Razer BlackShark V2 sub-$100 headsets assist maintain your head within the sport

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

Lori Grunin/CNET

Now that gaming’s booming, Razer’s brushed the mud off the eight-year-old Blackhark headset model with a duo of overhauled variations — the stripped-down-for-esports $60 BlackShark V2 X and the extra feature-rich, $100 BlackShark V2 — brandishing upgraded sound high quality, microphones and designs, however retaining noise-isolating earcups. Each incorporate current-generation 50mm drivers and the identical headband, however the higher-end mannequin’s additional options come through the THX Spatial Audio and microphone settings enabled by Razer’s Synapse utility and a USB dongle, plus new TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers and a few quality-of-life perks like a greater twine, detachable mic with foam cowl and breathable cloth on the earcup padding. 

All of these are undoubtedly price the additional $40, even should you do not care concerning the fancy encompass audio, as a result of the upper finish mannequin is much extra snug, the growth is best on the detachable mic and you can also make it sound rather a lot higher with the software program. The software program’s equalization profiles assist enhance the sound for issues aside from gaming. Plus I hate the rubber cable on a budget mannequin and far desire the Speedflex braided cable.

The pricier BlackShark V2 is best in sufficient significant methods to make it price spending the additional bucks.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The Spatial Encompass is basically the identical 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, lacking one of many extra helpful options. That is the power to customise the head-related switch perform (HRTF) which tells this system the way you understand the sound directionality, in two dimensions, distance and angle, quite than simply the angle. It is paired with Razer-supplied equalization profiles for particular video games, equivalent to CS:GO, Future 2 and Doom Everlasting. Each fashions are delivery at present, although the Spatial Audio profiles will not be obtainable till the morning of Aug 6. 

As with the software program app, I did not discover the whizzy options of THX Spatial Audio conferred any noticeable advantages over different types of encompass. I nonetheless spin dizzily searching for the supply of Doom Everlasting’s killing fireballs solely to search out them publish mortem. However your mileage might fluctuate.

The scarf is identical for each fashions; they’ve a giant quantity knob and mute button on the left earcup.

Lori Grunin/CNET

With a minimal quantity of tweaking utilizing the Broadcast equalization profile, you can also make the mic on the V2 sound actually good — higher than a lot of the headset mics I’ve used. The noise cancellation is superb as nicely, in a position to block out my decades-old air conditioner, which I can nonetheless hear via the earcups, with out the tinny impact that normally accompanies it. The software program additionally provides management over the way you hear your self discuss (sidetone), which is invaluable when a headset is as sound isolating as this one.

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With out all that customizability, the mic on the V2 X sounds adequate for in-game chat and incorporates the identical high quality noise cancellation. And never solely is the mic on the V2 detachable, however it additionally holds its place higher than the cheaper growth on the V2 X.

The V2’s earcups use reminiscence foam cushioning, however the V2 X’s covers aren’t breathable and I discover them rather a lot much less snug, particularly when sporting glasses.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Each fashions have analog jacks so you should use them with a large number of consoles and techniques; the USB dongle for the V2 solely works with a PC as a result of you have to have Synapse (and sign up to Synapse) for all of the whizzy options. And by ditching the heavy metallic design of the earlier mannequin, Razer was in a position to make these fairly light-weight — 9.2 oz (262g), which is barely lighter than fashions such because the HyperX CloudX Stinger and SteelSeries Arctis 1.

I just like the design, however so long as I’ve bought to attach a dongle and launch Synapse, I want the V2 had lighting. Neither mannequin is reasonable, however they are not insanely costly and the $100 V2 feels price it, extra so than the cheaper V2 X. 

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