Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset
Corsair is one of the companies at the forefront when it comes to producing high quality, focused products that cater to enthusiasts and gamers. Corsair began business in 1994, producing L2 cache modules and later began DRAM production. Corsair is known for producing high quality memory modules for the enthusiast market, often being one of the first manufacturers to release high speed memory for newly released chipsets. Several years ago, Corsair began to diversify and started offering products in other categories, such as CPU coolers, Solid State Drives and gaming peripherals. My first experience with a Corsair non-DRAM product was the Corsair HS1, a comfortable gaming headset that earned high marks for being a solid, comfortable gaming headset. Five years have passed since the release of the HS1 and today we're looking at the latest evolution in the Corsair lineup, the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1.
Gaming headsets are an absolute necessity in the competitive gaming arena, as external speakers will get drowned out and upset those next to you, in addition to having other limitations, such as limited portability. It isn't uncommon to see headsets required for use in local competitive gaming, either. It is also necessary for competitive gamers to hear all in-game sounds and isolate outside noise, as reactions in competitive games are often based on sound and being able to hear where opponents are coming from. In non-competitive settings, gaming headsets serve multiple purposes, as well. Late night gaming sessions in a dorm room or apartment building, for example, aren't going to be met kindly if you are running sounds through speakers. People don't like the sound of explosions and gunfire while they are trying to sleep. There is also the immersion factor to think about. By wearing a quality gaming headset, you immerse yourself more into the game by being able to shut out sounds that aren't produced by your game.
While there are many virtues to a gaming headset and the benefits they can bring, you have to ensure you're using a quality headset or else a lot of that benefit will be lost. A bad sound stage presented by the headphones or a crackling, substandard microphone can all be the downfall of a gaming headset. Rather than using a dedicated gaming headset, for the past couple of years I've used a pair of Sennheiser HD558 headphones with a Sound Blaster Z beam-shaping microphone for sound. It will be interesting to see how the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 compares with my current setup in terms of overall functionality as a gaming headset.
|Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Specifications
||20Hz - 20 kHz
||32 Ohms @ 1kHz
||Wireless USB Receiver (2400Mhz)
||Unidirectional Noise Cancelling
The Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is one of five different headsets in the VOID lineup. Wired analog and USB models are also available, but the analog model does not support the Corsair CUE software due to a lack of compatible interface. Also available is the VOID Wireless SE Yellowjacket Edition that features a yellow colored frame and black accents, with all of the other pertinent features exactly the same as the standard VOID RGB Wireless 7.1. The Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 that we are looking at today is currently available at Amazon for $129.99
, with the stereo model that lacks RGB functionality available for $69.99
. Corsair is charging a $70 premium for wireless functionality and CUE software compatibility, as all other features and components between the headphones are the same, though the Wireless version weighs more due to added wireless components and a battery.
The Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 carries a two year warranty against manufacturers defects. Based on personal experience, Corsair has world class support and does a great job of taking care of problems that may arise. I've had them send out replacement parts for my cases free of charge and on the rare instances my Corsair products have failed, they are always fast to assist an issue an RMA. It's easier to recommend products from Corsair because of this level of support, as some other companies that make products aimed towards gamers really lack when it comes to customer support.
The Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 comes packaged in a very descriptive black cardboard box that is indicative of a high quality product. Corsair made sure to print out various selling points on the front of the box, but they didn't go over the top with anything on the packaging. If one were to see the box on a shelf, they would immediately be able to see that the headset runs on the 2.4GHz wireless frequency, features Dolby 7.1 surround and offers support for the Corsair Utility Engine, or CUE.
The rear of the box for the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is filled with information and various selling points. Corsair does a good job of pointing out the features of the VOID RGB and explaining what they do, so an end user picking up the box can get a lot of useful information and may be swayed to purchasing the headset based on a feature they feel is compelling. Unfortunately, the box isn't clear on how the headphones interface with the PC and users are left to wonder what the wireless dongle or USB connector will look like. This would be good information to include on the retail box, as somebody purchasing the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 for a laptop, for example, may not be comfortable with a larger dongle.
