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Cody Cardarelli Mar 02, 2011

Razer Banshee

At A Glance

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Respectable sound quality, color-change lighting looks good in the dark

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Looks terrible with the lights on, ear cups fit badly for poor sound isolation

Remember that ugly plastic we keep mentioning? With the Banshee, it seems Razer ended up with some sort of surplus of the stuff, and just decided to see how much it could possibly slap onto a single headset. The individual ear cups are simply enormous—bigger than any gaming headset we’ve used. That’s OK though, as bigger cans theoretically means room for bigger drivers, and that’s a good thing. We also know that with this set, Razer has opted to store the external soundcard hardware in the set itself, rather than in a dongle on the cord, as is more popular, which would account for some of the additional bulk.

The Banshee’s design would leave us scratching our heads, if all this plastic weren’t in the way.

What’s hard to explain is the vast expanse of headband connecting the two earpieces, which is about 2.5 inches wide the whole way, and manages to be simultaneously bulky, heavy, and hideous.

All that plastic doesn’t sit very well on the head. To make matters worse, the foam around the ear cups doesn’t form a good seal, the ear cups themselves don’t swivel much, which easily compromises the sound isolation. The boom microphone detaches to make the headset a bit more svelte, but the little rubber cap that covers the microphone port when the boom is detached isn’t tethered to the headset in any way—all but guaranteeing that you’ll lose it immediately.

The sound itself is pretty good, with good bass response and clarity comparable to other headsets in the Banshee’s ~$100 price range. All the same, we expected better from such an enormous set, and the sound quality is marred by the set’s poor fit.

THE VERDICT

Razer Banshee

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