on July 30, 2009
I must admit I was a bit put off by the price of this gaming headset and the lack of features. Other PC headsets such as the Logitech G35 and Senn's PC350 were priced more but came with more features and of course, a bigger brand name. But when it comes down to gaming and listening to music, you aren't really asking for a lot. The Razer Carcharias delivers what one would need to enjoy listening to music, and of course, long comfortable gaming sessions.
Out of the box, the Carcharias seems pretty normal, perhaps even a bit cheaply made. Padding is placed in appropriate places, including the headband and loudspeakers. The padding is exceptionally soft, especially around the loudspeakers where the material is felt-like. The thin plastic that covers part of the headphones may seem flimsy, but is very light. A nice mesh around the headphones is also present, and also takes away a bit of weight. A nice part of the construction is the wire that connects the speakers to the headband. It is not only quite sturdy, but also gives some range of motion without compromising that integrity. Speaking of wires, the cable for the headset itself is very lengthy (nine feet) and is braided in fiber. The mic is sturdy itself and can be turned 270 degrees. It is also bendable at the midsection to some degree.
No sense praising the construction if it isn't even comfortable, and this is the part where the Carcharias excels at. Placing these headphones on for the first time felt amazing, as if it was conforming to the shape of my head. Of course, I felt this way about many headphones at first, so naturally I decided to start up a few games (which easily lasted several hours), after which I listened to a few hours of music while studying. There was absolutely no discomfort at all after all that time. The lightweight construction and circumaural design is a real blessing to the ears. The headphones themselves are also very easy to adjust.
The audio quality for these headphones is quite exceptional, enough to justify wearing these headphones for hours. As probably mentioned, audiophiles may want to look elsewhere, but for the casual listener, the quality is more than good enough. Although the bass is quite deep ("boomy"), it does not overwhelm the treble. The highs for this headphones can be quite distinct (ie loud), and since the volume can go quite high on this thing, may be overwhelming sometimes. Much of this is perfectly suited to games, especially first-person shooters. Keep in mind that this headset does not provide surround sound, and never was intended to. You can take a look at the aforementioned models for that.
The noise-filtering mic for this headset works well. I tested it with Ventrilo, Skype, and Left 4 Dead, and others could hear me very well, with a noticeable lack of background noise from my side. I should note that I had the mic at its default positioning (no additional bending). It can be adjusted to be a bit closer or further.
Overall, the Razer Carcharias does its job as a gaming headset very well. I consider it Razer's best headset in terms of price vs performance; a step above the Mako, and better than the Barracuda and Megalodon. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys long gaming sessions and listening to music. The comfort along with its exceptional audio quality and mic justifies the pricing; just don't expect any extra features.
Side note: I also think the name for this headset is awesome. As someone who's interested in cartilaginous fishes, I don't think they could have picked a better name.
on June 12, 2009
This is the best voice/audio solution I've found for gaming. There's plenty of cushioning around the ears and on the top of the head. They do a superb job of distributing their weight. I have some reservations about the microphone getting loose but so far so good. If it does, I believe I can fix it with some tape. The cord is wrapped in a similar/same material that you find on new power supply cables and is very pleasant to hold.
The mic is by far the best I've ever had. It picks up my voice excellently with volume to spare. It does not bother my face at all and never hits me in the mouth.
The headphone portion of this set is also great. They produce great sound and have impressive bass all things considered. Is this audiophile quality sound? Probably not, but it's still the best sound from a headset I've ever heard. Excellent frequency response (20 Hz-20,000Hz).
Overall, an excellent headset if a bit on the pricey side. The microphone is great without compromising too much in the headphones and is probably the best sound with microphone you can get for $80. You might be able to do better with some audiophile headphones but they don't have mics :P The packaging is also beautiful. You will feel guilty throwing any of it away.
on March 2, 2012
Considering the price, these could be a LOT better. I have experience with two more sets of headphones that embolden me to criticize these. I'll start off by saying these are very comfortable headphones and I love circumaural design, usually it increases immersion and fidelity, but in the case of the Carcharias, I'd describe the sound as 'pitchy', I didn't realize how much I was suffering with these until I got a set of Sennheiser headphones, and went back to Plantronic for my mic headset solution. These may be touted as high fidelity gaming headphones, but a quick listen to treble-filled music at any volume will tell you something is wrong. These are headphones that will actually hurt your ears at reasonable volume. The mic is mildly muffled as well and makes my voice sound deeper, I was complimented on a change of mic to a headset about a fifth of this price.
