If you’re after a wireless gaming headset with plenty of juice and crystal-clear comms, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is worth a listen.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro wireless gaming headset review
Razer has never been a peripherals manufacturer that shies away from releasing multiple product types in each range with different flavours. It’s the difference between a Razer BlackWidow and Huntsman Elite gaming keyboards. When it comes to audio, there’s the Razer Barracuda Pro, Razer Leviathan V2 and Hammerhead HyperSpeed to meet different needs. And now there’s the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro to add to that list of audio contenders, which boasts all-day battery life and a killer microphone for clear comms.
How much does the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro cost in Australia?
When the headset I love most, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro X, has an RRP of $735, everything else feels cheap by comparison. At $349.95 RRP, Razer is priced to compete with the likes of the Astro A40, Sony Inzone H9 and Asus ROG Delta S gaming headsets.
When you reach beyond the $350 wireless headset price point, you’re paying for features like active noise cancelling, charging stations (and/or DACs) and replaceable batteries. Considering the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro boasts up to 70 hours of battery life and can be used while charging, you don’t really need to worry about replaceable batteries.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro design and comfort
I freaked out the first time I unboxed the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro. How am I supposed to adjust the band for my giant noggin? Unlike other headsets, the BlackShark V2 Pro uses four thin metal prongs (two per earcup) to adjust the earcups, instead of the typical sliding headband or an adjustable internal strap.
While they are incredibly comfortable and have sat happily on my ears for many multi-hour sessions, the loose fit took a few hours to get used to. Removing the headset and then putting it back on tends to mess with the previously found perfect adjustment, and there’s a distinct feeling sometimes that the adjustment is slipping during use. Still, it’s never enough to make the BlackShark V2 Pro feel like it’s going to fall off—tested across many hours-long sessions—it’s just an odd design.
Prongs aside, the fabric headband and earcups are incredibly comfortable, the latter doing a great job of handling passive noise cancelling and avoiding sound bleed even at full volume. Physical controls are mostly relegated to the left earcup. There’s an easy-to-find volume dial on the outer cup as well as mute and power buttons. The left earcup is also home to the USB-C charging port and the detachable super wideband microphone.
There’s also a single physical button on the right to switch between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, plus the different sound presets that are configured via Razer Synapse. That detachable microphone can only go in one way, but with it detached you can feasibly use the BlackShark V2 Pro as a set of everyday wireless headphones.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro sound and setup
Most of my testing Razer BlackShark V2 Pro was done on my main gaming PC. I’m used to connecting a 2.4GHz wireless dongle and Windows 11 taking care of the rest. That was mostly true with the BlackShark V2 Pro. While detected by Windows, there was a Razer Synapse notification of a firmware update.
Frustratingly, the firmware update isn’t handled within the Razer Synapse companion software, which meant I had to download a separate file. The firmware updater detected an update for the headset and 2.4GHz dongle, which it handled easily enough. Fast-forward not too many days, though, and there was another firmware update.
I had issues with that particular firmware update. While the headset updated, the dongle refused to on my main PC. After a reset, 2.4GHz connectivity was unavailable on my main PC. Switching to a backup PC for the firmware update resolved the 2.4GHz issue, but not before I had to sit through Synapse’s strange start-stop update process.
The sound is great out of the box but even better once you start flipping between presets, even if clicking on them in Razer Synapse doesn’t update them on the headset. Instead, you have to switch that right-earcup button to cycle between game, movie, music and custom. For everyday audio playback, the 50mm drivers offer a rich soundscape that feels rich and full. The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro has become my go-to headset for music playback on my PC and watching videos when I don’t want to use the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 soundbar.
In games, it’s a mixed affair. For offline or non-competitive games, it’s a great headset with big sound and I enjoyed the rich soundscape on the game preset. But for competitive shooters like Hell Let Loose, these esports-branded cans left a lot to be desired. While the sound is big, the detail and directional accuracy of sound cues get lost, meaning I felt at a distinct disadvantage at locating shots, and I missed seemingly smothered sound cues for enemy hit indicators.
Admittedly, there isn’t a sound preset for Hell Let Loose, which isn’t surprising because it’s not the biggest-name shooter out there. It was less of an issue in my Battlefield 2042 and BattleBit Remastered tests but, in fairness, those games don’t have great audio.
Still, it was strange to see that the specific esports presets are all behind stereo instead of THX Spatial Audio. They’re also restricted to Apex Legends, Call of Duty, CS:GO, Fortnite and Valorant. Those are big competitive games, for sure, but if you don’t play those or prefer virtual surround sound for isolating sound cues in online shooters, that feels like a missed opportunity to add more or perhaps even a generic set-and-forget preset for online shooters.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro settings and versatility
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this section, Razer should be commended for the BlackShark V2 Pro. The part-and-parcel compromise of most gaming headsets is the microphone. That’s not the case with the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro. While others err on the side of bare-bolts functionality, Razer has clearly spent time treating the microphone as an important part of a headset: which it is, given that’s what separates the average pair of headphones from headsets.
No matter what you’re using the BlackShark V2 Pro mic for—in-game comms, Discord chats or Zoom meetings—expect to get kudos from whoever’s on the receiving end of your voice. In the past, I’ve connected external microphones for clearer comms or important work meetings. Now I can just reach for the BlackShark V2 Pro to get great results. And that’s with default settings.
Razer Synapse impressively has a dedicated microphone equaliser with its own fixed presets or you can fully configure your own. Additionally, there are controls for volume normalisation, vocal clarity and microphone noise cancellation. You can test it and even toggle on mic monitoring to hear how it sounds as you speak.
Outside of the audio preset gripes I mentioned in the last section, that’s a big win for Razer Synapse. But it falters again on the audio playback front when you dig into the Enhancement tab. I was able to get the handy do-not-disturb feature to work, which blocks incoming calls if you just want to game. But none of my changes to the other settings on this page—bass boost, sound normalisation and voice clarity—were replicated on the headset. This was the case for weeks but another firmware update finally fixed these issues.
As for versatility, the BlackShark V2 Pro has a solid range of compatibility options. Use the low-latency 2.4GHz dongle for competitive wireless audio on PC, Mac and PlayStation. The BlackShark V2 Pro also supports Nintendo Switch, mobile and a range of other compatible devices via Bluetooth. If those devices are Bluetooth 5.2, expect lower-latency audio, too.
Is the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro worth buying?
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro isn’t a full-time replacement for my beloved SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro X gaming headset. That said, I have been consistently reaching for the Razer cans for offline gaming and music/video, and it’s a welcome go-to for online meetings where I want clear comms without having to fiddle around with a USB microphone.
How we review gaming headsets
We factor in price and connectivity when reviewing a gaming headset, then put it through the motions of testing during hours and hours of gaming and everyday use. This also lets us determine the battery life and extended comfort of a gaming headset, as well as garner feedback on how the microphone sounds when playing games with others.
Everyday testing includes video calls and music playback, and we favour headsets that are more than single-function devices. In fact, the headsets that tend to score the highest are those that marry big sound (including oomph-tastic bass) with all-day comfort. Wired and wireless gaming headsets are generally more closely compared in their respective connectivity categories, except where there’s crossover for things like comfort and sound performance.
Then we take a look at the nice-to-haves. Companion software isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker if it’s average, but it can help elevate the usefulness of a headset. We also appreciate easy-to-reach physical controls for the main functions on a headset.