The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) has big shoes to fill, given how beloved its earlier version is within the wireless gaming headset space. Armed with a new microphone, among other improvements, these headphones are certainly worthy of their predecessor’s moniker.
Having spent the last week or so with it, I can happily say these refreshed pair of cans are exceptional for gaming, esports, or otherwise. In fact, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) easily ranks among the best wireless gaming headset options on the market today, if you can accept their one flaw.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) design and comfort
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) design is so similar to the previous model that you may have already seen some Twitch streamers wearing it without realizing it. Truth be told, I find it difficult to differentiate between the two even now if I’m just looking at them. Rather than reinvent the headset, Razer has instead opted to refine it. Thankfully, all the changes the company has made to the already solid build of the BlackShark V2 Pro (2020) are definitely for the better.
The same high-quality plastic from the original BlackShark V2 Pro returns, providing the overall construction of the headset with a robust and relatively lightweight feel. Likewise, the felt pads also remain unchanged. There’s nothing wrong with them, but I personally would’ve preferred to see the excellent leatherette cushions found on the company’s other headsets, like the Barracuda Pro, make an appearance here for that extra degree of comfort.
So, what’s different? Comparing the two headsets, the most noticeable difference I can feel is the change in clamping force. The BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) feels much more secure on my head, but this does come with a degree of added pressure around my ears and at the top of my head. It’s noticeable but not uncomfortable, as the headband cushion does a great job of balancing things out.
Razer has also reinforced the headband sliders, which remain a striking design choice that I’m still unsure how I feel about. I’m a stickler for the classic style of headband adjustments, particularly those that provide measurements to help you find the perfect fit. Preferences aside, I can’t find anything objectively wrong or problematic with it.
It’s available in both black and white colorways, and I’m quite taken with the Stormtrooper-esque appearance of our review unit. However, I do think I’d probably prefer the stealthier option for when I’m out and about.
Overall, the refreshed design of the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) creates a more comfortable and sturdy headset compared to its predecessor. I happily use it for hours at a time with no issues, and my gripes are purely preferential.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) features and software
Of all the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) features, I’m most impressed with its detachable microphone. Gone is the old 16KHz cardioid from the previous model, replaced with a decidedly better 32KHz wideband mic. It’s easily one of the best I’ve heard, more accurately capturing the low and high tones of my voice, whereas most other examples sound thin by comparison. The arm itself has been strengthened too, and I haven’t noticed any sag or weak points yet, but that’s something only time can reveal.
With this refresh, Razer brings back its reliable HyperSpeed Wireless technology but has also added Bluetooth into the mix as well. You’ll want to use the former for most gaming scenarios, but the latter makes the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) easier to use as a general headphone for music or for pairing with the Steam Deck.
Unfortunately, there are zero wired connections present on the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023). Gone is the 3.5mm jack from the 2020 model, and there’s no data over USB either. So, should you lose your wireless dongle, you can’t enjoy low-latency gaming. Razer tells PCGamesN that it’s developing a replacement receiver program that will be available via its customer support service. It’s not ready for the launch of the headset, but we’ll update our review when it arrives.
New for the BlackShark V2 Pro is the addition of sound profiles curated by esports professionals. Currently, the list of supported titles includes Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Valorant. I’m curious to see if this list will grow, as there are a few obvious omissions, such as Rainbow Six: Siege, and if we’ll see other genres like MOBAs join the ranks too.
While this feature ultimately amounts to a selection of bespoke EQs, they do help certain parts of each game pop. One thing that helps me understand the impact of each profile is the labels that rest underneath each frequency, which show how variables such as ‘footsteps’ or ‘gliding’ are being emphasized. You’ll need Razer Synapse to see this and customize them if you so chose, of course, but the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) performs just fine without the software too.
Swapping between profiles can be done in Razer Synapse, but it’s much easier to cycle through them with the button on the back of the right earcup. Holding down the button for three seconds toggles between game-specific and general EQs, such as ‘music’, ‘movie’, etc. Just bear in mind, there’s no way to toggle between stereo and THX Spatial outside of Synapse if you’re someone that likes to dabble in virtual surround sound.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) performance and battery life
I’m very happy with the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) from a performance standpoint. It packs the same TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers that were present in the 2020 model, so it should come as no surprise that this headset sounds just as good.
Out of the box, they definitely place an emphasis on the low-end, making them perfect for games and music that really benefit from a bass boost. However, this isn’t to say they’re overly boomy, and more that they make for a fun and playful listening experience that doesn’t impinge on the mids or highs too much at all.
While gaming, the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) made for a reliable companion. In matches of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, I was able to easily pick up where the direction of shots and footsteps were coming from. This same reliability translates into more narrative-driven games too, like Resident Evil 4 Remake, helping me be more situationally aware of enemy placements and reveling in the satisfying boom of my magnum.
In the time I’ve had the BlackShark V2 Pro, I’ve had to charge it very infrequently, as it’s rated for a staggering 70 hours of battery life for 2.4GHz gaming. This bumps up to a whopping 90 hours over Bluetooth too. While I can’t say with too much certainty how truthful these claims are, based on my personal experience it certainly seems like it’s in that ballpark.
Should you need to juice up the headset, however, you won’t need to contend with the aged micro USB port found on the 2020 model. Yes, the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) packs a USB Type-C upgrade that can give you six hours of battery life from just 15 minutes of charging.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) price
For $200 (£200), the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) price feels more than justified. Compared to more expensive options, these cans offer great value and often punch above their weight, particularly if microphone quality is a paramount concern.
It faces stiff competition from other mid-range wireless headsets, like the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless, which you may be able to find for slightly cheaper and retain wired connectivity.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) where to buy
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro gaming headset is available in the US and UK, from retailers including Amazon, BestBuy, and directly from Razer. Here’s a roundup of the best deals on the headset right now:
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) verdict
If you’re looking for the best wireless gaming headset in the region of $200 / £200, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) is an excellent choice. While it’s perfectly suited to players of competitive FPS games thanks to its software features, there’s a great pair of cans and a fantastic microphone on offer here that any gamer would be more than happy with.
The only real negative I have to say about the BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) is the lack of wired connectivity. I truly hope that when a V3 rolls around, Razer has the wisdom to include data over USB.
- Comfortable and engaging listening experience
- Class-leading microphone
- Amazing battery life
- No wired connections
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review
A magnificent microphone and solid sound quality make the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro an excellent wireless gaming headset, but the omission of wired connectivity stops it from being more or less perfect.