Gaming headsets tend to get a bad reputation from the layman user. They are often labelled as clunky, uncomfortable and almost unusable in a regular environment. The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro debunks a lot of those misconceptions. It features a simple look, with little bulk and minimal branding.
Pairing and connectivity
The BlackShark V2 Pro offers a suite of different ways to pair to your devices. With its 2.4GHz Type-A USB receiver, you can use it to pair with a Windows PC, Apple Mac, Sony PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch. This allows the headset to work without any initial setup via plug-and-play. For PC in particular, you can pair the device with Razer’s Synapse 3, something we will discuss later.
For any device not mentioned above, you also have the option to pair the headphones via a wired connection. Razer includes a premium braided cable out of the box for this alongside another braided Type-A to micro-USB cable for charging the headset.
Design and build quality
It is obvious that the Razer BlackShark V2 is a gaming headset, right from its volume dial to its boom microphone. But the way it has been designed comes off as pleasant. It is not as bulky as Razer’s other headsets and it definitely does not have any weird LED placements.
You find the headset in a metal construction, with a soft foam cushion for its headband wrapped in a mesh fabric. The actual links holding the cups to the headband do not look sturdy but it was not something that gave me any problems during the review period. However, I do see this to be a weak point of the headset in the long term. Given the BlackShark V2 Pro’s tilt range, users with wider heads should not have to worry about finding a comfortable fit.
The ear cups further reinforce the headset’s comfortable fit. They are made of memory foam with a layer of mesh fabric which achieves a decent natural seal. We just wish it was a bit tighter as this would help with isolation even further. Also, the headset may be a bit difficult to carry around as the ear cups do not fold inward however a nice carry case is provided by Razer out of the box.
Controls wise, the headset is fairly simple. On the left cup, you find a volume dial, the power button, a microphone mute switch, the micro-USB port for charging and the jack for wired connectivity. It would have been nice to see a Type-C USB port for charging though, as this is now the trend. There is also another jack for attaching the external microphone and a knob on the outside of the cup. This knob allows you to adjust volume levels of the headset in a satisfying manner. There is a built-in catch at the mid point of the knob too, for some odd reason.
Despite it being focused on gaming, the BlackShark V2 Pro has some accurate sound. Sound is bass heavy which means that you will be able to hear instrumental music quite well. But more so, the headset is great for making you aware of your surroundings. In popular FPS shooters, this is important and this is what I played the most with the BlackShark V2 Pro.
When comes to in-game audio on PC, there are a lot of tweaks you can make with Razer’s Synapse 3. While the software offers a lot, we feel it does not do much to revamp the audio experience altogether. It offers THX Spatial Audio which makes games sound better with directional audio cues like footsteps and gunshots being easier to recognise. But you can get by more than fine without Spatial Audio altogether. Similarly, you find a plethora of sound settings to adjust here too. Some of them work but others just seem to add to the clutter.
Moreover, you can change microphone settings here too. When speaking, a lot of my friends said I sounded clearer but quieter from the BlackShark V2 Pro which can be adjusted by tweaking the microphone settings within Synapse 3 on PC. You can toggle things such as EQ, normalisation and vocal clarity among an ambient noise reduction feature. This improved the experience a bit but not as much as anticipated. Adding to this, unfortunately the same adjustment is not possible on console. Overall, the audio quality from the microphone is good with it able to isolate background sound pretty well. But the end result at times comes out a bit unnatural sounding.
On a single charge, you should expect to see around 24 hours worth of usage with the BlackShark V2 Pro. This is in line with Razer’s claim, and this should get you plenty of gaming hours at a decent volume output. Of course, listening at a quieter volume will likely result in better performance. Quite a handy feature with the BlackShark V2 Pro is its sleep mode, allowing it to shut down after a period of inactivity. With this, results when it comes to battery backup should be even better.
If you are looking for a blend of comfort and good audio quality, the BlackShark V2 Pro nails this. It is a headset that is focused on PC gaming primarily with the tweaks that it brings via Razer Synapse 3. There may be better options out there specifically for console but if you want something that is lightweight and comfortable with a great audio experience, be it when listening or through the microphone, the BlackShark V2 Pro is worth considering.