Razer has announced its latest gamer-centric peripheral, the Kraken 7.1 gaming headset - a surround-sound upgrade to its Kraken Pro.

Announced at Gamescom and available for immediate purchase, the Razer Kraken 7.1 is a USB-powered gaming headset featuring a customisable virtual surround engine which, the company claims, offers full three-dimensional positioning of sounds despite the headset itself featuring just one speaker driver per ear cup.

If that sounds familiar, it should: the company is basically talking about Razer Surround, a virtual surround-sound engine it is due to release as a stand-alone product in 2014 but which is available for a limited time only for a charitable donation to Child's Play.

'As we continue to develop and build on our software front, we're able to add more and more capabilities to our products,' claimed Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and chief executive, at the Gamescom unveiling. 'What we put into the Razer Kraken 7.1 is a great example of just that, from the customisable, personalised surround sound engine, to the optimized digital microphone algorithms that gives this headset its incredible performance. With its superior software capabilities, unrivalled sound quality and comfort, the Razer Kraken 7.1 is the definitive USB surround sound headset for PC gaming.'

Software aside, the Kraken 7.1 includes an omnidirectional digital microphone with what Razer claims is a tuned and optimised engine designed to offer clearer voice chat than is available on its rivals. The headphones themselves, meanwhile, offer a claimed frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz through 40mm neodymium-magnet drivers with a 30mW output power each. A two metre braided USB cable is included, with a gold-plated connector - more to produce a shiny finish than to have any effect on the digital signal.

The microphone, which offers a claimed response of 100Hz-12KHz and a 63dB signal-to-noise ratio, retracts into the left ear cup when not in use - meaning there's little chance of losing it, as with rival designs that feature detachable microphones.

The Razer Kraken 7.1 is available to order now, priced at £89.99 on the Razer Store - a £20 premium over the Kraken Pro, despite the latter being perfectly compatible with the downloadable Razer Surround virtual 7.1 software.
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