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


The Razer BlackShark V2 (left) and V2 X (suitable).

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Now that gaming’s booming, Razer’s brushed the dust off the eight-year-old Blackhark headset brand with a duo of overhauled variations — the stripped-down-for-esports $60 BlackShark V2 X and the more feature-wealthy, $one hundred BlackShark V2 — brandishing upgraded seem quality, microphones and styles, but retaining noise-isolating earcups. Both integrate recent-generation 50mm motorists and the exact headband, but the increased-finish model’s added characteristics come via the THX Spatial Audio and microphone settings enabled by Razer’s Synapse utility and a USB dongle, in addition new TriForce Titanium 50mm motorists and some quality-of-lifestyle benefits like a improved cord, removable mic with foam go over and breathable fabric on the earcup padding. 

All of those people are definitely well worth the added $forty, even if you you should not treatment about the fancy surround audio, because the increased finish model is much more at ease, the growth is improved on the removable mic and you can make it seem a good deal improved with the program. The software’s equalization profiles assistance make improvements to the seem for matters other than gaming. Additionally I hate the rubber cable on the affordable model and a lot choose the Speedflex braided cable.

The pricier BlackShark V2 is improved in plenty of significant strategies to make it well worth expending the added bucks.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The Spatial Surround is in essence the exact as that enabled by the THX Spatial Audio app Razer debuted in June, albeit redesigned and now built-in into Synapse — and for the moment, lacking one particular of the more valuable characteristics. That’s the means to customise the head-associated transfer function (HRTF) which tells the system how you perceive the seem directionality, in two dimensions, length and angle, instead than just the angle. It truly is paired with Razer-equipped equalization profiles for certain video games, these as CS:GO, Destiny two and Doom Everlasting. Both models are delivery currently, although the Spatial Audio profiles is not going to be offered until eventually the early morning of Aug 6. 

As with the program app, I didn’t obtain the whizzy characteristics of THX Spatial Audio conferred any visible added benefits above other sorts of surround. I even now spin dizzily in look for of the resource of Doom Eternal’s killing fireballs only to obtain them post mortem. But your mileage could range.


The headband is the exact for each models they have a big quantity knob and mute button on the left earcup.

Lori Grunin/CNET

With a minimum sum of tweaking applying the Broadcast equalization profile, you can make the mic on the V2 seem genuinely good — improved than most of the headset mics I have utilised. The noise cancellation is exceptional as well, equipped to block out my decades-old air conditioner, which I can even now listen to through the earcups, with no the tinny influence that generally accompanies it. The program also provides handle above how you listen to you converse (sidetone), which is a must have when a headset is as seem isolating as this one particular.


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Without all that customizability, the mic on the V2 X seems good plenty of for in-recreation chat and incorporates the exact quality noise cancellation. And not only is the mic on the V2 removable, but it also retains its place improved than the more affordable growth on the V2 X.

The V2’s earcups use memory foam cushioning, but the V2 X’s handles are not breathable and I obtain them a good deal a lot less at ease, especially when putting on eyeglasses.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Both models have analog jacks so you can use them with a multitude of consoles and methods the USB dongle for the V2 only operates with a Computer because you have bought to have Synapse (and indicator in to Synapse) for all the whizzy characteristics. And by ditching the major metallic layout of the prior model, Razer was equipped to make these rather lightweight — nine.two oz (262g), which is a little lighter than models these as the HyperX CloudX Stinger and SteelSeries Arctis 1.

I like the layout, but as very long as I have bought to hook up a dongle and launch Synapse, I wish the V2 experienced lights. Neither model is affordable, but they are not insanely high-priced and the $one hundred V2 feels well worth it, more so than the more affordable V2 X. 

Maria J. Danford

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