We've explored the whole idea of in-ears as an alternative to the traditional gaming headset before. Epos, for example, has tried such a product before, and even then we could easily see the trick. After all, not everyone finds it particularly pleasant to wear big warm ear cups for hours at a time, and certainly not everyone (shoutout to all the other toddler dads out there) can isolate themselves completely from the outside world.
Razer is now doing the same, introducing here the Hammerhead HyperSpeed, a set of in-ears designed specifically for the PS5. There's dual connectivity here, of course, first and foremost, so they connect via a small USB-C dongle, but also have the ability to connect to, say, a smartphone via Bluetooth. However, you can only hear from one source at a time, so it requires three short touches on the device to switch from Bluetooth to PS5.
The case is nice enough, with solid magnets and good build quality all round. However, like over at Epos, there's no way to store the dongle inside the case itself, which means it has to be placed loosely to the side if you need to carry the whole kit around, which is not exactly elegant. There's also no wireless charging, something that could have ensured they were always charged and ready to go if you have wireless chargers lying around.
There is active noise cancellation, which works surprisingly well. Plus, they're often used in situations where there's not as much background noise, as would be the case with a Switch, for example, where you're actively on the move while gaming, so these have an easier job too. The fact that this feature is there only makes it more impressive that you get about six hours of play time out of one charge, and a whopping 32 hours of use before the case is drained too.
Via the dedicated app you can customise Razer's RGB lighting, which has to be said is pretty redundant in the grand scheme of things, but you can also customise almost every aspect of the entire user experience. There's also an equalizer in 10 bands, which allows you to customise the signature sound of them if you want.
That leads us rather elegantly to the sound, and it's not bad at all. Sure, Razer overcompensates a bit by offering slightly too deep bass, but the 10-millimetre neodymium drivers actually work most of the time, delivering a sound that's obviously immensely responsive when playing, but also delivers a functional representation of the moments you see in big, beautiful games. Is it the same as a SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless? No, of course not, and at a price of just under £150, this is a little too expensive for a direct recommendation.
The Hammerhead HyperSpeed works, and works decidedly well most of the time, but at the same time there's no exceptional functionality to justify a high price, and in a world where Sony's own Pulse 3D headset costs around £90, you'd have to be keen on the whole in-ear idea to splash out on these.
That said, it's got no obvious drawbacks either, so if you want a pair of gaming in-ears for the PS5, Razer delivers in its own way.