Razer Barracuda X review - "Accomplished all-round wireless headphones"

It's an annoying part of a multi-platform gamer's life that you have to juggle multiple sets of headphones. Thanks to proprietary connection standards and varying form factors, there aren't many headsets you can comfortably use on everything.

The Razer Barracuda X gets very close to that ideal, and at only £100/$100, it does so relatively cheaply.

Plug and play

The Barracuda X is pitched as a highly accessible plug and play headset that can connect to almost everything via a USB-C dongle. Except for Microsoft's Xbox family and Apple's iPhones, you can use it directly on anything.

More specifically, thanks to the compact design of that dongle, it's great for the portable gaming systems we favour here on PG.

I used the headset to game across my Nintendo Switch, my iPad Pro, and on a couple of Android handsets. In each case, the short and wide design of the dongle stayed well out of the way. Ironically, the only place the Barracuda X's fin-like dongle didn't feel like the ideal fit was my PS5, where its wide body overlapped the USB port on the front of the otherwise ginormous console.

Razer Barracuda X review - screenshot

There's no fiddly pairing process to go through either. You simply plug the dongle into your chosen device, hold the power button on the left ear piece, and you're in. It really is seamless.

Switch compatibility is the headline feature here, given the consoles infamous lack of Bluetooth support. While it slots comfortably into the bottom of the console in handheld mode, Razer also thoughtfully includes a USB extension cable, so you can plug it into the console dock as well.

There's also a dual-sided 3.5mm cable included, so you can physically plug the Barracuda X into any device with a headphone port.

Design and comfort

Razer seems to have been venturing away from the typical juvenile gamer aesthetic of late, and a little more towards something an adult would wear.

Following in the blessedly muted footsteps of the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro, the Barracuda X is stealthy black and totally free of obnoxious green accents (USB-A connector aside). It's pleasantly understated, and not a million miles away from something like the Sony WH-1000XM3.

headphones close up

On one occasion, when I couldn't get to any of my usual wireless headphones, I even grabbed the Barracuda X for some good old fashioned music playback while out and about. I only felt slightly self-conscious, which is real progress.

As that would suggest, it's also relatively light for a set of over-ears at around 250g. Thanks to a pair of plush earpads and a cushioned headband, it's comfortable to wear for extended periods, though things did tend to get a little toasty after an hour or so of gaming on a mid-summer's evening.

Sound quality

Razer has a reputation for favouring the bottom end in its sound profiles, and the Barracuda X follows suit. It emits a relatively deep, bassy sound from its meaty 40mm drivers

Compared side by side with the official Sony Pulse 3D headphones on a PS5 (which cost about the same money), they lack a little high and mid-range nuance. This might make them slightly less useful in multiplayer shooters, for instance, where such fine detail is crucial to determining the direction of a threat. But it's far from bad on the Barracuda X, and besides, you can't use the Pulse 3Ds on your Switch or your Android phone.

Baracuda close up

I also tested the plug-in directional mic that comes bundled in. It's a dead simple provision, accompanied by a single master volume control and a mute switch. But it does the job pretty well.

The quality of the sound I recorded using the mic was clear, if a little thin and reedy.

Wrapping up

The Razer Barracuda X is an excellent all-rounder on a market where there really aren't that many options for such a thing.

It's not the best set of wireless gaming headphones you can buy in terms of sheer quality, and at just £100/$100, you wouldn't expect it to be. But it is arguably the most flexible and downright appealing to your average omnivorous gamer.

If space and money are at a premium, and you want decent gaming audio for your Switch and your smartphone - and maybe even your PS5 and your PC to boot - it's a great choice.

Razer Barracuda X review - "Accomplished all-round wireless headphones"

An excellent-value set of wireless headphones that will work with almost anything in your gaming arsenal.