The Banshee aims to showcase your skills in StarCraft II, but it misses the bull's-eye completely. The speakers and ear cups are protected in heavy, thick plastic, but the headband is unnecessarily wide, and the sides don't collapse inward or fold up, so it's awkward to carry around.
The volume rockers of both the microphone and speakers are located on the back of the headset, making them awkward to reach. The lights along the bottom, sides, and edges change color to represent your actions per minute (APM), but they only work in StarCraft II. (Blue indicates normal APM, and scales from yellow to red as your APM increases.) You can change the colors through Razer's drivers, but I turned them off completely because they caused an annoying reflection in my monitor. To be clear here: the main distinguishing feature of the headset actually detracted from my concentration in StarCraft II.
Fortunately, the 2.1 surround sound is decent. Bass has oomph and the optional drivers from Razer's website provide an equalizer for audio tweaking. The Banshee also works well for music. The mic crackles randomly though, and it also picks up a ton of noise if you're in a loud area like a LAN party. Even if you're a voracious StarCraft II player, there's just not enough here to justify $120—not when better, less gawky headsets exist elsewhere.
$119 ◆ www.razerzone.com ◆ Category: Dream