Comparison of gaming headsets Razer BlackShark V2 Pro and SteelSeries Arctis 1 is quite popular. Both gadgets are well established as wireless gaming headsets in the “around $100” price niche.
I’m going to compare a headset from Razer with one from SteelSeries and see which one turns out to be better for the gamer. Let’s go!
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Vs. SteelSeries Arctis 1: Comparison Chart
A little more about the important features of these gaming headsets.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro in Details
The device is assembled with high quality, which is a success for Razer in recent years. The metal base of the headband feels strong and quite resilient. When you twist the device, there is no crunching and the base returns to its original position on its own. The headband is covered with eco leather and stitched with thick thread. On the top you can notice the pressed in Razer lettering, which looks very attractive.
The shells are made of plastic. On the one hand, a metal base would have given a more presentable look and a sense of reliability. Nevertheless, due to the plastic design, the headset is very light, which is important for long gaming sessions.
Also one of the main elements of comfort are ear pads and headband. They are made of breathing fabric with fine mesh, and inside is a soft filler with the effect of memory. For me this is a definite plus because leather ear cushions make my ears sweat heavily even in winter, not to mention the summer. No exaggeration, during the tests I played in them for 8 hours, walked around the apartment without taking them off and did not feel any discomfort. But don’t forget that everyone’s anatomy is different, so before buying any headset, you should try it on yourself.
As for the bars that hold the shells themselves, at first glance they seem very unreliable and thin. But this is not the case. When I took the device in my hands I felt that the metal is strong and the headphones fit tightly but do not squeeze my head. The design is rigid and I think it will last a long time. At least after two months of use there are no complaints at all.
On the left ear cup of the headphones are the controls and connectors. The first thing that catches your eye is the volume encoder. It is large and you can adjust the sound without removing the headset, as the knob is easy to feel with your hand.
This “organ” changes the volume only on the headphones, not as it often happens, controls the slider inside Windows and for me this is a definite plus. At least because when I’m streaming, I adjust the overall volume to be comfortable for the viewer, but it may be too loud for me. But now you can just turn the volume down on the headset itself. The control also has a tactile click at 50% volume.
Just below are the mute microphone and on/off buttons on the headset. We will not focus our attention on the first one, because its function is clear and there are no questions about the material of the button.
BlackShark v2 Pro does everything the way a quality gaming headset should. Positioning, footsteps, gunshots, explosions – none of it slipped past your ears. Of competitive shooters, the tests were mostly in the game Apex Legends and the experience was really enjoyable.
More importantly, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro uses THX Special Audio technology, which can be enabled in Razer’s proprietary Synapse software. There are ready-made surround sound presets in the application. The game mode immediately seemed to be quite good. There appears the perception of space, in which the position of footsteps and shots is well heard, but at the same time, the sound becomes somehow too harsh and at times unpleasant.
The sound of the microphone is ordinary and unremarkable. It does not cause bleeding from the ears of interlocutors, which is already good. With detailed adjustment in the software Razer Synapse, you can achieve good quality, which is suitable even for streaming. But as for the voicing, recording vocals – you can forget about it. However, who expects to record vocals when buying a gaming headset? I think there are no such people.
The microphone sounds like a mid-budget clip-on microphone. By the way, the wired version of the Razer BlackShark V2 with this is much better. Since the microphone uses the capabilities of the sound card, and not its own built-in codec, as it is in the wireless BlackShark V2 Pro.
Otherwise, the microphone does its job perfectly. The interlocutor does not hear any background noise, and your speech sounds clear, articulate, and most importantly, without any voice distortion.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 in Details
The Arctis 1 is also similar in one way or another to all models in the Arctis series. A strict cup shape, identical control panel and headboard.
However, the manufacturer has made some compromises for the sake of low cost. The first thing that catches the eye is the absence of backlight. Subjectively, it makes the headset look stricter and not so aggressive.
The whole body is made of high quality plastic. However, partially also the inserts made of steel are used, for example, in the frame of the headband.
The headband of Arctis 1 is made of plastic, but for more comfortable wearing it is completed with eco leather “cushion” (leatherette, which is often used in headphones).
The length and position of the cups on one axis can be adjusted. Unfortunately, the headphones can not be folded, as many portable models, no hard case for them in the kit is not provided. Therefore, if you carry the headset in a briefcase or bag, there is a risk of breaking it, which, given the claimed universality of the manufacturer can be considered a disadvantage.
In turn, the ear cushions are not made of leather, but of soft fabric. This has a good effect on the ventilation of the ears, so they do not sweat. On top of that, the soft foam material of Arctis 1 almost doesn’t feel pressure on your head. This is important here, because you can feel the headband stiffness even at maximum length when putting it on. But in the end, due to all of the above factors, the headset sits very confidently on your head and does not cause discomfort even during long gaming sessions.
The controls are intuitive and easy to use, your fingers easily find the volume control, and the microphone switch has been given a comfortable one-finger effort to switch.
The Arctis 1 Wireless has more jacks, but the philosophy in their placement and design was the same: if something is a duck, it must look and quack like a duck.
So nothing was disguised. On the left cup are located 3,5mm jack for the microphone, microUSB port for charging, 3,5mm jack for connecting the audio cable, volume control, microphone mute slider. The connectors for the microphone and audio cable, though the same standard, are difficult to mix up because the microphone jack has a specific shape suitable for a proprietary microphone. However, any other audio cable from the microphone can also be plugged in there. The port for the audio cable has no frills – it is just a round hole.
The volume control wheel is the same as on the Arctis 3, but the microphone can be switched off more conveniently, in my opinion – with a slider. This way it is harder to switch accidentally (the button on the Arctis 3 is very easy to press), and to the touch it is easy to understand what position the switch is in.
The only button on the right cup is the headphone switch. It is also a charge level indicator. If you have between 50 and 100% charge, it will glow green when you use it. If less than half but more than 15% charge, the indicator will be yellow. Red means 5 to 14%, and red and blinking frequently means less than 5% charge. Also, if the light blinks frequently, it means there is no connection to the device. Blinking becomes more infrequent when the connection is established.
The sound quality can’t be called premium. After all, we are talking about a gaming headset and it is not required to create the effect of visiting a concert hall. Nevertheless, we should note the wide frequency range with sufficient low and high frequencies.
There is no interference or stray noise even at maximum volume. By the way, the volume reserve is very solid and even half of this level will be enough for comfortable operation for most users.
The Arctis 1 Wireless showed very inconsistent results. If you are in silence, the person you are talking to can hear you very well, regardless of whether you are wired or wirelessly connected.
Noise cancellation works at a very good level. From a room with a working TV you can talk quietly, the interlocutor will hear you clearly, although some interference does occur.
But if suddenly next to you sounds from the phone speaker or a simple laptop audio system, the noise can not cope.
The same effect will occur if the connection of the headphones is wired. In general, there was a feeling that the Arctis 1 Wireless sound and transmit a little better if you choose to connect wirelessly.
Final Word from Reyus
It’s easy to draw parallels between the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro and the SteelSeries Arctis 1, but it’s harder to choose the one that’s better for gamers.
Both gaming headsets will be a great buy and are unlikely to disappoint their owners. Still, I have a slight preference for the Arctis 1 because of the easier setup.
However, if you are willing to mess around with the settings and the software that comes with the device, the BlackShark V2 Pro will be a better buy.