Razer is known for its gaming mice, keyboards, and accessories, and makes some of the best headphone gear in the industry. If you’re looking for a wireless gaming headset with a microphone, the Razer Nari Essential and the Nari Ultimate are two great options. Let’s take an in-depth look at each Razer gaming headset to help you decide which is the best option for you.
The Nari Essential is a bit stripped down when compared to the Ultimate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good headset. If you’re looking for something affordable that performs so well that it might surprise you, this the Nari Essential is worth a closer look.
This headset features large black plastic ear cups with Razer logos etched into the back. This Razer headset has memory foam ear cushions covered in faux leather on the sides, with a breathable soft leather fabric where they come in contact with the ears and head.
Around the bottom and back edge of the left ear cup are all of the controls, including a power button, volume dial, micro USB for charging, and an LED indicator light. The microphone is also attached to the left earcup and features a flexible arm so you can move it up to the side when it’s not in use.
The earcups are mounted so they pivot slightly, and the headband flexes for fit and comfort. The upper section has two thin aluminum bands with a lower padded section mounted on a wire suspension. Overall, it gives a secure and comfortable fit so you can settle in for long gaming sessions without pain.
This Razer wireless headset comes with a simple USB transmitter that looks like an ordinary flash drive with no indicator lights or buttons, just an embossed Razer logo on the top. It works with PCs and PS4, but is not compatible with Xbox One X. A full battery lasts about 16 hours, and there is no option for wired connection.
Now, about the sound quality. When you use the Nari Essential with your PC, you can simulate surround sound by using the Razer Synapse app. The app also has a 10-band equalizer so you can adjust it to your specifications.
Sound normalization is also available through the Synapse app, boosting higher frequencies to even out the sound. There’s also a Voice Clarity feature that plays down the bass and amps up the high-mids to bring voice chat and game dialogue stand out. Considering the price, the Nari Essential has a powerful sound that is immersive and ideal for PC gaming. That said, the performance is not quite as good on a PS4. It’s a little more limited, and you can’t get the same surround sound experience.
- 40mm audio drivers
- THX Spatial Audio (not Dolby Atmos headphones but similar effect)
- Auto adjusting headband with gel cooling earcups
- Flip microphone
- 16 hour battery life
- 2.4 Ghz wireless audio
The boom mic is great for the price. There’s no fuzziness and it produces a warm, clear sound that’s impressive for a headset at this price point.
In fact, that’s the overall takeaway for the Razer Nari Essential. For the price, you won’t find a better gaming headset.
As the name suggests, the Ultimate is an improved model of the Razer Nari. It’s about twice the price of the Essential, and it actually performs above its class.
This headset features Razer’s HyperSense technology, adding tactile frequencies to sound so you feel the action in a whole new way. HyperSense is built into the headset, too, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.
As for sound quality, the Nari Ultimate has a great balance of low ends and mids, noticeably superior to the Essential. The ear cups are plenty comfortable and have a cooling gel to prevent heat and sweat buildup, and the auto adjusting headband adapts to the shape of your head. The headphones cancel out background noise, allowing you to get in the zone and game for hours on end, and the comfortable fit makes sure you’ll be able to.
The retractable mic has a mute button located on the backside of the left earcup, along with a scroll wheel to balance in-game audio with live chat. It’s also home to the power button, 3.5mm jack, and micro USB port.
On the right ear cup are another volume wheel and a spring-loaded insertion point for a wireless USB dongle that’s compatible with PS4, PC, and Mac. Like the Essential, the Nari Ultimate cannot be used wirelessly with Switch or Xbox, but unlike the Essential, you do have the option of a wired connection.
The Nari Ultimate can last as long as 20 hours with a full battery, though this time is much shorter if you use HyperSense and Chroma lighting. Razer Chroma allows for the ultimate personalization, letting you choose from 16.8 million color combinations through the app. Chroma and HyperSense are two of the coolest features of this headset, and you’ll probably want to use them, so plan on having a little less playtime than 20 hours.
- Razer Hypersense providing haptic feedback
- Auto adjusting headband
- Cool gel based earcups
- THX Spatial Audio
- 2.4Ghz Wireless
- Game vs Chat balance based on where you place the microphone boom
- 50mm Drivers for massive, deep audio
- On headphones controls
- Wireless or 3.5mm plug connections
Which Razer Wireless Headset Is the Right One for You
Both the Razer Nari Essential and the Nari Ultimate are great gaming headsets, but the Ultimate has a significant edge. HyperSense just adds another level to gameplay that the Essential and other middle-of-the-road headsets can’t touch. It makes gameplay much more immersive and is worth every penny. Plus, if you like Razer Chroma (and who doesn’t?), you can only get it on the Ultimate.
Another thing that the Ultimate has over the Essential is that it’s compatible with more gaming systems. While it can’t connect to them all wirelessly, a wired connection is better than nothing, and it’s something the Essential doesn’t have. That said, if you don’t have the budget for the Ultimate, the Essential is by no means a bad choice. It’s one of the best in its class and delivers an impressive surround sound experience when you use it for PC gaming. The Synapse app has a lot of opportunities for sound customization and is well worth what you’ll pay for it.
If you have any questions just fire them off in the comments below and we can get in to it.
A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.
This post was last updated on 2022-12-11 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.