While the Razer BlackShark V2 headset costs $99.99, the BlackShark V2 X costs only $59.99, making it a significant savings. The essential hardware from the V2 is retained, but other bells and whistles, such as the USB sound card and detachable microphone, are eliminated.
In this case, the goal is to provide the greatest gaming headset with 7.1 virtual surround sound at a reasonable price, which is especially true for Razer products.
As gaming technology grows increasingly flashy, with gleaming metal, RGB lighting, and other bells and whistles, it is sometimes preferable to have hardware that just does its function. That is compatible with the Razer BlackShark V2 X. Consider your options carefully before tossing these items into a suitcase for a vacation or business travel.
The BlackShark was first presented to the gaming community by Razer in 2012. At the time, the BlackShark was a distinctive fish. It was a jumble of black plastic and gleaming metal, with a neon Razer green cord dangling from the side.
In fact, it didn’t appear to be particularly comfortable, relying instead mainly on utilitarian elements. According to Razer, the design was inspired by aviator headphones, which are commonly used by helicopter pilots. That just served to heighten the mystique.
The Razer BlackShark V2 X has a more understated, understated look. It is cast in matte black plastic, which makes it blend in with modern gaming headsets. Even the Razer logo is in a slightly skewed black, as there is no RGB on the screen.
The bright green wire is the only thing that adds a splash of colour to this design, which Razer has done a somewhat better job of disguising this time around.
It has a soft leatherette headband and interior earcups, with standard fabric on the area of the earcups that rest on your face. The earcups are wrapped in a soft leatherette on the outside. The earcups themselves are made of a lightweight memory foam that compresses gently, allowing them to comfortably rest on your head.
I could tell that the cloth was absorbing perspiration, and throughout my testing, it proved to be satisfactory.The manner Razer chose to attach the drivers to the headband is not something I particularly like. The business eventually settled on a metal fork design that had an exposed wire.
The metal prongs don’t appear to be very robust; I gave them a little stretch to see how they would react, and they appeared to be bendable, akin to a decent coat hanger.
There’s also no swivel to them, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this headset may become bent when being packed away for travel. With the same way, the exposed wire has the appearance of being entangled in something and tearing.
Razer touts its new Triforce 50mm drivers, which are designed to act like three different audio drivers in a single unit. The idea is treble, mid and bass should sound more distinct, leading to more audio clarity and a richer experience. Dropping into some K-pop, I could definitely feel the lower thumps of the bass, but there was a little muffling on the high end out of the box.
I also found there was a bit of clarity lost in the spoken dialog while watching the Tenet trailer.The BlackShack V2 X comes with a single 3.5mm plug, meaning you can use it with most modern devices outside of your gaming PC, including the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and mobile phones. Virtual 7.1 surround sound is limited to Windows 10 (64-bit).
You’ll need some sort of USB connection in order to use the Razer Synapse software or 7.1 surround sound app, which doesn’t come in the box. I used a Turtle Beach Atlas Edge Audio Enhancer to connect the BlackShack V2 X via USB for surround sound testing
The 7.1 surround sound app did work. This is a separate download, activated via a code that comes with the headset. However, Razer Synapse software didn’t see the BlackShack V2 X as one of its headsets. This prevented me from using the Razer Mixer to change the sound profile of the headset.
The more premium BlackShack V2 offers THX Spatial Audio for a surround sound experience. For $19.99 you can add that to the BlackShark V2 X as well (more in the Features and Software sectoin). The standard 7.1 surround sound app for our review focus just lets you turn surround sound on and off, while the full THX Spatial Audio app gives you sound calibration tools, EQ customization and per-software profiles.
Razer’s HyperClear Cardioid microphone is used in conjunction with the BlackShack V2 X. Because of its cardioid nature, it attempts its best to only take up sound that is directly in front of it.
With the pop filter in place, it’s difficult to determine where the front of the microphone is, but generally, I felt that the mic picked up my lower voice rather effectively. When compared to recording with my more costly headphones, the recorded voice sounded a touch nasally, and it was also a little quieter.
Of course, the mic quality was not as fantastic as it could have been with my Audio-Technica AT2020 desktop microphone. However, the BlackShark V2 X’s microphone holds its own against comparable headset microphones in this price range.
The active noise cancellation of the microphone was successful. Not only did the microphone fail to pick up the nightly news broadcast on my adjacent television, but it also failed to pick up on my fairly vigorous keyboard typing or the rather loud music emanating from the headset. All things considered, the BlackShack V2 X is a fantastic workhorse for Zoom calls and Discord conversations.
However, while I’m recording a podcast, I tend to silence myself on the headset so that I can concentrate better. In my experience with the BlackShack V2 X, hitting the mute button produced the sound of a small thud in my audio, no matter how softly I pressed the button.
Given the precise method in which I like to utilise headphones, this was really inconvenient. The volume control, on the other hand, is less of an issue. Occasionally, the internal vibrations caused by my fidgeting with the dial were recorded on video.
As previously stated, the BlackShark V2 X does not come with a USB sound card, unlike its larger sibling, as does the BlackShark V2. That meant I was unable to use any of the features of Razer’s comprehensive Synapse software, as would be the case for many who purchase the V2 X for the first time.
The simulated 7.1 surround sound software on the BlackShark V2 X is a barebones affair, enabling you to select your output sound source and toggle surround sound on and off with little else.
The majority of the possible premium features will need you to upgrade to THX Spatial Audio, which will cost you an additional $20.
Razer appears to have designed the BlackShack V2 X with software in mind, based on the way it looks. Better software choices for the cans would be advantageous, but it is also advantageous for shifting from device to device without having to worry about it too much.
The BlackShark V2 X from Razer is a great method to test out new drivers from a famous gaming company, as well as simulated 7.1 surround sound, without having to invest a lot of money. It was noticeable and beneficial for gameplay in this instance. Furthermore, the overall fit is really comfy.
The problem is that the design itself does not appear to be long-lasting, particularly when compared to Razer’s own Kraken X. Metal prongs and exposed wire found on the BlackShack V2 X have been removed from the latter headset, which has a more typical design overall.
Although Razer describes it as having a $79.99 suggested retail price, it has been selling for $49.99 for the past several months. It also has 7.1 surround sound. Sadly, Razer did not include its new drivers with the Kraken headset, which would have been a welcome addition.
Apart from being up against other Razer cans, the BlackShack V2 X also has to battle with offerings from other manufacturers. Included in this group is the SteelSeries Arctis 5 ($70), which features a retractable microphone.
The BlackShark V2 X, on the other hand, is equipped with Razer’s amazing Triforce 50mm drivers, which perform admirably in a variety of games while while filtering out distracting background noise — all in a reasonably cost package.