Today we’re going to be talking about some of the prettiest gaming peripherals on the market, with a mouse and a headset from Razer’s new CHROMA series. I’ve had a month with the Naga Epic Chroma mouse and the Kraken 7.1 headset, and damn, are they pretty.
Yeah, a big part of the marketing strategy for these two is the colours – they change, cycling through the rainbow, but are also fully customizable and honestly really easy to customize. The software installs as soon as you connect it to your PC, which is via USB, in a matter of minutes, depending on your hardware. As soon as it is, you can choose from a total of 16.8 million colours and effects, with the mouse lighting up on the scroll wheel, and the 12 buttons on the left, and the headset lighting up on the sides. Your colour choices can be saved to the cloud, too, so you can have your colours wherever you go.
I mean, I could talk about the pretty colours for a really long time. I have no idea why I like it so much, but I really, really do. As for performance though, they’re both just as good. The mouse is actually only for right-handers with the 12 customisable, mechanical buttons all sitting on the left side, but you can use it either wireless or wired. The wireless range is impressive, with the sleek mouse dock acting as a wireless receiver and a charger, giving you about 20 hours of game time before needing to charge again. Wired or wireless, the mouse is pretty big but very comfortable, with a nice palm grip and some subtle texturing.
Beyond that, the Naga Epic Chroma has a total of 19 programmable buttons all up, making it pretty ideal for MMOs. It’s very similar to the older, original NAGA, of course, but I’m not complaining. Major differences are the scroll wheel now tilts left and right, creating 2 extra buttons, the thumb grid is a little different to cater to all sizes, the side is no longer interchangeable, it has the wireless option, and, of course, the colours. I guess it may be worth complaining that the Naga Chroma is so much more expensive than the original – about $70 more – just for the pretty colours and the wireless option.
Do I have any complaints, though? Well, nothing major. Some of the buttons on the side panel are a little hard to reach and can be difficult to differentiate, but they are quite large, so it’s not always an issue. I mean, most mouses don’t have those extra buttons for MMO hotkeys, so I’d prefer to have them and have a few issues than not have them at all. It’s also definitely obviously designed with MMOs in mind and certainly isn’t ideal for other games, with the unnecessary amount of buttons making mapping for other games a little over-complicated. It’s totally functional, but if you aren’t buying it for MMOs, I’d question whether it’s worth the price. If you are, you can even switch between keymaps, giving you like 100 button options. It’s perfect for it.
The headset – the Kraken 7.1 Chroma, certainly works for all games, though. The lighting setup works very much the same, and can synchronise with your mouse. Seriously, you guys, I love it. ALL the pretty colours. Aside from that, it’s a wired headset with a nice long cable and a very simple USB design. Plug in and go. The earcups are nice and padded, it’s surround sound and the audio is great quality except if you turn it up particularly loud, and some of the sound will escape into your surroundings.
It’s also really light-weight, and certainly comfortable, though the headband did hurt my head a bit after particularly extended sessions. There’s also a microphone, snugly tucked away into the left earcup. You can pull it out to variety of different lengths, and then push it back into the earcup when you’re done, and it’s all very discreet. Tap the mic to mute it, and the white LED will turn out, and press it again to unmute. It’s all very simple, though the mute button can be a little easy to miss, which is going to be a pain if you’re in a rush to unmute and say something.
Mic quality is reasonable, audio quality is hard to complain about, and while it’s not perfectly comfortable, it’s not bad for the price. Which, by the way, will vary depending on where you get it, so I can’t tell you exactly how much that is, but expect around $100.
So, the final verdict will come down to your personal preferences on both accounts, and I guess, how much you care about having chroma customisable lighting. I didn’t know before I had the two, but apparently that’s something I care about a weirdly large amount.