Bottom line: Razer Opus X is a more affordable version of the Opus headphones with a few compromises. Thanks to the low-latency gaming mode and Active Noise Cancelation, it's great for listening to music, podcasts, and gaming on your iPhone.
Comfortable to wear for extended periods of time
Has Active Noise Cancelation with Quick Attention Mode
Low-latency gaming mode at 60ms
Good sound quality with 40mm drivers
Comes in white, pink, or green
Doesn't sound as great as the original Opus
No carrying case, and it doesn't fold down
No 3.5mm audio jack
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As more people continue to work remotely from home, having a good pair of noise-canceling headphones is more important than ever. The market for these is certainly crowded, though, so it may be hard to find the one that's right for you.
Razer is a brand that is well-known for its plethora of gaming peripherals with RGB lighting and computers, including headphones and headsets. The latest product from Razer is the Opus X Wireless Headphones, which is just a more affordable version of last year's Razer Opus headset, with a few compromises, of course.
I was a big fan of the original Opus headphones, so I wondered how the Opus X would stack up. If you want an affordable but comfortable pair of headphones for your mobile lifestyle in some bold colors, then the Razer Opus X is a good fit.
Razer Opus X: Price and availability
The Razer Opus X is currently available on Amazon and directly from Razer's online store. While Best Buy normally carries Razer products, it doesn't appear that the Opus X (or original Opus) are available there yet. You can get a pair of Opus X headphones for $100.
Opus X comes in three colors: Mercury (white), Quartz (pink), and the signature Razer Green that the brand is known for. The Razer Green color specifically is a Razer.com exclusive until July 11, 2021, when it will also be available to purchase on Amazon.
Razer Opus X: Affordable ANC headphones with Razer style
Even though I have a pair of AirPods Max, I still like to expand my ever-growing headphone collection with more (affordable) options. Razer is one of those brands that I trust for cool gaming gear, but I enjoy the mobile lifestyle products they have released lately, like the Opus and Kraken BT Kitty Edition. When I saw that they were releasing another wireless pair of headphones, I had to check it out.
The Opus X body is made of plastic, with the top of the headband being leather, so it is fairly lightweight at only 270 grams. The circumaural ear cups are made with protein leather and nylon materials, so they're comfortable, even hours at a time. If you're worried about fit, the headband is adjustable with nine different notches, so no matter how small or large your head is, the Opus X should have you covered. I've been able to wear the Opus X headphones for a full day of work without much discomfort, and this is also with glasses all day long.
While the original Opus was designed for audiophiles with the THX certification and $200 price tag, the Opus X is aimed more at mobile gamers and those who just want ANC for less. With the 40mm drivers in the Opus X, you get good sound quality, all things considered. Of course, if you have the original Opus, you definitely will notice that the Opus X does not have the same level of fidelity, dynamic range, and depth of sound, but it doesn't sound bad for a pair of $100 headphones.
It also has two microphones for the active noise cancellation technology and another two for voice chat. For what it's worth, the microphones on the Opus X are pretty good, but you should always go for one of the best USB microphones for things like video calls or streaming.
On the original Opus, the physical buttons were split up between the two ear cups. The Opus X puts all of the button controls on the bottom of the right ear cup, which simplifies things, but it may be an adjustment if you're coming from the original. You have the standard power button, volume up and down, and the multifunction button in-between the volume buttons.
One of the big features of the Opus X is the Active Noise Cancelation (ANC), and it works quite well, even if it is feedforward and not hybrid like the regular Opus. The moment I put the headphones on, I noticed most outside noise was blocked out immediately. It's not AirPods Max level of ANC, but it's still very good for the $100 range. The power button doubles as the switch for turning ANC on and off and accessing Quick Attention Mode. With QAM on, the Opus X filters in outside noise so you can hear what is going on around you, which is useful in several scenarios.
The low-latency Gaming Mode is a new feature with the Opus X that isn't on the original Opus. You can toggle this by holding down the multifunction button for five seconds and repeating this to return to "normal" mode. While Gaming Mode is on, you get better wireless performance because of the 60ms low latency connection. If you experience audio dropping out or skipping, Razer recommends keeping the headphones close to your audio source (two feet or 60 centimeters) while in Gaming Mode and then return to Normal Mode while not gaming.
Since the Opus X is purely wireless with a Bluetooth 5.0 connection, the headphones have no 3.5mm audio jack. It charges up via USB-C, and you get about 30 hours with ANC or 40 hours without ANC on a single charge. The Opus X automatically turns off after five minutes of idle activity to conserve battery life. You get a USB-C cable in the box that matches the color of headphones you choose, which I personally love.
If you were never a big fan of Razer products because of obnoxious RGB lighting, good news! The Opus X, just like the original Opus, does not feature any RGB lighting whatsoever. It's definitely more in line with a mobile lifestyle product and doesn't scream, "Hey, look at me; I'm a gamer!" — though this may not be the case if you opt for the Quartz Pink or Razer Green color options.
The default settings for the Opus X work quite well, but you can also download the Razer Audio app and customize the EQ, as well as toggle Gaming Mode and ANC.
Razer Opus X: It's designed for wireless only
Since the Opus X is considered one of Razer's mobile lifestyle products, it only works wirelessly through Bluetooth, and there is no 3.5mm audio jack option. It's a little disappointing, considering that the original Opus has support for an audio jack, but the Opus X does not. This was also the case for the Kraken BT Kitty Edition, though I suppose that's Razer's push to sell more of the regular (non-wireless) Kraken headsets.
While the Opus X has rotating ear cups that let you wear it around your neck when not in use, the headband does not fold, making it not so portable. There is also no carrying case to store them in, so if you plan to travel with them, you'll need to have them around your neck or look for a third-party case that's compatible. Or, you know, just throw it in your bag and hope it doesn't get dinged up.
One of the nicer features of the original Opus was that it would automatically pause your audio when you remove them from your ears and play when you put them back on. Opus X lacks this feature, understandably due to the price point, but it's still a nice feature that would have made things more convenient.
Razer Opus X: Competition
While the Opus X is a good, affordable pair of headphones with ANC, there is always the original Opus if you like the style but want more. It's Razer's version of high-end ANC headphones like Sony WH-1000XM4s, but at a more reasonable price. The Opus also has THX-certified high-fidelity audio with auto-pause/play, a 3.5mm audio jack, carrying case, and improved hybrid ANC.
If you like Razer for its RGB lighting and you like cat ears, then the Kraken BT Kitty Edition may be a better option. It's also wireless but lacks ANC. However, it has light-up cat ears and also sounds good for the price.
Razer Opus X: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want affordable headphones with ANC
- You like Razer's style and color options
- You prefer lightweight and comfortable headphones
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want high fidelity audio
- You need a carrying case and portability
- You don't like Razer
While most of Razer's products scream "I'm a gamer!" the Opus X isn't particularly one of them. It's a lightweight and comfortable pair of wireless headphones that sounds good with great ANC at an affordable price. You can easily switch between ANC and Quick Attention Mode with a few button presses, and Gaming Mode means improved wireless performance. The Razer branding on it is subtle, and there is no RGB lighting. The free app provides extra customization with the EQ modes if needed.
For $100, the Razer Opus X is a good pair of headphones that is half the cost of the original Opus. But do keep in mind that it makes some compromises to be half the price: no THX-certified audio, no 3.5mm audio jack, no carrying case, and no auto-pause/play. At least you get the low-latency Gaming Mode, which is not on the original Opus, so it's kind of a tradeoff.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.