The Tournament Edition moniker is what Razer uses to identify the cheapest, no-frills version of any of their product lines.
This isn’t a slight, there is no loss in product quality just because of the Tournament Edition slapped on the name. In fact, they are built specifically for the demanding environment of esports. The Razer Thresher Tournament Edition is designed for players who need comfort for long play sessions, durability and quality without breaking the bank.
The Thresher Tournament Edition is the youngest sibling in the Thresher family of headsets that includes the Thresher Wireless and Thresher Ultimate 7.1 surround headset. The line is also split with versions designed specifically for either PlayStation 4 or Xbox.
So, how good is the AUD$150 Thresher Tournament Edition?
Pretty great actually.
Razer Thresher Tournament Edition Review
Opening the traditional green box reveals a very large headset, the largest ear cups I’ve ever had on any headset. The headset is all black with white Razer triple snakehead logo on each cup. Lifting the Thresher Tournament Edition out of the box immediately surprised me with its extremely light weight.
It’s uncanny how light it is and you can see how that would make it great for long gaming sessions. It feels virtually unnoticeable on your head.
This is also largely due to the unique headband design. The Thresher Tournament Edition uses a ski-band style headband which consists of a springy metal band on top for tension and a leatherette/ fabric ski-band that sits on top of your head adjusts accordingly to its shape. You never feel any pressure on your head and the tension holds the ear cups snugly to your skull.
As I said, the circumaural ear cups are huge, easily covering the largest of ears for a great sound seal. Razer has smartly maintained the cool-gel, leatherette cushions from the more expensive models.
The ear cups are feather light and delightful to wear. I will go so far as to say they are the most comfortable ear cups I’ve had the pleasure to use. And this is coming from someone who struggles with headsets because I wear spectacles. I wear the Thresher Tournament Edition for hours with absolutely no discomfort.
But there is one oddity about these cups and probably the only complaint I have with the Thresher Tournament Edition. Razer uses a swivel mechanic that allows you to flatten the ear cups and it works well. Except that it’s so loose that every time the headsets are not on your head, the ear cups are swinging about wildly. It doesn’t hinder the use of the headsets but can irritate when moving the headsets because of the imbalance.
Razer Thresher TE — Microphone
The Thresher Tournament Edition also differs from its more expensive siblings by losing wireless connectivity. Yep, if you want to use these cans, you are stuck with a wired 3.5mm connection. This cable is hardwired into the left ear cup so you can’t swap it out if it breaks or for cable management. But it’s a sturdy cable, made out of a braided material that seems quite durable. Included on the cable are in-line controls for volume and muting the boom mic.
The boom mic is a retractable affair that neatly stows itself in the left ear cup. I’m a fan of this design because it keeps the overall profile of the headset clean. Simply pull it out of its cubbyhole to begin using it. The soft malleable plastic allows you to adjust it to the optimal position of your mouth. When you’re done, you simply push it back in the hole from whence it came. No fuss.
The microphone audio is good overall with good sensitivity. I did find that my voice sounds a little nasally and there’s a bit of an airy effect but still very clear. Since I game mostly late nights when the kids are asleep, I do appreciate a mic with good sensitivity to pick up my voice without needing to raise my voice.
Here’s a recording taken from the Thresher Tournament Edition for reference:
Razer Thresher Tournament Edition — Excellent all round sound
Going back to the ear cups, they are large in part because they house some powerful 50mm Neodymium drivers that output high fidelity sound. The audio profile is fairly neutral favouring the mids and highs with a decent punch in the lower frequency. It’s no Beats by Dre but it will hit those low notes when needed.
Playing a variety of games, I was pleased with crystal clear audio they output with no distortion. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, walking through the dense Peruvian jungles, the reproduction of jungle sounds was stunning. Birds chirping, monkeys screeching in the branches above me, distant waterfalls roaring; I felt like I was there.
In BioWare’s Anthem, the sound of your rockets as you launch into the sky and the wind rushing past as you fly sounded very epic. Silencing Shaper Relics always release a deep rumbling sound that require great bass response but the Thresher Tournament Edition manage well enough.
Positional audio is excellent though; I could easily pinpoint enemies to my sides or behind me. In the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, walking around towns I was enveloped in the natural sounds of horse hooves, bystander conversations, blacksmiths hammer and roaming chicken.
Listening to music while connected to my MacBook was also pleasant. Turning to my go-to Killmonger theme from the Black Panther soundtrack, the Thresher did a great job reproducing those mad hip-hop bass beats albeit with a hint of distortion. In more orchestral themes like Passion from the Kingdom Hearts 2 soundtrack, the Thresher Tournament Edition soars with a grand reproduction of an amphitheatre.
Overall, if you are a music lover, you will be pleased with these headsets.
Razer Thresher Tournament Edition — Should you buy?
At a recommended retail price of AUD $ 149.95, the Razer Thresher Tournament Edition isn’t exactly what you’d call a budget gaming headset. But considering that the Thresher and Thresher Ultimate each cost $150 and $300 more respectively but you get almost feature parity, this is a steal.
The Thresher Tournament Edition has the same comfort, amazing sound and you don’t have to worry about dongles or charging. Yes, there are cheaper options like the excellent HyperX Cloud and Plantronics Rig 500 Pro but you’d be hard-pressed to match the build quality, comfort and performance of these Razer cans.
The Razer Thresher Tournament Edition has almost no flaws, lacking only wireless connectivity and support for virtual surround like Dolby Headphone or Windows Sonic. Beyond that, they do everything else exceptionally well.
These are a definite must buy.
The Razer Thresher Tournament Edition sample was provided to PowerUp! by Razer Australia for the purpose of this review.
Razer Thresher Tournament Edition Review - Excellent Essentials
Excellent build quality and design
Fantastic game and music audio
Very comfortable for long play
Bang for Buck