A week or two ago we had a glimpse of Razers latest headset, the Man O’ War, as the Tournament Edition was included in their range of Overwatch branded peripherals. That version is wired and compatible with smartphone, console, and PC. The high-end headset in the range is all about PC gaming, though, and wireless use. The sound quality of the TE was impressive, so let’s see if that has continues in our Razer Man O War Review (PC/PS4).
Razer Man O War Review – Packaging and Bundle
The Man O’ War arrives in a box which is unmistakeable Razer and the front surface opens to reveal some transparent plastic with the headset beneath. Bundled with the Man O’ War is a set of product documentation and stickers, USB charging cable, wireless transmitter/receiver and an extension cable and dock for that device.
Razer Man O War Review – The Headset
The headset uses an over-ear, closed cup design with each earcup featuring a significant amount of foam padding, as does the headband. Razer has designed the Man O’ War to have a wide range of movement on each cup, almost folding flat. Razer branding goes across the top of the headband and each side of that extends by over an inch. Also worth noting is that the Razer Logo on each earcup is LED lit with colours and effects available via the Razer Synapse control panel.
In terms of specifications we get:
- Connection type: Wireless USB Transceiver
- Wireless range: 12 m / 40 ft
- Wireless frequency: 2.4 Ghz
- Battery life: Up to 14 hours with Razer Chroma lighting / 20 hours without Razer Chroma lighting
- Approximate weight: 375 g / 0.83 lbs
Looking around the earcups in a little more detail, starting with the left, we have a power button, charging LED, USB charging port and mic volume dial with push to mute. Over on the right is the volume dial for the headset, again with push to mute, and that panel which looks like a button is actually the storage space for the bundled wireless transmitter.
Our audio specifications are:
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 32 ? at 1 kHz
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 112 ± 3 dB
- Input power: 30 mW (Max)
- Drivers: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
- Inner ear cup diameter: 60 mm / 2.36 in
Back over on the left cup we find the microphone which slides 0ut from inside on its flexible arm. The end of the mic lights red when muted and as far as the specifications go…
- Frequency response: 100 – 10 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: > 60 dB
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): -38 ± 3 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
Razer Man O War Review – Software
As always we control our new Razer device through their Synapse software. It is great to have all our Razer peripherals in one place and as far as the Man O’ War goes, we start with a configuration panel which lets us tailor the virtual 7.1 audio to our ears (7.1 not available on PS4). In the second panel, we move to the key controls for volume, bass boost, noise normalisation and the level of incoming voice levels. Next up is the mic panel which features volume, sensitivity, the ability to monitor our own audio and ends with noise reduction settings.
Our next screen is “Mixer” which allows us to set volume and 7.1/2.0 settings depending on the applications we use. EQ allows fine tuning of the sound, including pre-set profiles and then lighting lets us configure the effects and colours on the earcups. Finally,OSD lets us place, or turn off the volume overlays.
Razer Man O War Review – Conclusion
Starting with the build quality of the Man O’ War we have a headset which looks pretty good. The mix of materials/finishes looks great but that said, we do feel that it is a bit plasticky. The odd bit of metal here and there, e.g. visible on the extendable sections of the headband, would go a long way to enhancing the quality. There are some nice touches, though, like each of the screws being covered which show that a decent amount of thought has gone into the headset.
On the design front, we like the fact we can store the wireless transmitter in the earcup, that there are easily accessible controls on the earcups and that the mic can be hidden away when not in use. The mute LED is also a feature which we appreciate.
As far as the software goes. As we’ve said before, we very much like Razer Synapse. Having all of our devices controlled from one panel is ideal and the software is responsive as well as intuitive. All very good so far. So what about the performance?
In our testing, we identified two issues. Firstly we found the power saving to be a little aggressive. If your audio finishes and no further sound is transmitted within a couple of minutes the headset powers off. If you are listening to music and your album, queue or playlist ends while you are distracted by another task, more often than not you’ll need to turn the headset back on as it will have powered down. Fortunately, this is a minor issue due to the headset connecting within a second of being turned on, no pairing needed, you turn on, it’s ready to go. Our second issue causes more of an impact and that is a volume level which is quite limited out of the box. The headset is just about loud enough in most cases but any sort of source (often YT videos) which were not created with a loud volume level can end up being too quiet on the Man O’ War. Ticking the Sound Normalization box and setting to 100 makes a bit of a difference but there were a number of occasions, too many really, where we had the headset/system volume at 100% and it still wasn’t loud enough. (This can be resolved with software plugins, or in some apps like VLC where there is an option to go past 100% volume but really, a basic function of a headset should be that it is overly loud and our choice on where we top out.)
Other than that those issues, though, everything else is spot on. From a quality point of view, the Man O’ War sounds fantastic. Plenty of detail, bass when needed and good virtual positional audio. It was also great to experience some decent music playback from a gaming headset. All too often gaming headsets offer a decent movie playback experience, on top of games, but lack quality in music. That isn’t the case here, all three tasks were produced to a high quality, regardless of the genre being played. Mic quality too was good, minimal background noise was heard by our teammates and feedback from those we gamed with was that our voice was crystal clear. Finally, battery life, again all very positive. Razer quote 14hrs with lighting, 20 with none. Our headset hit these figures which is great.
Summary: Decent looks, top notch software, good wireless range, and some excellent audio quality.