Razer Blackshark V2 X – After 6 Months, THIS happened…
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Something we want to do more of is long-term coverage, not just for smartphones, but for a wider range of products. I see so many comments on our Razer reviews talking about long-term quality concerns, which is totally legitimate. Like we have these parts for 1 to 2 weeks before launch, and to be honest that is not enough time to see how the product has fared over time. And so that is exactly what we are doing today with the $59 Blackshark V2 X headset. This has been my go-to wired headset for gaming on a daily basis for the past 6 months.
I still feel like my original comment from the review applies here: “I’m actually a lot more excited about the V2 X, because it’s only $59. I think this is going to be the most popular $59 headset on the market”. But as expected it hasn’t been without issues, right? Many other users have added to the whole feedback loop, and today I want to answer one simple question: Whether or not this headset is still worth it at the $59 price point after 6 months of daily use.
If you haven’t seen the original review, check it out over here, but let’s get into the issues shall we? My main issue with the build quality is the variance in size extension. On my budget V2 X it’s been perfectly fine since Day 1, so nice resistance, it stays in position and it’s not going anywhere, but on the more expensive V2 and even the V2 Pro Wireless some have arrived really loose where the weight of the ear cup would slide down on the size extensions without me even touching it. This shows that there is a significant tolerance difference between each headset and they have gone through 6 pairs, all of which had some variation of nice density versus really loose. Therefore, it is a risk factor for people who are buying the V2 model headset, because I have no idea what type of copy you will get.
The next big issue I have encountered is with the four-pole headset jack that isn’t properly secured into that splitter cable. This means it can easily be disconnected with a slight pull or have unbalanced signal if the plug pulls out slightly. I have read so many reviews, and also experienced these issues myself, where you get unbalanced left and right representation if this four-pole jack gets slightly pulled out. The connection is very loose so it’s very easy to dislodge, and you will obviously think that there is something faulty with the headset because the left and right are not even. This also extends into the microphone quality where even if the four-pole jack is connected properly into the splitter cable, the rotation of that connection will impact the microphone quality and the left and right balance too. Basically, this splitter cable is a big mistake from Razer because many will just think that the headset is faulty and it will result in many negative reviews and RMAs. I totally agree with the customers here, this splitter extension is terrible.
As for all other cables on the headset, I have had no issues whatsoever. The exposed green cable on the top I thought might give me problems over time, but it always bends in the right way. I’m also happy with how little cable noise you hear when the cable is brushing against shirt or something, it’s quiet and muted.
And it next up is the microphone arm, and unfortunately it has lost a lot of its memory, so it no longer stays in the proper position as it used to before. This will continue to get worse over time and might eventually just get too loose to stay in proper position near your mouth. This makes me appreciate removal microphones, since you might replace it later on, but also if you remove it you are not using that bendy thing on a daily basis. I also appreciate the solid boom arms from like Sennheiser headsets that are staying strong and will stay there for life.
Next up I either did not notice this at the time of the review or maybe the ear cup fit has gotten slightly loose, because they rotate way too easily inside the housing. The ear cushions for example can simply change position when you are putting the headset on or off. This might create this non-symmetrical feel between left and right. I noticed it because the seams were not aligned and since the ear cups are oval – not round – this change and rotation will affect how they seal in the sound and how they feel on your head in terms of comfort. It is an easy solution because you can simply see where the seam is and rotate it accordingly. Just make sure they are both facing down, but it’s still something that I have to keep in mind. I am surprised with how well this fake leather has held up throughout both the ear cups and the headband, knowing that my other headphones have started to flake with this material.
Both the headband and the ear cups are in perfect condition since Day 1, but I will say that the interior material that makes contact with your skin is a bit harsh, especially if you like to wear your headset one side at a time like me and constantly go from full headset to trying to hear what is happening in your external environment. That motion where the ear cups rubs against your head is very harsh. I don’t appreciate that part of the comfort over time simply because my other headphones that have much better padding are just a lot more comfortable. That is really the only downside with comfort, because everything else about it like the claiming force and the weight are fantastic.
And the last bit that has changed since the original review is the volume dial. First of all, I never got used to it being on the left side, since that is my keyboard hand and removing that to change the volume leaves me vulnerable in games since I’m not strafing side to side, like with all other gaming headsets where the volume connection/dial is on the right side. But the main thing here is that the volume wheel for the first 50% has gotten slightly loose, which is weird because I never used that volume range anyway, while the other 50% as smooth and resistant and smooth as Day 1.
As for my outlook on audio performance, it’s kind of funny to read some Amazon reviews that express their disappointment in the audio quality. This is a $59 headset, so let’s lower our expectations okay. The bass here is slightly boomy, but I appreciate that there is no harshness on the high-end, especially if you max out the volume. I still stand by what I said, it is satisfactory for the $59 price point. It’s not going to compete in terms of detail and resolution to something more premium, like a proper Philips Fidelio X3 headphone for example, but I have been using it for 6 months and in games I can pinpoint where everything is happening and you can drive this easily with both the motherboard and a headphone amplifier without issues.
Also, a couple of people who have reviewed this headset have mentioned that the volume output on consoles is a bit low to their liking. I don’t own a console, so I can’t really comment on that, but it is something you should take note of if you are planning to use this with a gaming controller or plugging it directly into a console.
The microphone quality on this pair is fantastic for the $59 price point. This is the headset I have been using for all my video calls, because I sound great and I can hear everyone just fine. Two things to keep in mind is that there is no built-in sidetone, unless you enable it through software or through your amplifier, so if you don’t like that muted sound when you speak that is something to keep in mind. Also, as mentioned earlier, the mic boom arm has lost a lot of that stiffness or firmness, so it’s a lot more flexible in a bad good way versus Day 1.
The takeaway from this long-term recap for the V2 X is that it has held up pretty well. Perhaps a 6 months window is too short of a timeframe to see proper degradation when it comes to audio products, but I have been using this literally on a daily basis for the past 6 months so I thought this would be a good time to give you a recap. The two main disappointments are the splitter cable that will cause confusion, frustration, and definitely RMAs when people are not realizing that maybe the splitter cable is causing the unbalancing and the microphone issues.
Secondly, those sides extensions really need to be fixed so there is consistency across each V2 pair, because in all six pairs there were all slightly different. I just got lucky with the cheapest pair having the best density to the extensions and staying in place as they should. And so to come back to that original question, whether or not this thing is still worth it for the $59 price point? And I would say yes, even though you might encounter slight variation in the size extensions, that is somewhat okay given that it is a budget entry. Now it is not okay when you are spending double the amount on the V2 Pro Wireless and you are experiencing all the same build quality concerns, but I would say in that $50 budget territory some of the compromises that we see with this pair are okay. Just keep in mind that splitter cable, I hope you get a good one where everything just like snaps into place and it’s not a very loose connection, but otherwise I would say the Blackshark V2 X still gets my recommendation. All right. I hope you enjoyed this a slightly longer recap, share your usage history of Razer or any other gaming products over time and how they have held up in your daily usage.