Razer’s new Opus headphones tackle Bose and Sony

Razer’s new Opus headphones tackle Bose and Sony

The Razer Opus will probably be accessible in black at launch and later in darkish blue. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Whenever you hear Razer — greatest recognized for its gaming laptops and equipment — is releasing a brand new noise-canceling headphone, the very first thing you most likely ask your self is whether or not it is a gaming headphone. Surprisingly, on the subject of the brand new $200 Opus, the reply isn’t any. It is an on a regular basis noise-canceling headphone that Razer hopes its gaming-oriented prospects will purchase as an alternative of dearer fashions from Bose, Sony and others. Whereas the Opus would not have probably the most distinguishing exterior design, it does sound fairly darn good and general carried out fairly properly in the course of the few days I spent with it.

The parents from Razer say they have been engaged on the Opus for a lot of months. To determine road cred with audiophiles, they determined to get the headphones THX Licensed. That meant assembly stringent necessities, together with a “frequency vary and response which might be able to delivering clear, detailed vocals and deep impactful bass with zero distortion at excessive volumes,” based on THX.

What you get within the Opus is a headphone that delivers clear, properly detailed sound with well-defined punchy bass. You’ll be able to tweak the sound profile within the companion app, however I primarily caught to the THX setting, which suited my musical tastes simply wonderful. I additionally thought the sound was fairly open for a closed-back headphone — the sound would not really feel caught inside your head.

That is the excellent news. The unhealthy information is the Opus is not fairly pretty much as good a headphone because the Sony WH-1000XM3, which carries a listing value of $350 however usually sells for lower than $300. For starters, whereas the Opus is a really snug headphone with tender, plush ear pads, the Sony is barely extra snug and 11 grams lighter than the 165-gram (5.8-ounce) heft of the Opus. I additionally appreciated the sound of the Sony higher — it is just a bit larger, richer and extra visceral. Nonetheless, like I stated, the 1000XM3 does price considerably extra. 

Learn more: Greatest noise-canceling headphones of 2020

The Opus will get a number of different issues proper. It mechanically pauses your music whenever you take the headphones off your ears and resumes taking part in whenever you put the headphones again on. The noise-canceling appeared fairly strong (I must do some extra testing there) and callers stated I sounded clear once I was utilizing the headphones to make calls (the background noise discount was good). 

The THX emblem is comparatively subdued. 

David Carnoy/CNET

To be clear, THX Certification does not imply these are surround-sound headphones. They work simply wonderful for watching motion pictures — and gaming — however they’re tuned for listening to music. Battery life is rated at as much as 25 hours, about common for all these full-size noise-canceling headphones. 

These have assist for the AptX streaming codec that is accessible for customers of sure gadgets like Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. However what’s a bit of odd is that the headphones use Bluetooth 4.2 not 5.0. They do have USB-C charging and include a pleasant carrying case in addition to a twine in case you wish to go wired. The headphones have bodily relatively than contact controls and there is a button you’ll be able to press and maintain to permit in ambient sound, so you’ll be able to hear the surface world and have a dialog with the headphones on. Razer calls the function the identical factor Sony does: a Fast Consideration Mode.

As I stated, I used to be typically impressed. I do not suppose they’re fairly as much as the extent of the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the superb Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($400), however they actually measure up properly to different headphones of their value class and I feel that it was good for Razer to maintain the value at lower than $200 (it is technically $199.99), the place there’s rather less competitors for extra premium noise-canceling fashions. That stated, Sennheiser’s new HD 450BT noise-canceling headphone sells for $150 and provides comparable sound. It additionally has a sidetone function that permits you to hear your voice contained in the headphones whenever you’re making calls (the Opus doesn’t seem to have that function). I do suppose the Opus is barely extra snug, notably for these with bigger heads.

I am going to have a full overview down the highway, however within the meantime listed here are the Opus’ highlights, based on Razer. 

Razer Opus key specs

  • THX Licensed for clear vocals and dialog with no distortion
  • Superior ANC: Hybrid lively noise cancellation with Four devoted ANC mics
  • Plush leatherette foam ear cushions and headband
  • Opus Cell App: THX-tuned EQ presets, computerized settings and battery standing
  • Fast Consideration Mode for situational consciousness everytime you want it
  • Auto Pause/Auto Play 
  • As much as 25 hours battery life with ANC on
  • Drivers: 2x 40mm dynamic drivers
  • Weight: 265g
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Microphones: Four for hybrid ANC, 2 for voice chat
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 and three.5mm
  • Codecs: AAC and APTX, 4.2, A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
  • USB-C charging
  • $200, 210 euros (roughly £190, AU$350)

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