Razer might not be the first name that pops into your head when you’re thinking about the best webcams, but the Razer Kiyo is a decent entry into the market from the gaming peripherals company. This stylish little webcam offers something nothing else in our list does - a unique, studio-like lighting ring that surrounds the camera lens, ensuring that you’ll be well-lit and looking fabulous for your audience, whether you’re streaming out to thousands of viewers or just having a chat with your family over Skype.
But does this space-age looking lighting set-up actually work, or is it just a gimmicky addition waiting to blind you?
Razer Kiyo review: Design and features
- 1080p at 30 FPS or 720p at 30 FPS.
- Innovative ring light.
Right out of the box, the Razer Kiyo is a visually striking bit of kit. The unique ring light which encircles the camera lens means that it looks like no other webcam on the market. It’s also small and compact, folding away neatly into something akin to a hockey puck in shape and size. There is a 4.9-foot braided cable which connects the webcam to your home computer via USB 2.0. That should be long enough to fit into any desk setup.
The camera itself is a fairly standard setup for this price range - we’re looking at a full HD camera capable of streaming or recording video at either 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second or 720p resolution at 60 frames per second. If you’re taking still images content, the 4-megapixel camera is even better and can capture at maximum resolution of 2688 x 1520.
That distinctive ring light isn’t just to help the Razer Kiyo standout from the crowd though, it’s there to make sure you’re perfectly illuminated when you’re in front of the camera. It also features a dual microphone setup which should in theory provide higher audio quality (we cover this later, but the short version is that the microphone seriously disappoints.)
Razer Kiyo review: Performance
- Excellent image and video quality.
- Poor microphone.
There’s very little to complain about when it comes to the camera half of this webcam. The Razer Kiyo takes beautiful images when used as a camera, with the ring light working wonderfully to illuminate the subject of the picture. Likewise, when used for video calls it also works a treat, with a clear image and the option for 60 frames per second video if you’d prefer a smooth image over a higher resolution.
Colors are bright and vibrant and the auto-focus does a great job of keeping the camera centered in on the target so you don’t look like a blurry mess.
The only real stumbling block for the Razer Kiyo is its microphone. While it has a dual-microphone system which typically improves audio quality, the Razer Kiyo’s is sadly subpar and records audio much quieter than we expected.
Perhaps Razer is hoping you’ll shell out for one of its premium gaming headsets to go with your webcam? Who knows, but it’s a disappointing shortfall on an otherwise excellent webcam.
Razer Kiyo review: Price and warranty
- $99.99 MSRP.
- One-year warranty.
The Razer Kiyo has an MSRP of $99.99, which puts it at the same cost as the Logitech C922 Pro Stream, our current webcam top pick. Putting the two devices side by side, there isn’t much in it though and the nifty ring lighting feature of the Razer Kiyo could easily swing the choice for a lot of consumers. The Razer Kiyo also comes with a one year warranty as standard.
Razer Kiyo review: User reviews
User reviews for the Razer Kiyo are positive for the most part, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Of those reviews, 65% rated the Razer Kiyo at 5 stars. Users were impressed with the lighting and camera image quality, but some people stated that it’s not really good enough for streaming. Numerous reviews also picked up on the lackluster microphone.
The general consensus seems to be that the Razer Kiyo is a great webcam with a mediocre microphone, but that it’s aspirations of being a streaming camera are a little lofty.
Should you buy the Razer Kiyo?
It’s a bit of a toss up between the Razer Kiyo and the Logitech C922 and it largely depends on what you’re most willing to sacrifice on. If being well lit and looking your best on camera is important to you, and you don’t want to shell out for an expensive studio lighting rig, then the Razer Kiyo is a great choice - we’d recommend grabbing a separate microphone though, as the built-in mic is weak.
If the microphone is going to be a deal breaker for you, then the Logitech C922 is still the safest bet in town.