If you’re looking for a solid gaming headset for under $100 that works with a wide range of devices, you might consider the Razer Barracuda X.
For $99, the Barracuda X offers solid audio performance, comfortable ear cups and it works wirelessly with four systems: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC and Android. However, the Barracuda X feels cheap due to its plastic shell, and the included audio software isn’t free (yes, you have to pay for it).
I can’t call the Barracuda X one of the best gaming headsets around when it’s missing a key feature, but if you’re okay with non-adjustable audio, it’s a solid choice.
Razer Barracuda X design
Despite the price, the Razer Barracuda X looks like a basic gaming headset. It has a subtle black design built of plastic. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that this was a cheap gaming headset.
The cups are ovular and dip into smaller ovals at the center, and stamped in the middle lies a glossy Razer logo. The interior of the cups features black cushions with a honeycomb design. The cups rotate, but not the way you think. They rotate away from you instead of toward you. It’s likely because the microphone would get in the way if it rotated the other way, however, a retractable microphone is expected at this price point.
At the top, the cups feed a steel band into the headband that holds everything together. The top of the band sports a plastic shell with a Razer logo, and the underside holds room for a thin pleather cushion that expands to close to each edge.
All of the inputs and outputs can be found on the left cup of the Razer Barracuda X. From top to bottom, there’s the mute button, a volume rocker, a power button, a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, a USB Type-C port for charging and a microphone jack.
In the box, you’ll find the detachable cardioid microphone, a wireless USB-C dongle, a 1.3-meter 3.5mm audio jack, a 1.5-meter USB Type-A-to-USB Type-C charging cable, and a 1.5-meter USB Type-A-to-USB Type-C extender.
Razer Barracuda X comfort
While the Razer Barracuda X may look cheap, its memory foam ear cushions are comfortable. The headset felt light and soft against my head, providing a plush fit. Many headsets either crush my head or feel like sandpaper against my ears, but the Razer Barracuda X steered clear of both problems. I wore this headset for hours without issue.
The headband felt snug, but it wasn’t doing as much work as the cups to ensure a snug fit. Gaming headsets with thicker cushions, or ski goggle bands like SteelSeries headsets, tend to be more comfortable. You can adjust the fit of the headset by sliding the steel band. Unfortunately, the notches don’t provide any numbers, so there are no good sizing references.
At 8.8 ounces, the Razer Barracuda X is much lighter than the Corsair HS75 XB Wireless, which clocks in at 13.3 ounces. However, to be fair, the Corsair is made from more premium materials than the Barracuda X.
Razer Barracuda X gaming performance
The Razer Barracuda X packs 40mm Razer TriForce Drivers. Razer describes this driver as featuring three drivers in one, dedicating tuning ports for treble, mid and bass. Overall, the audio is solid.
I played Fallout 76 (don’t even get me started), and I ran through an abandoned place to fight some kind of ghoulish enemy. The gun blasts from my pistol were loud and carried enough oomph to satisfy my murder-hobo tendencies. When I returned from my quest to chat with an NPC, her voice was gentle but clear. There could have been more depth in the sound effects as I was walking through the forest to make it feel as though I were there.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the Razer Barracuda X captured that satisfying gravely pitch of Eivor’s voice that I love. I started cutting people up with my ax as I stormed the gates of a fortress with my Viking team, but the slashes sounded dull. However, throwing a hook into an enemy and pulling them forward produced a nice sharp sound that sent my murderous intent spiking. I then fired an arrow into the enemy’s face, but the snap was muted.
I was most disappointed while playing Resident Evil Village. The snarling from the werewolves sounded OK, but the gunfire was soft and dull. The headset prioritized all of the ambient noises around me over the gunshots, which is unsatisfying in a survival-horror game like this one. However, Ethan Winters’ voice was bold and clear.
Razer Barracuda X music performance
The Razer Barracuda X sounded condensed when listening to music, but it was decent nonetheless.
I listened to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” and freaked out during the first minute of the song because I heard sniffles and other background noise that I never noticed before. I thought I was in a voice call or something, but no, the Barracuda X picked up sounds that I had never heard before. Apart from that, the guitar was bright and the vocals sounded crisp.
In EDEN’s “Wake Up,” the opening piano was bright and melodic in my ears, almost overwhelming the soft vocals. The ambient noise in the background of the song felt more present thanks to the amplified treble, but there wasn’t much bass backing up the percussion during the chorus. There was a lack of depth when more instruments got involved, creating a congested effect.
I listened to Slaves’ “Talk to a Friend,” and the opening electric guitar had a nasally effect. The vocals were clear, but the cymbals were surprisingly sharp in the background, and shrouded the vocals. Also, there was not enough bass to round out the audio to keep it from sounding hollow.
Razer Barracuda X microphone
The Razer Barracuda X comes with a detachable Razer HyperClear cardioid microphone, which my friends described as “condensed.”
I popped open Audacity to give myself a quick listen, and they weren’t wrong. The microphone makes me sound like I’m speaking through a helmet. I am clear and audible, but my voice doesn’t sound natural. Fortunately, the microphone does an OK job at blocking out background noise, as I could barely hear my phone playing TikToks in the background at half volume.
Razer Barracuda X features
Most frustrating about the Razer Barracuda X is that there’s no companion audio software. Technically, the headset features 7.1 surround sound, but you can only get the full benefit from the THX Spatial Audio app, which you have to pay for. It’s normally $20, but you do get 50% off by purchasing the Barracuda X. However, no one should have to pay more to get the best audio from their headphones.
With the USB Type-C dongle, the Razer Barracuda X can connect to a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, PC and Android device. Meanwhile, its headphone jack can connect to anything with a 3.5mm port, like an Xbox Wireless controller.
If you love long gaming sessions, you won’t be disappointed with the Razer Barracuda X. It’s rated for 20 hours of battery life, which seemed to line up with my testing.
I like the Razer Barracuda X; it delivers good audio, a comfortable fit, and it works with almost every device I own. However, not having free audio software to adjust the EQ settings is frustrating for a headset at this price.
If you’re looking for a similar headset, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless. It checks all of the boxes except it has free software you can use to adjust the audio settings.
If you’re OK with out-of-the-box audio, the Razer Barracuda X is a good choice at this price, otherwise, go with our second pick in the Arctis 1.