Razer Nommo Chroma Review – Stylish Speakers with Mood Lighting
Razer Nommo Chroma 2.0 USB SpeakersJanuary 2018
All my life, I’ve used computer speakers that were barely larger than cans of soda. Of course, when you’re aiming for something that compact, you’re going to have to compromise on sound quality and impact, even if you wire in a subwoofer under the desk. Razer’s newest addition to the Chroma line of accessories, the Nommo Chroma gaming speakers (which I still have to restrain the urge to call ‘Nommo Chromo’), demand a bit more desk space but offer an incredible range of audio in return.
I was initially skeptical of having the bass drivers built into the Nommo Chroma units themselves instead of having a separate subwoofer unit (even my AverMedia GS333 soundbar went with a wireless subwoofer approach). However, those fears were quickly pushed aside once I got the unit set up and rocking on my most modest of computer desks. Each speaker, roughly the size of a two-liter of cola, filled my room with acoustic harmony that was never overshadowed by bass impact. With a separate, rear-facing bass port on each speaker unit, the Razer Nommo Chroma let out a satisfying thump with every pull of the trigger in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, while not compromising on hearing the finer details such as encroaching footsteps on my position. Even without the benefit of offering a five-speaker array, the Nommo Chroma pair of speakers blasted a solid range of directional audio my way.
Featuring digital knobs for bass and volume control on the right speaker unit, adjusting the intensity was a simple adjustment that could be immediately heard with a simple twist of the knob. If you have your on-screen notifications disabled or blocked because you’re in a full-screen program, the Chroma lighting underneath each speaker fills in with a colorful display of purple and blue lighting to show the current volume and bass percentages. Muting the unit to take a phone call was as simple as tapping the volume knob once. When the Chroma lighting was turned off, there was no having to second guess if opening a video on Twitter was going to blast out something that would wake up the neighbors at one o’clock in the morning. The bass control was a surprisingly smooth experience, scaling down the thumping from a soft rumble up to a thunderous applause in just a simple twist of the dial. Even scaling the bass up towards its maximum level was as smooth as silk, as there were no audio distortions that overpowered the dulcet tones of classical music I was playing.
Razer’s chromatic lighting for the Nommo Chroma speakers consists of LED strips encompassing the underside of each speakers’ base. Even on a more reflective surface or table, the lighting isn’t strong enough to be a distraction in darker environments. Programming in lighting patterns is all done through the Synapse 3 software, a toolset that was already on my machine from when I initially picked up the Razer Lancehead mouse last year. There are a few easy presets to cycle through pulsing and breathing lighting as well as a suite to customize each and every Chroma device running on your machine. One of the common presets features a full rainbow array that rotates around the base of each Nommo Chroma speaker, known as Spectrum Cycling lighting. Any time I shut my PC down, it would default back to the Spectrum Cycling lighting and stay on until I manually powered the speakers off by pressing in the Volume button, a minor inconvenience but something that became part of my nightly shutdown ritual.
The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers keep it fairly simple in terms of cords and input options. Aside from the cords connecting the two sets of drivers together, you’re looking at only having to wire up the speakers via USB and a modest power adapter. The rear of the Nommo Chroma doesn’t offer much more than this, only having standard 3.5mm inputs for a line-in feature and a similarly-sized output for running headphones. While the line-in feature isn’t well advertised, I thought the inclusion was one of the greatest upgrades to the Nommo Chroma speakers.
With a built-in audio mixer embedded within the Nommo Chroma speakers, I was able to wire in my phone for a constant stream of vaporwave music during my writing. It might not have the same dial-in functions as Astro’s Mixamp line, but for a free inclusion with Razer’s speaker line, it has replaced any need for an extra $130 Mixamp on my desk. Even combining two audio streams together sounded amazing and there was little to no muffled or distorted audio when two songs played simultaneously.
Razer’s Synapse Suite isn’t required to run these USB-powered speakers but is a necessary program if you plan on taking advantage of the Chroma lighting options. I had dabbled with these a fair bit during my review of the Razer Lancehead mouse, mostly to see the different lighting patterns and colors that the mouse could display. The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers offer a similar functionality with the underside lighting and can easily be paired with other devices to have a common theme running across all of your Razer Chroma-enabled devices. Razer also included integration with the Philips Hue lighting system, which I wish I could’ve tested properly if I had such a setup running in my home. If you’re feeling like a power user that wants to take full control over the Chroma lighting, Razer offers a few third party options in the Chroma Workshop with the Audio Visualizer being my favorite option to work with, although it takes more time to set up than the standard Chroma software within Razer Synapse.
The Razer Synapse program has become a necessary staple of my Windows installs, first operating the function keys on my keyboard and the DPI tuning on my Lancehead mouse, and now running the backend of the Razer Nommo Chroma speakers. You can opt out of using the Synapse software and use Windows’ driver support to run these USB-driven speakers, but then you’d be missing out on the Chroma lighting, first and foremost, but also Razer’s automatic equalizer settings. Devised for the most common scenarios (Game, Music, and Movie). These each offer their own audio tuning but I found myself simply leaving everything in Game mode at all times.
Nommo Chroma Technical Specifications
2 x 3 inch full range drivers (1 x per speaker)
Frequency response: 50-20,000 Hz
Digital USB audio input
1 x 3.5 mm aux input jack
1 x 3.5 mm headphone output jack
Bass and volume control
Razer Chroma enabled
Windows7/Mac OSX 10.9 (or higher)
100 MB of free hard disk space
Razer’s small scale plan to take over my desk is working little by little; first my keyboard, mouse and pad and now my desktop speakers. The upgrade from Logitech’s Z313 2.1 speaker setup was a change I wasn’t willing to make since these smaller speakers were perfectly sized for my modest desk. However, after seeing the (Chroma) light, I’ve turned into a believer of Razer’s capability in the audio field. The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers might have had to carve away at the limited space on my coffee table-turned-computer desk but the increase in audio quality more than makes up for the loss of computer real estate. The speakers by design are bulkier than a standard speaker set despite the curved design, but it’s the Chroma lighting that really sells the design as being sleek with its underside lighting. If you want to go all out with your audio system, Razer’s Nommo Chroma Pro adds the .1 to the 2.1 setup and bundles in a pair of top-mounted tweeters but with the addition of a premium price tag when they launch later this year. The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers aren’t bank-breaking at $149 and are a worthy addition to battle stations that want to add some mood lighting to match their explosive sound.
Review unit provided by Razer. You can purchase the product on Amazon.
The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers are a sturdy, if not unwieldy, pair of computer speakers that can set the mood in tandem with other Chroma-linked devices. Chroma lighting is an additional $50 over the standard Nommo SKU, but if you've already started accumulating a suite of Chroma-enabled accessories, this is one bright looking upgrade.
- Fully customizable lighting that links across all Chroma and Hue-enabled devices
- Integrated bass tweeters that don't sound muddy
- Digital audio knobs for volume and bass
- Line-in audio mixing without the need for an external amp
- Chroma lighting doesn't shut off when shutting down your PC
- Difficult aesthetic to integrate into your home office Feng Shui