Many companies like to use the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to show off conceptual products that will likely never be available to purchase. Razer is one such company, although it surprised us when it made the conceptual Project Hazel face mask available to buy last year.
Renamed to Razer Zephyr, the $149.99 smart mask boasts fan-powered N95 filters, transparent plastic, a face light to illuminate your mouth and, naturally, RGB. Despite looking like an unlockable cosmetic for your Cyberpunk 2077 character, the Zephyr mask sold out quickly.
At CES 2022, Razer unveiled an updated version of the Zephyr mask called the Zephyr Pro. It’s more or less identical to the original Zephyr, save that the Pro version has a built-in voice amplification tool.
If you’re thinking “didn’t the Zephyr mask already have that?” you’re not alone. I thought so too, but as Gizmodo notes, only the conceptual Project Hazel mask had the voice amplifier and Razer cut it from the Zephyr mask to hit a more accessible price point. The new Zephyr Pro costs $150 USD (about $50 USD more than than the original Zephyr mask) just for that added feature. It’s not clear how much the Zephyr Pro will cost in Canada, but I could see it getting a similar $50 price bump to a flat $200 (well, $199, but you get the point).
The Zephyr Pro also features an external button to turn voice amplification on and off, which Razer says can help save battery life.
Update 01/11/2022 10:08am ET: Razer removed references to ‘N95 Grade Filter’ from the website for its Zephyr masks following a report that highlighted issues with the claims. The site still mentions that the filter is “FDA-registered,” referring to Razer having filed Zephyr with the FDA.
That’s cool and all, but I still have the same concerns I did with the original Zephyr about how effective the mask actually is. Razer’s website says the Zephyr mask’s filter is “FDA-registered” — whatever that means — and Gizmodo points out Zephyr is not FDA-approved. I couldn’t find any information about Canadian Zephyr approval. The N95 filters should make the Zephyr and Zephyr Pro okay, but I’d say the jury is still out on this one.
You can learn more about the Zephyr Pro on Razer’s website and sign up for notifications when the mask becomes available. If you actually want to buy one of these, you’ll probably want to sign up since the original Zephyr sold out quickly.