Razer has long held a reputation for being flashy with its hardware designs. However, with the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023), the tech giant forgoes its signature flamboyance for a more laser-focused approach to esports performance. And indeed, the result is an impressive upgrade from its previous 2020 model.
The BlackShark V2 Pro stands out for its streamlined aesthetic. Gone are the RGB lights or noise cancellation features that typically adorn Razer’s headsets. Instead, the headset offers a refreshingly minimalist yet functional design. While I do love my RGB, it is nice to see Razer tone it done and deliver a headset that looks stunning without the need for flashy lights.
Now that it is unboxed and I get to try things out, the first impressions are strong, with the memory foam earcups providing a surprising level of comfort and breathability. The cloth covering, a departure from the traditional faux leather, makes for a pleasant user experience, especially during high-intensity gaming sessions. The steel-reinforced headband sliders and detachable microphone are added bonuses, lending an air of durability and versatility to the device.
One minor gripe is with the volume wheel, which feels a bit awkward to use initially due to its lack of grip. However, it’s generously distanced from the body for easy access, and you quickly adapt to it. Despite its relatively lightweight design, the BlackShark V2 Pro doesn’t compromise on power. Offering up to 90 hours of battery life in Bluetooth mode and 70 hours in Hyperspeed mode, it’s designed to provide uninterrupted gaming experiences. It’s a testament to Razer’s ingenuity, though the device’s tendency to shut off after 10 minutes of inactivity might irk some users.
The 2023 model introduces Bluetooth 5.2 capability, which brings a degree of versatility to the headset. It’s also backward-compatible, allowing you to connect the headset to a wide range of devices, from the PlayStation 5 to a decade-old iPhone. The audio quality of the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro deserves praise. The 50mm titanium drivers pump out clear, immersive audio with a noticeable bias toward mids and highs. This appears to cater to the e-sports crowd, enabling clear communication during intense gaming sessions.
“The audio quality of the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro deserves praise. The 50mm titanium drivers pump out clear, immersive audio with a noticeable bias toward mids and highs.”
The headset also incorporates pre-programmed settings for popular shooters, created in collaboration with esports experts. Whether you’re dropping into Fortnite, Valorant, or Counter-Strike: GO, these settings are designed to enhance your gaming experience by giving you an auditory edge over your opponents.
One of the most significant upgrades in the 2023 model is the microphone. Boasting a 32KHz sampling rate, it provides a notably clearer and crisper audio output compared to standard headset microphones. Razer has also incorporated an additional pop filter into the design, providing your voice with an extra layer of clarity. It’s a welcome addition that adds an extra dimension of quality to your gaming communication and audio calls.
While the Bluetooth 5.2 capability broadens the compatibility of the headset, its true strength lies in its uncompromised focus on PC gaming. Whether it’s the remarkable clarity of in-game comms or the precision in detecting opponent movements, the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) makes sure you always have a front seat to the action.
Using the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) in a variety of games and the charity blew me away, and the audio-rich feeling the headset provides. Combine that with a fantastic microphone, and you have a winning formula that is hard to beat. Granted, these are not small headphones, but they more than make up for it in the sheer level of comfort they provide, with they easily becoming my go-to headset for anything multiplayer, where I need to be a part of a team while never missing the critical moments of the gameplay.
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) isn’t without its quirks. The headset’s tendency to auto-shut down after 10 minutes of inactivity may interrupt the user experience. It’s also worth noting that the lack of active noise cancellation might not suit all users. Still, even with these minor annoyances, the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) managed to impress, with any issue listed here feeling like more nit-picks than real issues most people will struggle with on a day-to-day basis.
Razer has priced the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) at a hefty $200. While not cheap, it’s still cheaper than similar headsets from competitors like Logitech, Corsair, and HyperX, which range from $230 to $270. Razer’s headset is a value proposition for its features and quality.
Despite its premium price tag, Razer’s newest offering still manages to pack features in for your price of entry, especially when compared to its competitors. The pre-programmed settings for popular shooters and the ability to custom-tune the equalizer through Razer Synapse stand out as innovative features. These settings provide a significant edge in gaming, particularly for those heavily invested in competitive play. Despite my gripes with Synapse, the ability to just plug the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) into any computer, sync up my settings, and be ready to go is a fantastic feeling, especially if you are like me and use many computers depending on my needs.
Razer’s BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) represents a mature, well-rounded entry in the gaming headset market. It’s the result of careful design choices prioritizing gaming performance over aesthetic flourishes, and the outcome is compelling. This device delivers where it counts, providing a competitive edge to gamers while ensuring comfort and durability.
If you’re in the market for a headset that excels at immersion, especially for online shooters, and also manages to handle some light Bluetooth duty for other devices, then the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) deserves to be at the top of your shortlist. However, here’s hoping that Razer puts a little more thought into its naming convention for the next model — this headset clearly deserves the V3 title.