Razer Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset

Review

posted 7/8/2011 by Sean Cahill
other articles by Sean Cahill
Platforms: PC

Razer is well known for creating some of the best accessories and peripherals for PC gamers, so when Blizzard and Razer teamed up to create a three-pack of items specifically for Starcraft II fans, you knew that Razer would not disappoint. In the first of three installments to cover each piece of gear, we will start with the Razer Banshee gaming headset.

In this day and age, we hear about the advances of headsets, specifically bringing 5.1 surround into a headset for gamers to be fully immersed in their choice of entertainment. While the Banshee does not offer 5.1 surround, that does not mean that this headset is inferior, especially considering that most advanced headsets are going to require a system that can handle such outputs. The Banshee is designed to be plug-and-play, using only a durable, braided USB connection that is about seven feet long to give not only the reassurance that the cable will last, but simplicity as well.

The sound quality is certainly excellent. Going through a standard test that started at muted level and working up to a level that was loud but not overbearing, the Banshee excels at keeping sound quality high without distorting. The headset also has an easy accessible volume control on the back of the right ear piece which also has a mute button. On the left side, there are the same set of controls, except this is for the microphone controls. Using Ventrilo to test out the microphone resulted in decent sound output, although if you have the level too high, there is definitive scratching, especially if the microphone is too close to your mouth. This is easily remedied by the adjustable and detachable microphone that is uni-directional.

While the sound quality is excellent with this headset, there are some issues regarding the size and fit of the headset itself, which is quite bulky, although it doesn't feel as heavy as it looks while wearing it. The main problem comes in with the earpieces, which are held together by four small plastic tabs that stick out from the headset itself. A few times, while simply picking up the headset, an ear piece could come undone, and replacing the ear piece itself is a bit of a task to snap back into place. It's an inconvenience, but it doesn't seem to be in danger of breaking when these pieces come undone.

Getting back to the size of the headset itself, as I mentioned before, it is quite comfortable for such a large piece of equipment. While everyone looks for the sleekest and most comfortable piece of equipment that will work perfectly, most of the time you have to sacrifice something along the way, and that is usually sound quality or durability. It will take a little time getting used to the size, but after awhile, you don't really notice it anymore, especially with the comfort of the cushioning. I will say, though, that the neon blue lighting can get a bit annoying, especially if you are playing in the dark. These lights will keep you awake at night if you leave it plugged in, I can assure you that.

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