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Razer BlackShark V2 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Aug 27, 2020 at 08:10 am
Razer BlackShark V2 Picture
5.8
Mixed Usage
7.4
Neutral Sound
5.0
Commute/Travel
5.7
Sports/Fitness
5.8
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
7.2
Wired Gaming
6.9
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Razer BlackShark V2 are a wired-only gaming-oriented headset with a similar look and feel to the Razer BlackShark V2 X, but they come with lots more customization features. Unlike the V2 X, their boom microphone is detachable. They come with a USB sound card and access to Razer's Synapse 3 software, so you can customize their sound and adjust their microphone settings, though we don't test for these. While they have a decently neutral audio reproduction, they can perform differently depending on their positioning and placement on the head. Out-of-the-box, these gaming-oriented headphones don't have a very versatile performance, but their robust customization features are ideal for PC and PS4 gamers.

Our Verdict

5.8 Mixed Usage

The Razer BlackShark V2 are sub-par for mixed usage. They have a decently neutral sound profile that suits most music genres, but they have inconsistent bass and treble delivery. They also have a disappointing noise isolation performance, so they may not be ideal to use during your commute or while working in an office. On the upside, their companion software and USB sound card allow you to customize the sound, the microphone performance, and access game-oriented surround sound features. You can use these features with your PC or your PS4, but not with your Xbox One.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
  • Decently neutral sound reproduction.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • USB sound card not fully compatible with Xbox One.
  • Can't be used wirelessly.
  • Inconsistent bass and treble delivery.
7.4 Neutral Sound

The Razer BlackShark V2 are decent for neutral sound. They can accurately reproduce bass and mid-ranges, which is ideal for vocals, lead instruments, and the thump and punch of bass instruments found in a variety of music genres. However, their bass and treble delivery are inconsistent, and sibilants like cymbals may sound a bit lifeless or dull. Their performance also depends on their position, seal, and whether or not you have thick hair or glasses, so your experience may vary.

Pros
  • Decently neutral sound reproduction.
Cons
  • Inconsistent bass and treble delivery.
5.0 Commute/Travel

The Razer BlackShark V2 are poor for commuting and travelling. While these headphones are comfortable, their over-ear design is a bit bulky, so they aren't very portable. Their case is made of soft fabric, which doesn't protect against falls. Also, they have a very limited control scheme, which may be inconvenient when you're on the go. These headphones don't have an ANC feature, and they don't do a good job passively blocking out engines or voices, so your audio might get drowned out by background noise during your commute.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Disappointing controls.
  • No ANC.
  • Not very portable.
5.7 Sports/Fitness

The Razer BlackShark V2 are sub-par for sports and fitness. While they're comfortable and stable, their bulky over-ear design isn't very portable. You can't use these headphones wirelessly, so they can be yanked off your head if their cable gets caught on something. Also, their control scheme is limited, so you can't play and pause your music, skip tracks, or manage your calls during your workout.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Disappointing controls.
  • Can't be used wirelessly.
  • Not very portable.
5.8 Office

The Razer BlackShark V2 are sub-par for office use. These comfortable over-ears can be worn throughout the workday, and you can even remove the boom microphone while you work. They have a decent leakage performance, but you may bother your coworkers if you're listening to your music at loud volumes. On the downside, they have a disappointing noise isolation performance, so they can't block out the sound of your coworkers chatting around you.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • No ANC.
  • Only decent leakage performance.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Razer BlackShark V2 headset can't be used wirelessly.

7.2 Wired Gaming

The Razer BlackShark V2 are decent for wired gaming. These comfortable headphones come with a detachable boom mic that helps make your voice clear and understandable, and you can even adjust the microphone settings using the companion software. Their sound profile has an extra boom in the bass range, suitable for action-packed scenes and explosions. While their bass and treble delivery is inconsistent, you can adjust the sound profile using their companion software. These headphones are fully compatible with PC and PS4. They can be used with your Xbox One, although you can't access the USB sound card and its adjustable settings (including custom Game Modes and the THX Spatial Audio virtual surround feature) on that console.

Pros
  • Adjustable microphone settings.
  • Detachable boom microphone.
Cons
  • Disappointing controls.
  • USB sound card not fully compatible with Xbox One.
6.9 Phone Calls

The Razer BlackShark V2 are adequate for phone calls. Their detachable boom microphone can make your voice sound clear and understandable, even in noisier environments, though your voice may sound a bit thin. You can further adjust the microphone settings using the Synapse 3 software; however, we don't test for this. On the downside, they don't do a great job passively isolating background noise, so you may hear voices or engines during your calls. You also can't manage your calls using their controls.

Pros
  • Adjustable microphone settings.
  • Detachable boom microphone.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Disappointing controls.
  • 5.8 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 5.0 Commute/Travel
  • 5.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.8 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.2 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Razer BlackShark V2 have a similar oval-shaped ear cup design to the Razer BlackShark V2 X. They're made of black plastic with neon green accents and a neon green Razer logo on each cup. Unlike the V2 X, their headband and ear cups have a soft cloth material covering the faux leather. The boom microphone is detachable.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.60 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

The Razer BlackShark V2 are comfortable headphones. Their headband feels more comfortable than the Razer BlackShark V2 X, and their memory foam ear cushions are covered in cloth instead of faux-leather.

5.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Razer BlackShark V2 have disappointing controls. While the controls are easy to use and have good feedback, there are only two buttons. There's a volume wheel with a notch in the middle that stops scrolling at min/max volume, and there's a mute mic button.

5.3
Design
Portability
L 7.8 "
W 6.8 "
H 4.3 "
Volume 228 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These headphones aren't very portable. They're bulky, and can't fold or swivel into a more compact format.

5.0
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones come with a flimsy, cheap-feeling soft pouch. The pouch material is so thin you can see through it. It can likely protect your headphones from light scratches, but not from falls or water exposure.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Razer BlackShark V2 have an okay build quality. They're mostly made of plastic, except for the braided, non-detachable cable. The metal hinges and the cable between the cups and the headband are the weakest points on these headphones. These parts seem like they could break or bend if you aren't careful.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Razer BlackShark V2 are stable headphones. They're lightweight and don't move around too much on your head. However, their cable isn't detachable, so if it gets stuck or hooked on something, it could pull the headphones off your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Razer BlackShark V2 headset
  • USB sound card
  • Detachable mic
  • Soft pouch
  • Razer stickers
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.42 db
Treble Amount
-0.55 db

The Razer BlackShark V2 have a decently neutral sound profile. They have an accurate mid-range performance, but their bass and treble delivery are inconsistent. They have an overemphasized high-bass, which helps add an extra boom to bass-heavy music or explosions. Depending on their position, seal, and whether you have thick glasses or hair, your listening experience can vary each time you use them. Note that we only tested these headphones with the USB sound card attached, so it may perform differently when used without it.

6.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.78 dB

The Razer BlackShark V2 have a mediocre frequency response consistency performance. There are inconsistencies in the bass and treble ranges, so these headphones may perform differently depending on their fit, seal, and positioning.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.72 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
22.13 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.24 dB
Mid-Bass
1.63 dB
High-Bass
4.57 dB

These headphones have great bass accuracy. The low and mid-bass are fairly even and neutral, so the thump and punch of bass-heavy genres should be reproduced accurately. The high-bass is overemphasized, which can add a boomy or muddy quality to the audio. These results are the average of our measurements, and your experience may vary, especially because they have an inconsistent bass delivery.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.65 dB
Low-Mid
2.47 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.02 dB
High-Mid
0.56 dB

The Razer BlackShark V2 have excellent mid accuracy. Their response throughout the range is well-balanced and even, so vocals and lead instruments should be accurately reproduced.

7.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.78 dB
Low-Treble
3.05 dB
Mid-Treble
3.66 dB
High-Treble
-4.85 dB

These headphones have decent treble accuracy. There's a slight overemphasis in the low and mid-treble, which may sound a bit piercing or harsh to some listeners. These results are the average of our measurements, and your experience may vary, especially because they have an inconsistent treble delivery.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.6 db
Dips
0.88 db

The Razer BlackShark V2's peaks and dips performance is good. A peak in the high-bass adds a boomy quality to the mix. The dips in the mid-range may push vocals and acoustic instruments slightly towards the back of the mix. There are also peaks in the low and mid-treble that can sound particularly harsh since the mid-range is underemphasized, but they also help vocals and lead instruments stay clear and present amongst the boominess.

7.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.43
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.16
Weighted Phase Mismatch
17.83

These headphones have good imaging. Their weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, leading to a tight bass and transparent treble. Their L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, but there's a slight phase mismatch, so there may be some unevenness in the stereo image. These results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

5.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.02 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.23 dB
PRTF Distance
12.5 dB
Openness
4.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.3

The soundstage of the Razer BlackShark V2 is sub-par. They lack openness, which is common for closed-back gaming headphones. Also, while their soundstage sounds quite wide, it's so large that it may sound unnatural or odd.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
THX

With the USB sound card plugged in, you can access the THX Spatial Audio virtual surround feature via the Synapse 3 software. You can use these headphones with your PC, PS4, and Xbox One; however, the USB sound card and all its customization features aren't compatible with Xbox One. Note that we don't currently test this feature, and you need to download this software to use it.

8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.217
WHD @ 100
0.078

These headphones have a great weighted harmonic distortion performance, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction at normal listening volumes.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
USB
Connection
USB
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These results are only valid with these test settings.

