Big, powerful, brilliant.
While the circumaural design of the Banshee is designed for sound isolation, what I found out while wearing them was that when there was no audio coming from the headset, I could quiet easily hear outside noise. It wasn’t complete sound isolation, which, for me is a great thing as I can easily listen to what’s happening around me (you know, to keep tabs on things in real life). However, if I wanted complete concentration, a slight bump in the volume would give me exactly that; a completely fulfilling experience where my concentration was just on the StarCraft II matches on hand.
The ear cups on the Banshee are big enough that my entire ear easily fit into them, with extra room to spare. For someone like me who wears specs, this is truly a blessing since my ears were in no way strained and wearing them for extended periods didn’t mean getting uncomfortable. The mic boom may not be extendable, but the thick rubber easily bent to whatever way I desired.
And now I just want to talk about how brilliant the Banshee headset truly is. I was surprised to hear such brilliant audio from just a stereo headset. Certainly I wasn’t expecting much, but the 50mm drivers proved to be better, in both games and music, than the more expensive Sennheiser PC 163D headsets I reviewed some time back! Of course, the 5.1 audio in certain games and all movies was still unbeatable.
One thing that annoyed me was that every time I plugged in the Banshee into my PC, which has Windows 7 Ultimate and the latest Razer StarCraft II drivers (v1.01) installed, I required a restart before any audio could be heard from the headset. Of course, this could have been an isolated issue. While this was not such a big deal for me, as I had the Banshee plugged in all the time, switching audio between my speakers and the headset whenever I desired, but this maybe an issue for those who are using a laptop.
Unlike the Razer Marauder keyboard and Spectre mouse, the Banshee headset actually looks good on its own, and doesn’t necessarily have to be paired up with the keyboard and mouse. The audio performance is exceptionally good in stereo and very nice in movies as well, so it can be used for anything. I will say this, though, that with all three StarCraft II products (keyboard, mouse and headset), the APM Lighting System makes you look like a disco lighting system, with multi-colored LEDs lighting up at various frequencies. It’s quite a sight to behold.