Technical specifications are clearly printed out on the rear of the box, beneath the bevy of marketing points. Corsair specifies the wireless range as being 50 feet on the box, but other literature has it listed as 40 feet. For all intents, I would say forty feet is the comfortable range for these headsets, at best. The 16 hours of specified battery life is very good, but I'll see if that specification is realistic during my testing.
This is the full accessory pack included with the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1. There is a quick start guide and booklet with warranty information, in addition to the necessary wireless dongle and USB charging cable. Unfortunately, there isn't anything else with the headset, like a carrying case, Corsair stickers, or poster. For a premium product, I'd like to see more accessories.
The VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is packaged with a USB transmitter and USB charging cable, both of which are yellow and black. The charging cable has a premium feel to it.
Since the dongle is transferring sound and is subject to interference on the 2.4Ghz band, I would recommend placing it as close to the headset as possible for optimal functionality. The wireless USB transmitter looks like a USB flash drive and has a high quality feel to it. This dongle is absolutely necessary for function, as it also contains a sound processing chip. Unfortunately, its size means it may not play nice if installed on a USB port with another device with a large USB connector. For example, I had to install it in the USB port above where my Corsair K70 keyboard was plugged in, as the two devices didn't want to sit next to each other. Inter-brand feuding isn't cool, guys.
Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset - A Closer Look
Corsair packages the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 very nicely to ensure it holds it shape and doesn't get damaged in transit. The headset is sealed within this yellow box, with the microphone held to the base with a rubber holder that is easily removable.
Corsair has designed the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 to be light and compact, yet sturdy. The headset uses a closed-back, circumaural set of cups which will keep noise leakage to a minimum, but reduce the overall sound stage. Given that this is a gaming headset first and foremost, a closed-back design is going to be favorable over an open-back design that lets sounds in and out. Corsair has covered the external logos, which contain LED's, with a plastic film to avoid them being scratched during shipping.
The upper band of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 has a memory foam pad covered in a black microfiber cover that has a smooth feel to it. This pad should allow for comfortable use over long gaming sessions, though I've experienced that pads of this type start to wear out and lose their bounce-back after time. The headset features several points of adjustment so that the height of the top band can be adjusted for an optimal fit.
The ear cups on the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 are covered in a similar memory foam as the top band. Rather than being a circular or even square design, as seen on other gaming headsets, the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 has ear cups that are in the shape of an ear. These cups are supposed to encapsulate the ear completely and rest on the head surrounding your ear, but due to their size, they are going to rest on part of the ear for some users. These ear cups are replaceable and if they wear out over time you can buy new ones from Corsair, though Corsair would cover premature wear within the warranty period. Since these earcups are replaceable, perhaps Corsair can offer them in a larger size as an upgrade option? Corsair ships the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 with the USB dongle in one of the ear cups, as pictured.
The VOID RGB features 50mm Neodymium drivers, which are capable of producing quality sound and perform virtual surround functions well. Corsair has used this type of driver on previous headsets and have often marketed and explained the virtues of 50mm drivers, going with a 50mm driver on their original headset, the HS1.
The microphone-side earcup features a power button and mute button for the microphone. Unfortunately, these buttons are close to each other, so it would be easy to push the wrong button before becoming completely familiar with the placement of these buttons.
The rocker switch is for volume control and is placed very well and can easily be found during gaming sessions. Pressing the rocker switch inward for a short duration will switch through the different EQ profiles stored in CUE. Holding down this rocker switch will toggle Dolby Surround on and off. It's a very functional rocker switch that allows for users to do a lot of changes on the fly without the need of doing any software adjustments. The VOID charges via the micro USB port on the bottom of the earcup that is by the volume rocker switch. Despite the unit being able to connect to a PC for charging purposes, you must have the USB dongle present in order to use the VOID RGB 7.1 Wireless, as the USB port is merely for charging and firmware upgrades, while the dongle contains hardware to process sound, in addition to being a wireless transmitter.
