Razer Zephyr Review: The RGB smart mask that looks and feels cool

Razer Zephyr Review: The RGB smart mask that looks and feels cool

Officially, the Razer Zephyr is known as a transparent RGB wearable air purifier with N95-grade filters. In fact, this pretty much sums up both its design and functionality.

The Razer Zephyr. (Photo: Razer)

Released last week, Zephyr started life as Project Hazel during the annual consumer tech show CES in Jan this year. It wowed the virtual crowd and many wanted it to be a real product. And Razer answered the call.

SPECS
PRICE: $159.90, available on Razer Store
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth
WEIGHT: 206g

From being a concept to an actual product, it took Razer only 10 months to bring this RGB mask to fruition. This is a massive feat on its own.

But the Zephyr has some slight changes compared to Project Hazel due to practical reasons. For instance, the voice amplifier on Project Hazel has been omitted in Zephyr due to weight and battery life issues. In addition, instead of the ear loops found in Project Hazel, the Zephyr uses a neck strap and a head strap to better secure the mask to your face.

What you get out of the box – the Razer Zephyr mask, a USB-A-to-USB-C charging cable, three sets of N95-grade filters, a bottle of anti-fog spray and a carry bag. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

DESIGN
Otherwise, the design of Zephyr remains pretty much the same as Project Hazel. It looks like those gas masks (without the eye protection) that NS men wear during chemical warfare lessons or Hazmat team wear.

There are two circular fans – one on each cheek – that helps to draw air through N95-grade filters with up to 99 per cent bacterial filtration efficiency into the transparent chamber. Air is then expelled through a N95-grade filtered rectangular grille sited near the mouth. As such, both inhaled and exhaled air is being filtered to ensure both you and the people around you are safe.

There is a soft silicone face seal that offers a tight seal over your mouth and nose, while the dual-strap design enables a comfortable fit regardless of your head size. However, only the head strap is adjustable.

The face seal allows a tight seal over your mouth and nose. (Photo: Razer)

The exterior ring of the cooling fans come with RGB lighting, while the interior of the air chamber feature LED lighting. Thus, the air chamber is being lit up when the lighting is turned on. In other words, people can see if you are smiling.

There is a multi-function button on the right fan that works as a power button as well as fan speed control button. A USB-C on the inner right cheek of the mask lets you charge the device.

Before use, you have to insert the disposable filters into the circular vents of the fans as well as the mouth grille. You can easily remove the magnetic covers of the fan and grille in order to insert the filters.

Remember to install the filters before you start using the Zephyr. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The box includes three pairs of circular filters and three rectangular filters. And Razer said each set of filters can only last for three days, assuming you use it for 8 hours per day.

As such, out of the box, it can only last you for 9 days if you are using it every day. You can buy replaceable Zephyr filters (10 sets of two circular filters and one rectangular filter) for S$49.90, which will last you for a month. So, it is not cheap to maintain this mask.

PERFORMANCE
When I first wore the Zephyr, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it feels. Despite looking heavy, it does not weigh your head down. The dual-strap design really helps with balancing the weight distribution. And thus it feels lightweight to wear.

Wearing the Razer Zephyr versus wearing a normal mask. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Even with the cooling fans turned off, the mask does not feel very hot. But you can turn on the fan by pressing the multi-function button for at least two seconds. By default, both the interior and exterior lighting will lit up upon power up.

However, you can only change the lighting options using the Razer Zephyr app (Android and iOS) by Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. The app lets you choose the colours and effects of both interior and exterior lighting.

You can use the Zephyr app to control the fan speed, the colour and effects of the lighting. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

You can also adjust the speed of the cooling fans via the app. The cooling fans have two speeds of low (4,200 RPM) and high (6,200 RPM). Alternatively, you can toggle through the speed of the cooling fans by pressing the multi-function button once.

Razer has included a small bottle of anti-fog spray to ensure no fogging up of the air chamber, in case the cooling fans do not do their job properly. But I never got to use the spray, as no fogging was experienced whenever the cooling fans are on.

FOR
+ Very comfortable to wear
+ Cooling fans allow great ventilation
+ Cool-looking interior and exterior RGB lighting
+ Replaceable N95 filters
+ Will attract a lot of attention

AGAINST
– Expensive to buy and maintain
– Voice sounds muted
– Always sold out
– Attracts a lot of attention

The only experience I had is the undue attention I get when I wear it. The amount of stares and stunned looks when I walked around the neighbourhood are enough to bury myself in embarrassment. But that’s just me. Others might love the attention.

No one came up to ask about the mask, except my colleagues when I wore it in office for meetings. Some of my colleagues did say the mask looks really cool. Personally, I thought the mask looks really futuristic. I look like some character in the game Cyberpunk 2077.

But my colleagues did say my voice sound much muted, even though they can still hear me. A voice amplifier is much needed in social context like this.

As I jog late at night, I thought this might be a good mask to wear for runs as it doesn’t fogged up. While it does not fog up, the head strap cannot be tightened enough to stop the mask from bobbling and slipping down my face during runs. I ended up keep having to push the mask back to position when I was running.

I don’t know how he does it, but the Zephyr kept slipping off my face when I run. (Photo: Razer)

In short, the Zephyr is not ideal for runs. The Under Armour Sportsmask Featherweight is still the better choice.

BATTERY LIFE
The Zephyr’s battery life is rated at 3 hours 30 minutes when the cooling fans are in high speed with all the lighting turned on. The battery life is rated at 8 hours if the lighting is turned off and the coolings fan on low speed.

In my tests with the fans on low speed, the interior lighting effect set at Static and the exterior lighting effect set to Wave, I found the battery life to last 5 hours 25 minutes. This is pretty much as advertised.

You can find the USB-C port for charging behind the right cooling fan. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

And if you need to charge it up, it uses the ubiquitous USB-C cable for charging. It takes around 3 hours to charge it from zero to full.

VERDICT
The Razer Zephyr is exactly what the gaming brand describes it – a transparent RGB wearable air purifier with N95-grade filters. While I cannot ascertain the air filtration capability, the Zephyr looks and feels cool when I am wearing it. Especially so if you love the attention it attracts when you wear it.

Perhaps the only issues are price and availability. At S$159.90, it is a tad expensive. And even if you are willing to pay, it is always out of stock and hard to find. The next stock is expected to arrive on Oct 28, 12am SGT. So, if you want to get the Zephyr, get ready by clicking here.

RATINGS
FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 9/10
PERFORMANCE: 8/10
BATTERY LIFE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8.5/10