Razer Opus review: Solid midrange ANC headphones

Razer is stepping out of the world of gaming with the release of Opus, a pair of over-the-ear active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones priced at $200. Opus is THX certified, has a very muted design (especially for Razer), and a fairly limited feature set. The sound is relatively clear and powerful and favors a bright sound stage, but the noise cancelling is lacking against some of the top ANC headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3 despite it’s advanced design. It’s available now on Amazon and Razer.com in Midnight Blue, with a Black option coming at a later date.

Razer Opus Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Razer Opus blends into most outfits.

Specs and features

The Razer Opus features 40mm drivers inside a lightweight headset with plush leatherette memory foam ear cushions, weighing in at 265g. It connects by a 3.5mm analog cable (included) or Bluetooth to your phone or PC via AAC, and there’s aptX support. Inside the carrying case is the mentioned 1.5m 3.5mm analog cable, a 30cm USB-C cable for charging, a USB-A to USB-C adapter, as well as the standard airplane analog adapter. Both the 3.5mm and USB-C ports are located on the left can and are easily accessible.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best headphones, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

Razer Opus Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Inside the Razer Opus case.

Opus is also equipped with four microphones (two external and four external) used for a mixture of calls and for ANC—more on that later. The microphone call quality is very average, which is to be expected given the over-the-ear design—there is just only so much tuning that can be done to battle the physics of the microphones being so far from your mouth. I didn’t run into any glaring problems during calls, and neither did the recipients.

The battery is stated to last for 25 hours with ANC enabled and around 32 hours with it disabled, but in my testing it fell a bit short of those numbers under constant listening. The stated charging time from a depleted battery is 4 hours was very accurate—there’s no rapid charging for a quick turn around like Sony’s.

Razer Opus Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Control buttons on right ear cup.

The headset includes easy-to-find and satisfyingly clicky buttons alongside the lower parts of the headphones. On the left side is a power button that triggers a pleasing powering up sound effect when turning on and a small status indicator LED next to it signaling the various power states. Above that is the NC/Ambient switch that toggles between active noise cancelling on and off. Press and hold that same button to engage a Quick Attention mode that passes the signal from the outer microphones into the mix and allows you to address someone speaking to you or to boost your awareness of your surroundings.

Unfortunately this feature can’t be enabled as a full time mode–again, like on the WH-1000XM3–as I sometimes like the option to be on for longer than I’m willing to hold the button down for. Hopefully this can be implemented via a software update as it is the feature I missed the most from Sony’s product.

Razer Opus Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Left ear cup on top.

One feature that is appreciated is the auto play/pause that is engaged when putting the headphones on and taking them off. Even most high-end ANC headphones lack that feature, and frankly, it was easier and faster to take the headphones off and pause my music to speak with someone than it was to find and hold down the NC/Ambient button. 

On the right can is where the volume up and down buttons are, with a recessed multi-function button placed in between. The middle multi-function button is used for things like play/pause and engaging a phone’s personal assistant. I had no problem finding and engaging these buttons, which are large enough and placed evenly across the back side. The control setup on the Opus is simpler and easier to use than the swipe controls on the WH-1000XM3—a welcome advantage.