Razer BlackShark V2
The Razer Blackshark V2 offers fantastic sound quality, mic clarity, and state-of-the-art onboard audio enhancements with THX spatial audio in a headset built for comfort and adjustability at a budget-friendly price point.
- Best audio quality at this price point
- THX spatial audio
- Ultra-focused hyper cardioid mic pattern for voice clarity
- Ear cushions are a bit less comfortable
- Slower charging time
HyperX Cloud II
$124 $150 Save $26
The HyperX Cloud II is a solid budget gaming headset that prioritizes comfort without skimping on audio quality and software features and also offers the longest battery charge in its class with a quick 2.6-hour charge time to boot.
- Memory foam ear cushions more comfortable
- Up to 30 hours of battery life
- USB-C charger connection for super-fast charge times
- 7.1 surround sound isn't as advanced
- Less focused mic pattern
- Physical controls are awkward
If you’re investing in the best gaming PC your money can buy, there’s no reason to skimp on key peripherals. Regarding gaming headsets, both the Razer Blackshark V2 and the HyperX Cloud 2 headsets are superstar options. Both offer exceptional sound quality and a clear, accurate soundstage, whether you're using stereo or spatial audio, which can be a crucial factor if you're a competitive FPS gamer.
Each is ergonomically designed for comfort over long gaming sessions and offers advanced audio imaging features — though one option does have a notable edge in that department. With similar features and price ranges, you’ll need to look closer to determine the best choice for you.
Price, availability, and specs
The Razer Blackshark V2 and the HyperX Cloud 2 mainline options are priced at $100. However, Razer’s wired version has three options: Standard Edition, Special Edition, and ESL Esports Edition. The Special Edition headset retails at $110, including a carrying case and a snazzier neon green theme. You can also spring for the ESL Esports edition for $120, which features a flashy, bright yellow design for those who want to stand out on a stream.
The HyperX Cloud 2 comes in gunmetal on black or black/red with no price differences between them. So if you prefer variety and price isn’t an issue, the Razer has the slight edge here.
Razer BlackShark V2 HyperX Cloud II Microphone Detachable Razer HyperClear Cardioid microphone Polar Pattern: Bi-directional, Noise-cancelling Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, and any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack PC, PS5, PS4 via USB wireless adapter What's Included Headset, removable Razer HyperClear Cardioid Mic Gaming Headset, USB adapter, USB Charge Cable Detachable mic, Mic Pop Filter, Quick Start Guide Surround Sound THX Spatial Audio Virtual 7.1 surround sound effect Noise Cancellation Advanced passive noise cancellation Switchable software noise cancellation Weight 0.6 pounds 0.66 pounds Battery Life Up to 24 hours 30 hours Frequency Response 12 Hz – 28 kHz 15Hz–20kHz Ear Cushions Breathable memory foam cushions Memory foam and premium leatherette Charge type Analog 3.5mm with USB sound card USB 2.0 Charge Time 3 hours 3 hours Mic Frequency Response 100 Hz – 10 kHz 50Hz – 6.8kHz
Design and fit
The Blackshark V2 is more streamlined than Razer’s typical bulky offerings. Despite its paired-down build, its mesh and soft foam-layered headband feels cozy, even over long sessions, and it adjusts enough to accommodate even those with larger noggins. Similarly, Razer offers a fairly large tilt range and size, meaning wearers of all sizes should get a comfortable fit with some finagling. Its detachable boom mic’s flexibility and length also add to its versatility when finding just the right placement.
The HyperX Cloud 2 doesn’t sacrifice much in the comfort department either. In fact, its soft leatherette headband and headphone padding feel noticeably softer than the Blackshark V2’s mesh and foam padding. It feels more like a worn-in pair of jeans than a pillow by comparison. This also means that they’ll fare better over long gaming sessions. Lastly, the overall design is less cumbersome, giving it a slight advantage here.
Sound and microphone quality
Razer’s headset has an ultra-wide frequency response of 12 Hz–28 KHz for excellent clarity and detail even at higher volumes, which can really help in multiplayer or team-based gaming when there may be many voices vying for audibility simultaneously. The HyperX Cloud 2 has a similarly wide frequency response of 10hz–23kHz, which in theory offers more clarity in the sub-bass and low-end areas and a little less in the highest ranges. But in reality, there is a fairly subtle difference in perceived frequency response from the Razer option.
