During this console generation, we've seen a range of companies produce and market expensive premium headsets. Turtle Beach, Razer, and Astro turn out headsets one after another, often full of advanced features and tech and most definitely rather hefty price tags. The latest headset in this category is the Razer Thresher Ultimate that we've tested for a couple of weeks.
First of all, it should be noted that this reviewer wears headphones almost all the time when playing, whether alone or with friends. This means we spend a lot of time with a headset clamped onto the old noggin and we, therefore, value comfort almost as much as the audio quality. The drawback of gaming headsets is that they often come with lots of unnecessary tech that makes them heavier than they need to be and thus uncomfortable to wear over extended periods, especially the wireless ones. Thankfully, Razer Thresher Ultimate is extremely comfortable to wear.
The headset is made with plastic, metal, and artificial leather, and even if they are somewhat heavy they are designed in a manner that distributes the weight evenly instead of focusing all the pressure on top of the head. It's top class if we're purely judging it on comfort. They also have a premium feel (something that you should expect from something in this price bracket) and the cups can be turned 90 degrees when it rests on your neck or if placed on a table. The headset also comes with a stand where it sits neatly together with the base station.
On the subject of the base station, it should be noted that Razer Thresher Ultimate is a wireless headset that connects to PlayStation 4 via USB and optical cable (there's also a version for Xbox One) which means that if you own a PlayStation 4 Slim you're only left with the USB option. The headset can also be used with your PC by switching modes on the base station. Razer promises 16 hours of battery life and during our time with it this has proved an accurate assessment. In order to charge the headset you use the included USB cable. We'd love to have seen it magnetically charge the headset, as seen in rival headsets in the same price range, and the stand itself could have been given more of a quality look than the plastic exterior it sports.
What we really appreciate with Razer Thresher Ultimate is how easy the headset is to use. If you check out headsets in the same bracket, such as Turtle Beach 800X, they come with lots of features, so many features that it takes a while to set them up. Sure there are benefits to being able to pick various sound profiles depending on your taste and the games you play, but to get great functionality straight out of the box is something we appreciate. The only inputs on Thresher Ultimate are the wheels for sound volume and mic volume, and they are easy to reach and use. In order to mute the mic you only have to press the volume button, although it took a little while for us to nail this action and not raise or lower the volume.
You activate the surround sound by pressing a dedicated button on the base station. It doesn't matter how much Razer wants it to sound like proper surround sound, it's not the same thing. There is the sense that the surround mode drowns the mid-range in Destiny 2 and Battlefield 1, and in The Evil Within 2 the sound just turns messy. Thankfully the stereo sound is excellent. Thresher Ultimate sports 50 mm drivers which offer a rich and well-balanced soundscape with crispness and gorgeous bass, and although given the price there are better value stereo headphones, at least these are wireless.
Apart from the truly excellent stereo sound the best thing about Thresher Ultimate is the microphone. It extends from the left cup and feels sturdy and easy to manipulate. On its tip there is an LED light that shines red so you know if the microphone is live or not. The microphone quality turned out to be really great and the improvement was noted by those in our clan. Something we do miss is mic monitoring, so you can hear yourself, something we normally prefer.
With its extreme comfort, great sound, and long-lasting batteries it's easy to recommend Razer Thresher Ultimate, even if the price tag is rather hefty. The sound quality on the mic is appreciated by those we play with, and the stand makes it easy to stash it away neatly. If you don't care much about surround sound and you're looking for a reliable headset for PS4 or Xbox One (and PC for that matter), Thresher Ultimate is a great option.