We analyze the new member of the Razer family, helmets as simple as they are ergonomic that add to their family of gadgets.
The past few months to a year have seen a profound change in the way Razer designs peripherals. In communities such as mechanical keyboards, it has gone from being considered a joke brand to one of the few that puts a real effort in the quality of the typing experience over more fiery features such as lights or macros, with keyboards that have received rave reviews like the Razer Huntsman TE. Recently, it even announced a range of products focused precisely on that environment where most people prefer not to stand out: the office.
If it seems like a radical leap it is because it is. But it is based on a new attitude of the company that has finally decided to ask the enthusiastic consumer for their opinion, polishing and innovating where necessary until having products that begin to enjoy a fairly high quality. It is in this line of seeking the maximum utility in its products and the best user experience that Razer resurrects a 2012 product that tended towards the same trend: the Razer Blackshark. Now they bring us a version 2.0 that can give a lot to talk about and even more to listen to.
From discos to helicopters
Given the agency and uproar that the new installment of Flight Simulator has raised, perhaps from Razer they have succeeded with the aesthetics of the Blackshark 2.0, which is reminiscent of the mythical headphones that we would wear to get on a helicopter or practice marksmanship saving the eardrum. With a predominantly black color, the only thing that recalls their brand is a soft green logo and short cables that are barely visible. As we have already anticipated in the introduction to this text, the LEDs of these helmets are far away, so far that they do not even have them.
Instead, although only in the most expensive version, these helmets come with a much appreciated miniature sound card. Although we do not find a great difference in the sound quality of the headphones with the sound card compared to others, it is assured that it will give us a better recording quality through the microphone. What we have been able to confirm is that this small microphone has a quality similar to our Blue Yeti, so much so that it was indistinguishable by friends who have heard us play for hundreds of hours with the Yeti. Given the forty euros difference with the cheaper version (from 70 to 110) we would recommend this version especially to those who intend to use the microphone of the headphones. Another small advantage of this sound card is that if we hit the cable hard when we get up, it will jump off the sound card instead of throwing our computer to the ground.
Regarding the sound, we highlight the huge improvement that occurs with respect to the previous headphones of the brand, the Razer Nari Ultimate. These had motors that simulated a kind of acoustic vibration but unfortunately did not have good highs or mids. Not so the Blackshark 2.0 that have a much flatter sound capable of letting the music or, more likely in our case, the games shine on their own merit. We found that we could better position the shots with these headphones than with our Steelseries Artic 7 Wireless and that at higher sound levels they are capable of assaulting our senses, more specifically the ear.
Good helmets, worse software
As far as we are concerned, Razer Synapse offers less than it costs, despite being free. We wish the company would apply the same lethality it has used to ditch outdated or unnecessary hardware concepts recently with its flagship program. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any Synapse review on the horizon and our experience dictates that it needs more resources than it should and causes countless random issues with countless games. Typically, if we have this program installed and an error occurs, the first thing we will do is deactivate it, given the frequency with which this step solves the problem. We have tried to improve THX’s dynamic audio solution with Razer, but in our opinion the slight competitive advantage it gives is not enough to compensate for the tremendous drop in audio quality that occurs. With THX activated, all impact on the sounds is lost, resembling more of an AM / FM radio than explosive modern video games.
The good thing is that we can always disable this program. What we have left are perfectly built helmets, with durable materials that, although they do not reach the premium, surprise in headphones with such a cheap basic model. The pads are comfortable and we have used them for more than five hours without any comfort blemishes, thanks to their exceptional lightness. The microphone can be detached from the headphones, they are charged with mini-USB (we would have preferred USB-C) and have a volume knob. Simple but effective.
In short, we have little qualms about recommending the Blackshark 2.0 to anyone looking for a pair of mid-range helmets without breaking the bank. The sound card version is a bargain for anyone who needs a headset while the basic version is a bargain for everyone else. They do not compete or try with the more premium offers of other brands such as Sennheiser or AKG but they do not pretend either. If you need good, cheap, solid and discreet helmets, look no further. Mind you, try to ignore Synapse.
- Sound card that gives quality to the microphone
- Inexpensive for what they offer
- Incredibly light
- Balanced sound
- If we don’t want the microphone at all, there are better offers for the price
- Razer Synapse