One of the worst parts is the internal construction; after these broke, I decided to open them up. The construction involves soldering of thin flimsy wiring to a chipboard. I'm not sure what the purpose of this board was, maybe it digitally separates treble sounds and magnifies them to ear bleeding levels and that's the secret, but I was not impressed, and was quite surprised these didn't break sooner (less than a year as it was, which would be acceptable for standard but not circumaural headphones in this range). Don't waste your money on these, they're part in a series of hardcore gamer scams, you can do better.
I have brutally murdered at least a dozen headsets over the last ten years--- probably more if you count the crappy ones I picked up "just in the meantime". So cords have been ripped out by 100 lb scaredy-dogs leaping under my desk at the rumblings of a thunderstorm, cords have been yoinked by me when I forgot I was still wearing the headset as I left my desk, cords have been vacuumed, mics have been snapped off, units have been sat upon, fabric/leather/foam has been torn on earrings, bits and parts of all sorts have had extraordinary wear due to being toted back and forth from work to home with a demanding gaming/movie/music/web-surfing lifestyle.
**The Razer Carcharias**
When I first put on my Razer Carcharias it was like heaven cradled my head. It was like heaven for almost two years before they *went* to heaven. /sniffle But, hey, in the grand scheme of well-abuse... er, loved? computer peripherals--- that is almost an eternity!
Comfort: The Razer Carcharias is hands down the most comfortable headset I have ever owned. Ever.
The velvety cushions snuggle your ears like your head is between two cherubs' rump-cheeks. The unit is surprisingly sturdy yet lightweight. It remains 110% luxurious to wear for hours on end. I mean hours and hours and hours on end. Cheaper headsets may have had bad sound or were extra-flimsy but I was also consistently unhappy with costlier pairs which often squeezed my head and/or put undue pressure on my ears after being worn for a few hours of gaming. Because I have a relatively petite female head/ears I don't like to imagine how most guys would have felt in those headsets. That said, my boyfriend, with a ginormous noggin of doom, liked to steal my Carcharias whenever I was sleeping. Yep, he loved them and thought about offing me in order to inherit them. Yep, he stretched them out a bit. -_-
Durability: This is the only headset I have had that remained absolutely intact so long.
I was bad. I wrapped the cord up like you shouldn't wrap a console controller cord. I not only wrapped, but compulsively wrapped *tightly*. I did this for almost two years. I am MEAN to my gaming stuff and it is a willful cruelty. The unit got chucked unceremoniously in the backseat twice a day, 5 days a week. It got used for nearly 9 hours a day at ye old gaming company where I worked. Then it came home and was, more often than not, used for hours more. When I passed out my bf would steal them for web-surfing or MMO-FPS gaming. 24-7-365. When the unit finally passed it was because of the blatant cord abuse.
Sound: I am not an audiophile but I still enjoy the sound on my games, music and movies. The sound on the Razer Carcharias is pretty great. Unless the model has changed over the years the ear cups are not too amazing in terms of noise-cancellation but that was never a problem even considering in-flight plane noises and rowdy co-workers.
The end result: The Razer Carcharias is the only headset I would ever repurchase. It is ultra-comfy and durable as all hell. I heart Razer Carcharias.
(Now, because of a really great sale and a superb return policy, I decided to test out the Creative Labs Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset. The reviews are really up and down but, alas, I expect that from a product that is heavily reviewed by WoW-consumers. I am wearing them now and already do not find them as comfortable as the Razer. But, they are not charged so I cannot test sound or any of the bells and whistles yet. Thinking I will give it a week or so, with a good dose of SWTOR-testing, before I give them a final review. Rest assured, if I am not happy they will be returned and I won't hesitate to get another pair of Razer Carcharias!)
Update Nov 2013: The Sound Blasters I tried out above did not make the cut. I left them a 1-star review, returned them and bought another Carcharias. That was about 2 years ago and that set is still going strong. It is on my head as I write this update... but in all honesty, I am here because I am grabbing another Carcharias as a gift for the holidays. Yep, I think they are that great. :-)
Update Feb 2015: I am still wearing the second pair of Carcharias I bought 4 years ago. It seems like the new version was not as well made as the old version, so if you want something durable, look for the old style Carcharias. One pair lasted me 2 years before I abused them to death, toting them back and forth from a (now defunct) gaming company and my home each day, and my second paid is 4 years old - that's a pretty great track record for something I use every single day for hours. Best of luck!
on April 26, 2011
Before this headset, I was using the Bose Around-Ear Headphones, which offered great audio quality, though I'm no audiophile. The two issues I had with the old Bose headphones was A) Using a Microphone to talk to other players in Ventrilo while playing games with the headphones was awkward, and B) The previous Bose pair had issues right after the one-year warranty wore off TWICE. For the first pair, the stitching for the padding around the speakers started coming appart and for the second pair, the stitching came apart and the left speaker stopped working altogether. Needless to say, I wasn't going to sign up for a third pair knowing they would need replacing roughly a year from now.
