Sometimes, choosing your next gadget isn’t all about performance. Of course you want your tech to work, but occasionally something is more important than the best specs. For music lovers, it’s often about expression.
Instead, they aim to lure in Pokémon fans with a Pikachu-inspired design and a charging case shaped like a Pokéball.
Looks Over Performance
With more device manufacturers ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack, wireless earbuds are finally getting popular. Excellent offerings from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Jabra have convinced users that, maybe, listening to music without a cord isn’t horrible.
Wireless earbuds have come a long way in the past several years. Razer’s new Pokémon Pikachu True Wireless earbuds don’t live up to some of the competition in terms of performance—but certainly deserve top marks for design.
Every indication points to the fact that these are simply a branded version of the company’s Hammerhead earbuds. They feature Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for seamless listening.
Meanwhile, 13mm drivers deliver plenty of bass. The buds don’t feature active noise cancellation but do have silicon tips that should seal off your ears nicely.
These specs are certainly nothing to laugh at. However, they can’t match up with other top-tier wireless earbuds on the market today.
Fortunately, that isn’t what people who buy them will be worried about. More important is the highly attractive, eye-catching design of the buds and their Pokémon-inspired charging case. Each earbud is bright yellow, a nice break from Apple’s bland white. They also feature a Pikachu silhouette etched into the outer portion.
Meanwhile, the buds charge inside a Pokéball that looks remarkably similar to Nintendo’s Pokéball Plus controller for the Switch. Instead of a joystick in the ball’s center there appears to be a white LED that indicates when the buds are charging. It then opens up to reveal a cozy compartment for each bud to charge in.
It’s a good thing that the Pokéball charging case is alluring. The buds will likely need to spend a lot of time in it. If there’s one big drawback to Razer’s newest headphones, it’s that they only last for three hours. After that, they’ll need to retreat to the charging case to power up again.
For something with Pikachu on the side, they certainly don’t hold a lot of power. Fortunately, the Pokéball offers five charges. That gives the buds 15 total hours of playback time when they are used in conjunction with the case.
That’s on the low end of the wireless earbud spectrum. For comparison, Apple’s AirPods last five hours on a single charge and expand to 20 with the case. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds last 7.5 hours and 15 hours with the case.
Razer’s new Pokémon-themed headphones are expected to launch on April 16 in China. They’ll likely make an appearance in the U.S. market as well, though a date for that hasn’t been announced. At launch, the buds will cost $120.