Razer BlackShark V2 vs. Razer Kraken: Which should you buy?

Razer Blackshark V2
Razer Blackshark V2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Both of these headsets hold a special place in the Razer lineup, and the BlackShark V2 is the best PC gaming headset for competitive gamers right now. That's not to say the Kraken isn't also very good, especially at a more attractive price, but it is larger, and the microphone isn't quite as good but for general purpose, all-round gaming it's a strong option.

Razer BlackShark V2 vs. Razer Kraken tech specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Razer BlackShark V2Razer Kraken
Frequency Response12Hz to 28kHz12Hz to 28kHz
Drivers50mm TriForce50 mm

Competitive gaming's finest headset

Razer Blackshark V2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The new Razer BlackShark V2 was designed in partnership with some of the top professional gamers in the scene and is squarely aimed at what that type of player wants in a headset. The overall design harks back to one of Razer's very first headsets, but otherwise, it's all new and improved.

One of the big features that makes it so good for competitive gamers is how lightweight it is. This is one of the lightest headsets you'll find anywhere, and it's comfortable to wear all day every day without suffering fatigue.

Everything about it is tuned for serious gaming. The TriForce drivers are an all-new design that allows highs, mids, and lows to be tuned individually, which, when paired with the improved THX Spatial Audio and dedicated game profiles, makes for an experience like no other.

The main controls are all on the headset, so there's no fumbling around for an inline remote, the earcups are trimmed in fabric, not a leatherette material to reduce perspiration, and the microphone has been improved from recent Razer headsets. Now it cancels out background noise better than ever thanks to an omnidirectional pickup pattern, and it's more sensitive and clear sounding, so your team is never mishearing you.

The Kraken is a great budget buy

Razer Kraken

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The first thing worth highlighting with the Razer Kraken is its lower asking price. It's warranted since you're not getting the fancy THX audio included, but the price alone might well be more enticing.

The Kraken is one of Razer's most iconic headsets, and the latest model is still available in the bright green paint job that has been standing out from the crowd for years now.

It's heavier and more substantial than the BlackShark V2. Despite this, it is still extremely comfortable though you will endure a little more sweat over longer sessions. The sound quality is excellent, with great punch and volume, and as it's 3.5mm, just like the BlackShark V2, it'll also work with consoles and mobile devices, too.

The microphone doesn't detach, but it does retract, but it's another area the Kraken loses out. The microphone on the Kraken is pretty average sounding and definitely on the quiet side, but it's still serviceable for in-game chat.

Making the right choice

Both of these Razer headsets are very good, and you won't be making a bad choice by getting either of them. But there's a couple of easy points to consider when making your final decision.

If you're looking for the best you can get for competitive gaming, whether you're a pro, an aspiring pro, or just enjoy games like Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends, or Call of Duty Warzone, then the BlackShark V2 is easily the best choice.

Not only does it have the additional quality added by THX, but the new dedicated audio profiles developed in partnership with game developers will definitely give you that legendary Razer "unfair advantage."

It's light, extremely comfortable, and truly another game-changer for Razer.

The Razer Kraken loses the THX audio (though the Tournament Edition has a USB dongle and a separate purchase can add it to any headphones now), is larger, and has a lesser quality microphone.

But it also costs a decent bit less than the BlackShark V2 while still supporting as many different devices, being comfortable and sounding great. If you're looking to spend less, then it's still a great choice.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine