Razer Blackshark review
Razer launched the original Blackshark as a tie-in with first person shooter Battlefield 3, but customer reaction was so positive that the peripheral maker decided to make a second version in its own colours. This black and lime green headset is the result.
The metal construction and leather stitching around the headband give the Razer Blackshark a premium feel, but we’re not too happy with the plastic ear cups, as they have a glossy finish that picks up fingerprints quickly.
However, it’s extremely comfortable to wear, with a snug fit that doesn’t put too much pressure on your head or ears. The leather padding completely covers your ears, creating a decent amount of sound isolation so that less ambient noise is heard when you’re wearing the headphones. The cups can get quite warm after extended gaming sessions, though.
Despite its minimal appearance, the Blackshark is very adjustable. You can adjust the headband by loosening two thumbscrews, for example. The ear cups swivel left and right and up and down, and the boom microphone, which has two pivot points, is completely removable. Conveniently, a cap’s provided in the box to cover the hole it leaves in the left ear cup.
Its 1.3m long cable ends in a single 3.5mm audio jack that’s compatible with combined audio ports, but Razer has included an extension that provides separate headphone and microphone jacks, which means you can use it’s also compatible with PCs that have separate mic and headphone jacks. Sadly, there’s no in-line remote, so you’ll have to control volume using your computer, and the only way to mute the microphone is to remove it.
With 40mm speaker drivers, the Blackshark managed to produce reasonable, if not outstanding, stereo sound. As we’ve come to expect from many gaming headsets it favours the low end, producing bass that overpowers the high-end, making it less suited to music but fairly adept for action films and first person shooters. There was no high end distortion at anything below full volume, and it didn’t leak sound to annoy anyone else in the room.
For a gaming headset, the Blackshark is well equipped and makes a great first impression. Unfortunately, it’s rather pricey. For only a little more, you could buy a wireless, noise-cancelling or surround sound headsets from other manufacturers. Unless you’re absolutely sold on the design, we’d recommend the Sennheiser PC323D headset instead. It’s better value and still sounds great.
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