When it comes to headsets, comfort and sound quality are always the most looked at qualities for any user, and with good reason. But with gaming headsets, other factors come into play, otherwise, why bother with a gaming-specific device?
With the Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset, Razer is looking to complement great sound and cool comfort with a less common feature – haptic feedback. Whether it is feeling the feedback from a controller or having your smartphone vibrate from notifications, haptic feedback often adds to a more immersive experience, and with the Nari Ultimate, it is more than just a gimmick.
Right out of the box, the Nari Ultimate is a comfortable headset that is a joy to use. Its design seems to take cues from other Razer products, such as the metal headband and suspension combo (Thresher), the sufficiently padded earcups with cooling gel (Kraken), and convenient controls for your wireless needs (Man O’ War).
This is the first time I had no trouble wearing a headset for hours on end, without feeling too uncomfortable from heat or soreness. The cooling gel helps to keep things cool for a good 20 minutes or so, popping it off occasionally helps it cool down rather rapidly, and the padding is comfy on the ears, even with glasses on.
On the left side you will find controls for muting the mic, a scroll switcher between game and chat, the power button, the micro USB charging port, the 3.5mm headphone jack, and the retractable mic. The right side houses the volume scroll wheel, as well as a slot for your 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle.
It will take some getting used to, but the layout and design of the various controls on the Nari Ultimate is close to perfection. Razer could have made it better with different shaped buttons, but we have no complaints.
And with the wireless USB dongle easily slotted into its own spring-loaded crevice, there is no fear of losing dongles, and it makes the Nari Ultimate even more amazing.
Power it up and the seemingly nondescript design lights up the way only Razer products do, and the Nari Ultimate certainly catches the eye. Of course, you can use the headset unpowered with the 3.5mm jack, but you will lose both the RGB lighting and the haptics.
Audio sounds really good on the headset, and while it is certainly heavier on bass, be it music, games, or movies, the audio is adequately clear and pristine. Both the mid-range and low-end sound wonderful, but the centre can be a little too hollow at times. And if you are using the Nari Ultimate for chat, the noise isolation and voice reproduction worked great with no major issues.
The technology behind the Nari Ultimate’s haptics comes from German company Lofelt, which converts sound signals into dynamic touch-sensory feedback in real time. In conjunction with Razer HyperSense, the headset picks up the shape and frequencies of game audio and transforms them into rich, lifelike haptic effects that differ in intensity and direction.
It gives a new layer of nuance to the audio, which is most discernable when playing music with a multitude of elements. Whether it be the heavy treble or low-end synths, the drivers in the Nari Ultimate can interpret and layer all these feedback on top of each other for a truly unique experience.
And in games, it elevates the directional audio with the bonus of haptics. Get shot from the left and you can feel it, literally, in your left side, and an explosive blast from the right will feel like it should. On PC, the THX Spatial Audio enhances the already great sound even more, the Nari Ultimate truly comes close to being a subwoofer right on your head.
The caveat is that the intensity of the feedback is dependent on the volume. The louder the volume, the stronger the vibration, which is not a bad configuration, but prolonged usage might be a tad uncomfortable with high volumes. This can be easily remedied with some tweaks using Razer’s Synapse 3.0 software on the PC.
With both haptics and lighting running at full capacity, the Nari Ultimate clocked in an average of 8-9 hours of battery life, and can be used for up to 20 if both those key features are disabled. While it is certainly far from ideal, it is adequate for daily usage with some concessions.
The price tag of the Razer Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset is definitely not cheap, especially considering the rest of the Nari family of headsets. That said, the overall design, audio quality, and implementation of haptic technology blew us away and we find it hard to go back to regular headsets.
If you can afford it, the Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset should be high on your shopping list. It offers a unique auditory experience that layers in immersion that truly changes the game.
The Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset is available on Razer’s website, and retails for S$309.90.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
We had our doubts, but they were quickly blown away by Razer’s Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset.
Aesthetics - 9/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Performance - 9/10
Value - 8/10
Geek Satisfaction - 10/10