A superb pair of headphones can actually make a distinction in relation to PC audio. Whether you’re enjoying a recreation, listening to music or giving updates in a gathering, crisp audio from a pair of headphones could make the expertise so significantly better.
I’ve clung desperately to a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones I purchased roughly eight years in the past which are slowly however absolutely falling aside. Thankfully, I lastly could have discovered a worthy successor — Razer’s Blackshark V2 Xs. To be honest, these two headphones are arguably in fully totally different lessons — the M50s are studio monitor headphones, whereas Razer positions the Blackshark V2 X as a lower-cost entry level into its set of aggressive gaming headphones.
I’m not saying that the Blacksharks may change a stable set of studio headphones for somebody who does audio work, however the common one who simply needs glorious sound for a online game or listening to Spotify gained’t have a problem right here. And as an added bonus, the Blackshark V2 X headphones are extremely mild and really, very snug to put on for an extended gaming session.
Overall, the Blackshark V2 X headphones impress and may very well be an important possibility for these conscious of price whereas nonetheless wanting stable audio.
Surprisingly good sound
While a extra discerning audiophile may be capable to hear the distinction between the Razer Blacksharks and the ATH-M50s, I discovered the Blacksharks sounded nice once I converted to them. The headphones provided a reasonably balanced sound with respectable lows and mids, though you lose some readability within the highs. Overall, the M50s supply a extra clear sound, however I didn’t discover except I actually targeted on what I used to be listening to. (You can watch a very outdated MKBHD evaluate of the ATH-M50 headphones right here when you’re interested by them.)
The Blackshark V2 X headphones function Razer’s ‘TriForce Titanium’ 50mm drivers, which the corporate claims presents higher sound by individually specializing in bass, midrange and treble. The firm contrasts that to typical drivers with a single vary that muddies the sound. For the Titanium variant particularly, Razer says it presents higher resonance and extra correct sound. The firm has a complete web site devoted to the drivers, which you’ll be able to try right here.
It’s not clear what number of of Razer’s claims come right down to advertising and marketing slightly than precise perceivable profit, however the headphones sound high quality so I’m not complaining.
One different notice value making concerning the Blackshark V2 X within the sound division is that customers can entry Razer’s 7.1 Surround Sound through the corporate’s Synapse app. The app allows software program emulation of seven.1 channel encompass sound for a greater audio expertise. In observe, I discovered it didn’t enhance a lot, and a few video games I attempted it with ended up with a worse audio expertise total.
To entry the function, Blackshark V2 X house owners might want to use a code included within the field to obtain the software program from Razer’s web site. Once downloaded, customers can allow it and entry it by deciding on the ‘7.1 Surround’ possibility in Windows audio settings (sadly, the function solely works on 64-bit variations of Windows 10).
I think one’s expertise with the encompass sound function will range relying on what you do. For instance, whereas testing the encompass sound function with Spotify, music sounded high quality with no actual change to my ears past a slight distinction in quantity. However, in video games like Apex Legends, the sound was muddy and it was troublesome to listen to the place enemies have been in relation to me. Avid video watchers, however, could recognize the emulated encompass sound. Ultimately, your mileage could range with this — I discovered I loved the headphones rather more with 7.1 Surround Sound turned off. As an apart, when you plan to make use of the headphones in conferences, you’ll find yourself enjoying together with your audio settings a bunch as a result of the 7.1 Surround Sound doesn’t all the time play good.
It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, however when you’re actually hoping to get glorious 7.1 Surround Sound out of your headphones, it’s possible you’ll wish to contemplate one other pair.
Microphone works effectively however doesn’t retract
Speaking of trying elsewhere, the Blackshark V2 X headphones don’t supply lively noise-cancellation, which may very well be a significant disadvantage for many who work in noisy environments. The headphones do have respectable passive noise-cancellation and block out some environmental sound.
I share an workplace with my spouse and the Blacksharks labored effectively at isolating noise from her finish of the workplace, whereas nonetheless letting me hear her if she wanted to get my consideration. The headphones did an important job blocking out different noise as effectively, such because the followers from my laptop. It couldn’t mute my noisy keyboard, however I purchased it for the press in order that’s alright with me.
When it involves the microphone, the Blackshark V2 X options Razer’s ‘Hyperclear Cardioid Mic’ on the tip of a bendable stick. It labored effectively and I by no means had a problem with individuals listening to me on the opposite finish of video chats, conferences or Discord calls whereas gaming.
Before testing the Blacksharks, I used a Blue Snowball mic, which options significantly better sound. It additionally picked up extra audio, particularly my extremely loud mechanical keyboard. The Blackshark mic did a greater job slicing out the keyboard generally, however I’m unsure any mic may fully remove that clacking racket.
Unfortunately, the Blackshark mic wasn’t ok to fully change the Snowball, which was nonetheless my go-to when recording the SyrupCast. For every little thing else, the Blackshark V2 X mic was adequate.
