Powerful, bass-heavy sound. Crisp, clean music performance.
Relatively expensive for desktop speakers. THX and Dolby sound modes tend to focus a bit too much on sub-bass.
- Bottom Line
Razer's Nommo Pro desktop speaker system features attractive satellites with programmable, colored lighting, and a powerful subwoofer to give PC gamers booming sound.
Razer's Nommo Pro speaker system is a marked step up from its other Nommo models, both in build and price. This $499.99 2.1-channel desktop speaker set is over three times the price of the underwhelming Nommo Chroma speakers, but the extra money is well justified in performance. While its biggest addition is the included subwoofer, the Nommo Pro's satellite speakers also get a significant upgrade through separate tweeters that give the system some much-needed high-end finesse. The result is a desktop speaker package that sounds much louder, and much better, than its smaller siblings.
All the Pieces
The left and right satellites of the Nommo Pro stand 11.5 inches tall, each with a pair of nearly horizontal black canisters mounted on a black disc-shaped stand. The larger, 5.2-by-6.7-inch canister (HW) on each speaker holds a 3-inch midrange driver with plenty of room to resonate, while the smaller 2.2-by-6.7-inch tube above it holds a 0.8-inch tweeter. The driver enclosures and stand are all sturdy, matte black metal surrounding the exposed, grille-less drivers. RGB light rings under the disc-shaped bases light up with programmable color patterns when enabled, and are invisible when not in use.
The subwoofer is a 15.3-by-10.7-inch black drum with a 6-inch downward-firing driver. A bass port sits on the top panel, providing space for all the air the driver displaces to move. The keg-like drum of the subwoofer sits on three short legs mounted on a disc-shaped base, lifting it up enough to give the driver itself room to move. This base doesn't hide any colored lighting like the base of the satellites.
A panel on the side of the subwoofer holds ports for the rest of the speaker system, making the sub act as a wired hub. Each satellite has its own multi-pin barrel connector, below which the wired control pod sits. Optical audio and USB-B ports rest below the control pod connector, followed by a power button and a connector for the power cable. All of the cables, except the laptop-like power cable, are sturdy, thick, and wrapped in braided black fabric.
The command pod is a 2.4-inch-wide black puck that serves as the Nommo Pro's controller. The top panel of the puck holds a prominent power button inside a ring of LEDs that display volume level and the current audio input. The top half of the puck's side spins freely, providing direct volume control. The base of the puck is stationary and features two 3.5mm ports: a headphone jack and an auxiliary audio input. A button between those ports cycles through the Nommo Pro's four audio inputs (Aux, Bluetooth, Optical, and USB).
Connectivity and Lighting
The Nommo Pro is designed to work with PCs and Macs over USB, but the optical input makes the speaker system capable for use with a TV or any game console or media player with an optical output. Bluetooth is a welcome feature, and 3.5mm is functional as a backup, though the system is most reliable with an all-digital audio source.
Razer's free Synapse software for Windows and OS X offers direct control of the speaker's sound and lighting functions, including THX and Dolby audio enhancement features and an eight-band adjustable EQ. Razer's Nommo Pro app for Android and iOS X also offers sound and lighting controls, though EQ adjustments through the app are limited to presets and not custom settings.
The speakers feature the same programmable colored lighting as the Nommo Chroma, and can be customized with all the same options through the Razer Synapse software. Each satellite has 16 light zones arranged in a ring around its based, and each zone can be set to different colors and effects. The zones can flash, flicker, steadily dim and brighten, and cycle through multiple colors. The lights aren't overwhelmingly bright, but give a pleasant, colorful glow that will complement more than distract from your monitor(s).
The lights can also work with certain games through Razer Apps. When playing Overwatch, for example, the color of the lights will change to match the color of your current hero.
Overwatch sounds thunderous through the Nommo Pro, thanks to the subwoofer. Explosions threaten to shake the walls, and gunfire gets plenty of punch while keeping the unique sounds of each character's weapons. Hero dialogue and voice taunts come through clearly over the booming low end, thanks to the separate tweeter on each satellite providing high-frequency response the single driver on the Nommo Chroma can't quite provide.
Fortnite also sounds powerful on the Nommo Pro. While the music is more mellow than the epic score of Overwatch, individual gunshots sound much more booming in the game. The satellites' midrange drivers give every pistol round appropriate weight, with the subwoofer providing just a hint of rumble to further strengthen the effect.
Strangely, the relatively mellow, not particularly competitive or action-focused No Man's Sky benefits greatly from the Nommo Pro's overall power. The subwoofer produces an excellent low-end rumble that really brings out the engine noise of every freighter and space station you stand in. The sounds of sci-fi technology are soothing and full, reminding me of the engine and console noises from the Star Trek series. Boosting with your jetpack or in your ship sounds powerful and exciting, and less prominent sounds like footsteps get plenty of detail.
The Razer Nommo Pro is capable of handling music as well, which is to be expected considering its fairly hefty price tag. As expected, the system handled our bass test track, The Knife's "Silent Shout," at maximum (and physically painful) volume levels without any distortion in the bass synth notes or drum hits.
After experimenting with the different sound modes while playing Massive Attack's "Teardrop," I determined that the EQ setting for Music is much better for playing stereo music than either the THX or Dolby modes. THX and Dolby sound processing can make sound seem much bigger and more powerful with some low-end sculpting to bring out the rumble of the subwoofer, but that processing also grinds down some of the high-frequency finesse the satellites are capable of. In Music mode, the more dulcet notes of the non-bass instruments, along with the vocals and rain-like vinyl scratches, come through clearly. The heartbeat-like drumbeat still gets plenty of presence, but it's balanced and doesn't overcome the other parts of the mix.
Yes' "Roundabout" shows the excellent balance the system can offer when it isn't trying to produce a processed, cinematic experience with wildly enhanced bass. The string texture of the acoustic guitar plucks and strums at the start of the track come through clearly, while the electric bassline gets plenty of low-mid punchiness. There isn't enough in the track to set the subwoofer off at modest volume levels, so the satellites do all of the lifting, and they cover the full range of the mix admirably. The vocals never take center stage on this track, but they sound clean and easy to discern against the other elements of the mix even while sitting slightly in the background.
PC Gaming Speaker Power
The Razer Nommo Pro is a powerful, attractive desktop speaker system that provides plenty of low-end thunder thanks to its subwoofer, while offering better overall audio quality than the Nommo Chroma thanks to the separate tweeters on the stereo satellites. The result is a relatively pricey but great-sounding, gamer-centric sound system for your PC, with customizable lighting and more than enough bass to satisfy. It's definitely more for gamers than audiophiles, but if you remember to set the right sound mode it provides excellent music playback in addition to wall-shaking gunshots and explosions. If you want a higher-end, less gamer-focused experience, the Audioengine A5+ Wireless speakers are our favorites. And if you want to spend far less, the Creative Pebble speakers deliver surprisingly solid audio for just $25.
About the Author
Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics
Will Greenwald has been covering consumer technology for a decade, and has served on the editorial staffs of CNET.com, Sound & Vision, and Maximum PC. His work and analysis has been seen in GamePro, Tested.com, Geek.com, and several other publications. He currently covers consumer electronics in the PC Labs as the in-house home entertainment expert… See Full Bio
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