With the recent trend of battle royale games topping the multiplayer market, one aspect is important to success and that is audio. Sure, it’s nice to hear the ambience of the map as you scramble for survival but the importance of audio in such games is enemy placement and impending combat. But wait, huge gaming headsets ruin your perfectly groomed hair smothered with so many hair products one sniff could topple a horse with a cold. Well Razer have developed a solution, the Razer Ifrit headset.
One of Razer’s more affordable and less attractive model of headsets, the Ifrit is built with inconspicuity in mind whilst trying not to compromise the high-end audio quality we are used to getting from their usually top-notch products. They kind of pass and fail at the same time on this.
The Ifrit is packaged in a surprisingly cheap looking box as the headset itself is fitted inside a plastic mould securely and coloured with Razer’s trademark lime green and black. Removing the Ifrit, I immediately noticed how little there is to it. What we have is a thick rubber frame with the earphones and microphone attached to it. There are no detachable parts or customisable bits and bobs apart from the different sized earbuds for the earphones. It’s not pretty either, another surprise considering this is a Razer product who thrive on badass looking equipment. The Ifrit is just a moulded rubber frame that goes around the back of your head with archways that are placed over your ears. At the base of each archway, there is a small length wire with an earphone attached. Think of the Ifrit as earphones with a frame. The design is simple, it works, but it’s not pretty.
The same could be said about the microphone. It is an extension of the left ear archway that has a foam ball at the end of it. It’s not detachable but it is impressively flexible however it’s also downright ugly.
The headset is surprisingly comfortable but not easy to secure. Placing around my head secured it nicely but it never stayed put for long with the back frame slipping to rest on my neck. Sitting stationary meant this wasn’t a problem but moving my head left or right, up or down, caused the headset to slip from its resting place causing little discomfort and annoyance.
Where the Ifrit fails in design, it kills it in quality. The earphones are of a superb build and the sound they blast out is excellent. I heard every footstep in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, a very important factor to succeed and I knew exactly what direction they were coming from. Huge explosions and even music sound fantastic in the earphones which awesomely have magnetic backs to prevent entanglement.
All was not great though. In busier surroundings, I could hear background noise which was off-putting when I was trying to listen to the story of Red Dead Redemption 2. Voices in-game could barely be made out as I could hear people talking around me unless the onscreen characters were at the focus of the screen. A lot of the dialogue occurs on horseback and unless I was really close to who Arthur was chatting to, I couldn’t hear them all that well. Suffice to say, the Ifrit works best in quiet rooms.
Online, I could hear voices clearly and my peers could hear me too no matter where I placed the mic. It’s an eyesore, but it works great. I wish it could be detached though so I could just use the headphones without having to move the mic aside.
Packaged with the headset is a USB audio enhancer device that allows you to plug in two headsets for side-by-side broadcasting or multiplayer gaming. Although I only had one headset, I could easily plug in another headset I owned into the other headphone jack in the USB device to play split-screen multiplayer in Black Ops 4. Doing this allowed my friend and I to chat away to other players without losing audio quality. This entire kit is perfect for streaming and two people can contribute on the same console.
As a package, the Razer Ifrit is not a bad piece of kit but it’s definitely not one of Razer’s best. The simple frame design of the headset is discreet but its design wasn’t very pleasing to the eye or easy to keep secure. The mic is chunky and not detachable but I can’t fault the quality the earphones and mic gave out.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Release Date: 2018