Haptic feedback is something we’ve become accustomed to with smartphones and controllers, but it’s something that companies have tried (and failed) to successfully implement into headphones – until now Razer is confident that it has nailed the haptic experience with the Razer Nari Ultimate – and we must admit, we agree. We’ve not been sold on haptic-enabled headphones in the past, finding them a little too intense and distracting, but the Razer Nari Ultimate is a shining example of what can be achieved when it’s done well.
Intrigued? You should be. Here’s our review of Razer’s high-end haptic-enabled headset, the Razer Nari Ultimate.
Pricing and availability
With an RRP of £199.99/$199.99, the Razer Nari Ultimate sits comfortably at the high-end of the gaming headset market, but we think the unique audio experience on offer here should be enough to tempt hardcore PC gamers. It’s not going to be plain sailing for Razer though, as price tag pits the Nari Ultimate against the
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 and
Logitech G935, two of our
favourite gaming headsets at the moment.
If you’re interested in picking up the Razer Nari Ultimate, you can grab it from the
Razer website along with
Overclockers UK (£199.99) and
Currys (£199.99) in the UK, and
Amazon ($199.99) and
Best Buy ($199.99) in the US.
If that’s a little out of your price range, take a look at our selection of the
best budget gaming headsets instead.
A refined design
The Razer Nari Ultimate is the culmination of all Razer’s past efforts, with elements from previous flagships all present and accounted for alongside new, innovative features that help justify that high-end price tag.
That’s true of the design as well as the array of features available; the Nari Ultimate boasts a familiar-looking black aluminium frame with an auto-adjusting headband and swivelling earcups. The nature of the headband means you no longer need to fiddle around with adjustments like with most other high-end headsets on the market – it’s a small change, but one that makes adds to the premium look and feel of the Nari Ultimate.
But as hardcore gamers will know, the design of the headband is only half of it. Earcups really make or break the overall experience, and it’s something that Razer has really nailed with the Nari Ultimate. The earcups are primarily made from high-density foam and come with a plush leatherette finish, and while that would be enough for most gamers, Razer didn’t stop there.
The Nari Ultimate earcups feature cooling gel-infused cushions that give a noticeably cool feel when worn – in fact, sometimes we thought it was a little too cool, and that’s something we never thought we’d ever be able to say about a gaming headset. The cool, soothing nature of the gel not only gives it a cool touch, but it helps keep temperatures down to avoid those behind-the-ear sweats during intense online gameplay sessions. Simply put; if you get hot-headed when gaming, the Nari Ultimate will cool you right down.
And glasses-wearers will be happy to know that the earcups also sport hidden indented eyewear channels, completely eliminating pressure from glasses while being worn. It’s something that gets overlooked even amongst high-end headsets, so it’s nice to know that Razer is really considering the wants and needs of its audience.
The headset features a high-quality retractable microphone for a cleaner overall look, and the embedded LED ring around the microphone will let you know whether you’ve muted the mic at a glance. No more embarrassing party chat moments (hopefully, anyway!).
The primarily wireless nature of the headset means a USB is required for use, and rather than including a separate USB stick that’s easily misplaced, the headset includes a small USB transmitter embedded within one of the earcups. It’s not necessarily a new concept, but it’s one of our must-haves when it comes to high-end headsets, and we’re sure we’re not alone in thinking that.
A unique audio experience
The Razer Nari Ultimate offers a truly unique audio experience thanks to a combination of HyperSense technology and THX Spatial Audio. Developed by Lofelt, HyperSense technology is essentially intelligent haptic tech that can convert sound into dynamic haptic effects in real-time, and while it sounds a bit gimmicky, it truly isn’t.
Razer’s HyperSense tech is more advanced than that we’ve seen on other gaming headsets, allowing the vibration to differ between earcups to give you more of a sense of direction and immersion, and the intensity can vary to match the audio input. It’s hard to describe the punchy experience, but it’s akin to what we’d imagine a subwoofer on your head would feel like.
Every punch, kick, shot and explosion is not only heard but felt with unique levels of force feedback, and crucially, it stays clear from other low-end frequencies. It’s precise, clean and can really improve the overall experience. Admittedly it can be a little intense at times, especially in high-octane shooters like Battlefield V, but it’s easily adjusted (along with a suite of other features) via Razer Synapse, the accompanying software that’s rather forcefully installed when you first plug the headset into your PC.
Of course, the HyperSense technology is only half of the experience. To complete that high-end gaming experience, the Razer Nari Ultimate offers THX Spatial Audio support. Powered by finely-tuned 50mm drivers, the spatial audio experience is second-to-none, providing incredibly accurate directional audio that really immerses you into whatever you’re playing. You’ll be able to pick up on the slightest sounds, whether that’s the footsteps of a slowly-approaching enemy in your favourite shooter or the weird and wonderful conversations that take place in open world games.
Social gamers will be pleased to find out that the Nari Ultimate offers split game and chat inputs, allowing you to adjust audio balance between your Discord channel chat and gameplay with a physical slider on the left earcup. It allows you to adjust the balance on-the-fly, negating the need to exit the game every time you want to tweak the balance between your friends and your games.
Of course with headphones this expensive, you want them to perform well with a variety of tasks, not just gaming. The Nari Ultimate achieves this, delivering balanced, crisp and clear audio with strong bass that is perfect for listening to music and watching movies. You can choose from preset EQ options via Razer Synapse or, if you consider yourself a bit of an audio buff, you can tweak the EQ yourself to really fine-tune the output.
The good news is that even with HyperSense technology and the headset’s built-in RGBs enabled, we managed around nine hours on a single charge. That’s not bad, especially when you consider you can continue using it whilst it’s being charged via microUSB (a process that takes around four hours).
The Razer Nari Ultimate offers multi-platform support, but there are a couple of catches. First up, wireless support is exclusive to PC, so those wanting to use the headset on PS4, Xbox One or Switch are forced to use the included 3.5mm headphone cable. While that’s fairly standard (although some headsets do offer wireless support for PC and one console, be it PS4 or Xbox One), what is disappointing is that the audio experience is downgraded.
That’s because when you use the Razer Nari Ultimate on consoles or any other 3.5mm-equipped device, audio is limited to (surprisingly directional but not perfect) stereo output instead of the THX Spatial audio enjoyed on PC. But while there’s a lack of THX Spatial Audio on consoles, it’s not all bad news; the immersive HyperSense tech can be enjoyed on consoles as well as PC.
The Razer Nari Ultimate is a beautifully-designed high-end headset that delivers not only an exceptional audio experience, but a comfortable one too. Featuring a lightweight aluminium frame, a self-adjusting headband and cooling gel-infused earcups, it’s a headset you’ll be able to wear for hours on end without any uncomfortable aches or behind-the-ear sweats.
HyperSense technology helps the Nari Ultimate stand out from a crowd of gaming headsets, offering intelligent haptic feedback on PC and consoles that can really help immerse you into the world of the game you’re playing. Couple that with THX Spatial Audio support and wireless capabilities, and you’ve got a premium audio experience that shines not only when playing games but listening to music and watching movies too.
Razer Nari Ultimate: Specs
- 116 x 267 x 243 mm
- Wireless support (2.4GHz)
- 3.5mm and USB connectivity also supported
- HyperSense haptic feedback
- THX Spatial Audio
- Boom mic
- 8hr battery life (up to 20 without HyperSense)
- 50mm drivers
- 7.1 Surround Sound