Tech Experts: Razer Lied About Its Fancy Zephyr Mask

Tech Experts: Razer Lied About Its Fancy Zephyr Mask
It might look cool, but the Zephyr mask doesn't actually protect you from covid. (Image: Razer)

So those Watch Dogs-esque, Cyberpunk 2077-lookin’ protective masks from computer manufacturer Razer don’t actually use N95-grade filters as previously promoted, according to updated marketing from the company.

Various outlets, including Engadget and The Verge, note that the company has erased every mention of “N95-grade filters” from the product pages for both the $US100 ($139) Zephyr and recently announced Zephyr Pro masks. The removal came after tech YouTuber Naomi Wu not only posted a teardown of the Zephyr in November 2021, but also ripped into Razer for promoting what Wu has called a “fraudulent product.”

N95 is a certification issued by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in which respirators must filter at least 95% of airborne particles. This requirement is for the entire product, not just the filters. That’s why neither of Razer’s masks appear on NIOSH’s approved list of N95-grade particle filtering respirators.

Wu’s detailed breakdown of how ineffective the Zephyr mask is at protecting you from COVID-19, its myriad variants, and various other diseases is eye-opening. Wu decried the product as “useless” and accused Razer of “deceptive marketing,” especially since the mask isn’t a valid replacement for genuine personal protective equipment (PPE).

We’ve reached out to Razer for comment and will update if we hear back.

For its part, Razer has opted to update its marketing materials for the Zephyr while scrubbing the phrase “N95-grade filters” from the website’s product page. The company now says the $US100 ($139) mask is “not an N95 mask/respirator” and “is not meant to be used on medical or clinical settings.”

So sure, it might look cool, like you’re living in the cyberpunk future you’ve always wanted with a mask that lights up and all that jazz. But it doesn’t protect you from the thing that matters: an illness that could literally kill you.

Comments

  • Now that you’re aware of our deliberately misleading marketing, we have changed the wording to avoid backlash….I mean confusion.

  • For a lot of companies in these fields, engineering standards are all just marketing buzzwords because 90% of the time users do not actually require those standards to be stood up….until a pandemic happens.

    I see it all the time with cheaper consumer products (particularly on big online shopping platforms) encroaching into the medical/health sphere or fire safety etc. and suddenly people begin to realize why proper functioning PPE, monitors/sensors and diagnostic equipment look so boring and yet cost so much…

  • Well it’s good marketing for the Delete Key on their overpriced keyboards.

    Need to Undo your lies, cut it out with a Razer!!!

  • Why anyone would trust a gaming peripherals manufacturer to produce items consistent with rigorous health standards is beyond me.

    If you have the money to burn on this kitsch, you have the money for proper medical-grade face-coverings.

    • Part of their sales pitch was they turned their factories to make N95 masks during the early months of 2020. People bought the sales pitch despite it just being a 3D render they were NOT planning to build… the fake mask was just to promote their good Samaritan behaviour… but then undoing it and making a shitty product.

      Which was a shame their was a company at that CES 2020, FDA registered EU certified medical supply company using N99 filters that made a near identical mask without RGB and no one noticed them. (They also include all the disclaimers that it’s not hospital PPE etc)

      • I don’t suppose you’d be able to recall their name off the top of your head, would you?

        The only one showing up is Ao-Air’s Atmos. While intriguing that they’ve convinced both the American and French military-industrial complexes to back them (a rare occurrence indeed), they haven’t updated the press section of their website since 2020.

        Not to mention its design does a poor job of appearing both fashionable and offering protection comparable to a properly-fitted N95. It’s a mask for air pollution after all, not for preventing the spread of disease.

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