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(Pocket-lint) - The gaming headset market has heated up to a crazy degree in the last couple of years, with a major driving force in that growth being the amount of time many of us have spent indoors with party chats a main form of social contact.

Getting a good headset that doesn't break the bank, then, has become easier than ever - and now Razer is adding another option to a crowded field in the wireless Barracuda X. It's a great little headset that's got a lot going for it. 

Design

  • Dimensions: 73 x 158 x 200mm
  • Weight: 262g

The Barracuda X is a really sleek-looking headset, confirming that Razer is well and truly past its gaudier phase of design aesthetic. This looks like a pair of over-ear headphones that you'd see out and about, and is closer to the Steelseries brand of understatement that we've come to rate so highly.

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Each earcup has a subtle Razer logo embossed on it, the ear cushions are nice and soft, while the Razer name also runs across the headband, but it's all very subtle. The finish is almost entirely plastic, apart from some metal in the headband extender.

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This plays into one of the Barracuda X's biggest strengths - it is really lightweight, therefore comfortable to wear as a result, even through long sessions. That's something that even far more premium headsets sometimes mess up on, so we're pleased with Razer's work here.

There's also good practical controls built-in, including a microphone mute button, the power button, a volume dial and a couple of ports - 3.5mm for wired audio and a USB Type-C port for charging. All work nicely, while the microphone itself is completely removable, which is always nice for solo sessions.

Pocket-lintRazer Barracude X review: A dead solid mid-range headset photo 5

As far as a headset goes, though, it's comfort that's most important, so Razer scores a success in our book with the Barracuda X - it's great to wear and use.

Sound quality and features

  • 40mm drivers
  • Cardioid Mic
  • Dongle for wireless connections

Razer's headsets are typically pretty great in the sound department. The Barracuda X is no different, despite its mid-range pricing. This is a well-balanced and tuned headset, perfect for multiplayer games where sound really matters.

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You'd be surprised how variable headsets can be when it comes to precise footstep and movement audio in first-person shooters, and while Warzone is so inconsistent with its audio that it's hard to judge, we never had issues with the Barracuda X. Moving over to more reliable games like Apex Legends and Hell Let Loose, we found the Barracuda X a really impressive performer.

In games where that level of precision wasn't needed, the soundscape is still nice and balanced to make sure that you're not overwhelmed by neither bass or treble. If you're lucky enough to be playing on a PS5, too, the headset is compatible with 3D audio for the very best immersion.

On the equally important microphone side of things, the Barracuda X's cardioid mic does a really good job of picking up clear audio and also impressively ignoring background noise. One hiccough we encountered was that its default setting picked us up far more quietly than most headsets. However, this is easily fixed in device settings, and once we'd adjusted we came through loud and clear.

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As far as actually connecting to your PC or console wirelessly, the headset comes with an impressively tiny wireless dongle which is the key to your connectivity. It can plug into any USB Type-C port to have the headset connect straight to it.

This works really nicely on a PS5 or PC, and also means that you can use the headset on your Switch for another gaming avenue covered. It's a shame that this isn't extended to also include Xbox consoles, but that sort of locking out is something we're entirely used to in the accessories market, sadly.

Pocket-lintRazer Barracude X review: A dead solid mid-range headset photo 1

Still, with many Android phones also covered by the USB Type-C inclusion, and the option to connect to anything else using a wired 3.5mm connection, you've got plenty of options for how to get it up and running on different devices.

Verdict

The Barracuda X is a real contender at the same price point as Sony's own official Pulse 3D headset for the PS5, and its wider compatibility and superior microphone make it a bit more convincing than that option. This is marker of how comfortable and reliable we've found it - and if the price comes down in sales at any point then it'll be an even better deal.

If you're on the lookout for a lightweight headset that you can wear for hours at a time, and want solid audio performance and a great microphone too, the Barracuda X is a dead solid option.

Also consider

Pocket-lintAlso consider photo 1

Sony Pulse 3D Headset

For a very similar price you can get Sony's own PS5 headset, and if you're only really looking to use it with the PS5 then this is a great alternative, with sound that's perfect for the next-gen audio that games like Returnal and Demon's Souls bring to the console. However, it's let down by the microphone performance, which means the Barracuda X is worth the small extra bump in price, in our opinion.

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Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 14 August 2021.