Gaming headsets aren't exactly haute couture. It's not hard to guess why--a device tasked with providing good sound quality, a decent microphone and enough noise reduction to muffle the outside world probably isn't going to be as small as earbuds. However, Razer's new Ifrit headset is supposed to offer a compromise to streamers who are sick of bulkier headsets.
Ifrit was designed to all-but-disappear when it's worn. It features over-the-ear earbuds connected by a slim band that goes across the back of your head. The headset's bulkier than most over-the-ear earbuds, not least because it also features an adjustable condenser mic, but because it's much less ostentatious than most gaming headsets. Razer was very clear in its marketing about what this means for streamers: "no headset hair."
Just watch this video with pro wrestler Kenny Omega to see Razer's commitment to the "no headset hair" pitch for yourself:
Ifrit ships with the Razer USB Audio Enhancer, which can also be purchased separately, to help improve the sound quality of those itty-bitty earbuds. The company said this digital-to-analog converter "takes audio quality up a notch while reducing static and background noise" and enables co-streaming by letting you plug in an additional headset. That should make it easier to stream an interview, for example, or a podcast.
Razer is the latest gaming company to appeal directly to streamers. Corsair bought Elgato, which makes capture cards and other streaming-related products, in June. Logitech followed that up in July when it acquired Blue Microphones, whose Yeti mic is said to be the most popular among streamers. Now we have Razer bucking the trend of bigger is better with gaming headsets by releasing something as small as Ifrit.
There's no doubt that streaming has changed the way people interact with games (and, if the number of people using Twitch emotes like "PogChamp" and "Jebaited" outside the platform are any indication, the way they communicate). Now it's clear that streamers have become a big enough market that Razer, Corsair and Logitech feel the need to appeal directly to them instead of expecting them to buy the same ol' products.