Razer Nommo Chroma

Score

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Warm, powerful sound
  • Decent bass response
  • Easy to use controls

Cons

  • Lack detail
  • Quite bulky

Key Features

  • Review Price: £100
  • 2.0 speaker configuration
  • Bass and volume controls
  • RGB lighting
  • 2 x 3-inch driver
  • Aux and USB input
  • Headphone output
  • Frequency response: 50-20,000Hz
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What is the Razer Nommo Chroma?

Razer has become a dominant force in nearly all things PC peripheral-related, but one of the few areas it hasn’t thus far made a big splash is speakers. The Razer Nommo Chroma desktop speakers are aimed at righting that wrong thanks to a snazzy design, good audio quality and a relatively low price.

It doesn’t include much in the way of features, but you do benefit from RGB lighting and a simple, easy-to-use design that means they should easily fit into just just about any home PC setup.

Razer Nommo Chroma – Design and features

This is a striking pair of speakers thanks to an intriguing design and the addition of RGB. Instead of a traditional cuboid shape, the 3-inch glass-fibre reinforced speaker drivers are housed in cylindrical sections that sit on slender stands.

Related: Best Bluetooth speakers

This makes the speakers larger than they first appear as the cylinder extends forward and back quite some way beyond the base. This extra volume allows room for bass frequencies to resonate before they leave through the bass port on the rear.

The simple, low-profile base provides a secure footing and on the right speaker are the bass and volume controls. Emanating from the slim gap under the base is a ring of RGB lighting that sets off the plain black of the rest of the speakers perfectly.

This can be changed to any one of 1.68million colours, or you can choose from several basic effects such as spectrum cycling and even custom design an effect with choices for changing the colours, the direction of movement and the speed of the effect. It’s an intuitive and slick system and the results look great.

The lighting will also indicate the mode of the speakers. In addition, when you adjust the bass level, the left speaker turns green and lights up from left to right depending on the level of bass. This is a great way to add a bit of extra functionality to what is otherwise a purely aesthetic feature.

All told, the lighting is an excellent addition, which, along with the overall build quality and attention to detail of the units, makes these speakers immediately feel worth the extra cost over models such as the Creative T20.

Round the back of the right speaker you’ll find all the ports and the power input, along with a couple of non-removable cables. The latter provide the main USB audio input, as well as the connection to the left speaker. It’s a shame Razer didn’t see fit to include a completely modular cable system, since it always makes cable management a bit easier and it’s better for if you ever break a cable.

You also get an aux input for alternative sound sources such as your phone plus a headphone output. The speakers will automatically mute when the headphone socket is in use.

Although the tethered cables are a bit of a pain, the use of USB for the main input is a plus point since it makes the Nommo Chroma ideal for use with conventional PCs, as well as laptops that may not have a proper line-level audio output.

As to the tech specs of these speakers, with only one 3-inch driver per speaker, we’re not expecting audiophile levels of performance. Indeed, the frequency response is only rated at 50-20,000Hz, but the size of these speakers and their price would certainly suggest audio of a certain quality.

So far as standard desktop speakers go, there aren’t too many obvious missing features here other than Bluetooth. This addition makes it much more convenient for connecting up your phone, for instance.

Razer Nommo Chroma – Setup and software

The Nommo Chroma are really easy to setup thanks in large part to them not using a separate subwoofer (the $500 Nommo Pro add a sub and an extra tweeter for each speaker). This makes cabling relatively simple.

When using the USB connection, they’ll appear as their own audio device. Windows will automatically install any required drivers, including firing up the Razer Synapse installation.

The Synapse software isn’t required to use the speakers, but it is for changing the lighting. The software itself is slick and easy to use, although there isn’t an option to use it without logging into a Razer account. It’s irritating when products such as this require internet access for basic functionality.

When it comes to audio controls, the software provides a few audio profiles that are supposedly optimised for gaming, films and music. They  tweak the EQ to provide more bass punch, mid-range warmth or top-end detail, depending on what benefits each activity most. None particularly leapt out as being essential, but your mileage may vary.

The software also lets you adjust the bass level and mute the speakers, both functions that are duplicated by the dials on the right speaker. Tap the volume knob and it will turn the speakers on and off, while the bass dial and volume work exactly as you’d expect.

Razer Nommo Chroma – Sound quality

The Nommo Chroma have a fairly typical gamer-orientated sound, with a boosted bass response and a slightly bumped top-end, at the expense of mid-range clarity. However, as far as such things go, they’re considerably better than most.

There’s a clarity and sharpness to the top-end that brings a sparkle to music and articulation to games and video.

They’re also plenty powerful enough for normal desktop use and provide a satisfyingly bass response if required, with the bass dial providing the option to tone things down when needed. Crank up the dial and distortion becomes evident, but not before you get a pleasingly punchy performance.

However, comparing back to back with a far more capable pair of speakers such as the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1, the difference in top-end and overall clarity is plain to hear. Listening to a live recording of a Tool concert, while the Nommo Chroma sound pleasant, the MM-1s make you feel like you’re there. That sense carries on over into movies and gaming, too – but, of course, this is the reason the latter cost four times as much.

Compared to similarly priced peers the Nommo are very much par for the course, with the Creative T20 speakers making for a good comparison once again.

Why buy the Razer Nommo Chroma?

The Razer Nommo Chroma don’t do anything too revolutionary when it comes to PC audio, but their combination of a smart design, a few useful features and a pleasingly powerful and detailed sound make them well worth a look.

You can get similar sound quality from slightly cheaper speakers, but the addition of RGB lighting is enough to largely bridge that gap.

Verdict

Combining style, decent sound quality and a useful feature set for a reasonable price, the Razer Nommo Chroma tick all the right boxes.

Score