The Razer Kaira and Kaira Pro are Razer’s latest audio solutions for gamers who have been lucky enough to acquire the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. Unlike the PlayStation 5, which has a select few headsets that are compatible with Sony’s latest 3D audio engine, the next generation of Xbox consoles are much easier to work with. However, this doesn’t mean that you can still use any standard headset if you’re looking to upgrade your gear for eSports gaming. The Kaira and Kaira Pro have some notable differences, however if you’re purely looking for a headset for your Series X, you may find that the Kaira is a better option since the Kaira currently sits at a very attractive £99.99 whereas the Kaira Pro is £50 more expensive.
What makes the Kaira range so attractive is that it is designed primarily to be compatible with the Xbox Series S and X. The entire range uses the Xbox Wireless technology, which means that the pairing experience is exactly the same as how you’d pair an official Xbox controller too. This level of integration in a wireless headset is essential and only a very few companies can claim that they have the licensed technology to be able to utilize the Xbox Wireless features for simple pairing. It also means that whenever you switch on your console and headset, the console will identify the headset, automatically pair it and even give you an on-screen notification to let you know that it has been connected successfully.
Both the Kaira and Kaira Pro are wireless, and both use the Xbox Wireless technology. However for an extra £50, the Kaira Pro also features Bluetooth 5.0 in case you want to connect the headset to a PC, mobile phone etc. It there might even work with the PS5, however I haven’t tested this, and it certainly won’t take advantage of the 3D audio. In addition, the Kaira Pro has a detachable microphone since it comes with two: one for the console and one for mobile use. Finally, the Kaira Pro features Chroma lighting whereas the Kaira doesn’t. If you want the RGB effect, you’ll need to spend the extra £50. It’s worth noting that Razer also claims that the battery life on the Kaira is 15 hours, whereas the Kaira Pro has 20 hours without the Chroma lighting switched on, or 15 hours with the lighting switched on. If you want the additional battery, the Kaira Pro may be a worthwhile bet.
As far as the design goes, the Kaira is one of the best looking Xbox headsets that I’ve used. Although it may be my first wireless headset on the Series X, it is also one of the better looking headsets generally in the Xbox family. At 300g, the Kaira range is also extremely lightweight, and the padding on the headband is very thick. I ended up playing the Call of Duty campaign for approximately 5 hours in a single sitting, and not once did I feel any fatigue. This is also largely due to the extra large ear cups that sit around your ears instead of on top of them. The thick foam padding on the earcups ensures that you don’t feel any pressure on the sides of your head. I also love that Razer has decided to go with a more subtle colour scheme. I have used other Razer headsets before (the Kraken range comes to mind) and some of them were very loud. However, the Kaira range is predominantly matte black, with green accents and the green Razer logo on each earcup. I’d be more than happy wearing this headset on the train (without the microphone).
A very important, yet often unnoticed feature is how Razer has used both earcups to provide options for inputs. Usually, headsets will have one earcup that is scattered with too many buttons, with the other earcup being completely free from buttons. The trade off is that the buttons end up being too small and hard to press. With the Kaira range, the buttons and volume dial are distributed across both ear cups. The right one has the pairing and party chat/game volume mixer, whilst the other cup has the mute, volume and power options, as well as a USB-C charging port. Also, I absolutely love that the charging port is USB-C. This is the gold standard and the future, yet too many companies still go with micro-USB or proprietary ports! My only gripe is that I wish there were a way to retract the microphone. With the Kaira Pro, you can just detach it, but even that’s not a solution since you may end up losing it. It would be great if I could tuck the microphone away when playing games without a party. The microphone is bendable so technically you can bend it away from your peripheral vision, but I’d prefer if there were a way to completely move it.
As far as sound goes, the Kaira sounds great. Whilst it doesn’t quite reach the heights of some of Razer’s premium headsets, those premium peripherals also cost a lot more. The Kaira doesn’t lack the same level of punch when it comes to bass, however for eSports gamers, bass is not the key ingredient to success. If anything, when playing games like Warzone, you’ll want the least amount of bass as possible just so that you better hear surrounding footsteps. That’s not to say that the Kaira sounds completely flat. The bass is just balanced. If you want a headset primarily to play single player games, watching movies or listening to music where you prefer a large amount of bass, then there may be better alternatives out there. I’d personally prefer owning the Kaira, which did a fantastic job at isolating sounds and providing a sense of direction (largely due to the Windows Sonic technology integrated within the headset), than a headset that provides bass for the sake of it. If you’re looking for a headset with audio that will enhance your performance on games like Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege, the Razer Kaira and Kaira Pro will do the job very well.
My biggest issue with the Kaira is that it isn’t integrated into Razer’s Synapse family. Synapse is Razer’s proprietary PC software that lets you customize most of Razer’s peripherals including some headsets. I should be able to reconfigure the Kaira’s EQ settings via Synapse, but this isn’t supported. I know that Razer has supported headset compatibility with Synapse, since the BlackShark V2 Pro worked with the software. However, that headset is also more expensive and perhaps to keep the Kaira’s price point low, it doesn’t support the customization options that we’re so accustomed to with Razer products.
It’s not easy to find a high quality eSports gaming headset for consoles that are below the £100 mark, however the standard edition of the Razer Kaira manages to achieve this. Generally speaking, any Xbox headsets that are around the £50 mark will come with a lot of compromises: the sound will be poor, they will be wired, they won’t be fully integrated with Xbox Wireless or they will be poorly built. Razer however has been in this market for far too long and have created not only the best looking Xbox Series X/S headset currently available to purchase, but also the most functional for eSports. What’s most important is that the headset has not been retrofitted to the Xbox Series X/S. You’ll be purchasing the Kaira knowing fully well that the headset was developed with next-generation Xbox gaming in mind.