Finding the perfect gaming headset for your needs is no easy thing. It's not just about choosing the platform you intend to game on. Do you want to go wired or wireless? Do you need a streamer-quality microphone or are you just going to talk to friends? Do you want to listen to music or immersive game sound?
Well, assuming the answer to the first question is 'wireless' then the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro on review here can take care of all your needs, no problems. It's not the cheapest headset out there, but if you're after a one-size-fits-all solution for pretty much any setup then this is a strong option.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro: Price & Availability
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is available right now. It'll cost you £199 in the UK, $199 in the USA, and around AU$299 in Australia. That's far from a budget gaming headset, and it's a lot more than the older 2020 release version.
So let's get to the bigger question: is the 2023 release worth it? Compared to the 2020 edition there's not a massive amount of difference: the audio quality is much the same, but it brings a longer-lasting battery life, a vastly improved microphone that sounds so much clearer, and Bluetooth support.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review: Design & Setup
While not covered in RGB lighting like some other headsets (we're looking at you Asus ROG Delta S) this is a good-looking set of cans. Available in black or white, it sports a classic helicopter pilot-like design syle (for my shame I only tested the headset on the ground) and a fairly minimalist look. In all honesty this is one of the rare gaming headsets I'd actually be ok being spotted wearing in public.
If, like me, you spend too long playing games, you'll be especially pleased to know that the BlackShark V2 Pro is uber-comfortable. The ultra-soft FlowKnit Memory Foam Ear Cushions are a dream. After hours spent shouting at my friends, I often can get a little bit animated and sweaty when wearing a headset, but have had no such trouble here.
I was a bit worried when I heard that the headband isn't adjustable but the fit is dictated by the adjustable earcups instead. I felt like my ears could breathe and the cushioned headband is secure yet gentle enough to not feel like I'd stuck my head in a vice. At 320 grams it's surprisingly lightweight, so no burden at all on my neck.
Connectivity-wise my biggest gripe is that this is a wireless-only headset. That'll need to be a conscious choice if you're buying this option, as I think it's nice to have a wired connection to fall back on in an emergency.
However, with 70 hours of battery, you're unlikely to struggle – that's a lot of life for a single charge. The BlackShark V2 Pro has a choice of Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless connectivity (interchangeable via holding the profiles button) and includes a USB-A dongle that you can plug into your console/PC or whatever which acts as a receiver. It's quick and easy, but be careful not to lose it.
In terms of the interface, things are kept nice and simple. On the outside of the left earcup is a volume knob (placed on its own to prevent mishaps), as well as a power switch, mute toggle, and USB-C charging port. On the right earcup is just one input: the magic profile switching button.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review: Features & Performance
With 50mm drivers and 7.1 channel surround via THX spatial audio, the answer to the fundamental question "does it sound good?" is a resounding "yes!". You can hear where sounds originate from. For example, while walking through a carnival during one mission in Spider-Man 2, it genuinely took my breath away – I could hear a wealth of background conversation, the fun of fair, yet also focus on the main story dialogue at the same time. If you haven't got one of the best surround sound systems you don't need to worry with this headset.
If for some reason you aren't happy with the audio performance then the Razer Synapse app offers an equaliser (EQ) to find your own perfect setup, as well as presets for a host of leading games.
Those who don't feel comfortable meddling with EQ settings will be pleased to know that preset profiles can be cycled with the tap of a button (on the right earcup). You can customise these on Razer Synapse and program them onto the headset, or simply switch between the default movie, music and game profiles. The difference even in these default setups is noticeable. You can even double-tap the profile switching button and choose between a variety of 'Pro' presets for big-name shooters like Call of Duty and Valorant.
Playing Overwatch 2 and chatting to friends who I've played games with for years, I was told that I "sounded like I was in HD" – and this is a testament to the broadcast-quality Razer HyperClear Super Wideband Mic on the headset. It's detachable too, which is ideal if you really don't want anything to come between you and complete immersion.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro: Verdict
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro headset is worth every penny thanks to epic performance. Yes, it's pricier than its 2020 predecessor, but it brings a longer-lasting battery (a frankly ridiculous 70 hours), improved microphone, and Bluetooth support.
Sure, it loses the wired connection option in the process, which I do kind of wish was still there to fall back on, but you could buy the previous-gen model for less cash if that's your biggest want from the feature set.
There are stacks of other positives to justify the BlackShare V2 Pro's price too: the comfortable fit is probably the biggest strength of this headset (I honestly reckon I could fall asleep with it on); sound performance gives a whole lot to love, including super spatial audio; while the interface is super uncluttered and simple to use.
If you're looking for a gaming headset at a similar price, you'd be remiss not to consider the Asus ROG Delta S, especially if you're a PC gamer. Those watching their wallet should think about the Trust Thian which sounds great.
Those just looking for the best at any price however should think about the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro. It's not cheap, but with its dual battery system, you can keep on playing and playing.