I spent an unhealthy amount of time with this headset over the past month. I’ve used it to outmaneuver my enemies in Halo 5, to discover all the hidden production techniques used in LCD Soundsystem’s discography, and even to have a Skype call with my mom.
The majority of that time was spent in pure Dolby 7.1 surround sound bliss with my friends hearing me clearly and my comfort levels at an all time high. Despite a few issues I experienced during non-gaming related usage, my gaming centric time with the headset has been nothing short of wonderful. The Razer Thresher Ultimate is a well-crafted headset designed with the hardcore gamer in mind, and one I plan on using for a long time.
As is standard in top-tier headsets, the Thresher sports 50 mm drivers on either side. These endured most every sound I threw at them with exceptional quality. Footsteps were always heard and dialogue understood. That being said, turning surround sound on could blend party chat with gameplay a little too much, leading me to turn gameplay down to an undesirable level just to listen to my friends talk. I’d recommend turning it off during party chat for a smoother experience.
When playing a game alone, the surround sound was an absolute pleasure. My one complaint: the lows could use a small boost. Listening to the engine of my Audi R8 roar all around me in Forza Horizon 3 makes up for not hearing the bass in the soundtrack as clearly as I’d wish.
The sound is delivered via a 2.4GHz wireless connection from the included hub. Xbox One audio comes from the included optical cable while PC/Mac is USB. The hub has a power button for syncing with the headset, and one for activating surround sound. It also features a switch on the back for moving between PC and Xbox.
Design and Comfort
Without question, the Razer Thresher is one of the most comfortable headsets on the market. Both cups are made of super-soft noise-insulating ear cushions each around an inch thick. The detachable cups keep ears cool and sound out. Those who so desire are encouraged to place the cups in a freezer for 20 minutes to keep them extra cool for longer. Under these cups are indentations allowing for comfortable wear with glasses, and I’m marking this as an essential feature for all future headsets. Each ear glows a warm green (or blue on the PS4 version) while powered on, in typical Razer fashion.
The headband is thin yet comfortable. I forget about it the second my head comes in contact. It’s a solid blend of metal and plastic to ensure longevity. I’ve worn it upwards of six hours at a time and needed little adjustment. For travel, the cups rotate flat for sliding into slim spaces. I’ve traveled all over with the Thresher and I’ve not worried about breakage despite being stuffed in with my other belongings.
Most control is right on the headset. Power it on, mute yourself, adjust volume and mixing – all under your ears. You’ll refer to the base for surround sound and initial power, but that’s it.
Due to the antenna on either side, you’ll rarely encounter sound drops upon turning your head. The headset signal reaches up to 40 ft. – I’ve done lots of music-assisted cleaning between rooms without interruption. The Thresher has a sixteen-hour battery life with a four hour recharge time. A headset stand fits snug over the hub. Unfortunately, it doesn’t charge the Thresher, it must be plugged in via an included micro-USB.
As mentioned, the boom microphone retracts into the left cup for complete removal when not in use. A quick pull and it’s ready for use. The mic has a small adjustment radius, but not as much as I’d like. I’m a loud talker, however, and the mic is fairly sensitive even at its furthest distance. I’ve had multiple people ask me to lower my talking volume with the Thresher, a problem I’ve never had with other headsets. It’s quality enough to record a podcast with, but I wouldn’t use it as a replacement for a standard one. Since the mic is out of eyesight, a red light at the end is an easy way to note whether or not you’re muted.
When on Xbox, the Thresher Ultimate was a breeze to use. The headset pairs within seconds of turning on, aided by a visual confirmation. PC/Mac works similar, but you’ll have to switch the USB. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few problems here. At random times, the mic would stop working for no reason. I’d have to switch to a different one or restart my computer for it to register the mic again. This happened during Discord chats, Google hangouts, Skype calls, on both Windows and Mac multiple times. Based on that testing, I have to assume it’s something on Razers end. It was inexplicable, and I ended up resorting back to my old headset for recordings and meetings.
Despite the microphone problems on the computer, I thoroughly enjoy using the Razer Thresher to game. It works flawlessly on Xbox and provides some truly quality sound, with the comfort for all-night gaming sessions indeed. Also, having a wireless headset is GREAT. The ability to blast quality music in my ears without carrying my phone around makes doing busywork much more enjoyable.
Now, the Thresher sits high on the headset chain with a $249.99 retail price. It’s known Razer products are typically higher priced, but it’s important to note that similar products exist for cheaper. The Razer Thresher is still a sturdy, phenomenal sounding wearable, but it may be a stretch for those looking to save. Those that do spring for it, however, will not regret it.