Razer's BlackShark V2 Pro, DeathAdder V2 Pro, BlackWidow V3 Pro go wireless
We go hands- and ears-on with Razer's disconnected enthusiast gaming headset, mouse and keyboard.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
brings three of its flagship
up to wireless speed with the new BlackShark V2 Pro THX-surround headset, DeathAdder V2 Pro mouse and BlackWidow V3 Pro keyboard. They all incorporate Razer's HyperSpeed Wireless, the company's branded version of its 2.4GHz connection plus its own special sauce to reduce latency. All three are available now.
Under the heading of "yes, please," Razer also launched an updated version of its wireless USB dongle, the HyperSpeed Multidevice Dongle, which allows you to connect multiple devices to a single receiver. It's only for the mouse and keyboard at launch (which will require firmware updates as well) -- because of the bandwidth requirements of the headset it's not feasible yet -- but Razer's looking into making it compatible with older accessories as well.
The wireless BlackShark V2 Pro is rapidly becoming my favorite headset. It will rank even higher when Razer fixes the sidetone problems I had, which include it not working at all or not being able to turn it off. (Without being able to hear myself talk, I SPEAK IN ALL CAPS.)
It's lightweight at 11.3 ounces (320 grams) -- not as light as some others I've worn, like the HyperX Cloud Stinger line at less than 8.6 ounces (245 grams), but lighter and far less bulky than recent models I've tried like the SteelSeries Arctis 9 and Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero. Plus, the fit's more adjustable and it's just tight enough on my head to stay in place without crushing my skull like the others. At $180 (£180, AU$300), it's not cheap, though.
The battery life is rated at 24 hours and I've managed to go a few days of light use without recharging, but it works wired as well as with the inline USB Sound Card of the nonwireless model. It has a range of 39.3 feet (12 meters), though that doesn't seem to be through walls, as I found during a trip to the refrigerator.
It improves on the wired model with an additional speaker chamber and a bigger mic -- 9.9mm -- with better pickup, low frequency response and ambient noise reduction. The mic definitely sounds very good. Like the other model's it's removable; I still prefer flip to mute, though there's an easily findable mute button on the left earcup. There's no visual indicator that it's muted, though.
An updated, wireless version of the $170 BlackWidow Elite with the same volume dial and media play/pause and fast forward/reverse buttons, the $230 (£230, AU$390) BlackWidow V3 Pro incorporates many of the updates Razer's been rolling out to its other keyboards. In this case, that means upgraded Yellow (linear) and Green (clicky) mechanical switches with transparent housings for brighter illumination and more durable doubleshot ABS keycaps designed to allow more light through.
I had wanted to try the new Yellow switches -- they're supposed to be quieter -- but ended up with the Greens, which I already know are my Razer faves. The illumination does seem very bright for wireless, especially since a lot of wireless keyboards ditch illumination altogether to save power. At 35% it's plenty bright.
The keyboard can connect via a 2.4GHz dongle,
(pair up to three devices) or wired USB-C, switching among the three Bluetooth devices via keyboard shortcuts. A switch on the side lets you choose which wireless connection to use.
The wireless experience isn't always as seamless as I'd like. When it's working well, it's hard to distinguish between wired and wireless performance. Until, for whatever reason, it starts to get laggy. It's possible I'm simply surrounded by too many wireless receivers, but still.
A little nitpickier, the wrist rest doesn't attach to the keyboard in any way -- not even with weak magnetism like the Ornata. That makes it hard to move the keyboard and rest around together, something I do a lot. I also prefer the Ornata's wrist rest to the BlackWidow's. It's higher and feels more padded. The price is kind of high, too.
Rounding out the high-performance trio, the DeathAdder V2 Pro is essentially the DeathAdder V2 unplugged. That's not a bad thing: the $130 (£130, AU$225) DeathAdder is a precise, comfortable, not-too-heavy-or-too-light 88-gram, eight-button programmable mouse with nice glide and fast optical switches.
Specific to the wireless model, the mouse has a compartment for the dongle, something I find indispensible given how easily dongles get lost. Or turn themselves into cat toys. It supports both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections as well as wired with trickle charging. Razer includes a USB dongle dock that attaches via the same cable; the mouse is compatible with the same Razer Mouse Dock Chroma that's bundled with Razer's Ultimate bundles, sold separately for $50.
Razer rates the battery life at 120 hours via Bluetooth and 70 hours over 2.4GHz. It's certainly held up for a couple days under moderate use and with lighting.