If you’re looking for a quiet gaming keyboard with a ridiculously fast response time, the Razer Huntsman V2 might just be for you.
This new keyboard has almost everything you could want, from great performance and clever design to smooth keys and a solid app. However, it’s a tough sell for a whopping $200, especially since it doesn’t pack as many bells and whistles as some other keyboards.
But if you want to prioritize quiet keys, and have the money to spend, the Razer Huntsman V2 easily ranks among some of the best gaming keyboards.
Razer Huntsman V2 design
The Razer Huntsman V2 looks remarkably similar to the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog we recently reviewed. It sports a black aluminum frame comboed with keys that have a matte black finish. Unfortunately, the white on the keys don’t contrast well with the lighting, making it look duller than I’d like. Although, it looks perfectly fine in the dark.
You’ll find the dedicated media keys and RGB-lit volume rocker in the top-right corner of the keyboard. The volume rocker is a bit flatter than the Analog, which I prefer because it’s easier to turn. The Razer Huntsman V2 has the same issue as the Analog version, where the symbols on the media keys are blacked out, making it difficult to see. I require RGB-lit keys for these near-sighted eyes.
There are also some additional short-cut keys assigned as double functions in the row of F-keys. From F9 to F12, you’ll find the Macro button (lets you assign macros on the fly), the Gaming mode button (disables the Windows key) and two buttons to dim or brighten the keyboard lighting. You might be wondering what the crescent moon symbol on the pause key means. Well, as I learned from the previous Huntsman, it will put your entire system in sleep mode.
I still love the font on the Huntsman keyboards, as they give off a typewriter/vintage vibe. The sound quality of the keys feel like it’s meant for typing, since they’re so quiet. Typically, gamers want those clickity clackities. However, it’s easy to see why gamers would want something more quiet, especially if they share a space with other people (my fiancée can hear my other keyboard from the bedroom).
The Huntsman V2 comes in at 17.5 x 5.5 (9.0 with the wrist rest) x 1.8 inches, which isn’t as huge as other premium gaming keyboards. Unfortunately, unlike the Analog version, the Huntsman V2 does not come with a USB 3.0 Type-A passthrough port.
There’s only one cable that feeds out of the keyboard into a USB Type-A cable. It would have been nice to include a Type-C adapter like the Analog version. The cable can’t be disconnected from the keyboard, nor can it be routed through a different side like some other keyboards. Additionally, the Huntsman V2 has two clips underneath that elevate the peripheral.
The Huntsman V2 comes with a bezel-less magnetic wrist rest, which still holds up as the most comfortable wrist rest that I’ve ever used. It still has the same plush leatherette material, but since this is the cheaper model, it doesn’t sport the RGB underglow.
Razer Huntsman V2 keys
Razer packs in the same Doubleshot PBT keycaps (Polybutylene terephthalate keycaps are made via a two-layer plastic injection mold) in the Huntsman V2 as the other Huntsman keyboards. But unlike the Analog, you’ll find Razer’s Gen 2 Linear Optical Switches underneath comboed with sound dampening foam.
According to Razer, the Huntsman V2 is the fastest keyboard in the world thanks to the high frequency at which data updates in a second. More specifically, the polling rate for the Huntsman V2 is 8,000Hz. For some context, the optical switches perform at a 0.2 millisecond latency, whereas the average mechanical gaming keyboard clocks in at 2.0 to 2.4ms. Is it noticeable? Honestly, no. But if you want every advantage in your game, then the Huntsman V2 is worth considering.
The keys are also optimized for different scenarios. Within the Razer Synapse app (more on that later), you can switch between Typing and Gaming. As it’s explained by the app, Typing mode adds a debounce delay to prevent extra inputs from a single keystroke, while Gaming mode has zero debounce, making it hyper responsive after a key is actuated. However, it would have been cool to add an Auto button, which would enable Gaming mode when a game launches.
Typing on the Razer Huntsman V2 felt smooth, but they’re not clicky at all. Instead of a sharp depression, it’s rounded out, creating a softer and bassier click. It’s one of the quietest gaming keyboards I’ve tested. If you’re looking for something punch and resistant like Cherry MX Blue switches, this is the wrong keyboard for you.
When I took the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I scored 79 words per minute, which was faster than my 75-wpm on the SteelSeries Apex Pro. I would have scored better if the typing test didn’t string words together that made it look like it was speaking coherently to me about an upcoming apocalypse.
Razer Huntsman V2 performance
So how does the world’s quietest mechanical gaming keyboard feel while actually gaming? As my good ol’ friends Dyna and Tillo would say, “Silky smooth.”
I played Life is Strange: True Colors with this keyboard, and while there’s not a lot of fast-paced action in the game, the WASD keys were pretty responsive as I made my way across Haven Springs. If anything, the quiet keys added to the cinematic experience of the game, as there weren’t any loud clicks in the background.
I hopped into Resident Evil Village again, so of course the first thing I did was dodge a werewolf and open fire on him like nobody’s business. The keyboard was smooth enough to balance the movement as I swept around the snowy terrain to put myself in a better position. One thing that bugs me with most keyboards is that holding shift (sprint) and walking with WASD gets uncomfortable after some time. However, because the keyboard isn’t as stiff as other keyboards, it felt surprisingly natural.
I booted up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and ran along the countryside of England to get a feel of the movement. I had a similar experience as the previous game, where the movement felt more natural, almost like playing on a controller (emphasis on the almost). Whether I wanted to change directions, or start whaling somebody with a heavy attack, the Huntsman V2 was on top of all of my inputs.
Razer Huntsman V2 features
Like with most of Razer’s products, all of the cool features can be found in the Razer Synapse app.
Thankfully, keyboards are simpler than mice in that they only have two tabs within the app: Customize and Lighting. In the Lighting section, you get access to the basic brightness settings and some Quick Effects like wave or ripple. However, you can dive into the more advanced effects in Chroma Studio. This allowed me to go with a normal Wave effect, but slow down the speed by a lot, because it’s nauseatingly fast in the Quick Effect version. You can even go as far as to give each individual key its own effect.
Meanwhile, in the Customize tab, you’ll be able to reprogram any key on the keyboard and assign secondary function keys via Razer’s HyperShift feature. You can also assign on-board profiles in this tab, of which the keyboard has four. Keep in mind that the profiles don’t get assigned automatically, so make sure that you do that before you move to another setup. But regardless of where you go, you’ll need the Razer Synapse app open to see your custom lighting effects, which is annoying. At the bottom of this section, you’ll find the Key Switch Optimization settings and the Polling Rate settings, which lets you pick between 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz and 8000Hz.
I can sing the Razer Huntsman V2’s praises all day thanks to its awesome performance, smooth keys, solid companion app and compact design. But I stop myself short when I think about that whopping $200 price tag.
For the same price, you can get the SteelSeries Apex Pro, which has a literal OLED display on it and you can even customize the actuation force of the keys without any companion software. That’s wild.
But if you’re looking for the king of quiet gaming keyboards, the Razer Huntsman V2 is the one for you.