Corsair Vengeance 1500 (V2) Gaming Headset ReviewMon, Dec 23, 2013 - 8:55 AM
Subjective Listening: Music, Movies, and Games
Not everyone hears the same as each other. People’s ears are different and preferences dictate our style. The subjective listening tests in our reviews not only compare the product with other gaming headsets, but also audiophile-grade headphones. Those who don’t regularly listen with higher-end equipment may not notice the sound quality deficiencies we are able to notice.
A considerable portion of what was written in the Vengeance 1400 review is applicable to the Vengeance 1500 (V2.) That was obvious when the headsets are compared visually, but now we turn our attention to how they sound.
Some facets of the sound characteristic are the same, such as a boomy, but not too punchy bass, and warm trebles, though the Vengeance 1500 (V2)’s trebles are noticeably brighter. The Vengeance 1500 (V2) is decently well-defined at the midtones and with most treble frequencies, but has a murky bass. Heavy metal sounded the best while orchestra soundtracks and classical music sounded the worst when listening with the Vengeance 1500 (V2.) The Corsair audio engineers might have been listening to too much dubstep, but as headphones, the Vengeance 1500 (V2) is well-rounded.
Our Vengeance 1400 review noted that the headphones were very compatible with integrated audio. Unfortunately for the Vengeance 1500 (V2), it doesn’t sound noticeably different from the Vengeance 1400 paired with integrated audio. Should the Vengeance 1500 (V2) be costing more or the same as the 1400 and you’re having a hard time deciding, the included software features may sway your interest…
This deserves its own special place because Dolby Headphone isn’t the killer feature it’s made out to be. Corsair goes so far to call the Vengeance 1500 (V2) a 7.1 surround sound headset, but it’s really a stereo headset. Dissapointingly, the audio sounds like it was downmixed into a single channel when Dolby Headphone was turned on. Audio positional distance could still be somewhat determined, but direction could not. Therefore, we recommend listening to music, movies, and games with Dolby Headphone turned off in the driver software and letting the game engine handle the audio positioning. This isn’t unique to the Vengeance 1500 (V2) as we had this same criticism for Dolby Headphone on the ASUS Xonar DGX sound card in our Vengeance 1400 review and we’ll raise this issue again in the Vengeance 2100 review.
The Vengeance 1500 (V2)’s strong bass and energetic trebles give action and sound effects a great deal of impact. The tradeoff is that vocals and dialogue sound slightly less loud than other sounds. It’s not a problem of the headset, but its characteristic. Additionally, the headset has a wide stereo soundstage and effects that move from one ear to the other were noticeable.
Likewise with movies, the greater emphasis on bass and treble is more favorable to action effects in video games. While it added a likable cinematic feel to movies, video game audio sounded unrealistic. Fantasy and preWorld War historical games in particular sounded the least natural because combat in those games are not typically explosive. Unsurprisingly, such a sound characteristic was much more forgiving for militaristic themed games.
VOIP and player voice chat sounded fine because speech transmitted on a narrow band in the mid frequencies.
We’re really impressed by the recording quality of all of Corsair’s headsets and the Vengeance 1500 (V2) is no exception. Self-listening tests were amongst the most realistic amongst all the headsets we have tested and fellow gamers had no problem hearing and understanding even a whisper.