When it comes to audio gear for gaming, everyone thinks they’re the expert. But I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s all subjective. You can argue specs and stats all you want, but in the end, it comes down to what sounds best to your ears.
Razer’s Thresher wireless gaming headset for Xbox One looks similar to the rest of the Thresher line-up (most notably the PS4 version), but this one features neon-green accents to match the style of the Xbox brand. Although it’s not the first to market, the Razer Thresher is still one of only a few wireless headsets that’re able to connect to the Xbox’s 2.4GHz transmission frequency natively. This means you don’t need a dongle to connect it to your console. Sadly, this also makes the Thresher for Xbox One a single-purpose headset that’ll only work with your Xbox One or compatible hardware.
You can use it on your Windows PC if you have the Xbox One dongle, but that’s a separate purchase that’ll set you back around R600 if you don’t already own one. If you’re lucky enough to own a laptop with built-in Xbox wireless controller support, like the Lenovo Legion Y720 or the ASUS ROG G703 Chimera, you’ll also be able to connect the Thresher to them natively. Nice!
Technicalities aside, the Razer Thresher is a premium gaming headset that competes with the best on the market today. I’d wager that this is one of the best Xbox One headsets available today. This doesn’t mean the Thresher is perfect, but it comes very close.
Aesthetically speaking, Razer got the Thresher’s design spot-on. The large 50mm audio drivers are wrapped with memory foam, making this a very comfortable headset indeed. Even during extended gaming sessions, the Thresher doesn’t feel uncomfortable or heavy, like some headsets do. The engineers at Razer were even clever enough to include special indentations on either side of the memory foam rings to allow a more comfortable fit for those of us who wear glasses. The cans envelop your ears almost perfectly, with the headband always feeling secure, no matter how hard you shake your head at the camping sniper who just took you out. Even with a cap on, the Thresher feels comfortable.
One of the other things I really like about the Thresher is the fact that the cans are able to rotate on the headset. I often hang my headphones around my neck in between sessions while grabbing my next cold beverage, and the rotating cups enable the Thresher to sit flush against my chest, making them feel a lot more comfortable than most other, larger headphones I’ve tried.
On the left side you’ll find a small protruding microphone, which sits on a flexible arm and can be pulled out about 10cm to find the best positioning for you. The microphone’s boom is soft and bendy, but manages to stay in place where you leave it. There’s also a red LED built into the microphone head. When you mute the microphone, the red light comes on and you’ll be able to spot it in the corner of your eye. It’s a handy feature.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the button placement on the Razer Thresher was an afterthought when the designers sketched the first version of this gaming headset. They seem almost out of place situated at the bottom of each of the cans, especially considering there’s only a power button and two scroll wheels. The left scroll wheel controls your microphone volume, while the right manages the headset’s volume. Pushing the scroll wheel mutes either the microphone or the audio coming through the headset, depending on which one you activate.
Let’s face it, there’s only one metric here that truly matters: audio quality. Multiplayer games in particular require you to make use of audio to listen for the incoming footsteps of your enemies. On that front, I’m happy to report that the Razer Thresher delivers exceptional audio all round.
From the subtle rustling of grass to the loudest explosions, the audio drivers seem to handle the frequency range with ease. There’s also not an overly heavy bass presence in the audio, which is ideal for competitive gaming where subtle, crisp sounds rather than loud drones (not the flying kind, kids) are preferred by most gamers.
The microphone also proved to be very good. My regular group of gaming buddies reported a much clearer audio profile on my end, while incoming voice chat and game audio were clearly separated across each audio driver. Most importantly, I managed to get some solid game-time in with the Battlefield V open beta, and the Thresher was the perfect partner for it.
There’s no doubt that the Razer Thresher for Xbox One ticks all the boxes on the list of things you should expect from a great gaming headset. Battery life sits comfortably at around 15 hours, which is fantastic, and the wireless range you’ll get on these is around the same you’d get on your controller, so no hassles there. You can even use it while it’s charging thanks to the two-metre charging cable that’s included in the box.
As is to be expected, these wireless headphones cost a little more than their wired counterparts – but as a console gamer, I feel it’s worth every cent. If you want to up your gaming experience on your Xbox One, check out the Razer Thresher. You won’t be disappointed.