Razer Blackshark V2 Pro 2023 Edition wireless headset review
Razer refreshes the popular esports gaming headset but is it worth the upgrade?
Razer has refreshed the highly popular BlackShark V2 gaming headset, a popular choice among those that play esports titles. We previously checked out the Blackshark V2, reviewing the standard wired edition, and were impressed with the headset as a whole. What has changed? Well, it has been a few years since the release of the V2, so Razer has tweaked the headset by listening to feedback and testing the latest pair out with esports professionals.
At a glance, the improvements are an incredibly clear 32KHz microphone, improved build quality, and comfort, plus a beefy battery life, and USB C connectivity. All sounds good but is that enough to tempt you into grabbing a pair?
Razer Blackshark V2 Pro 2023
Wireless: 2.4GHz / BT
100 Hz – 10 kHz
PC, MAC, PLAYSTATION, SWITCH, IOS, ANDROID
- Improvement on previous Blackshark V2 Pro headset
- Crystal clear wideband 32KHz microphone
- Excellent in-game performance
- Very comfortable
- Can get quite warm after prolonged use
What’s in the box?
Everything was sufficiently packaged and protected from the dreaded dust, no surprises here. Inside we have:
- Razer Blackshark V2 Pro wireless headset
- Detachable Razer HyperClear Super Wideband mic
- Wireless USB dongle
- USB Type A adapter cable
- USB Type A to Type C charging cable
- Product Guide
Blackshark V2 Pro sound quality
The sound quality is very much the same as the previous V2 pair, with those familiar Razer Triforce titanium 50mm drivers. These have received minor tweaks but there is no audible difference in our opinion. For those new to the Blackshark V2s, the sound is great for most applications. Dipping out of a game to watch a YouTube video and everything else sounds pleasant straight out of the box. The audio is nicely balanced and isn’t too bassy, and the sound quality doesn’t degrade as you max the volume out.
When turning on THX Spatial Audio in the software, the listening experience was noticeably enhanced in some games and definitely music and video. The bass was incredible and once turned on, we couldn’t return to stereo. The only time we felt stereo was better was for CSGO but this was a personal choice after years of playing that game a certain way. Another reason you may want to keep these in stereo for esports titles is the software. Through Synapse you can not only use the presets for each major game (Apex, COD, CSGO, Fortnite, Valorant) but you can easily adjust the EQ for specific in-game sounds.
Can’t hear footsteps? Turn it up, are the radio commands coming through too strong? Tweak them.
It is worth mentioning that the EQ is one of the areas that has been improved for the Blackshark 2023 refresh. Razer has added onboard headset profiles, giving users out-of-the-box EQ settings for the basics – gaming, movies, music, and a custom setting. This is great as users will not need to download the software unless they want to tweak the settings, or of course, turn on THX.
Razer Blackshark V2 Pro 2023: Gaming performance on PC
In short, gaming was a pleasure while using the updated Blackshark V2 Pro headset. They are built for esports and were very good for long sessions. Talking strictly CSGO, the headset felt accurate with the spatial awareness, and overall despite the closed-back design, the soundstage felt like it had decent depth and lead to some great in-game moments. While default settings are commonly used, the preset EQs are a great way to get more out of certain titles. You may want default settings for CSGO but why not add a custom EQ when playing a more immersive shooter like Squad or Rising Storm? Where the explosions and in-game effects are meant to be prominent.
How does the microphone perform?
In short, the microphone is fantastic and sounds similar to other flagship gaming headsets, with a slight noticeable improvement. So what’s changed? Well, Razer has introduced its HyperClear Super Wideband mic into this refresh and recordings sound much clearer than the previous iteration. The main selling point behind this refresh if you already had the older Pros is the detachable mic, which features a 32KHz sampling rate. This increase, along with the wider range does make comms much clearer while playing games but would we notice it without being told? That largely depends on your current microphone but we think yes.
The mic improvements give this headset a bit more utility in general. This headset can now be used as an all-purpose at-home pair, with a clear enough microphone for chatting on calls, dreaded Zoom meetings, or of course gaming.
What is the battery life like?
The battery life has seen vast improvements since the previous version which would last around 24 hours on a single charge. The new and improved Blackshark V2 Pros are now rated for up to 70 hours when using them in 2.4GHz HyperSpeed mode. You can push them to 90 hours when using them in Bluetooth. Bluetooth mode is something we heavily favor in wireless products as you can really extend their battery life with just a click. We sometimes forget to charge our peripherals here in the office, leading to a mad dash for all the USB cables we can find and this takes us to our next point – fast charging.
Fast charging is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to gaming, as mentioned above, we sometimes forget, especially when they last as long as 70+ hours. Not to worry, when using the new USB-C connection, you can get 6 hours of juice into the Blackshark V2 Pros for just 15 minutes of charging, which is not bad at all.
Build quality, comfort, & design
The overall look and feel at first glance reminds us entirely of the older version, the asymmetry, and the aviation-style design is still there. For anyone that owns the older V2 Pro headset, you will struggle to spot a difference until you unsheathe the microphone from its filter. Those that had the regular wired version will instantly notice the bright green accents on the cables and Razer logos have gone. This sounds like a subtle change but it has enhanced the overall aesthetics in our opinion quite successfully. The Razer logo still features on the earcups, it’s just etched in as we see on the headband, glistening in the light.
The headset is mostly matte black plastic and looks sleek as hell, everything is smooth and rounded off nicely, with the only sharp angles coming from the yokes. Other than that it is actually hard to see any other visible differences, without pointing them out. You will notice the microphone’s flexible plastic cable is now thicker due to complaints over longevity in the previous model.
Another small design note is the plush cushioning around the earcups, which has been slightly increased in depth, which brings us to build quality. The build quality as a whole has only gotten better, with some of the more significant changes featured in this department. We had little to complain about in the previous iteration, however, it seems a lot of buyers had feedback about longevity.
Aside from the mic changes, Razer has also reinforced the steel headband sliders. We never noticed any issues with these in the past but any additional reinforcement is always welcome.
The comfort is sublime and you can notice the reduced clamp force when wearing these over the older version. The materials feel premium and the little extras you expect on a premium pair of headphones like – cushioning over the drivers – go a long way. The plush earcups fit perfectly around the ears with just the right amount of padding, leaving you in relative comfort for hours on end. Priced at $199.99, they are a bit too pricey to upgrade from the older V2 Pro headset, however, if you are in the market for a new esports pair, you should consider these next.
Razer Blackshark V2 Pro 2023
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