For console gamers, the perfect solution for voice communication whilst gaming has as-yet been elusive. A full headset, although a workable solution, sacrifices the comfort and casual side of playing a game on your TV. On the flipside, consoles’ bundled chat headsets are generally lacking in both the quality and comfort departments. Razer’s new Tetra chat headset for the PS4 aims to change all of that.
A simpler and more cost-effective product from the gaming giants, the Razer Tetra does not sacrifice any measure of the brand’s usual quality or wealth of exciting features. In fact, for the £29.99 asking price (at the time of writing), you get a heck of a lot of bang for your buck. The most immediate pro of the Tetra headset is the build quality. Compared with the included PS4 or Xbox solutions, the Tetra is an entirely different species of peripheral. A soft leatherette earpad offers both quality and comfort, whilst the sleek design of the chat headset is finished with a metal mechanism for rotating the cardioid microphone; decorated of course with the Razer logo. The packaging of the headset, too, lets you know from the moment you open the box that you have purchased a high-quality product.
It is not just the aesthetics that prove the build of the Tetra to be superior to its mainstream opposition. Intelligent design, synonymous of course with the Razer brand, is perhaps the real winner here. The headset weighs just 70 grams, making it significantly lighter than a full headset. The Tetra marketing suggests that this lightweight build will make you “forget that you have it on”. In reality, this is a bit of a stretch. I certainly felt the presence of the headset whilst I was wearing it and there was still a microphone bobbing in front of me. That being said, the headset certainly felt less obtrusive than any other chat headset which I have used in the past. To that effect, the claim still holds some merit. I had to borrow a friend to test out the further claim that the Tetra “can even be worn comfortably with glasses”. Their analysis? I was told that the headset is “quite comfortable actually” and “better than most of the headphones I have worn” in this respect. A good thumbs-up for glasses wearers, then!
Comfort is supported by ease-of-use with the Tetra; a department in which all the obvious and to-be-expected elements of a chat headset are present and correct. To start with a simple one, the headset jacks straight into your DualShock 4 controller with a standard 3.5mm connection; no messing around or changing your setup required. In-line volume controls make it easy to make adjustments to volume and mute your microphone on the fly. These are sensibly positioned on the cable for easy access and straightforward to use without looking away from your game. The headline accessibility feature, though, is the 180o rotation arm for the microphone. This allows you to wear the headset on whichever side of your head is comfortable, which for some gamers will make a world of difference to their experience. The arm is easy to adjust without any messing around, allowing you to play the way you want. Perhaps the only downside of the headset in terms of design is the fact that it is wired, but for the low asking price this is hardly a point to quibble about.
Alas, we reach the all-important, make or break factor that is audio quality and experience. So far, the Tetra has done well on design and features, but can it hold its own on the basis of audio versus more traditional headsets? The short answer is no, but the reality is more complex than this. Frankly, you can’t achieve the equivalent quality or immersion of virtual 7.1 surround sound with a single-ear chat headset. With that simple fact in mind, the Razer Tetra’s audio quality is the best for a headset of its kind. Playing with a friend, their voice came through loud and clear; much clearer in fact than it sounded through the standard PS4 chat offering. In addition, the on-ear design of the ear cup ensured that I could still hear my TV well at the same time. There was a bit of weird mixing of sound in that ear to get used to, but after a short while I found that I was able to play past this and chat comfortably at the same time.
On the other side of the audio quality coin, the Razer Tetra’s cardioid microphone is nothing short of a revelation. With standard chat headsets, it is often impossible to play your game at any reasonable volume without at least some sound leaking through the microphone. With the Tetra microphone’s directional pickup focussed towards the player and ignoring sound from the rear, my friend could hear my voice clearly and didn’t hear my game at a standard volume at all. The foam cover over the microphone is a simple but effective pop filter solution, too, ensuring the voice quality for the recipient is both clear and smooth. The Tetra’s background noise suppression was a clear success. When testing the volume at which my friend could hear the TV, I had to set it much higher than usual before louder elements began to bleed through. In their words, “you sound really clear and I can maybe hear it occasionally when you shoot, but otherwise nothing”.
On balance, given the nature of what the Razer Tetra is and what it is designed to do, the value for money which Razer are offering here is second-to-none. An excellent build quality is supported by great usability and sound quality reported on both ends. Comfort and clarity shine though, too, with the only downsides being absent features which should be expected at this price level. For any console gamer playing frequently with their friends, the Razer Tetra is the obvious best choice for a standard chat headset. Get it on your Christmas lists, kids!
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For console gamers, the perfect solution for voice communication whilst gaming has as-yet been elusive, Welcome the Razer Tetra chat headset for the PS4.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 29.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut