Razer Blackshark V2

Review: Razer BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console

The next frontier for gaming peripheral companies seems to be the high-performance console audio market.

Razer imagines that the market is best served building upon its commitment to the esports player as an end user, and they are addressing them with a new model of the BlackSharkV2 Pro with a couple of new to 2024 BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console models for the Xbox and PlayStation 5

I’ve gone a week with the special BestBuy exclusive white headset for PS5, and I have some thoughts.

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 Keeping up with comfort

Where The BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console excels is in comfort.

Razer wants this to be the headset you choose for a long day at a LAN or on stream, so they’ve kept it more or less the same as the BlackSharks of the past with the same safety-style earmuff build associated with the line.

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Regarding build and weight, these are the same 320-gram plastic-with-metal-hinges construction we’ve learned with 2023’s BlackSharkV2 Pro.

The BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console continues Razer’s commitment to better build quality on headsets with a mixed plastic and metal headband arm and slider system.

FlowKnit memory foam returns on the ear cups and headband, which is super soft, limits headset movement, and keeps things very excellent compared to leatherette.

The Blackshark V2 Sounds like Victory

Audio is another place where the BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console changes minimally but refines.

Once again, it utilizes the company’s TriForce titanium 50mm drivers, standard across the Razer headset line. You are getting a high-quality audio range that sorts out and separates high, low and mid frequencies and tunes them separately for improved clarity.

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The headset has four “Standard EQs” comprising of “Game,” “Music,” “Movie,” and “Custom.”

Like with the BlackSharkV2 Pro for PC, this headset offers clarity in the mids and the highs with more than enough warm and fuzzy bass. with “Game” and “Music” offering a more tin-like mid clarity, while “Movie” offers more depth to keep you immersed in whatever you are watching or listening to in between gaming sessions.

Once again, this headset tows Razer’s iconic mission statement: ‘For Gamers. By Gamers.” That shows how this headset is engineered for gaming.

Razer worked with a collection of pros in the top three console FPS esports titles, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, and Fortnite, to deliver three “Esports” EQs focused on clear and all-encompassing audio in each title and whatever game you find yourself loading into.

The first thing you’ll notice about these profiles is that they are a lot more cold and sparse in terms of timbre. After all, who among us wants a deep explosion to down our footsteps close by when a team deathmatch is on the line?

Razer also knows gamers can be opinionated and prone to liking things precisely how they like them.  So, for those who think they can do a better job or want to make a change here and there in games, the three “Esports” profiles function as additional “Custom” profiles that can be saved and hot-swapped with a press of the SmartSwitch button on the right ear cup.

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Quality of Life is M.I.A

This leads me to my first critique of BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console: using this headset on PS5 makes it feel like you are missing out on audio quality for a few reasons.

During a recent press briefing on this new headset, a representative of Razer offered that due to Sony’s first-party technical specifications, the BlackSharkV2 Pro loses out on a few features on the PS5 side. The first is a lack of access to the Razer Audio app directly on the console. Those who want to change edit equalizer settings or toggle certain settings like auto-switching from standard equalizers to “Game Mode” will have to do it by pairing the headset to an Apple or Android device.

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PS5 players also lose the function of the multifunction audio dial on the left ear cup that allows for mixing chat and gaming volume on the Xbox and PC or is used for turning the volume up and down on mobile, tablet or Nintendo Switch.

The BlackSharkV2 Pro also doesn’t play nicely with the PS5 built-in 3D audio for headphones setting, meaning you will likely need to do some tweaking on a phone if you want to replicate this much-loved setting.

These glaring Quality of Life omissions feel out of place on a premium PS5-intended headset when held up to the Razer Kaira Pro for PlayStation, which was a licensed PlayStation product that leaned hard into its haptic feedback ear cups — which never really ended up catching on — but was a stellar PS5 headset option thanks to the convenient volume dial, on built-in mic that became a background noise-cancelling mic when players were using the included removable boom mic.

When you consider the BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console’s PS5 model for $270 next to the Razer Kaira Pro for PlayStation at $250, it’s hard to justify the added cost if this is strictly a headset for PS5.

Multiuse master

While the PS5 experience may leave some things to be desired, there is no denying that the multidevice use experience is flawless.

Razer combines their HyperSpeed 2.4 Ghz dongle with Bluetooth. I was stressed that the idea was to create a system that travels with you from competition to work to just at-home play and leisure. And that’s why Razer decided to use a universal Type C connection.

While keeping the Type-C connection in the console seems best, you can move it to a phone, tablet, PC and even Nintendo Switch. The ability to go straight from a walkthrough on your phone into gaming on PS5 is a must now. And this headset delivers that.

Calls on the phone will also mute game volume as long as you have the setting turned on.

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Talk Clearly to me

Razer also brings back their removable HyperClear 32kHz super wideband cardioid mic, which offers a much warmer and more pronounced recording audio than comparable console headsets. However, one drawback to this mic remains. Such a wide field of audio reach and frequency range means this mic absorbs much ambient noise.

Razer corrects this by adding a mic soc on top of internal condensing, but in places where there’s a lot of noise in front of the mic and just off to your sides, you will pick up lots of ambient noise.

Bringing the Razer Kaira Pro for PlayStation back for a moment, I would have liked to see an onboard mic for noise cancelling return. The BlackShark build includes two passive vents, but with no active noise cancelling, you are relying on volume paired with the natural abilities of an ear muff design.

Verdict

My time with the Razer BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console on PS5 has me convinced that this is, in fact, a premium console headset that will be able to handle the gaming and lifestyle load you throw at it. I still wish there was a little more to the Quality of Life experience here because this is a pricey entry ticket. It’s one that’s hard to recommend when there are cheaper headsets — even Razer ones — that seemingly have a little bit of an advantage. But this is an excellent choice if you want something to follow you all day.Recommended

[Razer provided a pre-launch final retail unit for this review].

Razer Blackshark V2
Recommended
Summary
The Razer BlackSharkV2 Pro For Console brings Razer's premium audio experience to consoles. However, the PS5 experience has a few Quality of Life issues that really hold it back. Still, this is a top-level headset that has some serious staying power
Pros
Super comfy
Great for multiplatform use
Sound is pretty great with lots of ability to customize
Cons
PS5 experience leaves things to be desired
While the Superwideband mic is great for picking up you, it picks up a lot around you as well.