The best gaming headphones are the ones you forget you’re wearing. High-end planar drivers and heavy-duty construction are great if you’re listening for detail, but if you’re blasting away for a few hours, you want an almost weightless device that offers solid noise suppression and audio quality.
Razer, for their part, offers both. Their new $99 Razer BlackShark V2 is a set of no-nonsense headphones with a boom microphone and included USB adapter. They work with any PC or console and they work very well.
I spent about 10 hours in these during a few gaming sessions and aside from a little sweat—it gets hot in my basement—I forgot I had them on. Because Razer uses FlowKnit foam for the cups and headband you get excellent breathability, and the entire system, weighing in at 262 grams, is light and comfortable.
The headphones are quite simple. Razer includes a cord and removable microphone in the box and the only other controls are a mute switch and volume control. The headphones have 50mm drivers that offer solid frequency coverage for both voice chats and sound effects.
The foam earcups offer excellent passive noise suppression—they don’t cancel noise as much as block it—so you’ll find yourself removing these guys to have conversations with folks around you. But, again, if your audio is piped through the headphones you can do away with external game speakers entirely. These headphones have incredible stereo separation and an acceptable frequency response.
At $99, these are a bit pricey for a pair of standard headphones—you could compare them to the similarly-priced Logitech G233 Prodigy headphones that offer similar padding and design—but they’re on par with what you’d expect to pay for a pair of wired cans in this category. Given the build quality and weight, however, they’re well worth the price especially if you’re not going to pick up wireless headphones for your gaming sessions.
Will you be able to hear every guitar lick in Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy” on these? Not really. Will you be able to hear a rocket launcher lighting up some Locust in a Horde match? Absolutely. And will you be able to hear your teammates yelling at you to build more turrets? Yes, loud and clear. And that’s all that matters when it comes to gaming headphones.
- The Razer BlackShark V2 are a pair of super-light, super-responsive headphones for gaming.
- They work with any console with an audio jack on the controller—Xbox One and Ps4 included—and include a small sound dongle for connecting to your PC or Mac.
- The whole package is 262 grams, lighter than competing wired headphones.