As the ‘V2’ denotes, this is an update to Razer’s existing Seiren mic. Priced to go toe-to-toe with some of the best microphones for streaming, like the Blue Yeti X, the last iteration impressed with the brand’s typically smart looks and spot-on presentation, but couldn’t meet Blue’s outright sound quality.
The new version has a score to settle then. Transmogrifying from ‘blacked out coke can’ to ‘sinister obsidian pill’ in aesthetics and featuring a USB-C connection at the back that’s shaped cleverly so as not to disturb the clean, minimalist lines, the new model is definitely a success in visual design. But then you’d expect that from Razer, whose very packaging is enjoyable to behold and claw at. Some might lament the absence of RGB here, but we think it’s unnecessary on a mic and its omission makes the Seiren V2 Pro all the more attractive.
Design & features
The mic’s placed on a swivel arm which mounts to a reassuringly heavy metal stand. Physical controls are minimal: mic gain, volume for monitoring (with a 3.5mm input at the back), and a backlit mute button. At the base is a thread for direct boom arm attachment, covered with a rubberised guard. Again, typical visual attention to detail. For those not using a boom arm and pop shield, a foam cover is provided which slips over the capsule grille. However, we found this extremely detrimental to the recording quality - definitely go down the pop shield route with this one.
Whereas many USB mics prefer to be aimed at the front, the Seiren VR Pro’s mic membrane is positioned differently and gets the best audio reproduction from pointing the top at the audio source. Just as well, because the USB-C input prevents you from angling the mic upwards. Instead, you need to aim the top of that pill at your mouth, instrument, or avant-garde spoken-word poetry troupe.
With a single cardioid polar pattern here, the Seiren V2 Pro works best with the audio source nice and close to the mic. Even a foot away, there’s an unpleasant roominess to recordings that you’d want to eradicate after the fact with plugins (unless you’re going for the Steve Albini Pixies vocal sound, of course). However, once you do have the mic positioned just right, it’s capable of articulating some really clear and clean recordings.
Razer does have a software suite that it’d like you to tinker with, but it’s not necessary. Stream-quality sound is doable out of the box. You just need to spend a bit of time refining the position and gain level.
On that, though: Razer follows a time-honoured and perplexing industry tradition of on-mic physical controls that don’t offer very much control. It’s certainly not the only culprit here but should have its knuckles rapped for volume and gain dials with no visual markers and infinite rotation. Once you set gain and monitoring volumes to taste, it’s time to either bust out the Tippex or make damn sure you never touch them again.
Still, it’s not so inconvenient as to render the new model Seiren out of the conversation with big-name rivals from Blue, Shure, HyperX et al. Despite a relatively lofty pricing at £150, this one has a lot going for it.
We love the looks, the minimalist design, the ease of setup, and - eventually, after some experimenting with mic placement - the clarity of its sound reproduction. It's a worthy member of the Razer streaming family, for sure. Unfortunately, it still can’t topple the Blue Yeti X’s creamy, natural recordings, but the fidelity’s high enough for most streamers or amateur podcasters without recruiting software plugins.
We do think its natural habitat is attached to the end of a boom arm though, so do factor the additional outlay into your purchase if you don’t already have one. This mic sounds so much better placed close to the input source, and you’d have to spend extended periods stooping or leaning to get that placement on its supplied stand.
Razer can be pleased with this product refresh. The look is understated and attractive, and it has great sound quality that has definitely taken a step forwards. The whole market needs to revise its approach to on-mic controls, though.