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Hands on with the THX-powered Razer BlackShark V2 gaming headset

Razer on Thursday announced the next version of its venerable BlackShark gaming headset, the BlackShark V2, leveraging a partnership with THX to provide spatial-audio profiles for gaming using positional sound.

The $100 wired headset can be used as a “standalone” wired headset via its 3.5mm jack. But the V2 also ships with a USB soundcard that the headset can plug into, which adds additional filtering capabilities to the headset’s built-in mic. A second, $60 budget option, the Razer BlackShark V2 X, does away with the sound card but provides a similar driver and the same mic as the more expensive version.

Both headsets ship today, though Razer won’t be able to provide the THX spatial-audio profiles until August 6, the company said. On that day, you’ll be able to download specific profiles for eighteen games, such as Valorant, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and more. 

As you might expect, controls for most of the headset’s functions can be adjusted using the Razer Synapse utility software. A new version of Synapse will add the THX gaming profiles, Razer said.

For competing devices, check out our roundup of the best gaming headsets.

razer blackshark v2 hands on shot Mark Hachman / IDG

Razer’s BlackShark V2, seen with its USB sound card detached

Hands on with the Razer BlackShark V2

Razer provided a review sample of both headsets to PCWorld. While we’re not ready to provide a full review, we’ve tried it out enough to provide our early impressions. (Keep in mind that while the BlackShark V2’s 3.5mm jack allows it to be used with phones, Xbox controllers, and more, the pluggable USB soundcard is designed for Windows PCs only.)

Here are the BlackShark V2’s basic specs:

  • Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
  • Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 100dBSPL/mW,1KHz
  • Drivers: Customized Dynamic 50mm Driver
  • Inner ear cup diameter: 65 x 40 mm / 2.56in x 1.57 in
  • Connection type: 3.5mm with USB sound card
  • Mic frequency response: 100Hz-10KHz
  • Mic Signal-to-noise ratio: 60dB (unidirectional)
  • Cable length: 8m / 5.91 feet
  • Weight: 262g / 0.6 pounds

My first thoughts when the cans hit my ears were: soft…and light

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