Razer BlackShark V2 sub-$100 headsets help keep your head in the game

Jeffrey Cuebas

The Razer BlackShark V2 (remaining) and V2 X (appropriate).


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Now that gaming’s booming, Razer’s brushed the dust off the 8-12 months-old Blackhark headset brand with a duo of overhauled versions — the stripped-down-for-esports $60 BlackShark V2 X and the a lot more characteristic-abundant, $100 BlackShark V2 — brandishing upgraded audio high-quality, microphones and types, but retaining noise-isolating earcups. Each include recent-era 50mm motorists and the same headband, but the greater-conclude model’s added options occur by means of the THX Spatial Audio and microphone settings enabled by Razer’s Synapse utility and a USB dongle, furthermore new TriForce Titanium 50mm motorists and some high-quality-of-lifestyle benefits like a better wire, removable mic with foam include and breathable cloth on the earcup padding. 

All of all those are surely really worth the added $40, even if you will not care about the fancy encompass audio, because the greater conclude product is significantly a lot more snug, the growth is better on the removable mic and you can make it audio a large amount better with the program. The software’s equalization profiles enable improve the audio for factors other than gaming. Moreover I hate the rubber cable on the inexpensive product and significantly choose the Speedflex braided cable.

The pricier BlackShark V2 is better in ample meaningful means to make it really worth paying out the added bucks.


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The Spatial Surround is effectively the same as that enabled by the THX Spatial Audio app Razer debuted in June, albeit redesigned and now built-in into Synapse — and for the second, missing one of the a lot more handy options. That is the ability to customize the head-similar transfer function (HRTF) which tells the application how you understand the audio directionality, in two proportions, distance and angle, rather than just the angle. It truly is paired with Razer-supplied equalization profiles for precise online games, this sort of as CS:GO, Destiny 2 and Doom Eternal. Each versions are shipping these days, although the Spatial Audio profiles will not be readily available until eventually the morning of Aug 6. 

As with the program app, I failed to obtain the whizzy options of THX Spatial Audio conferred any recognizable benefits in excess of other varieties of encompass. I however spin dizzily in look for of the supply of Doom Eternal’s killing fireballs only to obtain them put up mortem. But your mileage may perhaps change.

razer-blackshark-v2-2

The headband is the same for equally versions they have a significant volume knob and mute button on the remaining earcup.


Lori Grunin/CNET

With a small amount of tweaking making use of the Broadcast equalization profile, you can make the mic on the V2 audio definitely excellent — better than most of the headset mics I’ve employed. The noise cancellation is fantastic as effectively, in a position to block out my decades-previous air conditioner, which I can however hear through the earcups, without the tinny impact that generally accompanies it. The program also adds handle in excess of how you hear your self discuss (sidetone), which is priceless when a headset is as audio isolating as this one.

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With out all that customizability, the mic on the V2 X appears excellent ample for in-recreation chat and incorporates the same high-quality noise cancellation. And not only is the mic on the V2 removable, but it also retains its situation better than the more affordable growth on the V2 X.

The V2’s earcups use memory foam cushioning, but the V2 X’s covers aren’t breathable and I obtain them a large amount a lot less snug, specially when donning glasses.


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Each versions have analog jacks so you can use them with a multitude of consoles and units the USB dongle for the V2 only operates with a Computer system because you’ve bought to have Synapse (and signal in to Synapse) for all the whizzy options. And by ditching the large steel structure of the earlier product, Razer was in a position to make these rather light-weight — nine.2 oz (262g), which is somewhat lighter than versions this sort of as the HyperX CloudX Stinger and SteelSeries Arctis 1.

I like the structure, but as prolonged as I’ve bought to hook up a dongle and start Synapse, I want the V2 experienced lights. Neither product is inexpensive, but they’re not insanely high-priced and the $100 V2 feels really worth it, a lot more so than the more affordable V2 X. 

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