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Razer Blackshark V2 Hyperspeed

Things are moving fast at Razer - maybe a little too fast.

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Razer Blackshark V2 hyperspeed

Razer has updated its originally inexpensive series of headphones, Blackshark, which now comes in four different versions. We have the wireless esports variant, which has the nice surname Hyperspeed, which indicates that this is a wireless version that uses radio waves - as does the Pro version. The differences are that the Pro has a fabric surface on the ear cushions and a detachable microphone that weighs a little more and apparently cannot be used wired at all. Then there is also a USB and an X version of this headset, but from my tests, it's the Hyperspeed version that may be the best of the lot.

But 280 grams (or "ultra-lightweight", as Razer calls it) and both Bluetooth, USB and radio waves via a dongle are what's on offer here. However, I would like to see Razer, like some of its competitors, create a system where there is one dongle that can handle everything, so you don't have to have three dongles for three devices, but can connect everything to the same one. Yes, it takes some work, but it should be possible. The ear cushions are a bit of a funny hybrid - it is memory foam with mesh fabric on the inside and leatherette on the outside, likely because it's simply easier to keep clean. Combined with the relatively light weight, they are quite comfortable to wear for hours on end.

In only one of the four variants, the microphone is fixed in the headset and cannot be removed. The old Blackshark had a nice mount with a mini jack and it worked flawlessly. I don't quite understand the logic behind switching to a fixed microphone that cannot be bent the last few centimetres towards the ear cup. I realise that it allows for better sound, and granted: It's better than the old Blackshark, which was otherwise very sensible, but it also removes some flexibility that I actually miss. That said, their "HyperClear Super WideBand Mic" is quite good, no sharp T or S sounds, nor problems with P. It's a classic cardioid microphone, but the way it picks up sound has been tweaked. The most important thing for me, however, is distortion and whether the voice sounds compressed. It doesn't, and this is already a big gold star. What you typically hear is a diluted, compressed version of the voice, which makes speech recognition difficult and the voice unrecognisable - there has clearly been work done to improve this. The consequence is that you can't remove the microphone, but it must be possible to have both.

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Razer Blackshark V2 hyperspeed

The price is...surprising. I was expecting quite a pretty penny, but it's actually "only" £130, approximately £20 more than the standard Blackshark - and that's very reasonable. The units are in titanium, 50mm, but the rest of the DAC and amplifier module are nowhere to be seen. On the surround side, we have THX Spatial, which is still one of the better ones, but not as good as bineural systems, which unfortunately require a complicated integration, manually, in each individual game.

Razer Blackshark V2 hyperspeed

Sound is controlled from a small knob on the side. It's lightweight, with minimal to obvious tactile feedback. The buttons are also fine. It's important to note that you can't have both 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth on at the same time; you have to manually switch between them via a small button - I think that's actually a better way to do it than having two things on at the same time. The battery is rated at 70 hours, which is about 10 hours a day for a week, which is more than enough.

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The sound is quite dynamic, hard-hitting, and with a punch in the midrange in particular. Like so many other wireless solutions, it lacks the deepest bass and the final resolution that a good pair of wired headphones designed according to the open-chamber principle can provide, but for a wireless headset, it's really reasonable. More importantly, the sound doesn't have that slightly squashed feel that many wireless headsets unfortunately have, and the speech reproduction, although slightly trebled, is quite good. There is no noise cancellation other than the passive one on the ear cushions, but it works surprisingly well and suppresses the worst of the constant hum, such as computer fans.

Aside from the fact that I really wish the microphone was detachable, this has definitely become my new go-to wireless headset when interacting with others.

Razer Blackshark V2 hyperspeed
09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
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