The Man O'War is Razer's only wireless gaming headset, producing virtual 7.1 surround sound with a rated battery life of 14 to 20 hours.
It houses large 50mm drivers in a stylish, comfortable design, and provides PS4 and PC players with a long-lasting headset that’s tuned for gaming.
It might be pricey, but it's a quality piece of hardware that ticks most of the importand headset boxes.
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The Man O'War is a wireless headset, and utilises a tiny USB dongle that connects directly into a PC or PS4. The headset is relatively large, features a retractable microphone and comes in a distinctive matte-black finish – though glossy accents are present on the top part of the headset.
The earcups display the Razer logo proudly, with the integrated RGB lighting shining in a wide variety of colours. The black mesh on the earcups might fool you into thinking this is an open-back headset, but this is a closed-back affair. Razer has a knack for creating gaming-branded products tastefully, and proves this perfectly with the minimalist style present on the Man O'War.
There's a series of buttons on the Man O'War, with each earcup housing a volume wheel – one for microphone volume and the other for audio volume. You’ll also find the power button and LED indicator on the left cup, with a neat little USB dongle holder on the right cup. As someone who's constantly moving between devices, I appreciate this touch.
Move to the top section of the headset, you’ll find "Razer" etched on the top, with the underside of the headband coated with a faux-leather material stuffed with foam. The Man O'War is also adjustable thanks to the extendable headband. It’s not as adjustable as the Turtle Beach Elite Pro, nor is it as innovative as the system used in the HyperX Cloud Revolver – but it works well.
The actual build quality of the headset is more of a mixed bag however, as the exterior material used throughout is plastic. On a product that normally sells for around £170, I would like to see a bit more metal on show to justify the price. Despite this, the headset feels solid in the hand, and I would expect it to be very durable.
In terms of comfort, the Man O'War is a very comfortable headset to wear. The round earcups had me worried at first, but the fit is actually very satisfying. It’s snug, but never strains against your head. It’s looser than the Turtle Beach Elite Pro, but tighter than the Corsair Void Wireless. The Elite Pro (also £169, but wired) features a higher-quality padding than the Man O'War however, and I would like to have seen Razer implement thicker padding on the earcups and headband. Despite this, the Man O'War remains a very comfortable headset to wear for long gaming sessions.
Generally speaking, the audio quality aboard the Man O'War is very good. The experience begins with the wireless connection, which is very easy to set up. Razer supplies a thumbnail-sized USB dongle that provides up to 12m of wireless range, as well as a 2m extension cable – useful if you have your device out of direct line of sight.
The connection strength is by far my favorite feature on the headset, as no matter where I moved to in the room, the connection was perfect. I was even able to move to the room above my test PC and have a connection (albeit unstable), which is something the Corsair Void Wireless couldn't achieve.
An inherent problem of wireless headsets is the interference they can pick up, and sadly this is an area where the Man O'War does some lose marks. In my test room I could hear a faint hum of static noise through the drivers once connected. It’s not noticeable once you start playing some music or fire up a game, though I suspect that it’s being drowned out rather than eliminated.
The raw sound quality of the Man O'War is pretty good, with midtones delivered smoothly, and a relatively wide soundstage for a closed-back headset. While the high-end never sounds screechy, the low-end does leave a little bit to be desired, and the clarity of vocals is not as tight as I expected. Overall, the sound signature feels a little bit flat when listening to music.
Thankfully, the Man O'War is set up and configured with the Razer Synapse software, which gives users the power to tweak the sound to their liking, as well as enable the 7.1 virtual surround sound. After calibrating the headset and adjusting the EQ, I was able to get a stronger sound from the Man O'War, with a deeper bass response.
The 7.1 audio also makes a big difference here, and really opens up the soundstage. The Battlefield 1 beta felt punchy, with plenty of bass present in explosions and gunfire – the balance of the headset makes gaming a joy. Note that because of the software requirement, the 7.1 audio is for PC only.
The retractable microphone is easy to use, and its mouldable design provides ample adjustment. The sound quality of the microphone is respectable, though not class-leading. It’s quite nasal, and isn't suitable for any serious voice-over work. There’s also a bit of static noise in the background too, but nothing too major. For gaming and voice clients it’s absolutely fine, with vocals coming across clearly and with plenty of volume.
The battery life of the headset is rated for up to 14 hours, though this can be extended to 20 by disabling the RGB lighting. The obvious flaw with RGB lighting in a headset is that you can't see it once you put it on, therefore I'd recommend disabling this. In the real world, the headset lasted over two weeks on a single charge, with about one hour of use per day and the RGB lighting enabled.
The Man O'War excels in gaming applications. It’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time, has a sound signature that’s well suited to games, and can be easily adjusted with the Synapse software.
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While it’s not the best headset out there in terms of raw sound quality, it’s a very well-balanced model that provides an excellent wire-free gaming experience.
A good all-round headset with excellent battery life.