The Razer Barracuda X is a very versatile gaming headset, offering wireless support for PS5, Switch, PC and mobile, while also excelling as on-the-go headphones for music playback. However, if you’re not too fussed about its multi-platform flexibility, then you can find better audio quality and extra features elsewhere for a similar price.
- Supports multiple platforms for wireless
- Good audio quality and 3D sound on PS5
- Ideal design for on-the-go music playback
- Great 20-hour battery life
- Lack of Bluetooth for dual connectivity
- No companion app or high-end features
- 7.1 surround sound on PC is locked behind a paywall
- 4-in-1 wireless gaming:Offers wireless support with the PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile.
- Detachable Cardioid microphone: Can detach the microphone to use the headset for on-the-move music playback.
- Comfortable memory foam ear cushions:Very comfortable to wear, thanks to padded cushions and lightweight build.
This is thanks to the Barracuda X’s bundled wireless USB-C dongle, providing a high-speed wireless connection. This isn’t a unique trick, we’ve reviewed the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and Asus ROG Strix Go 2.4 in recent months, which offer the same versatility. And plenty more brands are seemingly jumping on the bandwagon. But, it is still a very useful feature.
Razer also isn’t relying solely on this party trick, with the Barracuda X also featuring great audio quality, a study, yet comfortable, design and a detachable microphone. So it may not be a particularly innovative gaming headset, but it’s still a fantastic option at this price.
- Basic looks, but ideal for on-the-go music playback
- Comfortable design with memory foam cushions
- Features headphone jack for optional wired use
The Razer Barracuda X is a big departure from most of Razer’s other gaming headsets, as it isn’t bold or bright, offering just a single black colour option. You could argue that this is a bland design choice, but I appreciated their subteley when travelling to and from work with them wrapped around my head.
Razer has clearly designed the Barracuda X for on-the-go use, allowing you to detach the microphone whenever you step outside your home. It’s a shame that they can’t be folded down to fit more compactly inside a bag.
I’ve unfortunately already noticed minor scuff marks on the headband, which makes me concerned how they will look after prolonged use. That said, I do think it has a good build quality, with a sturdy plastic coating wrapped around the metal band underneath.
The headset remains comfortable to wear for long stretches of time thanks to the headband’s soft padding and the plush memory foam earcups. Weighing a dainty 250g, the headset never applied uncomfortable pressure to my neck.
On the left earcup, Razer has included a mute button, a volume wheel and the power button. That’s pretty slim pickings, although you can use the power button for playback controls, with a single press pausing music, a double press skipping a track and a triple press to hop back to the previous track. It sounds like a smart solution, but it’s hit-and-miss in practice, as it only accepts firm clicks rather than quick taps, and so often ignores my inputs.
You also get a USB-C charging port with an LED light indicator for battery life, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a port for you to stick the bundled cardioid microphone inside.
Razer has been fairly generous with what it bundles in the box, including the USB-C wireless dongle, a lengthy USB-A to USB-C adaptor, the charging cable and a 3.5mm audio cable for wired use. I’m glad Razer has enabled wired use with the Barracuda X, as it means I can use it with the Xbox. It sounds like an obvious feature, but we’ve reviewed the likes of the Razer Opus X and Roccat Syn Pro Air which bizarrely snubbed any form of wired connection.
Audio and microphone
- Detailed audio for both gaming and music playback
- Need to pay extra for 7.1 surround sound on PC
- Microphone captures speech clearly
The Razer Barracuda uses 40mm Razer TriForce drivers that are essentially a shrunken down version of what you’ll find inside Razer’s popular BlackShark V2 headset.
I was surprised by how detailed the audio was when playing Apex Legends on the PS5, with the thunderous gunfire and metallic clanking of footsteps sounding delightfully crisp. I could even pinpoint the approximate location of my enemy’s movement, helping me to avoid a fatal flank manoeuvre.
Unfortunately for PC players, the Barracuda X’s support for 7.1 surround sound is locked behind a paywall via the THX Spatial Audio app. Razer does offer a 50% discount for this, but it still feels stingy to have such an important feature locked behind a paywall.
I also tried the Barracuda X with the Nintendo Switch, and saw similarly excellent results. The slash of Link’s sword and his triumphement grunts were all presented with astonishing clarity.
