little tight and may be a little taxing on people who wear glasses. The haptic feedback from HyperSense feels amazing in video games, especially action-oriented ones. Taking in the sounds and vibrations from the environment, be it the crisp dialogue and ambient sounds of nature or thundering gunshots and wheels ripping through gravel in the distance, you feel it in your head all the way to your chest. They’re not as impressive when watching videos or music, however, since the vibrations aren’t nearly as meaningful depending on what you’re watching or listening to. HyperSense also just tires you out after extended use, so you’ll probably want a break now and then.
Using the Razer Synapse app is easy as can be and has tons of great features you can play around with to customize your Nari Ultimate experience. You can dial down the haptic feedback if it’s a little too much for you, meddle with the headset’s equalizer, and change the RGB lighting to suit your style.
The Nari Ultimate is a handsome headset with its jet-black design laced with gunmetal accents all over. As with most of their headsets, the signature tri-snake Razer logo proudly adorns the face of the earcups. It might seem a bit bulky for some users, though people with larger-sized heads will enjoy it that way. The oversized earcups are lined with thick padding and so is the headband, though not quite as much.
The earcups themselves feature dynamic RGB lighting which you can customise using the Razer Synapse app. The headset has a retractable boom mic on its left side, while the USB dongle hides in the right earcup and can be ejected with a solid push. Overall, the Nari Ultimate sports an attractive look that’s gamer-esque enough to look cool with your killer rig without overdoing it so much that it belongs on an episode of Star Trek.
It feels sturdy, but its bulkiness and weight mean that you need to be extra careful not to drop it. Stability-wise, the auto-adjusting headband is built for comfort but isn’t nearly as steady as you’d like. Small movements tend to shift its position on your head which can disrupt your gaming experience.
On its own, the Razer Nari Ultimate is a decent wireless headset at best. Its fair audio quality isn’t up to par with many of its rivals that share a similar price point. Sure it looks good, is well-built, and has a great mic. But what really sells it is its HyperSense technology.
The haptic feedback takes the headset’s okay sound quality to new heights by allowing you to hear and feel your in-game surroundings in real-time. That alone is worth the hefty price of admission and enough to overlook the Nari Ultimate’s lacklustre battery life. Just make sure you’re picking it up mainly to play video games.
Razer Nari Ultimate Review Box
Razer Nari Ultimate Review
Design & Build - 8/10
Features - 8/10
Sound Quality - 7.2/10
Mic Quality - 7.2/10
Battery Life - 7.5/10
Comfort - 8/10
Total Value - 8/10
While the Razer Nari Ultimate is indeed gimmicky, it’s a fun gimmick that elevates the headset’s passable audio quality to create an entirely new immersive experience.
Adding that to its gorgeous looks, fantastic microphone, and high degree of customizability gives great value to the device, earning it its steep $200 price tag. Just keep in mind that HyperSense really is built for gaming, so if you’re planning on purchasing the Nari Ultimate for music or watching videos, you’re likely to be disappointed.
✓ Looks and feels great
✓ HyperSense is a fun and innovative feature
✓ Decent enough sound quality
✓ Highly customisable
✓ Stellar microphone
✗ HyperSense isn’t as meaningful when watching movies and listening to movies
✗ Small movements cause the headset to shift
✗ Mediocre battery life when using HyperSense+RGB and lengthy recharge time
✗ Quite pricey