Razer's Haptic Audio Headrest Wants to Rock Your World

It's the company's annual unveiling of not-products from of its design team, this time an audio headrest with haptics.

Lori Grunin
Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
2 min read
A Razer gaming chair equipped with the Project Carol headrest, facing you, parked in front of a desk under blue and magenta lighting
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A Razer gaming chair equipped with the Project Carol headrest, facing you, parked in front of a desk under blue and magenta lighting

If you're going to have a headrest on your gaming chair, you might as well make it work for you. Razer's Project Carol design concept unveiled at CES tosses near-field 7.1-channel surround sound and Razer's HyperSense haptics into the place you lay your head. It seems odd to have a headrest with system requirements, but this one's PC only.

Near-field sound means that the audio is focused close to your ears, though mapped for surround, rather than room-filling like speakers would be. They're essentially speakers that sit on either side of your head. The sides can be pulled forward towards your ears or pushed back.

An angled view of a rendering of Project Carol with the speakers pulled to wrap around the user's head, against a blue background

Razer's designed Carol to work with more gaming chairs than just Razer's; it has adjustable, elastic straps to mount it. The audio connects to your PC via 2.4GHz (low latency) wireless. It also requires charging -- at 8 hours of battery life, it will require frequent charging compared to a good headset.

Project Carol isn't as glitzy or ambitious as some of Razer's past concepts, like its Project Hazel from 2021 that eventually turned into the disappointing Zephyr mask. Like all concept products, there's no guarantee that it will ever evolve into a shipping product, and there's an even smaller chance that it will be able to do everything it touts.

And I think two of the real products the company announced -- face padding for the Meta Quest 2 designed in conjunction with medical device manufacturer ResMed and the availability of the Razer Edge and Edge 5G cloud gaming tablet-plus-controller -- seem more interesting than this year's concept. I guess we'll see where it goes.