If you don’t own wireless headphones, yet have a new device that doesn’t come with a 3.5mm jack, then you may be in the market for a set of USB-C earbuds. Especially ones that don’t break the bank whilst still sounding great.
Razer is trying to fill this void with a new pair of USB-C earbuds that have the added bonus of coming equipped with Active Noise Cancellation technology. So are the Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC Earbuds worth your time, or should you do away with wires forever?
Hopefully, this in-depth Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC Earbuds Review will answer that question…
In the box
- Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC Earbuds.
- Four silicone ear tips.
- One memory foam ear tip.
- Carrying case.
- Instruction manual.
The Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC earbuds have a black finish with Razors green logo on the outer casing of each bud. More on that later.
The earbuds themselves are quite hefty due to the aluminum construction of the housings and the control unit. This gives them a more premium feel than lighter earbuds. Although some may find the Hammerhead a little on the weighty side for their tastes.
May tangle up…
A braided cable connects the USB-C port to the control panel, and plastic-sheathed Y-split cables run from the control to the earbuds. The braided cable appears to be on the thin side and also isn’t tangle-proof.
Therefore, you’ll have to be careful when placing them in the accompanying carry case to avoid a jumble of wires. The right earbud cable has a small microphone halfway along the cable. Fortunately, it’s not heavy enough to pull the earbud from the ear.
The control panel features three circular buttons that have a noticeable click when pressed. The ANC switch is mounted on the side of the panel and has a blue indicator light to let you know when it’s on. For some reason, Razor didn’t feel the need to include a clip for the panel. This leads to it moving around when used while walking.
Whilst this doesn’t pull the earbuds from your ears, it adds some cable noise to whatever you are listening to, which can get a little annoying. It’s not bad enough to ruin your listening experience, but it’s such a simple fix that it’s hard to understand why it was overlooked in the first place.
Four sets of silicone ear tips come with the Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC earbuds. We tried them all but found that the single set of accompanying memory foam ear tips provided a much better fit. Consequently, this improves passive noise isolation and, therefore, overall audio quality too.
The major bug we have with the design is the inclusion of the glowing LED Razor logo on the outer housing of each bud. This won’t come as a big surprise to anyone familiar with Razor products. But it would certainly be nice to have the ability to turn them off.
Sure, some people like that sort of thing, but others most certainly don’t. Make this feature optional next time, please!
The Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC earbuds have quite a deep fit, and the angle of the earbud helps to keep them in place effectively. Everyone should be able to find a tip that suits them from the range of four silicone and one memory foam tips supplied.
As mentioned, we found the memory foam to be the most comfortable, but this will vary from user to user. With a little experimentation, a decent level of comfort should be achieved by all.
The Hammerheads are not designed with working out in mind. They don’t come with any wings or hooks and are likely to fall out as the intensity of exercise increases. If you’re looking for a set of USB-C wired exercise earbuds, these are not up to the job. Being wired earbuds, you also have the possibility of snagging the cable on something.
The carrying case is well made from a sponge-like material, which should provide all the protection your earbuds need. It’s also small enough to be able to fit in most pockets too. The weight doesn’t need to be a consideration with most earbuds.
The Razor Hammerhead features a simple in-line panel with three buttons on the face. Up and down buttons control the volume. The middle button controls a number of different functions. One tap plays or pauses the audio and also accepts and ends phone calls. A double-tap will forward you to the next track, whilst a triple-tap will take you back a track.
Lastly, holding the button down will activate your phone’s voice assistant. It’s a straightforward enough system, although there was the odd occasion where extra taps went unnoticed, leading to the wrong command. However, these were few and far between.
The ANC switch on the side of the panel is conveniently located, although not the easiest to use one-handed.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) Ability
First things first. While no set of earbuds are going to compete with the likes of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones when it comes to Active Noise Cancellation, the Razer Hammerhead’s do a reasonably good job of removing unwanted noise.
They are particularly effective at removing the lower tonal drone of trains and airplanes, whilst not as successful in the higher tonal ranges, such as nearby conversations or sharper, less monotonous interruptions. This is to be expected when using ANC earbuds over headphones.
When combined with the memory foam ear tips, the Razer Hammerhead’s did as good a job as could be expected from ANC earbuds.
The Razer Hammerhead sound quality is probably one of the stronger aspects of these earbuds.
Dual drivers, one for the bass and the other for the higher frequencies on the spectrum, create powerful audio across the range.
The mids are the most prominent part of the sound profile. Crisp and clear vocal delivery is definitely at the forefront of the mix. Possibly a little too much as this can come at the expense of the bass.
The bass is punchy enough for earbuds, but a strong vocal track can overwhelm the bass portions occasionally. It’s more of a brief interruption than a complete loss, but be warned. Trebles have a clean reproduction without ever turning sibilant. Cymbals are particularly well reproduced.
No dedicated mobile app…
Considering the Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC earbuds do not come with an accompanying app, they are surprisingly well balanced. They do as a good job as any equalizing ability that may have come with the app, which isn’t present.
The 24-bit/96kHz audio is supported by the digital to analog conversion. This is more than high enough quality to convert any MP3 or streamed audio. There wasn’t any noticeable compression when listening to higher quality FLAC files either.
All in all, a decent audio package for a set of earbuds. But will they be compatible with your device?
The Razer Hammerhead ANC earbuds have a USB-C connection only. This is to fill the gap left in the market created by devices without a 3.5mm headphone jack. Razer provides a list of phones that the Hammerhead is compatible with, although they don’t list those they have problems with.
Fully supported phones will have full functionality, while others will have certain features such as track selection missing.
You will need to find out before buying if this is going to be a problem for your device. We are happy to report that the Razer Hammerhead was fully functional on 80% of the devices we tried it with. Just make sure yours isn’t in the unlucky 20%.
Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC Earbuds Review – Pros and Cons
- Overall good sound quality.
- Reasonably effective ANC.
- Solid build quality.
- More bass would be nice.
- Not 100% compatible with all devices.
- Glowing logo.
Looking for Something Else?
Finding the right headphones has never been easier. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Travel Headphones, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, and the Best Earbuds Under $100 you can buy.
Also, take a look at our reviews of the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $200, the Best Waterproof Headphones, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears currently available in 2021.
Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC Earbuds Review – Final Thoughts
It’s good to see companies addressing a problem they created when 3.5mm headphones jacks went AWOL. Razer has done their part by creating a solid pair of USB-C headphones that separate themselves from the similarly priced competition with the inclusion of reasonably effective Active Noise Cancellation.
For the price, audio quality is at the higher end, and there are no issues with comfort or fit. If I have one major complaint, it’s with the unnecessarily flashing logos. If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, the Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC earbuds aren’t for you. Otherwise, as long as they fully support your device, then they make a decent enough investment.
Until next time, happy listening.