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Trying out a wireless gaming headset: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro

My thoughts on the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro headset: setup simplicity, audio, comfort, and whether it’s worth the investment

Sid Metcalfe


November 19, 2023


I recently picked up the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset. As a long-time gamer, the right headset is a game-changer, so my expectations were high. With its promise of high-fidelity audio and wireless convenience, this headset had a lot to prove. The sleek design caught my eye out of the box, hinting at the premium experience Razer is known for.



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Initial Impressions and Setup Experience

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After unboxing the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset, I was eager to dive into the setup and test out what I hoped would be a new cornerstone to my gaming rig. The setup process was, initially, a tad perplexing. The instructions provided seemed straightforward enough, but I hit a snag when the audio didn’t immediately pipe through wireless as expected. A bit of plugging and unplugging between my Marantz stereo system and my gaming PC helped me discover the right settings - ‘Speakers (Razer BlackShark V2 Pro)’ seemed to be the ticket for wireless connectivity. Meanwhile, the ‘Speakers THX spatial’ option remained ineffectual, which was a slight disappointment. I chalked it up to a potential software issue and made a mental note to revisit it after some initial use.

While I don’t have links to specific GitHub repositories or university studies to attest to the functionality and build quality of this headset, my hands-on experience is what I’m leaning on here. Aesthetic appeal was immediate with the BlackShark V2 Pro. The headset boasts a sophistication and sturdiness that radiated from its sleek design. I was glad to see the headset lacked superfluous RGB lighting, which often feels like a wasted battery drain on wireless devices.

The wireless feature was a big draw for me. Having been anchored to my desk by cords far too often, the freedom to move around promised by this headset was particularly enticing. The first test was successful, yielding hours of battery life. Still, I missed having a clear battery level indicator outside of the Razer Synapse software — a minor but valuable aspect for usability.

The comfort level didn’t disappoint. There were no strange pressures exerted on my ears, and the headset dispensed with the all-too-common discomfort experienced after extended wear. Those of you who wear glasses know the struggle well, and this headset managed to avoid exacerbating that usual pain point. True noise cancellation was apparently off the table, though, which is a compromise between the snug fit and open design making it less than perfect for loud environments.

The sound quality, paired with high-quality audio files, really showcased BlackShark V2 Pro’s capabilities. As an audiophile and a gamer, the headset’s ability to articulate the subtleties and directional cues in games like Elder Scrolls Online brought a new level of immersion that I hadn’t realized I was missing with my previous setup.

In terms of the microphone, the feedback from friends was mostly positive, with reports of clear voice transmission through Discord. However, the microphone felt less sturdy and more finicky when it came to positioning, presenting a minute yet noteworthy sticking point in an otherwise smooth experience.

While the initial setup was mixed and certain features like the THX Spatial Audio didn’t live up to expectations, the overall first impressions leaned towards the positive. I’m hopeful that continued use will only strengthen my opinion of the headset, even if it requires a little technical troubleshooting along the way. Facing some minor limitations head-on, I’m intrigued to see how the BlackShark V2 Pro will hold up as a daily driver in my gaming arsenal.

Sound Quality and Performance in Gaming

In my time gaming with the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro, the sound quality has stood out as one of its strongest features. The 50mm drivers pack a punch, delivering clear and balanced audio that has really enhanced my gaming sessions. I’ve played a variety of titles, from high-action shooters to story-driven RPGs, and the headset has consistently provided a solid aural experience. The THX Spatial Audio claimed to deliver a 360-degree soundscape, and in practice, it’s been pretty immersive, though your mileage may vary depending on the title and its audio design.

One thing I immediately noticed was the headset’s fidelity in reproducing low-frequency effects. Explosions and gunfire had depth without overpowering other sound elements. This balance is crucial, avoiding the muddiness that can occur with headsets that overemphasize bass. The mid and high frequencies are crisp, allowing for nuanced listening where footsteps and environmental sounds are concerned—key for competitive gaming where such details matter.

Mic quality is decent; it’s clear enough for in-game chat and Discord conversations, though it’s not quite broadcast quality. If you’re streaming or doing any serious voice work, you might want a dedicated microphone, but for most gamers, this headset’s mic will suffice. It’s also detachable, which I appreciate for when I’m just using the headset for audio.

Connectivity, on the other hand, has been a bit of a mixed bag. The dedicated USB dongle, while easy to set up, means you’re occupying a USB port on your PC. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to consider if you’re low on available ports. Once connected, I’ve generally had a stable connection, but I’ve experienced the occasional hiccup where the audio would briefly cut out. These moments are rare, but they can be jarring when they occur.

Battery life is advertised at about 24 hours, which aligns with my experience. However, it lacks a convenient way to check the remaining charge without the Razer Synapse software, which is a slight inconvenience. Through typical daily use, I find myself charging the headset every few days, and it’s held up fine in this aspect. For those interested in exploring the battery performance of different devices, check out my thoughts on the M1 Macbook Air in 2023 where I discuss battery longevity and efficiency.

Razer Synapse software is required to access some of the headset’s features, like THX Spatial Audio, and while that software opens up a lot of customization, it can be somewhat clunky. It’s not the most intuitive application I’ve used, and I’ve run into occasional bugs that required a restart to fix. However, once you set up your sound profiles, you might not need to interact with it much unless you love to tweak settings regularly.

