The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are high-performance wireless earbuds, with versatility that wins them a spot in our guide to the best Bluetooth headsets. Razer's pedigree in audio quality is proven via its great gaming headsets, but with the Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds the gaming company extends its reach further - and to good effect. Generally this might be more of a reach into the mobile gaming sphere, and to those who prefer to go tether-free with devices, but the result is a quality Bluetooth headset that adds great versatility. They are a little expensive but they generally justify the pricetag.
Razer Hammerhead True Wireless review: Design
The design is both subtle but clearly of the Razer ilk, for those who are familiar. On a more general note, though, the look of everything you get in the box is neat, tidy and premium. The earbuds come in a pill-shaped box which is slim and compact enough to keep in the pocket. This also acts as the charging station, plugged in like a modern Android phone, with a USB-C cable. Unlike other earbuds - particularly media or music ones - that need to be forced deep into the earholes to be most effective, the True Wireless earbuds don't feel intrusive and sit comfortably in the ear - similar to Apple's Airpods.
At the rear of each bud is a small Razer symbol, which also acts as the media controls. There's an array of different controls that can be implemented with differing touch patterns and frequencies, which is a great idea in theory but can be a little tricky to master. A triple tap can skip forward music tracks, for example, but if you linger on the last tap by a touch, you'll end up engaging a different audio mode repeatedly as we did. Mastery of these controls does come with time and familiarity but it doesn't make them easy to use at the start. Something like the Jabra Steel or Jabra Stealth is easier to use.
Razer Hammerhead True Wireless review: Features
The range of commands the on-ear controls provide is good, and once familiar they should provide an easy way to embrace the True Wireless buds as a competent and quality Bluetooth headset. To get the best out of your earbuds, you'll need the companion app on your mobile device. Importantly, this enables the firmware of the headset to be updated easily - handy and straightforward. However, it also offers some options to change settings and audio profiles for media which have varying degrees of efficacy and quality.
The pillbox that the buds are housed in is, as mentioned above, not just for storage. It is the charging hub and a method for turning the headset on and off. Once the headset is charged, open the box and the pairing process begins, and by the time you've put one earbud in you should hear confirmation that you are 'connected'. Once you're finished, place the earbuds back in the box, close the lid, and the headset is switched off. The box is sturdy and tough, easily handling some accidental drops both inside and outside so you can have confidence in it - a plus given the $100 / £100 price tag.
Razer Hammerhead True Wireless review: Performance
At its core, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless headset is a quality Bluetooth headset, that's also great for media, music and games. This is centered on its ability to provide excellent audio quality to your ears, while having a brilliant mic. The latter is particularly astonishing considering the buds are very small and thus the microphone capacity is further away from your mouth than on other phone call-dedicated Bluetooth headsets. Every call was clear and crisp on the incoming audio, with outgoing audio loud and precise too. Even out walking on busy roads with traffic or in busy social places, a volume change was all that was needed to make and receive clear and effective calls.
A note must also be made about the underlying, general sound and audio quality which feeds the excellence described above: in essence, the True Wireless buds have an astounding sound for a pair of tiny earphones. The range is great, with singing trebles and higher notes, and even deep basses. The bass isn't going to be as strong as other media-focused over-ear headphones but the 13mm drivers in each bud do a lot of heavy lifting. However, when using it to enjoy its terrific audio quality - listening to music or watching videos - the Bluetooth signal did have a tendency to drop out occasionally. Considering this is the method of connection that the headset both lives and dies on, it's quite frustrating. Overall though it was one of the strongest and most reliable headsets we tested. This alone makes it worthy of being discussed as one of the best Bluetooth headsets going right now.
The battery life is good, but not spectacular: we got about three and a half hours of constant use out of them, nearly four. That's fine for using them as a pair of headphones but when using them as just a Bluetooth headset, you can easily get many more hours out of them. They're great for a regular short-to-medium commute, and they're very easy to charge, too.
Should you buy the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds?
If you're looking for a Bluetooth headset with added versatility, then this is it. Despite the occasional dropout in signal when listening to music, and the fiddly controls, the performance is good enough for us to recommend these earbuds as a do-it-all Bluetooth headset. The Bluetooth problems did lessen after a firmware update but they are still present, which means the score can't be higher. It is the quality elsewhere, in sound quality, design and build, plus the decent feature set that really makes this headset successful. For those looking for a Bluetooth headset with added bells and whistles - and for players of mobile games - then this is it.