The microphone on the VOID RGB is not flexible, so you cannot position the microphone closer to your mouth for optimal sound pick up, it is stuck in one position. Users can opt to retract the microphone completely, should they not be using it.
Corsair has notified us that while it is not obvious and they don't specify that it's possible in their marketing literature, the microphone can be bent for optimal pick up. This link explains in detail how to bend the microphone for optimal placement: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=149607
Our initial confusion came from there not being any literature on this and when initially attempting to bend the mic, we felt that the bending was not natural and that we could possibly damage the microphone. Most bendable microphones have a defined, bendable cord or cable, while the Void doesn't seem like it is able to naturally bend. We also spoke with other reviewers who noted the non-bendable nature of the microphone, so we feel this functionality is not obvious and Corsair should point it out, as it's a non-traditional microphone. People leaving reviews on Newegg and Amazon also are having similar issues with microphone placement, so this info can help them immensely.
The microphone on the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 comes with a feature known as InfoMic, which essentially is two LED's that tell you the current microphone and battery life status of the headset. For example, if LED1 is off, it means the microphone is on, while if it is lit up red, the microphone has been muted. A red pulse on LED2 means there is less than 10% battery life. Seeing the end of the microphone isn't going to be easily done while you're wearing it, so what I recommend is holding your hand up next to the LED's and then you can see the reflection to see the mode you're in. I feel that the InfoMic is of limited functionality and that it won't be used by most gamers, but it's inclusion is certainly welcome and it's a feature unique to the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 headset. The microphone is not flexible, likely due to the circuitry used for the InfoMic functionality, so the trade-off here is questionable.
Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset and CUE Software In Use
Corsair allows a lot of control over the functionality of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 from within CUE and it's one of the most complete and intuitive utilities we've seen for a gaming headset. The CUE software really helps round out a very well-built, functional headset and give users the ability to configure their VOID RGB how they want in terms of sound signature and lighting. For this review, we've decided to use a test bench with the recently released Windows 10 and we're happy to report that the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 and CUE software both recognize and install on Windows 10 without issue.
The Device Tab under Settings will show you the current firmware version on the VOID RGB, in addition to how much battery life is left. There is also a Status tab that will let you know that the VOID is connected and functioning properly. For those interested in saving battery, or who just don't feel like having your headset light up, you can disable the device lighting from this section. You can also update the firmware on the VOID RGB from this section, provided it is plugged into a USB port on your PC, as firmware updates cannot be done in wireless mode.
The CUE software allows for full equalization control over the VOID RGB. There are several modes built in, with Pure Direct being a flat mode ideal for music listening or general usage scenarios.
The other modes adjust the equalization curves for their appropriate purpose. Microphone and Sidetone adjustment is also available in this section. If Sidetone isn't disabled, you will hear yourself through the headset when you speak. Sidetone can be a very useful feature to ensure your voice isn't too loud in chat scenarios. You can also enable Dolby Surround from this section of the CUE software.
The CUE also lets you adjust program settings and update to the latest version. There is also a Macro Recording section, but this is for Corsair keyboards, as there aren't any buttons that can be bound to macro function on the VOID RGB.
The lighting modes on the VOID RGB are extensive and the user has control over the brightness and different effects displayed by the VOID RGB. InfoMic settings are also adjusted from here, as you can set the brightness levels and when the battery warning comes on. Unfortunately, using the RGB functionality of the VOID causes faster battery drain. The LED's could be non-functional and you wouldn't know it while you were wearing the unit, so this is truly an aesthetic function to make you stand out.
Unfortunately, there isn't a sound reaction mode available for the VOID RGB in the CUE software, which would have been somewhat functional for teammates to know if you're in a firefight at a LAN party, or so those around you can tell if you're currently engaged. A reactive LED mode would have been awesome, considering the fact users are paying a price premium just for this LED functionality in the first place.
