Does Razer’s pricey flagship have a place in 2021?

Photo taken by the author.

More than any other mouse in their current lineup, the Razer Basilisk Ultimate owes a big debt of gratitude both to years of Razer industrial design expertise…and to the folks over at Logitech.

You’d be forgiven at first glance for thinking that this looks exactly like Logitech’s popular G502 mouse family, which first launched in 2014. The resemblance is undeniable. However, where the Razer Orochi V2 did enough different things to not just feel like a copy of Logitech’s G305…the Basilisk’s current V2 revision is more like the Logitech model than its predecessor.

Can Razer win you over with one…


An incredible value for Xbox and PC gamers

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I’ve watched over the last three decades as third party console controllers transformed from oft-mocked backup choices to viable competitors, and now Turtle Beach is changing the game yet again with their first entry into the space.

The brand new Recon Controller combines excellent first-party-caliber performance with a feature set that’s both impressive for the price, and packed with options that no other controller has. It’s a remarkable first effort and should make all the other manufacturers nervous.

Note: Turtle Beach sent me a final retail unit of this controller to review alongside technical info and some marketing assets. I…


A thoughtful blend of performance, productivity, and portability

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Light mice are all the rage right now, with smaller and smaller models coming from all directions, and several manufacturers locked in a weird race to see how many holes they can cut into their newest designs.

Razer is one of the few companies going in a different direction. They’re still making light mice, but they’re doing so without the holes. And now with the Orochi V2, they’re trying to hit every essential feature point that both gaming and mobile productivity customers would want, but in a light sleek package without any “unnecessary” frills.

It’s not totally perfect (especially as…


Fresh from the Razer parts bin and the minds at…SteelSeries?

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The new Barracuda X wireless gaming headset from Razer is a weird thing. The box touts “4-in-1” connectivity, but it connects to the exact same range of devices as most other USB headsets and only supports connecting to one thing at a time. The Barracuda branding comes from a decade-old lineup of headsets and sound cards, and this new model shares nothing in common with them. Razer uses an “X” in their naming scheme to indicate the budget version of a headset, but right now there isn’t a more-expensive Barracuda product on the market.

Oh and here’s the big one…


The most disappointing gaming headset of 2021?

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I know it’s perhaps too early to declare something the most disappointing headset of the year. It’s only July. There’s still a little over five months for tech companies to release questionable gaming items. But the missteps of this particular product are so frustrating and the company’s legacy so steady that the only thing which could outdo it in the disappointment department is a headset that doesn’t produce audio at all.

Back in the spring, Razer launched the new Kraken V3 X gaming headset. Any time they add a version number to one of their products, I’m expecting something big…


Featuring a sleek new design, 24-bit audio, and a clever control base

Official marketing photo provided by Roccat

The USB microphone market is crowded, but Roccat is looking to stand out with their first big entry into the space. The Roccat Torch will launch August 15th at a price of just $99.99, which is lower than average for a fully-featured USB microphone targeting gamers, streamers, and creators.

Right away, it’s easy to see that the Torch carries on Roccat’s legacy of industrial design, with bold lines and integrated AIMO RGB lighting. I also love the mixer-style base that’s included, which has physical controls for all of the mic’s functions and a headphone jack on the back for real-time…


My favorite unique designs you can get right now

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The gaming headset market has exploded with choices over the last five years. Technology and game enthusiasts love to see new releases constantly, and as such yearly product cycles are common. With that endless iteration comes a lot of safe refinement instead of bold experimentation. Headsets are just headphones with microphones attached after all; why reinvent the proverbial wheel every eighteen months when plenty of good designs exist already?

Without true design ingenuity, there would be no progress. Every gaming headset would be the same thing with a different logo slapped on the side. …


The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) is the most ridiculous console “upgrade” ever.

Official Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) marketing image, www.nintendo.com

For the last several months, credible rumors have been swirling around about an impending update for Nintendo’s popular Switch console. These were not mere internet speculation, but rather reports from respected news sources that had multiple independent confirmations courtesy of a leaky supply chain.

A Nintendo Switch Pro would make a lot of sense right now. The Switch is built around Nvidia’s Tegra X1 APU, a processor/graphics combo that first launched way back in 2015. Nintendo and many third parties have achieved miracles on this hardware, crafting beautiful new worlds and releasing “impossible ports” of graphically intense PS4 games. But…


The best official Sony headset yet?

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Between the three big console manufacturers, Sony is the only one with a long legacy of making audio gear. In the PS3 era, they started to apply that expertise to gaming products, launching their official PlayStation headsets which blend gaming features with dependable audio performance.

The lineup hit its stride on the PS4, with the Platinum, Gold, and Silver headsets representing three different price tiers named after different levels of in-game trophies earnable across PlayStation titles.

For the new PS5 generation, Sony has cleared the slate, simplifying their wireless headset lineup down to one product with an old trademark they…


Making the choice between apparent flexibility and ease-of-use

Photo taken by the author.

Last night, I was standing around in the local Best Buy looking at peripherals on sale to try and figure out what I’m going to review next. As I thought it through, I realized that I have a completely absurd and inefficient problem, familiar to both longtime PC gaming enthusiasts and those like me who review tech peripherals: I have way too many different game company software packages installed.

Razer Synapse. Roccat Swarm. Logitech G Hub. EPOS Surround Sound control thing I can’t remember the name of. HyperX Ngenuity. …

Alex Rowe

I write independent tech, game, music, and audio reviews and analysis from a consumer perspective. Support me directly at https://ko-fi.com/alexrowe

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