Today up on the review block is a new Razer audio product and that is the Piranha Gaming Communicator, which is a headset designed for gamers with true-to-life audio quality and a noise-filtering microphone. I bought this headset a few weeks ago. I was very happy with my previous Razer purchase: the Razer Lachesis gaming mouse. So I decided to buy this headset.
The Piranha is just Razer's second gaming headset, with their first being the Barracuda HP-1. This was my big worry when I wanted to purchase the Piranha headset. They don't have a lot of experience when it comes to creating headsets. Nevertheless, I decided to buy it, based on the fact that they impressed me with their very good gaming mice. It was a bit risky, but all in all I am satisfied.
A headset consists of 2 audio parts: audio input (microphone) and audio output (earphone). Let's start with the audio output. The design of the Razer Piranha is a bit conventional to Razer standards. Razer is known for their exclusive and unique designs of gaming mice. The headphone cups are smaller than many other professional gaming headsets. I was a bit concerned at first, but after a while I was fairly happy with the size and the performance. The ear cushions are made of a soft fabric, which felt fine though there was some added pressure against the ears compared to other headphones. The earphones are comfortable ergonomic and adjustable, so they are good for prolonged use.
The Razer Piranha Gaming Communicator has a 3.5 mm microphone and headphone jacks along with a single USB port for providing additional power. These cables are quite long. This could be good if you don't have any front-panel audio jacks on your PC. I think it would have been better when the cable length was retractable or the cable was shorter but with extension cables included. So that the people who need a longer cable, they can use the extension cables. It has an in-line remote control with convenient volume and microphone muting adjustments: the volume controller has a small clip, which can be used to attach it to your shirt and the controls include a microphone on/off switch and a volume controller to adjust the volume. The cable has a durable braided fiber cable protection.
Beside the audio output, there is also the audio input (microphone). I must say that I was quite astonished by the quality of the microphone. The microphone is adjustable. It has a noise-filtering system for a clearer in-game communication. I must admit that the microphone is the best part of this headset.
There are also other functions you need to know of: It is internet telephony compatible, so you can also use it to make telephone calls to your friends or family. The headset is also compatible with the major operating systems. It can even be used on a Linux system (on the Linux 8.04 edition, I can't say if it is compatible with older versions). It is also usable with CD, DVD and digital audio players via the 3.5 mm mini jack.
For the people who want to know some technical info: The frequency response for the Razer Piranha ranges from 18 to 22,000Hz and its impedance is 32 Ohms. The sound pressure level @ 1kHz, 1Vrms is 114 dB. The frequency response for the microphone is from 80 to 15,000 Hz and is uni-directional.
The Razer Piranha Gaming Communicator isn't the best headset on the market. This doesn't mean it isn't good. It is still in the upper-end compared to other gaming headsets and it's priced at only $80 USD (or 52£). The microphone on this headset, however, is superb. This is a fine headset whether you're a casual or professional gamer.