Whether you’re looking for the best PC gaming headset, the best Xbox One headset, or just want something that can handle all of your gaming and media with ease, you’re likely to be considering Razer. The company has continually pushed the boundaries of what can be done in gaming hardware, and its latest, the BlackShark V2 is the cream of the current crop of the best Razer headsets.
Razer has been making gaming headsets longer than most, and the BlackShark was one of the very first, way back in 2012. It was something of a game-changer back then, and eight years on, Razer has revived the iconic design and brought it up to scratch for the needs of the PC gamer in 2022.
The BlackShark V2 has been designed in partnership with some of the leading professional gamers to ensure that this headset captures everything that the competitive scene is looking for. That starts with being comfortable to wear for long periods, and luckily, the BlackShark V2 is about the lightest headset you’ll ever put around your ears. Paired with large memory foam cushions and breathable flowknit fabric, you can wear it for up to 14 hours at a time without feeling any fatigue.
Sound quality is also essential, and that starts with superb passive noise cancelation provided by creating a tight seal around your ears. Inside, Razer’s all-new TriForce driver has dedicated tuning for highs, mids, and lows, ensuring best-in-class clarity and volume. The microphone has also been given some upgrades, with a new focused pickup pattern that rejects more sound than ever before from the back and sides.
The party piece is the THX Spatial Audio, which in conjunction with the dedicated game profiles created by THX in partnership with game developers, helps deliver either an immersive or a competitive edge — the so-called Razer “unfair advantage.” But if you’re a competitive gamer, this is the headset to get right now above all others.
- Lightweight design
- Extremely comfortable
- Updated THX Spatial Audio with dedicated game profiles
- Detachable microphone
- Built-in controls
- USB sound card cable is too short
- Console users lose all the neat features
Runner-up: Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense
The Kraken is one of the most iconic gaming headsets in the world, and the V3 HyperSense combines an attractive design with supreme comfort and awesome sound quality. It’s a pretty large headset, but still not too heavy so there’s little fatigue over longer sessions.
Since it has a regular 3.5mm connection you can use it with consoles and mobile, but it’s PC gamers who get the most from this headset. The icing on the cake is HyperSense, a unique vibration engine that injects a little extra dimension into your games. If that doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, there’s also a version without it that costs less as well.
The microphone sounds good and is plenty serviceable for party chat, though the lack of monitoring may put some off. Passive noise cancelation is also good thanks to the chunky foam earcups providing a great fit around your ears.
- Premium style and build
- Good quality microphone
- Can be used with consoles
- Quite large
- No mic monitoring
- HyperSense can overwhelm
Best budget: Razer BlackShark V2 X
If you’re looking at the BlackShark V2 X and thinking it looks identical to the BlackShark V2, you’re not far off. That’s also precisely what makes it the top pick for those shopping for a Razer headset on a budget.
The BlackShark V2 X contains the same TriForce drivers as the regular version, with individual tuning of highs, mids, and lows producing a clean, punchy, and well-rounded sound. It’s also extremely light and comfortable, capable of being worn for the longest of gaming sessions without fatigue or excess perspiration. Even the microphone is as good, with the same great pickup pattern and background noise isolation.
Where the V2 X differs is the lack of THX Spatial Audio and the associated game profiles. Instead, you get a more common 7.1 virtual surround sound effect, which itself is nothing to sneer at for something this affordable. The microphone also doesn’t detach, which makes it a little more awkward to travel with. But for the price, this is a breathtaking gaming headset.
- Lightweight design
- Extremely comfortable
- Affordable price
- Built-in controls
- No THX audio
- No game profile feature
- No detachable microphone
Best for music: Razer Opus
In recent times Razer has started to explore the world beyond gaming, and the Opus is one of the its first products to go after a different kind of market. That’s not to say you can’t use this as a gaming headset — you absolutely can — but its primary reason for existing is as a high-end pair of active noise-canceling headphones.
On paper and on your ears, the Opus compares well against the other big names in this space from Microsoft, Bose, and Sony. It’s a light pair of headphones with good battery life, solid comfort, and very good active noise cancelation.
Other favorable points include USB-C charging with fast charging, an included hard case for traveling with, and perhaps the icing on the cake, THX certification. The bass isn’t overpowering, and the sound is rich and well balanced. And compared to other leading ANC headphones, the Opus is also more affordable.
If you want to hook up to your PC or console to use for gaming, you can, with an included 3.5mm connection making sure you can use the Opus with all of your audio devices.
- Very comfortable
- THX certification delivers
- Excellent battery life
- Competitively priced
- Nice included accessories
- Can only have one active pairing
- No digital voice assistant support
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Can’t customize EQ
Best for mobile: Razer Hammerhead True Wireless
Whether you game a lot on your mobile device or just want to consume media with a great pair of headphones, the Hammerhead True Wireless is a great choice. Razer’s Hammerhead line has continued to improve in recent years and now boasts some great products for gamers and non-gamers alike.
The Hammerhead True Wireless connects to your device over Bluetooth 5.0 with auto-pairing when you remove them from the charging case. Each charge of the case will deliver up to a total of 16 hours of completely wire-free audio, which is OK but not the best among wireless earbuds. However, since it uses regular Bluetooth, it doesn’t matter if you’re pairing to iOS, Android, Windows, even Chrome OS, or Linux, you can use the Hammerhead True Wireless.
On Android and iOS, you also get seamless access to the virtual assistant on your phone via the built-in touch controls. And with gamers in mind, Razer kept the latency down to a super-low 60ms. So whether you’re indulging in Xbox Cloud Gaming or playing Fortnite or PUBG Mobile on your smartphone, you’ll always be in the thick of the action.
- Great sound
- Attractive price
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Support for virtual assistants
- Case a little plasticky
- Average battery life
Razer is one of the original pioneers of the gaming headset as we know it today and still makes some of the best gaming headsets on the market. The tale has come full circle with the revival of the famous BlackShark. Many, many years after the original, the BlackShark V2 is here and it hits hard, and for many will be the perfect gaming headset.
The target is the competitive gamer, and the influence of some of today’s top professionals is evident throughout. This truly is a headset you can wear all day without getting fatigued, it’s so light, and the material trimming the earcups keeps perspiration to a minimum.
But it’s not just for the most serious of gamers. All the bells and whistles are accessible to anyone, the price is extremely attractive, and while you lose some of the standout features on console and mobile, the fact you can use it with all of your devices and not just a PC makes it an extremely well-rounded package.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you’ll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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