Corsair Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset
Corsair has been busy the past year improving its peripheral lineup. We previously reviewed both Vengeance mechanical keyboards and noticed that the biggest changes to those products over their predecessors were implemented from community response. We were impressed at how well Corsair was able to adapt to all the feedback and improve already likable keyboards. However, those aren't the only gaming peripherals Corsair has worked on. We're about to take a look at all of Corsair’s new headsets for 2013 in a series of reviews starting with the Vengeance 1400.
The most obvious visual changes to the entire range of 2013 Vengeance headsets over the 2012 predecessors are the new color scheme and thicker axle in the rotating joint. The older Vengeance headsets were primarily black or silver while the newer headsets have gunmetal gray tones. The thicker axles comes from complaints from Vengeance headset owners who complained of poor build quality. Corsair has also claimed that the sound signature has been redone with deeper bass and a more vibrant treble. We’ll examine all of these in a bit.
The Vengeance 1400 is the direct successor of the Vengeance 1300. These headsets plug into devices with dual 3.5 mm analog plugs unlike the other Vengeance headsets which plug in via USB. It is for this reason that the Vengeance 1400 is intended for gamers with dedicated sound cards. Alternatively, an informal survey on Corsair’s Facebook page has made apparent that there are many who have a general preference for the analog audio connectors. The Vengeance 1400 can be found online for $74.99 shipped, which is $10 more than what the Vengeance 1300 sold for at $64.98 shipped. The Corsair Vengeance 1500 (and 1500V2) are priced around $110, so the and Vengeance 1400 comes in at a lower price point, but the features are very similar to the Vengeance 1500 v2 gaming headset and to that of the preceding Vengeance 1300. The 50mm drivers, braided cable, retractable unidirectional microphone, full-sized closed-back design, and foam padding are all conserved and shared across all Vengeance headsets with the exception of the discontinued Vengeance 1100.
Corsair Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset Features:
- Large 50mm drivers
- Designed for comfort: Microfiber-covered memory foam earpads and a padded headband let you play longer
- Noise cancelling microphone
Corsair Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset Specifications:
- Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1 kHz
- Dynamic Range: 95dB (A-weighted)
- Drivers: 50mm
- Connector: 3.5mm male
- Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser with adjustable, rotating boom
- Impedance: 2.2k Ohm
- Frequency Response: 100 - 10,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -41 (± 3dB)
- Connector: 3.5mm male
- Total Cable Length: 9.8 ft / 3 m
- 2-year warranty
Unlike the older 2012 Vengeance headset retail boxes, the new 2013 boxes more prominently display the headset through the clear plastic. The rest of the box reserves fewer product images to list features and specifications in multiple languages.
The Vengeance 1400 headset comes with no accessories. All that’s included are warranty notices outlining details of the 2-year warranty.
Let’s now get started looking at the Vengeance 1400 for our first 2013 Corsair headset review!
Looking Around the Vengeance 1400 Gaming Headset
Among the first things one may notice in person is the Vengeance 1400 headset’s large size. In an attempt to demonstrate, the longer elliptical axes of each earcup measures 4.5 inches. At first, there were no problems placing and adjusting the headset since the ears have plenty of room. However, the headset is heavy due to both its size and the amount of material used to strengthen the headband and joints. Coupled with a fairly high clamping force, poor adjustment or unlucky placement may result in discomfort soon after wearing the Vengeance 1400.
New to the 2013 Vengeance headsets is cloth-covered padded earcups. The 2012 Vengeance headsets were leather-covered.
The nylon braided cable measures 9.8 ft (3 m) and terminates at two 3.5mm analog plugs – one for the headphones and the other for the microphone. A Velcro cable tie is included for cable management. The inline controller is located 18 inches along the cable and has volume control and microphone mute. On the back of the controller is a clip.
The thick adjustable headband is foam padded and wrapped in leather. The brushed gunmetal gray paint color on the sides was chosen to match other Corsair Vengeance products.
Durability complaints for the 2012 Corsair headsets have prompted changes at the moving parts. The axles in the joints are thicker in the 2013 headsets.
The pivoting microphone is automatically muted in the upright position. It can be folded down to just below the mouth and the boom can be bent.
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.
Interestingly enough, and sometimes with disappointing results, the Vengeance 1400’s sound signature made it very compatible with integrated audio and low-end sound cards. With a boomy, but not too punchy bass and warm treble, the Vengeance 1400 compensates for many of the deficiencies with such devices. Unfortunately, better sound cards such as our ASUS Xonar DSX which have a fuller sound signature sounded overworked with the Vengeance 1400 particularly the bass sounding muddier. The pairing with the ASUS Xonar DGX is the subjective favorite because none of the frequencies sounded too busy.
The Vengeance 1400 is only moderately detailed in the midtones and treble. The bass is sloppy and the headphones overall doesn’t compare well to similarly priced headphones. Most songs will sound acceptable though if your preferences lean to sharp bass, then the Vengeance 1400 will sound quite poor with drum machines such as those featured in electronic and trance.
Just about any movie will sound fine with the Vengeance 1400. The headphone is versatile largely due to its boosted bass and treble and thus all movie sounds are audible. There were no problems with vocals, sound effects, and the score with every movie tested.
Like with movies, game audio sounded balanced though explosive action sounded duller due to the Vengeance 1400’s headphones moderate detail. Positional audio recreation was very acceptable though distances were sometimes difficult to judge possibly because of the headphone sound signature. Using Dolby Headphone with our ASUS Xonar DGX yielded a very negative result, though it should be noted that Dolby Headphone in any case is actually not good for gaming since it downmixes many stereo sounds into mono channel. This deficiency with Dolby Headphone was also observed with the other Vengeance headsets.
Despite the Vengeance 1400’s microphone being unidirectional, it is sensitive enough to pick up noise in any direction and is not truly noise-cancelling. On the other hand, recording quality is excellent and the voice reproduction is amongst the best we’ve tested for gaming headsets.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Corsair worked hard to improve its new round of headsets and they’ve mostly succeeded. The Vengeance 1400 is more durable while retaining the look of a gamer peripheral. However, some of the changes made were overthought and overdone. To improve the headset’s durability, more material was used and as a result, the Vengeance 1400 is heavy and has a very high clamping force. Despite the generous foam padding on the headband, it’s nowhere near enough to make the headset feel like it’s not on your head. In-fact, it would sit so heavy that it wasn’t comfortable enough to wear for long sessions. Another comfort concern is how the clamping force pushes in onto the head. Out of the box, the headset squeezed the head very uncomfortably. Stretching out the headband continuously for several weeks tremendously reduced the clamping force to a bearable amount.
Listening with the Vengeance 1400 was a very positive experience. The disappointments come from the sound detail, which was not as good as we were hoping from a $74.99 headset. Otherwise, a spirited sound signature did much to even out the headset’s capabilities. Good bass presence, good midtones, and warm treble make the Vengeance 1400 versatile for just about every type of music, movie, and game. The headset microphone was a standout, being among the best we’ve tested.
Despite the few problems encountered during testing of the Vengeance 1400, most in regards to its comfort, there were other encouraging features that we liked. The headset maintains an appearance that focuses on its large size and flowing curves. As a headphone, it’s versatile even if it’s not particularly amazing. The Vengeance 1400 is certainly worth considering, but it has stiff competition from other similarly priced headsets and headphones.
Legit Bottom Line: The Corsair Vengeance 1400 is a very solid headset all-around. However, overthinking, overcompensation, and overengineering compromise some comfort and sound quality.