Back in 2012, the Razer Blackshark was known for its Aviation headset design, comfort, great sound qualities and impeccable noise isolation capabilities. The Blackshark was and still is a heavily recommended model by many gamers for its outstanding performance, but as time goes on, the newer technologies have started to replace its usefulness in the gaming world.
Rather than coming out with another line of headsets, Razer brought this successful model back to the drawing board and redesigned it to meet the current gaming needs. The result of that is the Razer Blackshark V2 and V2 X. The Blackshark V2 is designed to retain its predecessors’ key qualities and is retrofitted with the latest Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers and HyperClear Cardioid Mic.
Patented Design and Advanced Mic
The launch of the Razer Blackshark V2 also sees the debut of both the Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers and HyperClear Cardioid Mic. These two advancement in Razers long list of gaming innovation boasts new horizons for gaming headsets
Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers
Unlike traditional drivers, the Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers carries a patent for its design that divides the audio driver into separate parts for the low, mid and high frequency outputs. These 3 distinct part enables individual tuning of each section for better depth and clarity. On top of that, the drivers are coated with Titanium for added clarity and less distortion.
The graphs above shows how the Blackshark V2 compares with its competitors when it comes frequency response and headset balance. As shown in the graphs, the Blackshark V2 carries a much smoother frequency response in comparison to its competitors. For those who are unfamiliar, the smoother the frequency response, the better it is in audio quality.
In headset balance, it is first of all important in maintaining the proper decibel range as too large a fluctuation may not only cause discomfort, it will also affect the gamers ability to determine audio depth and perceive sound direction.
Razer HyperClear Cardioid Mic with USB Sound Card
Besides focusing on recording vocal clarity, the HyperClear Cardioid Mic is also designed for accurate voice replication, focused voice pick up and optimised noise suppression. The USB Sound Card itself provides users with advance mic controls via Razer Synapse.
- Mic volume – lowers and raises mic input levels
- Mic boost – further amplifies the sound of the mic input
- Ambient noise reduction – enhances mic output clarity by filtering out ambient noise
- Vocal clarity – isolates and increases the volume of the vocal range for the mic
- Volume normalization – ensures consistent output levels by reducing sudden loud noises and increasing soft audio
- Mic equalizer – customize the mic’s sound mix via presets or tweak each frequency component individually
- Voice gate – removes background noise or increases the amount of mic output heard
Although the Blackshark V2 is a reengineered offspring from its precursor, the key elements remained the same. The Blackshark V2 still carries the Aviation Headset earpieces, but this time it has replaced the glossy shell with a matte black shell and the trademark triple-headed snake logo engraved in the middle of each shell. They’ve replaced the original silver hardwares that came with the precursor with an all black design while the green cables carries the highlights. As with most gaming headsets, the left shell carries the detacheabe Mic(Blackshark V2 X model only), a volume knob and a quick Mic mute button.
THX Game Profiles
THX Game Profiles are the latest feature available for THX Spatial Sounds. Each customized game profile provides you with the selection of THX Environmental Mode and THX Competitive Mode. In Environmental mode, the audio quality is specifically tuned replicate environmental accurateness while the Competitive Mode is tuned to optimize spatial awareness. These game profiles will be available from the 6th of August.
Hands On Experience (Blackshark V2 X)
Simple and Clean
Simple and Clean, these are two words that are rare when it comes to describing Razer products. Most if not all Razer gaming peripherals designs are often described as strikingly loud(Chroma) or dark and deadly – even the original Blackshark had a little bit of an Airwolf vibe to it.
But this time around, its just simple and clean. No Chroma, no sophisticated design, just an aesthetically pleasing all black Aviator themed headset with green cables for highlights.
Weighing in at only 240 grams, the Blackshark V2 X is definitely the lightest headset I’ve tried on. Although this model doesn’t seem to feature memory foam cushions, all the padding are still pretty soft and lightweight. Unlike most headsets I own, this is probably the only headset which didn’t give me a horrible ache on my ears after a few hours of gaming. The headband sits weightlessly and with the right adjustment, the ear cushion clasps around perimeter of my ears perfectly – with extra breathing room to boot!
Audio Driver and Mic Quality
I was pretty disappointed when I found out that the Blackshark V2 X doesn’t come with the many features in the Blackshark V2. Key features such as the Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers and HyperClear Cardioid Mic are still available – less the Titanium coating and USB Sound Card. On top of that, my editor and I gave the headset a good stare down when we noticed that it only came with the 3.5mm jack and audio splitter. What about the USB port? The headset feels somewhat incomplete without the USB Sound Card.
Complains about customizeable features aside, the headset works as advertised. The Razer Triforce 50mm Drivers (non Titanium coated) really does pack a punch when it comes to audio quality. For review purposes, I’ve tested it on different platform(below) with different usage applications.
- PS4 – Destiny 2, CoD:MW, Resident Evil 2 and Monster Hunter: World
- Windows – CoD:MW, Monster Hunter: World, Zoom Meetings, Spotify and Netflix for.. well, it is a headset after all.
- Huawei P30 – Same as windows but with mobile Dolby Atmos
As THX Game Profiles will not be available until the 6th of August, the experience I’ve had so far are based on the default settings. The headset delivered great audio quality when I tried it on all the games for both PC and PS4. In CoD:Modern Warfare every bullet that whizzed through is as realistic as it gets, sounds of footsteps approaching had a proper depth to them and every claymore click is still as scary. As for the experience in Monster Hunter:World, the ambience and immersiveness of the surround sound is a whole two thumbs up – I’d pop more thumbs up if I had more hands.
Without extensive knowledge on reading audio spectrum analysis, the best way to test mic quality is to do it the primitive way. With a table fan on full blast at my face, I had my colleague on the other end of the line while I swap out every mic and gaming headset I own to compare with the Razer HyperClear Cardioid Mic. The result, the Blackshark V2 X performed better than all the them except for one – my Rode VideoMic Pro Shotgun mic which was meant for film making.
The noise suppression on the mic was impeccable given that the table fan was only 3 feet away from my face. Some of the wind did get captured along with my voice but besides that, the mic managed to filter out all the external noise such as keyboard and mouse clicks.
As for background noise cancellation, the earcups on the Blackshark V2 X is considered decent in my books. As passive noise cancelling(PNC) mechanisms achieves background noise suppression by closed earcup seals, the results may vary for each individual due to other factors such as the shape of a persons skull.
The results for non gaming uses were pretty great in most aspects, except that this headset may be a tad bit overkill for video conferences. As for mobile phones, the audio quality is only as good as your built in audio enhancer. My phone comes with Dolby Atmos and turning that on improves the audio quality tremendously.
Despite my rant about the lack of certain features and accessories available on the Razer Blackshark V2 , the Razer BlackShark V2 X is definitely fit to carry the tagline of “The sound of ESPORTS“. It does everything an E-Sport headset should do and much more. Nice design, light and comfortable for long hours, great audio quality, and most important of all – only at RM 349, affordable!
Both the Blackshark V2 and V2 X will be available in stores from the 3rd of August onward. They will be priced at RM 599 and RM 349 respectively.