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Tuesday, 01 September 2009 12:22

Razer Moray+ mobile gaming communicator tested

Written by Slobodan Simic

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Review: The ultimate mobile accessory


Today, we take a look at Razer's latest mobile gaming communicator, the Moray+ earphones. The "+" in the name means that Moray+ is actually the successor to original Moray gaming earphones, which Razer released a while back. This time around however, Razer came up with a slightly advanced version, or a bit more gaming oriented product if you will.

When compared to the original Razer Moray, the most important improvement Moray+ brings is the in-line omnidirectional microphone, and this is the main reason why Moray+ is a mobile gaming communicator, and not just a fancy earphone package. In addition to the in-line microphone Razer Moray+ also incorporates PSP, Nintendo DS Lite/DSi, as well as the PC stereo/microphone adapters.

Note however that this product isn't intended to replace regular headphones and thus isn't comparable to such products. Razer Moray+ is designed for gamers on the go, and even Razer likes to call it  “one earphone to rule them all”. Even though Razer markets these as LAN party capable earphones, we would rather go for a more comfortable over-ear headset, like the Carcharias, which we had a chance to test here. Note, however, that Carcharias is quite more expensive than the Moray+ and that if needed, Moray+ can be used for LAN party as well. On the other hand, if you are referring to mobile audio and everyday use, Razer Moray+ is a whole different story.

We must admit that Razer's packaging always had that special something. Performance talk aside, it's evident that the company takes design seriously and they usually scream “Buy me” right off the shelves. Razer Moray+ isn’t an exception either, as this box is the best package we’ve seen in a long time. The front side shows you the earphones, microphone, PSP and DS Lite/DSi adapters as well as the 3.5mm gold-plated jack.


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On the rear you'll find general information, technical specs and even the fact that it comes with a handy carrying bag. Razer lists these as perfect earphones for Sony PSP 2000/3000, Nintendo DS Lite/DSi, Apple iPhone. It can also be used on your PC/Notebook as it comes with an adapter which splits the microphone and stereo audio on two jacks. The rest of the features include an omnidirectional in-line microphone, extended bass and passive noise isolation.

As far as technical specs go, the earphones have a frequency response of 20 to 11,000Hz, sound pressure level of 110dB, impedance of 17 ohms, max. erated input of 20mW and the cable length of 1.3m. The microphone has a frequency response of 300 to 3000Hz, output level of -46dB, omnidirectional pickup pattern, output impedance of 2.2Kohm and signal to noise ratio of 55dB/min.

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The box has two compartments - the one with the earphones, PSP and Nintendo adapters, and the other for the carrying case, quick start guide, Razer’s certificate of authenticity and two Razer stickers.

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The carrying case also contains a PC/Notebook adapter as well as extra earbuds in two different sizes.

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This means that most ear sizes are covered and you can even share it with someone.

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The earphones are nicely designed and Razer was always good at those little details, like the Razer logo on the side, or the in-line microphone which is quite hard to spot. The build and design are of enviable quality, something we've grown to expect from Razer's products.

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The adapters for Sony PSPs and Nintendo DS Lite/DSi are a nice touch and owners of these devices will certainly appreciate the fact that these earphones are intended for almost every gaming device in their arsenal - and thus “One earphone to rule them all” was born.

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Passive noise isolation is a simple concept which actually follows a principle of trapped air, as the rubbery material on these earphones blocks your ear from the outside noises. Anyone who's ever meddled in acoustics knows that the less gaps there are, the more noise cancellation there is so Razer made sure they did it right. Although yours truly prefers more traditional on-ear headphones, I must admit that I was surprised by the results.

To our surprise Razer Moray+ is quite comfortable, and the marketed “passive noise isolation” works like a charm. Of course, passive noise isolation isn’t as good as the active one on, for example, Creative’s Aurvana X-Fi headphones, that cost over €150, but for such small earphones in this price segment, passive noise isolation will do. It shuts off most of the outside noise even when music isn’t playing.

We immediately started using Razer’s Moray+ with any and every audio-capable device we laid our hands on. The PSP adapter worked like charm, iPhone as well, and the only device that we couldn’t get it to work flawlessly was our Nokia N-series N78 mobile phone, which apparently has some issues with the jack. Unfortunately it can only be used as a headset with Nokia’s in-line multimedia controller, but we are quite sure that this is the case with all earphones with microphones and Nokia phones.

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The overall sound quality is surprisingly good for such small earphones. The marketed “extended bass” does work to a certain point, but you can’t expect miracles and compare it to traditional and mostly, more expensive over-ear headphones. They do have better sound quality than Nokia’s headset, our usual Panasonic branded earphones or even some other earphones that we had a chance to try, and this was honestly quite enough for us.

The microphone works pretty well, although it tends to pick up surrounding sounds as well due to its omnidirectional pickup pattern. However, in everyday use it works more than well.

Razer’s Moray+ is also available in white, in case you want to match it with your PSP, Nintendo DS Lite/DSi or any other white device that you may have.
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Conclusion

Razer made a quality, feature packed, nicely designed and most importantly versatile earphone which certainly deserves a both mobile gaming communicator and ultimate mobile accessory tags.

It comes with adapters for both Sony’s PSP and Nintendo DS Lite/DSi, as well as the adapter for notebook and PC use. It can handle almost any task that you throw at it, and more importantly it can handle it well. The carrying pouch, adapters, and the sheer quality and design of the earphones make it pretty much the best accessory we’ve seen as of lately.

The only drawback we managed to find is the fact that it doesn’t have in-line volume control, so it might pose a problem when gaming when you need to adjust the volume by using the keyboard. Then again, we already said that Razer Moray+ isn’t something that you would take to a LAN party, as you would probably want a proper headset.

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Razer Moray+ is currently selling at Razer's site for US $59.99 and €54.99. You can also find it listed at other retail/e-tail stores with a lowest price set at €49,90. The price might sound a bit steep but considering the whole package and what Razer Moray+ has to offer we find it to be quite reasonable. However, we must admit that we'd rather see Razer knocking off about €10 as we're confident that these would be selling like hotcakes.

We honestly didn’t even have to think about giving Razer’s Moray+ an award as everything we've tried worked and most importantly worked quite well. The sound, build and design quality is better than many earphones that we tried, the noise isolation worked great, the microphone was decent, and the carrying pouch was a nice touch as well.

We can only sincerely recommend Razer’s Moray+ and if you are a gamer on the go, this can be considered an ultimate mobile gaming accessory.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 01 September 2009 19:45
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