That stated, it will have been nice if Razer included a retractable possibility within the Blackshark V2 X. The dearer Blackshark headphones do supply retractable microphones, however with the V2 X, your solely possibility is to bend the mic out of your method whenever you don’t need it. It’s a minor factor, however as somebody who makes use of headphones as a lot whereas working as when enjoying video games, it’d be good to tuck the mic away once I don’t want it.
Comfortable and light-weight, however perhaps not sturdy
While audio and microphone high quality are each extremely essential metrics, consolation is maybe probably the most essential. Headphones could sound nice, however when you can’t put on them for an extended time period, what’s the purpose?
Thankfully, the Razer Blackshark V2 X headphones are light-weight and comfy with delicate, plush earcups and a comfortable headband. They’re a lot comfier than my eight-year-old ATH-M50s, partially as a result of a lot of the scarf on these ageing headphones has deteriorated.
I additionally discover the Blacksharks extra snug than the Surface Headphones 2, however that comes extra from the load. Wearing the Surface Headphones for just a few hours often makes my head a bit sore, however the Blacksharks felt nicer after an extended session.
The Blackshark V2 X headphones weigh in at 240g, which is 22g lower than the common Blackshark V2 headphones and 44g lower than my ATH-M50s. The Surface Headphones 2 weigh in at about 290g (50 greater than the V2 X headphones), whereas the top-line wi-fi Blackshark V2 Pro headphones weigh a whopping 320g.
Unfortunately, I do have some issues about long-term sturdiness. These issues stem largely from the development of the Blackshark headphones, which really feel flimsy at finest. Namely, every earcup attaches to the headphone utilizing two skinny metallic bars, which wouldn’t require a lot pressure to essentially twist or bend out of form. Likewise, the earcups have little inexperienced wires that come out the highest and hook up with the scarf. While the design appears good, I’ve issues that these small wires may simply catch on one thing and probably get broken.
The Blackshark V2 X headphones additionally don’t fold up, which implies that if you wish to take them on the go, they’re not significantly transportable. For me, it didn’t matter a lot since I plugged them into my desktop and that’s the place they stayed at some point of the evaluate. But for individuals who like to hold the headphones round, that could be a deal-breaker.
Wires in a wi-fi world
Speaking of plugging in, the Blackshark V2 X headphones are wired, which will probably be a giant disadvantage for many who favor wi-fi headphones. I usually discover myself falling on the facet of wired, a minimum of when at my desktop. The superior audio high quality and decrease latency are beneficial to me, and since I usually plug my headphones in and don’t transfer them away from my desktop, having a wire isn’t an issue.
However, the Blackshark V2 X makes being wired even higher thanks partially to a prolonged cable and the flexibility to disconnect partway up the size. That’s courtesy of the Blackshark V2 X’s audio and microphone splitter attachment, a second size of cable with a single 3.5mm enter on one finish and two 3.5mm outputs on the opposite, one for audio and one on your microphone.
That setup was particularly useful for me because it may plug the headphones into the panel on the again of my PC and preserve the cables out of sight (my cable administration is great so long as you don’t look below my desk). It additionally let me disconnect the headphones for the uncommon occasions I wished to make use of them elsewhere, akin to with a laptop computer or a uncommon smartphone that also sports activities a headphone jack, with out having to disconnect my complete audio set-up.
Going with wires additionally helps preserve the load down, and I appreciated not needing to cost my headphones on a regular basis. Still, the inconvenience of charging could also be a welcome tradeoff for many who need wi-fi headphones — people who do doubtless gained’t favor the Blackshark V2 X headphones.
Unfortunately, the Blackshark V2 X function a rubber cable, and whereas the intense inexperienced appears good, it doesn’t really feel nice. The common Blackshark V2 headphones have a material cable — I’d have favored to see the identical with the V2 X.
Great all-around headphones for the worth
Ultimately, Razer’s Blackshark V2 X headphones are an important possibility for the worth, a reasonable $89.99 in Canada. Are they the perfect headphones within the value vary? Well, it actually relies upon what you’re in search of in a headphone.
The Blackshark V2 X headphones excel by way of consolation and audio high quality. They sound fairly good and I can put on them for a very long time with out discomfort due to the light-weight and plushy earcups.
At the identical time, the headphones lack options some may contemplate staple, like wi-fi audio or noise cancellation. On prime of that, the development feels low-cost, which may very well be a turn-off.
No retractable mic is maybe the ultimate gripe about these headphones, though they do have a good mic, making them an important selection for somebody who wants a brand new pair of headphones and a microphone for chatting with pals.
Overall, I’d say the Razer Blackshark V2 X are a stable possibility for individuals trying to avoid wasting cash. If yow will discover them on sale, they’re positively value it.
Razer’s Blackshark V2 X headphones supply respectable sound and luxury for an affordable value.