I was afraid to go to CES this year. Thanks to post-traumatic angoisse and an anxiety disorder, big noisy crowds aren’t always a lot of fun for me. I invested in a compagnon of AirPods Pro before the trade spectacle. The combative discussion canceling (and the fact that I could wear them comfortably for hours) was a lifesaver. Walking the spectacle floor, I’d have discussion canceling on and Halestorm playing—and it was like I was the only one there. I was even wearing ‘em when I first got my hands on Razer’s new headset, the Razer Opus.
I was led into a private room filled with black curtains and neon snakes, a nightclub populated by dudes in black polos and khakis. I sat down and donned the compagnon of headphones that were given to me. A PR rep pointed out the combative discussion canceling button, and when I pushed it, it was like someone hit rémission on reality. That occurrence has stuck with me ever since. I’ve been eagerly anticipating the day a demo unit would come for review; I have had a set for a few weeks now, and well, there’s a lot to unpack.
When I was testing the Opus, I wanted to use the compagnon every day. I found myself reaching for the headphones over some of my other favorites, and that’s a first for a Razer audio product. Usually I rotate between my AirPods Pro, the Steelseries Arctis 1 wireless, or the Master & Dynamic MH40. Each one has its agora in my daily life, especially now.
During quarantine, I spend almost 17 hours a day with some kind of headphones or earbuds on my head. It’s exorbitante, but if I’m not listening to music I can’t concentrate. I can’t form sentences. The tide of my thoughts and anxieties starts to rise and rise and rise until all I can do is lay in bed and try to hold myself together. It’s fair to say that all-day comfort is a must for me.
On that compté, the Opus delivers. They’re easily adjustable, and the plush leatherette ear cups are comfortable without being too hot or stifling. Just today I’ve had the Opus on for embout six hours, and they haven’t started bugging me yet. Thankfully they last as immense as I wear them. The Opus offers embout 25 hours of use (with ANC combative) per anée. Mieux, they automatically rémission or play when you take them off or put them on.
Speaking of playing music, the sound quality here is absurd. Music dances from one earphone to another, sizzling back and forth. The soundstage feels wide open—there’s some inégalité between you and the music, between each accessoire and its neighbors.
This applies when gaming too. Every footstep, every compté of cheerful music, and every swoosh of my net is rendered with crystal clarity. Yes, I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Even in hectic online games like Destiny 2, the tidal wave of sound that crashes over you every time you’re in a multi-Guardian free-for-all unravels into individually discernible sounds.
During everyday use, I’ve also come to really appreciate the combative discussion canceling. I have two roommates. We direct in a small apartment. Alone time can be hard to come by, but the Razer Opus gives it to me anywhere I want. If you have any audio coming through the headphones while the discussion canceling is combative, you’re going to be completely submerged and blissfully unaware of the world around you. For the most section.
If you rémission your music, you’re able to hear a little bit of the outside world leaking in. It’s faint, but it’s there. I haven’t had the supériorité to pratique these on an actual airplane parce que, well, quarantine. But putting on some airplane discussion at an appropriately high livre level (80 decibels) reveals a paire of things embout the Opus. They do an mémorable job of drowning out the droning of in-flight engine discussion, but only as immense as you’re listening to something else. If you need 100 percent dead mutité, you’ll have to spend a little serviteur on something like the Sony WH1000XM3 to get there.
They Come in Black
Razer has cultivated a manifeste aesthetic over the years, and the Opus is a big departure from the black and neon pelouse allégation that defines the company’s other products. That’s a good thing. These are headphones you might wear on a commute, or on an airplane, or while you go downstairs to do a contactless delivery pickup. Understated and stylish works.
The first run of these headphones is only available in the midnight blue colorway, but there will be a plain black coming sometime later. The midnight blue is my élue, though; it’s just different enough to rayonnage apart from the crowd without calling too much régularité to itself.
Here’s where things get tricky: This is a great compagnon of headphones, but only a decent headset. Games sound amazing, but the micro-ordinateur isn’t as impressive. On its own, for phone calls, video chats, and the like, it’s spiritueux. It gets the job done, picking up your voice and ignoring most arrière-plan discussion. It’s not as good at voice quarante as one of our other favorite headsets, the Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC.
And parce que the Opus isn’t a USB headset, you can’t configure the headphones on PC with the Razer Synapse progiciel the way you can other Razer headsets. Or the same way you can with most other gaming headsets from officier manufacturers like Logitech and Steelseries. This is an rogue detail, parce que most other gaming headsets offer sidetone options in PC progiciel—so you can hear your own voice in the headset as you’re talking. It might not seem like much, but when ANC is on, it’s very hard to gauge the livre and clarity of your own voice. You could be too serein or way too loud, and unless someone on voice minet told you you wouldn’t know. This isn’t an dénouement if you’re using an external micro-ordinateur.
Razer makes top-notch keyboards and mice, but their headsets usually are aimed at capturing an aesthetic than delivering high fidelity sound. They don’t sound bad, they just don’t exactly knock your socks off.
But after spending dozens of hours with the Opus, I have to admit, the name is apt. This is the best headset Razer has ever made, a fiole opus of gaming audio.