Razer BlackShark Gaming Headset Review
A Closer Look At The Razer BlackShark
The packaging of the BlackShark breaks Razer’s traditional black and green color scheme and instead features the loading screen for the Battlefield 3 map, Kharg Island.
The back of the box show cases all the main features of this headset. It also bares the EA and DICE logo at the bottom to let you know it’s official.
It is clear that Razer put a lot of effort into protecting the headset from shipping damage. The headset casing is extremely sturdy. It looks nice, too. Definitely packaging worthy of a collector’s edition product.
Holy moly, with a box like this, one wouldn’t be surprised to see a diamond ring in here. But instead we find a BlackShark, which is just as good.
In terms of accessories, we get a Battlefield 3 exclusive dogtag code pamphlet, an extension cable, the Razer Gamer Certificate, the user’s manual, a Razer sticker, and a cap for the microphone socket.
To keep true to the Battlefield 3 theme, the Razer BlackShark uses deep blue as its dominant color with lines of bright orange added to show contrast. The glossy earcups give off nice highlights, and the looks very balanced overall. Of course, like all products finished with a glossy finish, expect a constant battle with dust, fingerprints, and smudges.
The headband of the headset bares the Battlefield 3 logo. The outside is covered with a tough leather material and looks like it’s stitched on instead of glued. It’s extremely well made and Razer’s attention to detail with this product is top notch.
The earcup is oval in shape and has very nice, soft leather ear pads. Razer claims that the interior of the earpads is made of memory foam, which is probably true since it’s really nice and plush. The inside of the earcups are lined with a piece of porous orange fabric.
Everything about this headset screams quality. With the exception of the earcups, everything is metal. Although composed of plastic, the earcups feel very strong. Even the earcup height adjustment slide is non-conventional: there’s a knob on either side of the headset that tightens and loosens the arm, giving the user total control of the height while keeping it completely secure when tightened.
The microphone arm is also metal. The microphone is moveable in three areas; the part that attaches to the headset (up/down), the center of the microphone arm (side-to-side), and the microphone head itself (side-to-side). As you can see here, the thick wires are secured to the microphone arm to keep it stationary. The head of the microphone is covered with a removable foam windscreen.
Here we have a shot of the microphone detached. The microphone is not attached magnetically, and instead clips in. The little metal cup thingy at the bottom of the picture is the cover for the microphone socket on the earcup.
This is what the headset looks like with the microphone detached and the cover installed. Unfortunately, it does look a bit funky without the microphone as one side has a little metal piece popping out and the other side doesn’t. Razer should’ve probably put a decorative metal cover on the other side as well to promote better symmetry when the microphone is removed.
The headset itself uses 3.5mm jacks so it will be compatible with any device that uses a 3.5mm jack such as your PC or your iPod. All 3.5mm connectors are gold plated, which helps promote better corrosion resistance.
What’s interesting about the 3.5mm jacks is that the 3.5mm jack attached to the headset is actually a headphone/microphone combo jack. This is great for those who want to take the BlackShark on the go as you’ll no longer have to sling around a massively long cable and there won’t be an extra 3.5mm microphone jack dangling around when the headset is plugged into a music player. That said, this may be problematic for gamers, since if you lose the extension cable that splits the signal, you’ll also effectively lose the ability to use the attached microphone.