The CUE software for the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 works well and integrates very well with the headset. Lighting control is simple and intuitive and switching to the various sound modes is straightforward. My wife really liked that the headset would light up in pink and she came close to claiming them for herself. I really think the CUE works well and gives a lot of functionality to the VOID RGB that isn't available in the standard Windows driver. Our only hope is that Corsair introduces new lighting modes, most importantly a sound reactive mode.
Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset Subjective Testing
Given that every person has different listening preferences, the type of sound signature preferred by one person may not be desirable to another. One other factor is that a person who has listened to inferior headphones without a proper sound stage may be completely unaware that better sound exists and that they are crippling their listening experience. I'm going to compare the Corsair VOID RGB to our Sennheiser HD558 headphones for the subjective listening test, as the Sennheiser HD558 provided a balanced, well formed sound signature. I will compare the microphone to an Audio Technica ATR-2100
Even though the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is a gaming headset, they are surprisingly decent headphones for music playback. The VOID RGB has a neutral sound signature, though there is a slight emphasis on bass. My listening experience was a good one and I was surprised by the sound quality of the VOID RGB, though the sound stage and overall listening experience can't meet that of the open back Sennheiser HD558's. For example, in highs, there is very little separation or distinction. I must say, Moby's Play and Massive Attacks Mezzanine, two of my go-to albums, sounded great on the VOID RGB. Listeners of bass-heavy electronic music will definitely enjoy listening to their favorite tracks on this headset. The wireless nature of this headset wasn't a factor at all, as they sound crisp and there isn't any apparent drop out or quality loss I could perceive, even at distances up to twenty feet. Fans of music that benefits from a wide sound stage and those who have listen to quality headphones such as the HD558's aren't going to be blown away, but will still likely find the music listening experience of the VOID RGB to be at least satisfactory.
I feel that the maximum volume output of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is completely adequate, but there should be a more powerful mode available. On the plus side, even at maximum volume output, I never heard any crackling or distortion. The maximum volume output is loud and will be completely adequate for most situations, but sometimes I like to have a really loud jam out session and the VOID RGB just can't get to that extra loud level that I like to experience. The sound quality is great and tuned optimally, especially when you consider that this is a wireless headset.
The VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 sound great with movies and the Dolby Surround 7.1 mode really works well here, though it is hard to replicate surround with a set of headphones. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had great sound effects and the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 did help with the immersion factor. Voices from actors were clear and crisp, while music tracks played with clarity. The VOID RGB have a slight emphasis on bass, even when running them at flat equalization, but it isn't overpowering. I'd definitely say the VOID RGB are good for late night movie watching, especially since their wireless factor means you can sit in a relaxed position, away from the system.
The VOID RGB really shines in Battlefield 4. You can hear where footsteps and bullets are coming from and the surround mode is very effective. I was pleasantly surprised with just how good the VOID RGB sounded in Battlefield 4, even compared to my HD558's. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain also sounded great, with excellent stereo effects and alerts sounding very crisp. The helicopter sound effect with "The Man Who Sold The World" playing as I'd drop into a mission got me excited and the VOID RGB did a great job of positional audio effects in the game. Given the surround mode capability of the VOID RGB, they are geared to provide a great gaming experience as soon as drivers are installed.
The VOID RGB microphone is a weak spot. Voices sound clear, but somewhat distant and tinny. There is no way to adjust the microphone closer or farther from your mouth to compensate for your voice level, either. The InfoMIC status indicators are of limited functionality and I'd prefer if the mic was adjustable. With that said, it's more than adequate for gaming scenarios and your teammates will be able to hear you clearly, just don't expect to stream or record professional audio with the VOID RGB.
The VOID RGB has a good amount of height adjustment, so even those with large heads won't have a problem with the VOID RGB being able to fit. The ear cups fit my ears well and offered good comfort over several hour periods. The upper headband foam is adequate, but it could use a thicker band, as I was fond of pushing the top of the headphone down onto my head so it would hold better. My wife found the headset to be comfortable on her smaller head at the first height adjustment setting. Even though there are wireless components, the headset is light on the head and allows for good mobility. It's nice being able to get up and run to the kitchen, for example, while leaving your headset on, which is something you can't do with a wired unit.
