Review: Razer Man O’ War stings the competition

The Razer Man O’ War is easily one of Razer’s best wireless gaming headsets yet—and there’s even a bit of a ‘surprise twist’ to that proclamation.

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Razer Man O’ War. (Credit: Razer)

The twist? The Razer Man O’ War (even at an MSRP of around $170) performs as well or better than some competitors costing considerably more—like the Astro Gaming A50. The A50 still earns a strong recommendation from me, but also costs nearly twice as much as the Man O’ War.

In other words, the Razer Man O’ War is actually less expensive than some similar competitors, and a strong overall ‘value’ choice for this class of headset—a bit unusual for Razer in that their flagship products tend to be in the higher price categories—the “Apple” of gaming, if you will.

Razer Man O’ War feature highlights and specifications

The Man O’ War is a wireless 7.1 gaming headset with ear cup mounted controls and a small USB receiver. The receiver can be plugged into any USB 2.0 port on your PC, or into the included extender to allow for optimal placement. Razer claims this can enhance the range of the Man O’ War, but we’re only really talking about what amounts to about an extra 3-6 feet in practical application.
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“This is not how Batman dies!”
(Photo credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)

The Razer Man O’ War operates in the 2.4 GHz wireless range, and includes some advanced features under the hood designed to prevent latency or dropped signals—including “multiple wireless antennas, frequency channel scanning, and an advanced coding algorithm” (per Razer’s press release).

This is all designed to make sure the Man O’ War connects to the best wireless channel, doesn’t drop a signal, and stays latency free. (That said, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced audio latency from any wireless headset, ever—so this be a more important feature if you play further or wander away from your gaming PC by more than a few feet.)

Razer Man O’ War technical specifications

Headphones

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  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω ­ at 1 kHz
  • Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 112 ± 3 dB
  • Input power: 30 mW (Max)
  • Drivers: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
  • Inner ear cup diameter: 60 mm / 2.36 in.
  • Connection type: Wireless USB Transceiver
  • Wireless range: 12 m / 40 ft.
  • Wireless frequency: 2.4 Ghz
  • Battery life: Up to 14 hours with Chroma lighting / 20 hours without Chroma lighting
  • Approximate weight: 375 g / 0.83 lbs.

Microphone

  • Frequency response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: > 60 dB
  • Sensitivity (@1 kHz): -38 ± 3 dB
  • Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional

Ergonomics and Design

The Man O’ War boasts some nice design touches. The USB Receiver, for example, can be inserted into the headset for travel so the two aren’t separated. Press the receiver like a button, and it ejects from the headset, ready for insertion into your PC’s USB port or the wired USB extender.

Independent rocker volume/mute controls for the mic and headset are located on the underside of the left and right ear cups, respectively. The microphone can retract into the headset when it’s not needed, and the tip of it lights up red when it’s muted. Overall, this is probably my favorite microphone design for a headset.

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Photo Credit: Razer

Thick 1” leatherette ear cushions provide a solid, comfortable fit and a small amount of noise isolation. Personally, I would have liked a little more noise isolation. The ear cups rotate 90 degrees so they can rest comfortably around your neck/shoulder area when not in use.

Overall, the Man O’ War earns high marks for its design, and solid marks for comfort. I don’t think I’d quite rank it with the mostcomfortable headsets (which in my experience usually come from lighter headsets using a suspension headband design), but the Man O’ War is definitely close.

Performance

The Man O’ War has strong bass, clear highs, and a fully-featured equalizer to tweak everything to your preferences. The virtual surround sound and quality of the directional audio is about as good as a headset can generally get in my experience. It sounded quite good in Left 4 Dead 2.

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Razer Man O’ War includes a small USB receiver and extender. (Photo Credit: Razer)

One stand-out feature is the surround sound calibration feature in Razer’s Synapse software, which lets you tweak the directional cues according to where you hear them, thus tailoring your perception of the surround sound to the sound itself.

The Synapse software itself is another highlight, and provides a wide range of capabilities, including Bass Boost, Equalizer presets, Mic options, a full 11-channel equalizer, lighting effects, and more.

I dig the microphone design, and it does what it’s supposed to do in casual tests that included Overwatch and Skype calls.

Battery life is rated at up to 14 hours of play—20 hours if you turn off the Chroma lighting effects. Either is probably more than most gamers will truly tax unless you forget to (or can’t) plug the headset in and charge it when you’re done using it.

The wireless range of up to 46 feet only holds up in open-air of course; with an intervening wall or two it drops quickly to around 20-25 feet. Regardless, it’s more than adequate, allowing you to get up from your desk, walk around the office while taking a skype call, and/or grab a print out from a nearby printer.

Overall: Highly Recommended 

The Razer Man O’ War is a best-in-class headset for its price range, and I would argue a notch or two better than some headsets costing twice as much. If you’re in the market for a wireless headset the Man O’ War should be at the top of your list to check out.

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Razer Man O’ War: Batman V. Superman edition. (Photo credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)
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