Isolation
5.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.8 dB
Bass
0.31 dB
Mid
-11.11 dB
Treble
-31.58 dB

These headphones have poor noise isolation performance. They don't have an active noise cancelling (ANC) feature, so they can only passively isolate background noise. They do a terrible job blocking engine noises and aren't ideal for commuting or plane flights. They do a slightly better job reducing voices, but it may not be enough for an office setting. On the upside, they do an amazing job blocking out sharp sounds, like AC units.

7.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.13 dB

These headphones have a decent leakage performance. People around you may be able to hear the audio you're listening to, but it should be lost beneath the noise floor of an average office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes

These headphones have a detachable boom microphone.

7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
586.88 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.36 dB
HFE
10093.19 Hz
Weighted THD
0.325
Gain
12.9 dB

The boom microphone has a decent recording quality. Your voice sounds natural and clear, but it may not sound very deep or full. Note that we tested the microphone with the USB sound card attached, so it may perform differently when used without it. You can also adjust the microphone settings on the Synapse 3 software, but we don't currently test for this.

8.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
27.73 dB

The boom microphone has great noise handling performance. It's able to separate speech from ambient noise, even in noisy environments like gaming tournaments.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

The Razer BlackShark V2 are wired, passive headphones that don't have a battery.

8.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Razer Synapse
iOS No
Android No
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Razer Synapse software is excellent. You can adjust many settings, including the volume level. If you like to customize your sound, there's even a 10-band EQ for your music or your microphone. You can also further adjust the microphone using features like Mic Boost, Voice Gate, Volume Normalization, Mic Equalizer, and Ambient Noise Reduction, which may help you communicate better with your teammates. You need the USB sound card to save the changes made to the headphones using the companion software. As the USB sound card is only compatible with PS4 and PC, you won't be able to access these changes on your Xbox One.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

These headphones are wired and don't have a Bluetooth connection.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The Razer BlackShark V2 don't have any non-Bluetooth wireless connectivity options.

7.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
USB Type A
Detachable No
Length 5.8 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
96 ms

These headphones come with a non-detachable 1/8" TRRS cable. You can also use the USB adapter on PC and PS4, but it doesn't work with Xbox One. They have a bit of lag, but note that we measured latency with the USB sound card attached.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can be plugged into a PC or a PS4 with full audio and microphone compatibility.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can be plugged into an Xbox One controller with full audio and microphone compatibility. However, the USB adapter isn't compatible with Xbox One.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wired USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

These headphones don't have a dock. Instead, they have a wired USB dongle (USB sound card) that works on PC and PS4.

Compared to other headphones

The Razer BlackShark V2 are affordable gaming-oriented headphones. They offer more features than the less-premium Razer BlackShark V2 X, including a USB sound card and Razer's Synapse 3 companion software, which allows you to customize the sound profile and adjust the microphone settings. You can use these headphones with your PC, PS4, and Xbox One, however, the USB sound card and all its customization features aren't compatible with Xbox One. If you're looking for more headphones, check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best gaming headsets under $100, and the best PS4 headsets.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II are better headphones than the Razer BlackShark V2, though depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The HyperX are more comfortable, better-built, and their microphone performs better out-of-the-box. They also do a better job passively isolating noise. That being said, the Razer have a better-balanced sound profile, and they're compatible with customization software that lets you adjust the sound and the microphone performance to your liking. The Razer also have a more stable fit.

Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer BlackShark V2 and the Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset are very similar headphones, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. Both are gaming-oriented headphones that are compatible with software that lets you adjust the sound, the microphone settings, and access virtual surround sound mode. However, the Logitech have a better build quality and a more comfortable over-ear fit. Their microphone also has a better performance out-of-the-box. On the other hand, the Razer are better for neutral sound, and they have a more stable on-ear fit.

Razer BlackShark V2 X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer BlackShark V2 are better gaming headphones than the Razer BlackShark V2 X. The V2 have a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and their boom mic is detachable. Also, the V2 come with a USB Soundcard and are compatible with companion software that allows you to customize the sound profile, access custom game modes, and adjust the microphone settings. That being said, the V2 X have a better microphone performance out-of-the-box.

Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset are better headphones than the Razer BlackShark V2. The Logitech are better-built and have a more comfortable fit, which is ideal for longer gaming sessions. They also come with a more robust set of controls than the Razer, and their microphone has a better out-of-the-box performance. That being said, both headphones come with a USB Soundcard and companion software that allows you to customize the sound profile and the microphone performance to your liking.

Razer Kraken X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer BlackShark V2 are better overall headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The BlackShark V2 are more comfortable, and their boom microphone is detachable. They also have a better-balanced sound profile, and you can even adjust the sound and the microphone settings using their companion software and USB Soundcard. The Kraken X aren't compatible with Razer's software and they don't come with a USB Soundcard. However, their mic does have a better out-of-the-box performance than the BlackShark V2.

+ Show more

Razer BlackShark V2 Price

Black Razer BlackShark V2
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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