Design & Construction
The wireless ANC headphone market as you have known by now, has become such a popular place to be in. Now, Razer has their own wireless noise-cancelling headphones. This time, they are doing away with all that fancy RGB lightings as well as their iconic 3-headed snake logo. On the exterior of the headphones design, you will find a very aesthetic and clean design that looks like a cross between the previous generation Sony WH-1000XM2 and WH-H900N. Here, I have the midnight blue version which looks as minimalistic as it could get. All controls for music playback and calls are controlled via the physical buttons on the both the earcups. Let’s start off with the left earcup, where we have both the Power button and the NC/Ambient button, 3.5mm audio input for wired use as well as the USB-C port for charging. Single press the NC button turns on or off Noise-cancelling and holding it down will activate Quick Attention Mode. Quick Attention is a feature that allows users to instantly pause the music and deactivate noise-cancelling to hear others when people wants to interact with you. Holding down the Power button will put the headphones in pairing mode. After you are done, release the button and everything will retract back to normal. On the right earcup, there is the volume controls as well as the multi-function play/pause button. Single press to play/pause the music or answer/end a call, a double press skips forward and a triple press skips backwards. Holding down the Power button will put the headphones in pairing mode. The Opus also feature auto play and pause when you remove the headphones from your ears. However, the sensors appear to be only on one earcup as it will only pause your music when you lift the left earcup. On the sides of the headband, you will find the Razer logo with an extendable headband extensions in brushed black metal and the THX logo on the lower portion of the earcups themselves. The overall construction feels solid but a little stiff on the headband arms that hold the earcups didn’t managed to rotate as much but it still managed to feel comfortable on my head. Throughout long listening sessions, I never experienced any wearing fatigue but I do feel that the earcups does heat up after an hour or two when commuting in warmer weather days. Overall, the headphones do feel very lightweight and it wasn’t a problem for those who wear spectacles like myself. On the headband, there is also cushioned headrest which provides for some stability when commuting. The exterior of the headphones features a matte colour scheme that resists fingerprints smudges very well. On the top, the headband holding the structure is made of metal and the earcups pivot left and right and folds up for easy storage.
Moving on to sound quality, the Razer Opus is THX-certified, hence they do give off a very neutral and near flat type of sound that are usually found on reference monitor headphones. I am glad to say they did rather well in achieving that level of clarity. However, it did it at the expense of the bass reproduction. In term of bass performance, the Opus is near flat. The bass exists but it is only produced when the bass drop kicks in. It is definitely bad news for bassheads since the bass is only the audible type and does not rattle the headphones even at maximum volume level. On the other hand, the Opus did a really great job in reproducing the mids and highs. The vocal and instruments could be heard with an extreme amount of details and it really shines. The soundstage was unfortunately shallow and did not have much depth and detail although distinct left and right channels could be heard. The mids are very crisps and highs do hit their peak and never sounded too shrill to listened to even when you push the volumes to high levels. If you are looking to change up the sound signature, I have good news and bad news. So, let’s talk about the good news first. The Opus headphones features a compatible app known simply as Opus on the App and Play Store for download. In the app, there is the main and only interface where the equaliser lies. There are different presets like the original THX preset, Amplified, Vocal, Enhanced Bass, Enhanced Clarity. The THX preset is best if you need to do some reference audio listening or if you prefer a neutral sound signature. Meanwhile, the Amplified preset was the best in my opinion with an boost in volume as well as overall brightness to the sound signature in the lows and mids range while keeping the sparkle in the highs. The rest of the presets didn’t managed to sit well with the wide variety of songs I tried listening to. The Enhanced Bass preset was particularly bad with the headphones distorting and making the bass muddy together with a drastic decrease to the volume. It is also important to take note that the Opus isn’t the loudest headphones on the market and I personally had to increase the volume to approximately 90% - 100%. In other headphones of the same price point I tested, I only needed around 80% - 90%, although not much of a difference, it is still worth considering for those who love to blast their music loud. Towards the top left of the app interface is where you can check your battery life but it will not show the exact battery percentage, for that, you will need to check it on the Android Bluetooth settings. Moving on to the settings, you can check the current firmware and update the firmware in the future, change the amount of time the headphones will turn off after when left in idle mode as well as turn off/on the sensors that enable auto play/pause. The app is pretty barebones I have to admit when compared to its competitors but it is definitely better than nothing at all. Next, the noise-cancelling abilities of the Opus, they are on the decent level. For their price point, you can’t possibly expect them to compete with the market leaders like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 or Sony WH-1000XM3. They do block out low frequency noise petty well like the hum of an AC unit or any constant buzzing noise but they fail to do so with high frequency noises like chatter of the people in commute nor the daily sounds of the road traffic. However, it is not all bad when you bring in the music through the headphones. Most of the noise will be blocked out. We should also take note that the Opus noise-cancelling produce a low hiss when you use them without any music on, so it definitely isn’t the cleanest experience. They are also very prone to wind noise intrusion. When seated next to a fan or outdoors where gusts of wind blow pass you, you will definitely be aware of. If we recall, the previous generation of Sony headphones which share the similar design had this issue too. As the mics on the earcups are not recessed, they are very affected by wind noise. One last issue with the noise-cancelling is the fact that you cannot customise your noise-cancelling levels but that was a common problem with noise-cancelling headphones of this price point. Lastly, the call quality on the Opus is decent and useable for a quick call but it is also prone to letting in wind noise affect its quality.
Connectivity & Portability
the Razer Opus supports AptX & AAC codecs together with Bluetooth Version 4.2. No Bluetooth 5.0 unfortunately. The battery life peaks at 25 hours per use. The package also comes with a short USB-C to USB-C cable for charging as well as a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, 3.5mm audio cable for wired usage, an airplane adaptor for flight use as well as an excellent hardshell carrying case for storage. The USB-C port on the Opus, however, does not allow for wired music playback when connected to a USB-C device, only the 3.5mm cable can do so. On the other hand, the hardshell carrying case is commendable on Razer’s part, enabling user to store the headphones as well as cables and keep everything in place with a zip. Not many companies spend the effort to threw in extra accessories at this price point but it is definitely notable that Razer did it. The headphones' connectivity to the app is perfect as I never experienced it being unable to detect my headphones. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency.
25 Hours Battery Life
Physical Controls For Music Playback, Volume & Calls
Quick Attention Mode
Hardshell Carrying Case
No Noise-Cancelling Customisation
Noise-Cancellation Background Hiss
Mediocre Call Quality
The Bottom Line
The Razer Opus is a competent budget noise-cancelling wireless headphones. With a neutral sound signature, customisable sound settings and decent noise-cancelling, it makes it worthy of its price. Razer does offer these in a two colours, black and blue.
WE RATE IT!
Other Notable Competitors
Watch The Video Review