If you've played a round of Call of Duty or two in your day you know that gaming headphones provide great sound and features that make racking up points a cinch. But what if you want to game on the go?
Most gaming headphones are simply too bulky to bring around with you and are better suited for the living room than they are for the bus stop.
Enter the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2. This second generation in-ear headphone aims to let you both game when you're at home and listen to music when you're on the go.
Razer didn't stray far from the bullet-like design of the first generation Hammerhead Pro. The Hammerhead Pro V2 features the same aluminum housing found on the original that give the earbuds a super durable feel.
And while you might be used to seeing it on its full-size headphones, Razer got rid of its "For Gamers, By Gamers" slogan on the earbuds and replaced them with the company's logo instead.
Encircling the logo on the exterior of the earbuds is a knurled ring to make them easy to grab. On the other side of the logo are the silicone tips that you insert into your ears. In its best attempt to help you find the perfect fit Razer includes four different sizes of coverings with every pair of headphones.
I mentioned earlier that the Hammerhead V2s take a lot from their predecessor. What's changed between the two generations, at least physically, is the cable.
The Hammerhead Pro V2 features a flat, tangle-resistant cable instead of the traditional round cable found in the first generation model. The flat cable feels more durable and resists the urge to get tangled up in your bag. Combine the no-tangle cord with the included hard case and I reckon you'll never waste your time tediously untangling your headphones ever again.
Below the right earbud, you'll find a microphone and remote control that works for both Android and iOS. One of my major qualms with the Hammerhead Pro V2, however, is that Android users don't quite have entire range of controls available to iOS users. For example, you can't triple-click to go to a previous track using Android.
The headphones terminate to a tiny right angled 3.5mm headphone jack, which I prefer over straight jack of the previous model when traveling as an angled connector ensures you don't put pressure on your phone's headphone jack while it's in your pocket.
Since the Hammerhead Pro V2 is designed to be both a gaming headset and earbuds for listening to music on the go, I had high hopes that it could do both things well.
And, for the most part, it does.
The Hammerhead Pro V2 features Razer's signature sound, which is bass-heavy … though, this shouldn't be a surprise as the slogan "Hammering In The Bass" is printed on the packaging.
While it's a bit too much low-end for my liking, fans of music genres like rap and electronica might see a benefit from the increased bass impact. If you're more into rock, classical or country, though, the bass also drowns out the mids of the human voice and I found the Hammerheads bury vocals in favor of more energetic highs and slamming bass.
For gaming, the Hammerhead Pro V2s are perfectly acceptable, but there are simply better gaming headphones out there. My spatial awareness was a bit lacking with the Hammerhead Pro V2, as the sound concentrates inside my head instead of projecting sound like it's coming from around me.
While I found it hard to hear footsteps, the mic is more than capable of crystal-clear voice chat and pristine phone calls. Razer also includes an adapter to use with older computers that have separate mic and headphone jacks.
But the biggest gripe I have with the Hammerhead Pro V2 is that they don't isolate noise very well. Using them on my commute, I could hear everything around me on the train and, at my desk, I could hear the clack of my mechanical keyboard over my music.
I initially thought the poor isolation was due to an improper seal so I tried each of the tips, but found that it made little to no difference. The tips just didn't help block out noise, which will be a deal breaker for those looking to use these on a commute or on a plane.
What I like about Razer, as a company, is that it always strives to make products better by listening to user feedback. Many of the complaints the community had about the first generation Hammerhead Pro in-ears have been addressed here, and that kind of response is something that makes you feel good.
With the second iteration of the Hammerhead headphones, Razer wanted to make a headphone you can take on the go to game with and they've succeeded for the most part.
But, at the $69 / £65 / AU$119 mark, the Hammerhead Pro V2 are up against some stiff competition from the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears. The Sennheisers come in at the same price and feature better isolation and better balanced sound, although still bass forward.
If you love bass, stellar build quality and gaming features, the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 is a great choice. But if you want better isolation and more balanced sound, go with the Sennheiser.