Razer has branded itself around recognizably loud gaming gear. Usually dawning black and bright green color schemes with equally bright RGB, the three-headed snake is easily recognizable in the gaming world. In today’s latest release, though, the Razer Opus foregoes the bright green color and even the iconic snake logo for a more subdued wireless headphone. With ANC, 25-hour battery life, and THX-certified sound, Razer has packed a ton of features into the $200 price tag. Head below to watch the video and check it out.
Out of the Box
Getting Opus out of the box, we first have the carrying case. Under that, we find some literature that is the only piece that brandishes Razer’s slogan, “For gamers, by gamers.”
Getting the protective case open, we see the Opus curled up inside. Tucked around the headphones are plenty of accessories. First, we have a USB-C to USB-A adapter. Opus uses a USB-C connection and comes with a USB-C cable, but having the adapter lets you charge the headphones from any standard USB-A port. Next is an airline headphone adapter. For cables, we have the USB-C cable for charging and a 3.5mm TRRS cable.
Coming in black or midnight blue variants, the Opus features a subtle design for Razer. Typically the brand is known for their bright green and black colorway, but that’s nowhere to be found on the Opus, even the packaging. There would be an opportunity to fill the indented Razer logo on the headband with bright green, but they went with a light grey color instead. They’re clearly trying to set these apart from their usual gamer stereotype with a more lifestyle product.
With subtle details all over, the rest of the Opus has an understated design to match their use of the logo. Both earcups can fold in for storage, but also rotate to lay flat on your collar bones.
Razer Opus: Video
Continuing with this clean design, the outside of the earcups is relatively plain except for the raised THX logo. On the left earcup, there are holes dotted around to hide the mics for ANC. Along the bottom, we have many of the connections and controls. First up, we have the USB-C connection for charging, then a 3.5mm jack to use the headset in analog mode.
One neat feature is auto-play/pause. Opus will detect when the headphones have been removed from your ears and automatically pause the media. This can be disabled through the app, but I actually found it pretty useful. It seems to be linked to some sensor in the left earcup. If you pull off just that one side, the media will pause, but it won’t if you do the same action with the right earcup.
Weighing in at 265g, the Opus feels surprisingly lightweight. This makes it comfortable to wear and easy to carry. For comparison, the Drop Panda that we got our hands on earlier this year tipped the scales at 380g.
Wrapped in leatherette, the plush foam ear cushions and headband are very comfortable. The malleable foam provides a good seal around my ears and offers some decent inherent passive noise cancellation. While running, the Opus had a plenty tight grip on my head and didn’t feel like it was going to fall off. This grip also helps with passive noise cancellation.
Razer partnered with THX on the development of the Opus. That means that THX, who is a renowned brand for audio quality, tested the Opus to make sure it met some strict standards for clear vocals and no distortion at high volumes – which I tested and found both to be very accurate.
At its core, Opus is designed to be a wireless on-the-go headset; using Bluetooth 4.2 matched with AAC and APTX codecs for high audio quality. I had no issues connecting to my iPhone 8 and MacBook Pro for playback. With the THX certification, the standard EQ setting from the Opus app has a nice, even response. Highs are very clear without distortion and with controlled lows. These EQ modes can be changed within the Opus app, which we’ll get into here in a little bit.
I did most of my listening in the THX-certified mode because it was a great flat, even response. With this mode enabled, vocals came through clear and lows hit down low without any distortion, even at high volumes.
One of my favorite ways to test low end is to put on Solar Sailer from the Tron Legacy soundtrack and listen to the deep rumbling as the bass line walks down mixed with the orchestral lines overtop. Opus seemed to keep its frequency response and clarity all the way to the top of the volume dial while still reproducing the low end powerfully without any distortion.
My One Issue with the Opus
The only problem I’ve had with the sound from the Opus is the presence of some white noise when powered on. In the pair that I had, there was a noticeable hiss when the headphones were on but audio wasn’t playing. Once I started playing most media, and when I was actually out on the go, I couldn’t really hear or notice the background noise. But in my quiet studio, it was noticeable.
In my listening, where the Opus really shined was when being used in analog mode. Plugged into my MacBook Pro, they sounded great and that white noise wasn’t around. You can power them on and make use of the ANC feature, but when they are powered on you can hear that noise again. In analog mode, the Opus opens up the low end a little bit more and gives a very powerful sound.
Razer Opus App
While relatively simple, the Opus app lets you check the battery charge, switch between four EQ modes, and change some settings. On the main page you can check the battery level and get quick access to EQ changes. Pressing the gear icon in the upper right brings you into the settings page where you can adjust the auto shut off time and enable or disable the auto-pause/resume.
I would love to have the ability to dial in my own custom EQ, or at least play with the ones available and save it to a custom setting. I do like the ones that come with the headset, but if you are a super bass head who wants to rattle your brains out, even the enhanced bass mode is relatively subdued.
Being an on-the-go headset, one of the main features is its active noise cancelling capabilities. With four dedicated microphones placed around the headphones, ANC works great on the Opus headphones. Like most ANC, where it shines is by taking out a lot of low-end room noise. Higher frequencies still make their way in but matched with the passive ANC from the earpads, I found it doing well when I was trying to block out sound at my desk and even while mowing my lawn.
Where it isn’t great, though, is whenever it gets windy. I tried going for a run and also a bike ride, and if there is any significant wind, there is some buffeting or wind noise coming in as it passes over the holes for the microphone. I ended up turning the ANC off while running, which still sounded fine to me.
Quick attention mode is enabled by holding the ANC on/off button and gives a quick glimpse at what is actually going on around you. This can’t be enabled all of the time, but can only be enabled by holding the button. It will turn off when you let go.
Opus also includes a microphone for making phone calls or recording voice memos. Compared to other earbuds I’ve check out recently, it actually sounded pretty decent. It’s no substitute for getting a mic right in front of your mouth, but I was impressed with the microphone. Check out the video to hear it for yourself.
Overall, for the $200 price point, Razer Opus is a great sounding, feature-packed pair of headphones. They’re comfortable, ANC works well, and they sound even more incredible when plugged in via the analog cable. With their more subdued design, they can fit in anywhere and don’t stick out as a gaming brand’s wireless headset. I do think the Drop Panda sounds better, but those are twice as expensive, heavier, and don’t have ANC. That makes the Opus feel like a bargain.
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