It has been way too long since we covered a wireless ANC (Active Noise Canceling) headset that is geared towards everyday music and media consumption. This time around, this everyday consumer headset is coming from a name you know, but not one you would expect. Razer has combined their expertise in gaming audio and THX-certified sound presentation to produce the Razer Opus. This headset is designed to be the all-around solution for audio enjoyment for the on-the-go. When we got our initial peeks at the Razer Opus back at CES 2020, we made sure to keep this headset in our radar. We thought to ourselves, “considering all that Razer has done in both audio and mobile, why not attack this market?”
Well, now we have had our chance to check it out for ourselves. Let us dive right into the Razer Opus headset to see what makes it special.
Razer Opus Headset Technical Specs
|Inner Earcup Diameter||Major Diameter 91 mm, Minor Diameter 69.5 mm|
|Frequency Rresponse||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Impedance||12 Ohm (1 kHz)|
|Sensitivity||105 dB/mW by HATS (1kHz)|
|Earpad Material||Protein Leather/Nylon with Foam|
|Connectivity||Wireless (Bluetooth 4.2) & Wired (3.5mm)|
|Microphone||4 for hybrid ANC, 2 for voice chat (Omni-directional)|
|Microphone Frequency Response||100 Hz – 10 kHz|
|Microphone Sensitivity (@1khz)||-38 dBV/Pa (1kHz)|
|Battery Life||Up to 25 hours with ANC on|
Source: Razer Opus Press Kit and Product Page
Out of the box, a Razer Opus wireless headset comes complete with a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB-C charging cable, a USB-A to USB-C adapter, an airline headphone adapter, and a nice leatherette shell carrying case.
Build and Features
Coming in Midnight Blue and Black color options, the Razer Opus is a sleek and attractive headset that folds into itself nicely for easy transport. The headset features memory foam behind a leatherette skin for its ear cushions and headband. Each side of the headband showcases the Razer logo while each ear cup features the THX logo. Considering this is a headset aimed at a broader market than simply gaming, I like that they went with the worded Razer logo instead of their three-headed snake, this time around. This helps establish a headset style that feels more appealing to a broader audio consumer than a gaming one.
When the Razer Opus is folded into itself, it fits snugly into its shell carrying case, which neatly holds all of the headset’s included accessories. It truly is a headset to be taken and used anywhere.
On the left ear cup, you have the main power button, the ANC and Ambient toggle button, and a 3.5mm jack for using the headset in passive/wired mode. The right ear cup features buttons for volume up, volume down, and a universal media control button. Tap the media button once for toggle between play and pause, tap twice for forward track and tap three times for back track. The left ear cup cushion houses a sensor that detects when you remove the Razer Opus from your head, automatically pausing whatever media you have playing.
The ANC/Ambient button toggles the headset’s Active Noise Cancelation on and off. However, pressing and holding this button activates the Razer Opus’ Ambient Mode for as long as you hold down the button. In Ambient Mode, the Razer Opus uses its mics to play through the sounds of your surroundings, allowing you to hear the outside world without having to remove the headset.
Have a sound source that you want to tap into that only offers wired connectivity? The Razer Opus has you covered there also, supporting wired usage through a 3.5mm cable. Going even further, the headset also comes with an airline headphone adapter. In wired/passive mode, you can use the Razer Opus while it is powered off. Yet, if you are looking to make use of the headset’s ANC capabilities, you are free to turn on the headset just for that. The Razer Opus’ ANC feature can be used in any listening scenario, wireless or wired.
Comfort and Ease of Use
In the comfort department, the Razer Opus is a dream to wear. Even from right out of the box, there was no need to break in this headset in any way. The Razer Opus had the perfect amount of tension, being lightweight and gentle with its grasp while maintaining a perfectly secure hold on my head. The leatherette memory foam ear cups were very soft, which adds to the headset’s overall comfort while doing an excellent job with passive sound isolation. Even in four-hour spurts, while keeping my mask on outdoors, the headset remained comfortable in long-term and continuous usage scenarios. Even after about four hours, especially with those mask straps around my ears, only the mildest of wearing fatigue started to settle in. However, the fatigue was nothing close to a level that would discourage me from continuing use.
Ease of use is fairly solid with the Razer Opus. The power and ANC/Ambient buttons are straightforward and easy to finagle. The buttons differ in size and are quite far from each other, making each button easy to reach for. I was particularly impressed with how Razer implemented and arranged the media buttons on the right ear cup. At first glance, I winced how close the volume up, volume down, and media control buttons were to each other. However, the media control button in the center is actually more sunken or lower than the surrounding volume buttons. Thanks to this, you could easily distinguish which button you are about to press as soon as you reach for this trio of buttons. There was practically no learning curve whatsoever in getting used to the Razer Opus’ button layout, allowing you to focus on simply enjoying the sound.
