Razer Electra V2 Gaming Headset Review

Razer enters the crowded modern $59 headset market

Before this week, I had never heard of the Razer Electra, let alone the just-launched V2. Then I stumbled across one in a Best Buy and bought it.

OVERVIEW

There’s a 3.5mm version for $59, and a USB version for $69. They both come in a combo black and Razer green color scheme. The headband is pulled straight from the new Razer Tiamat V2, as is the general industrial design. The ear pads aren’t as plush and the cups don’t fold down, however. Also, these use only one 40mm driver in their design, unlike the multi-driver Tiamat model.

You can remove the highly-flexible boom mic, but the bright green cable is permanently attached.

SOUND QUALITY

I don’t know how to describe the sound of these other than…well…

They’re a little… boring.

Not in a bad way, mind you. But nothing really stands out about their sonic performance. I was expecting slightly scooped mids, a boosted bass, and a boosted upper midrange in the footsteps region. That’s a pretty common sound signature at this price range for gaming headsets.

Instead, the sound here is sort of unremarkable. The bass is decently extended, but so controlled and lacking in emphasis that it’s a bit recessed in the mix. It almost seems absent at times. There’s way less bass push here than nearly every other headset on the market. Even when I turned on the bass boost in Razer’s surround software, I was a little underwhelmed by the low end performance.

Mids are a touch warm and veiled, but present enough that vocals are nice to listen to. Highs are gentle, but still detailed enough to provide a good sense of image.

The result is a flat, gentle sound that’s like wearing a bland sweater.

I wish I could tell you about their punchy bass, or their huge soundstage, or their incredibly detailed highs. But this headset doesn’t really do any of that. Instead, it does totally competent and kind of boring sound. If you’re used to other headphones, or even other Razer gear, you might be shocked at how “normal” and sort of bleh they sound.

Razer says on their web site that these provide a balanced sound, and that’s almost a little bit too true. I think it’s okay for gaming products to have a little bite.

This headset has none.

They don’t at all sound bad. I still generally enjoy listening to them. But there’s not one single aspect of the audio you can point to and say “That right there is why I like these.”

In the price range, both the Astro A10 and the HyperX Cloud Stinger will give you a little more fun for your dollar. I’m guessing you’ll probably want that sort of sound if you’re into gaming headsets. But if you want to try something on the warm side of boring, and Razer’s most restrained signature yet, then I guess you could give these a try.

COMFORT/ISOLATION

Razer has done a fine job with comfort, considering this is a budget model.

The ear pads don’t use memory foam, but the standard foam inside is nice and cushy. The ear cups are deep enough that they only barely bump into my ears, and the leatherette coverings on the pads are of a decent quality for the price…though they do warm up my ears after about 20 minutes.

The drivers inside the cups are a little elevated, interestingly, and their plastic enclosures are what might touch your ears through the inner foam. If you’re a “nothing touching my ears” sort of person, be advised of that! If I don’t have the headset adjusted right, this could cause me a little discomfort, but I don’t see it being a big deal for most people.

The headband is wonderful and I couldn’t complain about it if I tried. It’s a suspension system, with an aluminum frame and a nice soft leatherette and cloth strap underneath. The strap feels just as nice as the headband on more expensive headsets, and perfectly distributes the light weight of the headset across my whole head.

Although it doesn’t look it, the ear cups are surprisingly flexible and adjustable in their sockets. They’re mounted on gimbals and can turn any which way, and even rotate a little bit to fit different ear shapes. Impressive!

I could tell immediately on first wear that these would have solid long-term wearing comfort, and that has been true in my testing.

They can get a little pinchy and a little warm over really long sessions…but they’re decent for the price, and the headband is really great. The Cloud Stinger, RIG 400, and the Astro A10 are all a touch more comfy in this price range, in my opinion.

Isolation is higher than I expected, considering the price of the headset and the light weight of the materials used. The leatherette pads provide good protection from the outside world when music is playing, and shouldn’t let too much of your audio out unless you crank them.

The box is a plastic shell that opens in a clever way, befitting of a Razer product.

DESIGN/BUILD

If you’ve seen Razer’s Tiamat V2, which launched earlier this year in a few different models, you’ve seen the basis for this headset also.

I think it has a nice look that’s right between gamer-y and “normal.” They don’t stick out very far from my head, and they don’t fit in a weird way or have strange angles or protrusions.

In fact, the only things on the 3.5mm non-USB model that call out “Razer” are the bright green accents on the ear cups and the cable.

That cable is a little springy and non-detachable. But it doesn’t seem to get too tangled up, either.

Build is a mix of great and okay. The aluminum headband feels very robust, with a nice thickness to it and perfect, smooth flexibility when you stretch it out to put it on. The plastic ear cups underneath it feel a little light and cheap…but as long as you’re not constantly reaching up to touch them this shouldn’t be a problem.

It feels like they spent the money on the places in the build where it really counts. They don’t have quite the heft of the Astro A10’s monster headband…but they still feel pleasant.

The USB model has a bright green Razer logo on the ear cups, so keep that in mind if you’re eyeing that model.

Here’s the USB version. It has a bright green logo, but no chroma lighting.

MICROPHONE

The mic is a fully flexible boom that’s detachable. It sounds right in line with other current Razer analog mics…so it’s pretty good.

Here’s a sample over on my other site, if you’re interested.

The tone is reasonably natural, and good enough that you could use it for just about anything that you’d want a mic for. It is a bit sensitive to positioning, so you might have to fiddle with it to get the absolute best sound. You might notice a couple of little pops in that sample. That’s from the positioning. I left those in rather than fiddling further so you’d get a good idea of what you might have to go through.

Really though, mic performance is right at the top of the heap for this price. It sits proudly alongside the A10 and the RIG 400.

FEATURES/EXTRAS

With the analog V2, you get an extension/splitter cable in the box to connect to your PC, should you need it or wish to use it. If you step up to the USB version, that unlocks the pro features in Razer’s surround software that come along with all their USB headsets, and better mic filtering as well.

If mic quality and surround are important to you, the extra $10 for the USB version might be worth it, especially if you’re on PC. If you’re mutli-platform or on console, you’ll want the 3.5mm version.

There’s a nice smooth volume control on the back of the left ear cup, and a mic mute switch. Razer also included a little rubber cap for the mic port when not in use; a nice touch!

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a totally fine headset. It’s right in line, quality wise, with the Astro A10 and the Plantronics RIG 400.

I think it sounds a bit more bland than either of those. Itt provides better isolation than the RIG, but no modular deisgn. It has a removable mic, unlike the A10, but the cable is stuck in place.

If you’re already in the Razer ecosystem, and you’re looking for a budget headset…the Electra is a solid pick. It has a pleasantly light weight and decent fit, and a good microphone.

But it doesn’t really do anything to stand out in such a crowded current budget headset market, other than being Razer’s offering. They’ve stripped down a more expensive model, rather than trying to do anything particularly special, and it shows a bit.

These are a great entry point if you want to see what Razer’s audio products are all about, but I don’t think their unremarkable-yet-good sound is going to be the last step on anyone’s audio journey.

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