The Banshee is Razer's StarCraft II branded headset, which retails for an eye-watering £96. This is £20 more than Razer's Carcharias, which is our current favourite headset.
The Banshee is large and heavy, and made more cumbersome by a 2.1m braided cable. Thankfully, the headset's firm grip on your head means that the cable doesn't pull on the ear cup to which it's attached. The Banshee connects to your PC via USB, and has its own sound processor. A detachable microphone boom is included too, and there are independent controls for the headset and microphone volume - as well as mute buttons for each - on the ear cups.
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Comfort was one of the strong points of the Carcharias, but we're not convinced by the Banshee. The circumaural ear cushions and headband cushion are large and soft, yet our heads still started to ache after prolonged use. This stemmed from the fact that more pressure was applied above our ears than below them; even the ample adjustment provided by the headband couldn't solve the problem.
Our biggest disappointment was the sound quality, though. Everything we threw at the Banshee sounded muffled and exhibited a very harsh high end. The StarCraft II Configurator software includes an equaliser, but even after significant tweaking we found that games, music and films sounded poor.
Another complaint was the brightness of the lights on the Banshee's ear cups, which we could see glowing in our peripheral vision. Thankfully, you can turn them off using the StarCraft II Configurator.
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As with the Spectre mouse, Razer seems to have gone to great lengths to make the Banshee both look and feel like a StarCraft II peripheral. The Banshee is more than just a spray painted version of one of Razer's current products.
Unfortunately for Razer, though we’d actually prefer the Banshee if it was just a repainted version of its own Carcharias headset, which is better than the Banshee in almost every way. Give your ears the care they deserve and leave the Banshee on the shelf.