The downside to our experience with the VOID RGB is that the microphone quality wasn't on par with the sound output, providing distant, tinny quality, though it is adequate for gaming purposes. I also feel that the InfoMic utility is gimmicky and didn't find myself using it at all.
Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset Conclusion
As a pure gaming headset, the Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is solid and definitely going to benefit users who want a high quality, comfortable headset that complements their gaming experience. The sound quality is great for a gaming headset, just don't expect audiophile-grade quality from these cans. While the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 doesn't blow us away or provide leading performance in any particular category, it does everything well and doesn't have any issues that let us down. Even though this is a wireless headset, I found that music played with absolute clarity and never noticed any cut outs, loss of quality or latency issues. The included microphone, while providing flat output that removes signature from voices, was fine for gaming sessions, but is not to be used for professional recording, nor was it intended as such. The inability to form the microphone or bend it towards our mouth for optimal sound pick up was also a let down.
Using the RGB functionality of the VOID Wireless 7.1 really took the battery to task, lasting just 7-8 hours during moderate gaming sessions, while disabling the RGB functionality could get us through the day without needing a charge. Given that the RGB functionality is a main selling point to this headset, I felt that pointing out the shortcomings of this feature was necessary. For gamers looking for absolute customization and who appreciate the added bling, the RGB functionality of the VOID is certainly going to be welcome, just keep an eye on that battery life.
Corsair set out to make a well-rounded, fully featured headset for competitive gamers with the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1. They have succeeded, as the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 offers a complete package, with nice aesthetics, a comfortable feel and good sound quality. Use of the Dolby 7.1 mode sounded great in Battlefield 4 and other FPS games, giving us a distinct feeling for where the action was emanating. While they aren't designed for it, the VOID RGB Wireless also worked very well for listening to music, though I found them to be slightly bass-heavy when listening to certain tracks.
Would I replace my existing setup with the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 for gaming purposes? My opinion is that while the Sennheiser HD558 offer more refined sound quality and a better music listening experience, the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 offer decent flexibility for gaming and not having that thick headphone wire running to the sound card made a huge difference in being able to move without being restricted. The closed back design of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 also offers improvements for gaming, as sounds don't leak in or out as easily as they do on the open-back HD558's. I will certainly keep my Sennheiser HD558's as my main headphones, as they offer a much better sound stage and comfort than the VOID RGB Wireless, but for gaming the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 provide a viable, enjoyable experience. The microphone, however, is a weak point, as the mic is not flexible, the InfoMic controls are gimmicky and the sound quality produced is adequate, but far from high quality.
cost of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is prohibitive, as you can get Corsair's H2100, also a wireless headset, but lacking RGB functionality, for just $84.99
at Amazon. The thing is, RGB functionality is purely aesthetic and while it will interest some gamers, it's a tough sell given the price premium. As mentioned, the stereo version of the VOID, which lacks RGB and wireless functionality, both of which may not be of interest to hardcore gamers, is just $69.99
at Newegg. If Corsair can work to lower the price of the VOID RGB Wireless to the $99 range, I think they would be a much easier sell and more competitive with offerings from Logitech and Kingston. The VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 was just released and thus is selling for MSRP, but we will likely start to see the price taper down in time for the holiday season, or at least we can hope this is the situation. Putting our pricing gripe aside, this is a great gaming headset from Corsair, with surprisingly good sound quality. It is definitely worth putting the Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 on your shortlist if you're looking for a headset specifically built for gaming that offers good sound quality, comfort and style. The Corsair VOID RGB may currently be the most well-rounded wireless gaming headset for PC's that you can get.
Legit Bottom Line: The Corsair VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 offers comfort, ease of use, subjectively good sound quality and everything else you should look for in a gaming headset. Unfortunately, the current $129.99 pricing of the VOID RGB Wireless 7.1 is a bit high when you consider the overall package, so you may want to wait for them to go on sale.