I did have a minor takeaway when it came to moving between tracks. As mentioned before, two quick presses of that middle button initiates “Forward Track” while three taps trigger “Back Track”. Specifically referring to Back Track, getting the timing of the three presses took a little getting used to. Until I sped up my presses, the headset was reading two taps followed by a single tap. The headset was very eager to trigger a Forward Track and Pause if I was too slow with my trio of taps. After about a minute or two, I understood how fast the headset wanted me to tap to properly trigger a Back Track. Once I was over that hurdle, this issue stayed behind me.
Performance and the Razer Opus App
The free Razer Opus companion app for iOS and Android allows you toggle between the headset’s five preset EQ settings. It also offers some quality of life features. For instance, it acts as the means of providing necessary firmware updates. If you are not a fan of the auto-pause feature when you remove the headset, here is where you can toggle it off. You can also adjust how long you want the headset to wait before shutting off automatically when there is no sound playing for a period of time.
Mostly notably, the companion app allows you to toggle between five THX-certified pre-customized EQ’s. The EQ’s break out as follows…
THX – This is the Razer Opus’ “vanilla” sound presentation. Well-balanced and very enjoyable. Mids and lows felt only a pinch more dominant than the Highs. That is not to say that percussion/drums were lacking in presence. Overall, a very strong and enjoyable “vanilla” EQ. If I never installed the Opus app, I would have been more than satisfied with this sound presentation. These sentiments carried over to when I dabbled with wired usage, with the headset powered off. A solid presentation indeed.
Amplified – My favorite EQ for the Razer Opus. Designed to make the presentation feel “louder”. Here, vocals and bass take a step up higher than the highs, but not so much to cause me to lose any appreciation for percussion. Sound is simply more vibrant and livelier. After spending much time with each of the EQ’s, I felt pressed to come back to this EQ somewhat permanently.
Vocal – Strangely enough, I felt that THX, Amplified and Enhanced Clarity each delivered a better “vocal” presentation that this EQ. That said, I didn’t see much value in this one when compared to the others.
Enhanced Bass – This EQ does what it suggests, bringing the bass (lows) to the forefront. However, it came across as only a minor bump up in bass while softening the mids and highs. I love bass, and this EQ is ok. However, THX and Amplified simply felt as they delivered a better overall bass presentation.
Enhanced Clarity – Similar to Enhanced Bass, this EQ brought highs to the forefront while mids and lows took a step back. However, I felt this EQ performed better at enhancing highs than the Enhanced Bass EQ did at enhancing lows. If you want to make those high hats and crashes sound sharper at the expense of the other ranges, then this one is for you.
Overall, the THX-certified sound presentation of the Razer Opus is an enjoyable one. However, what I found particularly interesting was their implementation of ANC. The ANC in the Razer Opus uses mics both on the inside and outside of the earcups to get an accurate account of the outside noise that it needs to assess. This is Hybrid ANC.
Impressively, the ANC is quite effective while not degrading the headset’s natural sound presentation. I was able to happily sit outside, socially distanced, enjoying my music while remaining unaware of nearby singing performances outside of the bar next door.
Outside of music and movie enjoyment, we were sure to make use of this headset’s ANC features for some distraction free gaming. Thanks to the ability to use the ANC even while wired, this opened up the Razer Opus to even more usage scenarios. Want to use ANC for some current-gen console gaming? Just plug the Razer Opus into a compatible controller and have at it. Have a Razer Kishi? Dive into some distraction-free gaming on the go without worrying about interfering with controller inputs via Bluetooth. The Razer Opus’ versatility flourished in all of our listening scenarios.
The Ambient mode feature also worked quite well. Simply holding the ANC/Ambient button for the about a second will trigger the headset’s mics to listen to your surroundings. This is perfect for exchanging some quick words with a passerby without having to remove your headset. Once you take your finger off the ANC/Ambient button, your media simply resumes play. No problems here as this was a straightforward feature that simply worked.
If I were to take anything away from this performance and feature set, it would be the lack of customizability of EQ’s. Many audio products out now, both pricier and cheaper than the Razer Opus, let users customize their own EQ’s. Seeing the interface in the Razer Opus app, I naturally tried messing around with the various frequencies. However, while you can see the result of your EQ changes, you can’t manually change them yourself. You can only use the five canned EQ’s. Fortunately, Razer is already looking to add this feature into the app in the future. So eventually this will be a non-issue.
At $199, the Razer Opus is a very nice and interesting hat-toss into the ANC headset arena. For the sound performance, ANC quality, and comfort it offers, it is a very respectable purchase at that price point. The ANC in the Razer Opus rivals that of more expensive headsets. The headset comes with all of the accessories that you would expect to come with a high-end audio product. Its ease of use and simple yet attractive aesthetic helps solidify this purchase for anyone looking for a luxury wireless headset with all of the trimmings.
If you are looking for high-end, wireless, ANC-ready audio under $300, the Razer Opus is a solid product worth checking out. Take a look at the Razer Opus for yourself by clicking here.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a Razer Opus and some product images for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.