In the heat of online criticisms, Razer pulled back its "N95 grade" claim from the Zephyr mask descriptions. Experts pointed out that its safety rating will not protect users against COVID-19 Omicron and Delta variants.
When Razer first released its Zephyr face mask, many fans praised its unique design on the internet. Way Back Machine's snapshots of the product teased that users can "stay safe with its replaceable N95 grade filters for daily protection."
YouTuber Naomi Wu challenged this statement. After a thorough breakdown of the product, she spotted a few problematic issues with the Zephyr mask.
Razer Zephyr Mask Safety Rating
Naomi Wu pointed out that the Zephyr mask has too many gaps around its seals and wear piece. These gaps will render the installed filers void because the user could still breathe in any contaminated air. Overall, Zephyr might sport an amazing design with cool LED functionality. However, it would perform poorly against the coronavirus.
Naomi Wu called Razer out over their misleading information about the Zephyr mask following the discovery. She pointed out that statements like "N95-rated face mask" or "N95 grade" created misconceptions among fans that they are fully protected with the mask.
I do kind of love that @Razer's PR team said "Yeah we'll throw a wall of numbers at them. What are they going to do find some kind of 'science explainer person' to tell them those are the wrong numbers?😁" in an internet fight with a science explainer person🤓 https://t.co/fsyShQBcyV— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) January 9, 2022
Razer eventually contacted Naomi Wu about their "plan to remove N95 marketing from the Zephyr website." However, she countered that social media outlets had already "labeled it an N95 mask," which puts a lot of users at risk.
🧵@Razer has contacted me and told me they plan to remove N95 marketing from the Zephyr website.— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) January 10, 2022
Sorry but no- it's past that.
Media outlets have labeled it an N95 mask, immune-compromised individuals and healthcare workers all over social media are calling it an N95 mask.
Should You Use Razer Zephyr Mask Filter?
Razer officially acknowledged the issue earlier this week. They told Tom's Hardware that "Razer would like to clarify that while the filters used in the Razer Zephyr Wearable Air Purifier have been tested for 95% Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE) and 99% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE), per the statements on the website and documentation for the product, the wearable by itself is not a medical device nor certified as an N95 mask."
Razer backed up this announcement with testing results in a new page called "The Science Behind Razer Zephyr."
At the time of writing, their webpage and product descriptions have been updated to the new changes. To summarize, the Razer face mask is now promoted as an air purifier, and all "N95" descriptions have been retracted.
Despite this development, Tom's Hardware sources said that the Zephyr mask is still one of the hottest products in the market. Many fans continue to order the new Zephyr Pro mask, with its voice amplification feature through microphone and speaker.
Regardless of the fan hype over Zephyr masks, everyone should be cautious about their protection against COVID-19. Research said that the Omicron is a highly transmissible variant, so users should ensure that they are wearing certified N95 or KN95 masks for ultimate protection.