“An audiophile and sound engineer reviews a headset? That must mean that it’s going to be all technical mumbo-jumbo and not pertain to me.” THAT’S A LIE! I will spare you all the technical things about consumer vs professional use and tell you exactly what you want to know: “Can I justify a couple hundred dollars on a wireless pair of headphones?”. The answer? Well, let’s read on before you come to that conclusion.
Razer is back on the market with a premium headset at a premium price point. They have two models: an Xbox One/Windows and a PS4 model. Each headset features:
- 7.1 Surround Sound with Dolby® Headphone
- 2.4 GHz true wireless audio
- Up to 16 hours on a single charge
- Pure digital audio through Optical/Fiber connection
- Game and Voice chat control on headset
- Lightweight, Leatherette Ear Cushions
- Retractable Boom mic
- On-Headset controls for microphone level and incoming.
The only physical difference between the two is the highlight color. On the XB1/Win headset, they highlight the black structure with bright green, while the PS4 is highlighted with bright blue.
The headphones feature 50mm drivers with a frequency response of 12-28,000 Hz. Now, while that sounds cool (pun 100% intended) the chances of you hearing all of that spectrum, are slim to none. As you should know, human hearing is generally 20 - 20,000 Hz. What Razer is saying here is that their speakers have a very fast range of frequencies that will make sure to reproduce sound even better, because the drivers can get higher and lower than your ears.
The wireless range is stated at 40 ft. I have pushed this to the opposite side of my house, which is about 70-75 ft away. This tested range is with nothing in the way, just the openness of my basement. When I took the headset upstairs my friends told me they could still hear me over 40’ with floors and walls in the way. Now, are you going to be consistently use your headset that far away? I would hope not, but it’s very nice that the distance is there so you can go grab a drink and still talk to your buddies while waiting in the lobby for the next match.
The headset weighs under a pound. I have worn this headset for over 5 hours straight and didn’t even feel that they were on my head. The strap suspension and weight distribution are the best I have ever felt. This was honestly my number one complaint about the Astro A40’s. They felt heavy on your head and I didn’t feel that I could wear them for more than an hour or so at a time. I believe you could wear this all day and you would feel no strain from the weight.
The leatherette ear cups feel great. There’s no pressure pushing on your head, while still providing ample outside noise reduction. They are not ambient noise proof, but it definitely does take outside noise down a few dB while you have your own audio going through them.
Now, for the microphone. This has ALWAYS been an issue with me. I have owned numerous Razer headsets over the years and the mics have ALWAYS let me down. They’ve always been quiet, had static noise, or sounded “digital”. I was nervous coming into this review that this headset sounded phenomenal in the headphones, but the moment I talked my friends were going to tell me I sounded bad. I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT IS NOT THE CASE! This microphone sounds clean, loud, and professional. Professional, there’s a weird word to use in a gamer’s headset review. This is a headset that I am proud to use as a streamer. There has always been this stipulation that if you stream, you have to have a good mic. And that’s true. You see lots of streamers, myself included, who use a mixer and a recording microphone for streaming, because it gives the best possible audio. While that is still 100% true, I have zero issues using this for my streams on MMORPG/Gamespace.
I know what you’re thinking now, “But Kasey, you talk about how good it sounds and I want to hear how it sounds!”. I thought of that. Below this tiny paragraph is me talking on the headset, so you can hear the microphone.
Let’s talk about connectivity. Razer gives us an “audio hub” that does all the processing and everything for us.
- Make sure the switch on the back of the hub is set to PC.
- Connect the USB cable from the audio hub to your computer.
- Connect the other USB cable from the audio hub to your headset to charge.
- Go into your settings and set the headset to default.
- Make sure the switch on the back of the hub is set to XBOX.
- Connect the USB cable from the audio hub to the XBOX.
- Connect the optical cable from the audio hub to the XBOX.
- Go into your settings and set the audio options.
The audio hub also has the button that enables Dolby® surround sound. This is a virtualized surround sound that does sound exactly as it should. I tested it with PLAYER UNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and it made sure I didn’t get ganked a few times. The audio hub also comes with a headset stands that goes overtop of it. Makes it very nice to store vertically on your desk.
All in all, this is easily the best headset that Razer has ever put out, hands down. Between the superior sound quality of the headphones as well as the microphone, it is easy to see why Razer put this out at a premium price point. So, back to that original question “Can I justify a couple hundred dollars on a wireless pair of headphones?” Do you think you could?