Now, going from the $150 Bose headphones to this $65 Razer Headset, my first concern was the inevitable drop in sound quality that this headset would produce, and while yes, there is a drop in sound quality, it isn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Bass is only slightly less sharp and trebble in general just sounds ever so slightly more flat than the Bose headphones, and I have to actually TRY to pick out the diffrences in order to really notice. Similarly, I used the test function in Ventrilo in order to get an idea for what my voice would sound like, and my voice was nice and clear, save for a light whining noise in the background (most likely background noise being downtoned by the mic).
Seeing as I've just bought a headset that rivals my old $150 Bose headphones in sound quality and a mic that offers similar voice quality for less than HALF of what I payed for my old Bose headphones alone, I'm incredibly happy with this purchase. Razer's products just seem to hit home with me, as I've also bought a Deathadder a while back and love it.
The only real drawback I can think of is that while this headset does go around the ears, and is VERY comfortable, it doesn't really "seal" around the ears, so it's pretty likely that sound leaks from the headset and others can hear if you use them at high volume. I don't have a problem with that, seeing as I use them while alone anyways, but this may matter to some.
on July 1, 2013
I play a lot of games with friends, so voice chat is a must for me. I got sick of replacing cheapy 20$ headsets every year, so I started shopping around for something a little more lasting. Everyone recommended turtle beach, but all of them complained about them breaking at the point of the headband meeting the ear pieces. Every set I looked at had this tiny little part in that spot so that the ear pieces swiveled. Because it was so tiny, that was the breaking point. Every review, every person I talked to, all sets with the swivel function broke.
So then I looked for something without the silly swivel, and more metal than plastic.
This set fit the bill. I've been using them for a few weeks now and they even feel more sturdy than most sets. Though I got these around the time I saw the tiamats on woot refurbished for about the same price, it seemed like they too had points on them easier to bust, so I did miss out on some neat features. Such as, the mic does move out of the way, but it doesn't retract. The ear pieces do have some give in them, but they do not swivel.
However, the headband connection to the ear pieces have a heavy plastic that houses metal bars to allow the headband to expand. When I lift them off my head, I don't feel like I'm going to break them. The cord is wrapped, which I like about my razer naga too. The sound quality has been nothing but wonderful. I have zero complaints about this set, and so long as they continue to work, I will recommend these to anyone in the market for a new headset. Be sure when you buy to register your product on the razer site for your warranty as well. Another great thing about buying from razer, though I've never needed to use it.
on July 22, 2013
The only way to prevent chat partners from hearing everything I hear, including ambient sounds in my house and the sounds from my headphones, is to mute the mic.
Tried every setting available, troubleshooting, etc. Nothing works. The only cause I can think of is a cross-connection of some sort in the wiring.
on January 3, 2016
This headset is really nice looking and the packaging is cool. I got them for my son because he really wanted them, and his friends always talk about them and say they are the best. They aren't. They stopped working correctly within a few months, and by 6 months quit working altogether. They aren't worth the price I paid for them, and I wouldn't buy them again. I don't know if all products by this brand are poor quality, but I don't plan on finding out. I will just buy a different brand next time.
on November 27, 2013
I can't really complain too much. Very comfortable, and that's probably the most important thing to me personally, even more than sound quality. The sound quality is, in my opinion, excellent as well though... but I should say that I'm no audiophile by any means.
I really appreciate the cord quality. It doesn't tangle at all. Nice construction.
The only issue I have at all is the mic. its not a big deal, but that stick... its so clunky and long that I can see it in my peripheral vision while using it and it kind of bugs me.
Update: OK, I've had/used this thing for quite some time now. I stand by my 4 stars and my comments above, except to say that the mic issue really is something you get used to so no big deal. The cord still impresses me and has never tangled. I do have one annoyance: the mic on/off switch is way too easily engaged. I've had several times over the past year where the other party suddenly can't hear me. It happens so often that at least I know what it is right away. It isn't even in my hands so I don't know how it is happening, but it happens.
But still, very comfortable and acceptable sound quality.
on November 24, 2012
I really like this headset. The sound is great and they are comfortable. However, I just had my second headset mic go bad. The first headset worked great for about 6 months then the mic quit working. The second set didn't last 2 months before it quit. No matter how much I like it, I can't give something that breaks so easily more than one star. I'm about to get a third headset (Best Buy warranty). We'll see how long those last.