However, the headset doesn’t perform so well with loud bassy effects, with the likes of grenade explosions sounding constrained and hollow. You can find better audio quality with other gaming headsets, especially if you extend your budget to the Audeze Penrose or Sennheiser GSP 370. But for the price, I’m still impressed with the Barracuda X.
Strangely, Razer’s headset performs best with music rather than gaming. Unlike other gaming headphones I’ve used recently, I could establish which instruments were playing in a melody, with the heavy drum beats of Linkin Park sounding even more atmospheric than usual. I was also impressed with the depth and range of the vocals, whether it was the high-pitched notes of Ellie Goulding or the deep melodic voice of Johnny Cash.
I was also quietly pleased with the microphone’s capture quality. When recording my voice via Audacity, my recordings came out sounding slightly artificial, yet still clear enough to be easily distinguishable in the heat of a battle.
The design of the cardioid microphone ensures that it focuses the voice pick-up area directly at my mouth, doing a decent job at shunting out background noise – although don’t expect it to block out anything too loud like a screaming baby or a howling dog.
Features and battery life
- Reliant on USB-C dongle for wireless connectivity
- No high-end features such as ANC
- 20-hour battery life feels plentiful
The Razer Barracuda X uses a 2.4GHz connection via the USB-C dongle, which is even more responsive than Bluetooth peripherals. This means you shouldn’t notice any delay between the on-screen action and the resulting sound.
But I have to admit, it’s a bit of a pain having to carry the USB-C dongle wherever I go, especially since Razer doesn’t bundle a case with the headset. I wish the headset also featured Bluetooth as well as 2.4GHz, so I could leave the dongle at home when listening to music via my smartphone.
The USB-C dongle is surprisingly large, with plastic jutting out on both sides. In fact, it was so big that it blocked out the front USB-A port on the PS5, which meant I unfortunately couldn’t charge my DualSense controller. That seems like a huge oversight from Razer.
Aside from the wireless connectivity, there aren’t really any noticeable features to speak of. There’s no ANC (active noise cancellation) like with the Razer Opus X or flashy RGB lighting like the Roccat Syn Pro Air. There isn’t even a companion app to tweak the audio settings, which is strange from Razer as this is usually one of the company’s biggest strengths.
Razer claims the Barracuda X has a 20-hour battery life. I’ve been using the headset every day for a couple of weeks, during office commutes and gaming sessions, and the headset is still chugging along happily. It’s admittedly not the best stamina in the gaming headset market, but I still think it’s long enough to satisfy most people and it’s a noticeable improvement on my Sony Pulse 3D Headset.
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Should you buy it?
You have multiple game platforms:
If you own a PS5, Switch, PC and mobile (or at least 2 out of the 4) then the Barracuda X is very handy for seamless switching between platforms via the bundled USB-C dongle.
You want the best audio for your money:
The Barracuda X sounds great, but you can find better audio for a similar price with the likes of the Razer BlackShark V2. The Barracuda X has no companion app either, which will be a turn off for audiophiles.
The Razer Barracuda X’s main strength is versatility, allowing me to seamlessly hop between PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch and mobile in wireless mode. I’m also impressed by its performance for music playback, with its sleek, subtle design enabling me to to listen to Spotify on the go without getting odd looks.
But if you’re planning on sticking to one system and don’t need the versatility, then there are better alternatives out there, as you can find better audio, fancier features and more customizable settings with rival gaming headsets for a similar price.
How we test
We use every gaming headset we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by using it in a variety of games, as well as playing music in order to get the full experience.
We also check each headset’s software (if applicable) to see how easy it is to customise and set up.
Tested on multiple platforms
Tested with both games and music
Used as main headset for at least a week.
Tested microphone with both multiplayer and Audcacity
The Barracuda X supports Xbox via a wired connection, but does not offer any wireless supports since it lacks Xbox Wireless technology.
No, the Barracuda X can only connect wirelessly to a device via its bundled USB-C dongle.
No. The Razer Barracuda X will only work wirelessly with phones that feature a USB-C port. That should include the majority of modern Android phones. Otherwise, you can still use a wired connection.