The BlackShark V2's highly focused super cardioid mic response pattern also stifles most side and back sound sources, making your voice come in crystal clear. The HyperX’s wider mic pattern has a little less focus; a bit more ambient noise is likely to bleed into the mic, so there's slightly less voice clarity for multiplayer and team FPS gaming. The Razer edges out the HyperX here, but while the difference is audible, it’s not dramatic.
Razer's advanced Synapse audio processing software
The Razer BlackShark V2 features built-in THX Spatial Audio support for an ultra-realistic sound image when used with THX-capable games. It sounds amazing and can give you a tactical advantage in competitive FPS and third-person shooters, not to mention VR gaming. The only caveat here is that the Razer lacks actual buttons on the headset to control USB DSP, something the HyperX does feature. You might find these helpful if you don’t want to be tabbing out of your game during play to make sound adjustments. However, if you have large hands or prefer keeping them glued to your controller, they might just feel clunky.
The Razer’s USB sound card also comes with advanced Razer Synapse software, featuring options like Mic Boost, Voice Gate, Volume Normalization, Mic EQ, and Ambient Noise Reduction. They are all switchable and adjustable on your device using Razer’s downloadable app.
The HyperX headset doesn’t come with THX Spatial audio support, but it's fully Surround 7.1 capable. It's not as advanced as THX’s tech but can still offer an extremely immersive experience. The physical controls, while handy, may be too small to use comfortably for gamers with larger hands or physical limitations.
The HyperX Cloud 2's USB sound card offers noise cancelation, automatic gain control (normalization, basically), and echo cancelation, which are all accessible on the headset controls. While these options are nice and can improve sound clarity and focus, they’re neither as adjustable nor effective as Razer’s Ryzen software. Their primary function is to mitigate the mic’s somewhat lower quality (compared to the Razer’s).
It should be mentioned that neither model's sound cards are compatible with consoles such as the Xbox Series X|S or PS5, and will have to be connected as AUX-only via a 3.5mm mini jack or USB, depending on the model, meaning you’ll miss out on the advanced software features of each.
The Razer BlackShark V2 battery will last up to 24 hours at around a consistent 75-100dB, which is excellent considering its high-end software and other features. What’s less excellent, is that it uses a slower Micro-USB connection despite USB-C being increasingly common in gaming headsets for all budgets (although it's worth noting the BlackShark V2 is a couple years old). A complete charge could take up to 3 hours, which isn’t terrible.
The HyperX Cloud 2 boasts a pretty impressive 32-hour battery life running consistently at 75dB, making it one of the most battery-efficient models in its price point, which is great for laptop gaming and traveling with limited charging options. It’s USB-C as well, which means a full recharge takes at most 2 hours, a lot less if you’re just topping the battery off.
Which is right for you?
The Blackshark and the Cloud 2 are comparable in many ways. They offer sound quality above their price point with wide frequency responses for maximum clarity, onboard USB sound processing, comfort over long gaming sessions, and quality mics designed for a focused, ambient-noise mitigating response.
Though the HyperX Cloud 2 beats the Razer slightly in terms of overall comfort, the Blackshark V2 comes out ahead for its more focused super cardioid mic pattern and more advanced onboard USB DSP (despite its lack of physical controls). A slightly wider frequency response with more clarity, high-end detail, and advanced THX spatial sound tech (compared to the HyperX’s "underwhelming" Surround 7.1 capability) tip the scales further. While the HyperX beats out the Razer in terms of comfort and battery life by a slight margin, overall, the Razer’s superior sound quality, mic clarity, and advanced software features make it the clear choice.
Razer BlackShark V2
The Razer Blackshark V2 improves upon its predecessors with THX spatial audio and even more clarity in its headphones and focused hyper-cardioid mic pattern. Add the breathable memory foam headphone cushions, and you've got a great-sounding, comfortable, and versatile gaming headset that sits at the top of its class.
The Hyperx Cloud II is a solid gaming headset for the money, featuring excellent sound quality, a super comfortable headphone build, and the longest battery life of any in its class. Though its sound quality, mic clarity, and spatial audio are all somewhat inferior to the Razer X's, it's a good choice for a great gaming headset for long trips where comfort and battery life are at a premium.
HyperX Cloud II
$124 $150 Save $26
The Hyperx Cloud II's memory foam and leatherette ear cushions make it one of the most comfortable headsets at its price point. It meets performance standards, too, with 7.1 surround sound capability and onboard, button-controlled audio processing. And a 30-hour battery life and fast-charging USB-C connection make it ultra-efficient.