Ultimately, while the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro has some minor drawbacks, the sound performance for gaming is strong enough to outweigh them. With excellent sound reproduction across the board and features like THX Spatial Audio—even if it’s not a game-changer—the BlackShark V2 Pro enhances the gaming experience effectively. Its value is compelling, especially if sound quality is at the top of your priority list for a gaming headset.

Design Comfort and Build Quality

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When it comes to gaming headsets, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro managed to stand out for me in terms of design comfort and build quality. I have always been quite fussy about how a headset feels during extended gaming sessions. I can confidently say that the BlackShark V2 Pro fit snugly over my ears without creating an uncomfortable pressure, even with glasses on. The memory foam ear cushions are a noticeable plus and allow for hours of comfortable play with minimal fatigue.

The overall build quality strikes a good balance between lightweight design and sturdiness. The headset doesn’t feel flimsy, and I had no concerns about it snapping or deteriorating quickly. It’s reassuring to have a product that seems like it can withstand daily wear and tear, especially given the investment. The ear cups connected to a thin metal frame give it a somewhat delicate appearance but don’t let that fool you – they’ve held up well so far.

However, no product is without faults, and the BlackShark V2 Pro is no exception. One of the drawbacks I noted is the non-removable ear cushions. While I haven’t run into cleanliness issues at this stage, I can foresee this being a hygiene challenge over time, particularly during the warmer months or lengthy gaming marathons. For those looking into upgrading their gaming peripherals for comfort and performance, considering the ergonomics and features of your equipment is crucial, as I discussed in my article on gaming and upgrading your hardware. The inclusion of micro USB for charging instead of USB-C seems a step behind, considering current trends towards the latter for faster charging and data transfer capabilities.

The volume control located on the headset is both intuitive and potentially problematic. It’s conveniently positioned for easy adjustments, but can too easily be knocked out of place, leading to unintentional changes in volume which can momentarily distract during gameplay.

From the perspective of wireless gaming essentials, the retractability of the microphone is something I value. Being able to just tuck it away seamlessly when it’s not in use works well for when you switch from multiplayer to a single-player experience.

On the note of wireless functionality, the USB wireless dongle offers a stable connection that hardly drops, providing a reliable gaming experience without the annoyance of signal loss or interference. I appreciated how seamlessly it worked with my setup, never having to tackle connectivity issues, which is more than I can say for other wireless peripherals.

In the world of gaming headsets, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro comes very close to ticking all the boxes. Its comfort and sound isolation stand out, providing a cocoon that helps immerse you in the gaming world, with the added benefit that the headset won’t be a strain after hours stuck in a raid or grinding through an extensive campaign. The few minor drawbacks don’t detract significantly from the overall positive experience, but they’re certainly areas where Razer could improve upon in future iterations.

Long-Term Use and Overall Value

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After months of using the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro, I can confidently say it’s a worthy investment for gamers and audio enthusiasts who value sound quality and wireless convenience. The headset’s longevity in battery life and its consistency in performance have been significant. I’ve been pleased with how it holds its charge, yielding hours upon hours of play without the need for frequent recharges, aligning with Razer’s claims of up to 24 hours of battery life.

However, it’s not just about how long it lasts, but also about how the headset feels during those extended gaming sessions. Comfort is paramount, and I’ve found the BlackShark V2 Pro to remain comfortable over time, which isn’t something I can say for every headset I’ve worn. The ear cushions do a decent job at keeping things breathable, although I’ve noticed they can start to feel a bit warm after prolonged use.

The sound signature remains impressive over time. The clarity is beneficial for pinpointing in-game audio cues, making me feel more immersed and responsive in competitive scenarios. I’ve also appreciated the flexibility in sound profiles through the Razer Synapse software, even though the setup initially seemed a bit cumbersome due to some software issues. The microphone quality holds up too – clear and concise, it meets the benchmark for gaming headsets.

Despite these praises, some drawbacks have emerged. The most significant one for me is the material selection for the charging port. The Micro-USB charging in a world swiftly moving towards USB-C feels like a step back. It doesn’t detract from the daily use but makes the product feel slightly aged out of the box. The non-replaceable ear cushions also raise some concerns regarding longevity and hygiene, as they start to wear down or accumulate sweat and dust over time. The lack of active noise cancellation is another shortfall; while the passive noise isolation is decent, external sounds can seep in, especially in noisier environments. If you’re intrigued by the latest advancements in technology and want to understand their influence on user experience, consider reading about my first impressions with the ASUS ROG Strix G16 gaming laptop for an idea of how modern specs can enhance daily use.

One technical detail I believe is critical to mention is the THX Spatial Audio. The technology offers a sense of three-dimensional sound, but it might not suit everyone’s preferences, and it can be finicky with certain applications. Its performance can vary depending on the type of content being consumed, which means there’s a bit of a learning curve to find your ideal settings.

For those considering this headset, be sure to check for compatibility with your operating system and software requirements, and recognize that some features are only available through the Razer Synapse. If you’re like me, diving deep into these settings can enhance your experience, but it could be a hurdle for someone looking for a simple plug-and-play solution.

In conclusion, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is not without its flaws, but its strengths make it a compelling option. I’d suggest prospective buyers weigh the sound performance and comfort against the few technical shortcomings. If you value audio quality and can manage without features like USB-C and active noise cancellation, this headset could be a long-lasting and reliable companion for both gaming marathons and everyday use.