Razer has announced what it calls the ‘definitive esports headset’ in the form of the BlackShark V2, alongside its more budget-conscious brethren the BlackShark V2 X, which can also definitely be used in esports and is a headset.
Both headsets feature the Razer TriForce 50mm drivers, a new design patented by Razer and one which can supposedly separate high, mid, and low frequencies for a better experience of all three. The BlackShark V2 drivers also include titanium-coated diaphragms where those of the V2 X do not, and this feature is designed to further enhance vocal clarity. (Please do not try to coat your actual diaphragm in titanium for vocal clarity).
Buyers of the $100 BlackShark V2 also gain access to the THX Spatial Audio Windows 10 app, a virtual surround sound software solution that usually incurs a $20 charge. This is not included in the price of the $60 BlackShark V2 X, though Razer claims it too ‘offers’ 7.1 surround sound, which is just a tacit admission that, like any other headset, it’s compatible with Windows 10’s built-in spatial sound feature as well as other paid-for solutions like Dolby DTS Headphone: X and, erm, THX Spatial Audio.
Come August 6th, the THX-infused software will be further bolstered by the launch of THX Game Profiles i.e. game-specific profiles for popular titles (including Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare among others). 18 titles in total will be supported at launch with more to follow, and the profiles have apparently been designed with and certified by the developers of the games themselves. Additionally, there will be two modes: THX Environmental Mode for realism and immersion and THX Competitive Mode for greater emphasis on directional cues.
The 262g BlackShark V2 and 240g V2 X headsets both use a new microphone offering ‘greater’ speech pickup and noise cancellation – what it’s greater than isn’t clear, sadly, so it could be greater than a competing headset or greater at recording your voice than a cup of tea. Or both, hopefully. The so-called HyperClear Cardioid mic is removable on the V2 but fixed and bendable on the V2 X. The costlier headset also comes with a USB sound card specifically for the microphone, giving users more control over things like voice gating and ambient noise reduction to finely tune their vocal output – if Britain’s Got Talent gets hosted next time over Zoom, BlackShark headset owners are the obvious favourites.
The headsets themselves both use a 3.5mm connection and are thus broadly compatible with PCs, notebooks, and consoles and also therefore do NOT (!) come with Razer Chroma RGB lighting. The more premium BlackShark V2 also has some material upgrades including FlowKnit memory foam and SpeedFlex cables compared to the
standard StanDard versions on the V2 X.
The BlackShark V2 and V2 X are available now, retailing for £99.99 ($99.99 in the US) and £59.99 ($59.99 in the US) respectively. More information is available from the official website here (V2) and here (V2 X).
October 15 2020 | 14:00