Regardless of whether you are new to gaming, a casual gamer, upcoming streamer or a big-time esports athlete; one gaming peripheral which should be at the top of your priorities list is a good gaming headset. Gone are the days where gaming audio peripherals are just tools to make sure that the rest of your house is not affected by your gaming sessions; they are now multifaceted tools for video conference calls, music listening, and movie streaming while on the go.
The more expensive variety now boasts better sound profiles and added immersion which would help you accurately pinpoint the direction of people around you; differentiating friends from foes while at the same time providing microphones which provide voice clarity for in-game chats. While a pair of basic cans are good enough for gaming for those with a tight budget, the more expensive ones require extra justification for the dough you’re about to splurge on.
Which brings us to the company’s latest, the Razer BlackShark V2X. While it’s quite a looker, that’s all there is to it, if we’re being honest.
Do note that the V2X is the entry version of the two, and comes with a 3.5mm audio jack. The more premium version, the V2, comes with a USB soundcard and plushier foam ear cushions.
Right out of the box, you’ll be greeted by a very lightweight gaming headset which would greatly benefit those who regularly go on weekend gaming marathons. Weighing at only 240g, the V2X is easily one of, if not, the lightest headset I have ever put on. While we are yet to try out the “premium” version of the two, their heft should not differ greatly since both share the same profile,.
The ear cups are comfortable with a leatherette material, providing ample clamping force whilst passively providing acceptable levels of noise isolation. You won’t hear your wife calling from the next room while gaming, but you’ll still hear the chat from the table across you in restaurants and cafes.
While the ear cushions are removable, exposing the drivers of the ear cups, Razer has yet to confirm whether these ear cushions are replaceable or that replacement ear cups will be sold separately. Regardless, the generously-cushioned headband feels plush, with ample flex and give to fit even the widest of heads.
Looks-wise, the V2X’s minimalistic, inconspicuous yet distinguishable look makes it a perfect take-out headset. It is nowhere gaudy like most gaming headsets out in the market. You won’t be getting those weird looks you’d usually if you’re using these out in public.
For gaming purposes, the V2X is compatible with all gaming platforms thanks to its 3.5mm jack. It is instantly detected when plugged into your PS4 DualShock 4 controllers and works immediately without any fiddling on the settings for the Switch as well.
However, that’s about all the positive things I have to say for this underwhelming headset.
Less Deep Blue, More Sharknado
While the V2X looks good, the same cannot be said about how it functions as an “esports headset”. Every positive has its trade-off and with the V2X, in lieu of its lightweight construction, the build quality suffered.
The outer build is mostly hard plastic, save for the four super-thin wiry bars which connects the headband to the ear cups. While they look cool on paper, I question its durability and since the ear cups do not swivel, you do not need much force to bend these bars over time due to storage or accidental drops.
Now don’t get me wrong. The V2X is a decent entry model for those planning on spending a chunk of their savings to improve their gaming audio experience. It is definitely better than any pair you’d get from Typo, for example. But that isn’t something you should be shouting about if you’re renowned for delivering high-end and high-priced green motif peripherals.
The sound quality should deliver thanks to its Triforce 50mm drivers, at least on paper. In practice, however, the headset comes with noticeable spikes the trebles. The bass is there but it tends to be drowned out by the mids and highs. While you can fiddle about the sound profiles via Razer’s custom hardware configuration software – the Synapse – I highly doubt the headset’s entry level market wouldn’t bother.
Yes, I’d still be able to hear footsteps of my squad mates and incoming enemies in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Apex Legends. However, at the price they are setting the V2X at, I expected way more than the bare average. More often than not I found myself warning my mates that the enemies are near – but I don’t know from which direction.
The V2X comes with a non-removable, Razer HyperClear cordioid microphone which to my squad mates, made my voice sound like it came from an airport public announcement system.
Upon hearing back on the recordings, it sounded distant, at times muted and flat compared to other headphone models I have at my disposal. The clarity is there, but it definitely lacks body you’d find in other similar-priced headsets in the market.
A microphone mute button is situated on the rear portion of the left ear cup, next to the volume knob which offers very little range to volume. I either had it turned off, or all the way up to maximum. The microphone is removable for the premium model, by the way.
The 3.5mm cable for the audio jack is bright, Razer-green. Although its length is acceptable in my books, those who game quite a distance from their TV or prefer longer cables will be disappointed.
I should also point out that the cable isn’t braided; which should be a standard feature of headsets nowadays.
All Bark, No Bite
I may be harsh against the Razer BlackShark V2X but this headset is definitely not up to par with its rivals in the market, or even other existing Razer headsets for that matter. At RM349.00, I find it hard to recommend purchasing the BlackShark V2X when there are better options elsewhere. Even when it looks sleek and weights almost like a feather.
Consider this: updated versions of the Razer Kraken are available in the market, some at 2/3rds of the price of the V2X. If you snoop around enough, you may be able to cop a model with USB connectivity making it a better pick if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck purchase.
Other brands such as HyperX Cloud II come with USB connectivity, removable microphone, replaceable ear cups and braided cable. Even when they’ve been out for years, they’re honestly a better overall option. Last year’s gaming headset crown prince, the Logitech G Pro headset, also received a price cut and is now in the sub-RM400 price range.
Ultimately, the BlackShark V2X is a decent entry-level gaming headset that is saddled with an unfortunate price tag and with only so much to offer. It promises a lot, yet delivers so little.
- Easy to set up.
- Minimalist design.
- Poor build.
- Bass lacks punch.
- Minimal value for its price tag.
FINAL SCORE: 40/100
- Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 100dBSPL/mW,1KHz
- Drivers: Customized Dynamic 50mm Driver
- Inner ear cup diameter: 65 x 40 mm / 2.56in x 1.57 in
- Connection type: 3.5mm with USB sound card
- Cable length: 1.8 m / 5.91 ft.
- Approx. weight: 262g / 0.6lbs
- Oval ear cushions: Breathable memory foam cushions
- Frequency response: 100Hz-10KHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 60dB
- Sensitivity (@1kHz): -42dB V/Pa,1KHz
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
On-ear cup Controls
- Volume up and down
- Mic mute on/off toggle
- Audio Usage: Devices with 3.5 mm audio jack
- Audio Usage + USB Sound Card: Devices with USB port