Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Gaming Headset Stand
Corsair is one of the premier peripheral and component manufacturers in the PC gaming industry and we've covered their products quite a bit here at LegitReviews. In their noble and righteous quest to introduce RGB lighting to every computer peripheral imaginable, Corsair recently released the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. Made out of aircraft grade aluminum and featuring two USB 3.1 Gen1 pass thru ports, along with a built-in sound card that is capable of producing 7.1 virtual surround sound, the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is definitely aimed towards a specific crowd of PC enthusiasts.
While some consumers feel perfectly fine storing their headsets on a desk, or using a banana holder, there are enthusiasts out there who demand premium products that fit within their current peripheral ecosystem. Customers who already own a Corsair gaming headset, such as the Void Pro, may very well appreciate the ability to outfit their desk with a matching accessory that addresses the concern of where to store their premium headset. Of course, the $59.99 ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand
isn't only compatible with Corsair headsets, it will work with most headsets/headphones on the market and look good while doing so.
Keeping your headset on a stand can have benefits, as it will keep them from being accidentally damaged or warped due to sitting with awkward pressure on the earcups or supporting band, along with putting them on display to impress your audiophile friends. In a time when expensive wireless RGB gaming headsets and audiophile headphones are so commonplace on the desks of PC enthusiasts, the idea of an RGB headset stand with some very useful features doesn't seem so far-fetched.
Always a company whom wants to outshine their competition, Corsair has outfitted the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand with nine RGB LED zones that allow for individual control through Corsair CUE software. Corsair CUE software currently controls various peripherals from the company, including mice, headsets, keyboards, mouse pads and now, the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. Since the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is CUE-compatible, it can sync with any of the other Corsair CUE-compatible RGB devices to display synchronized lighting effects and perfectly matched colors. Corsair continues to evolve their RGB landscape with new products and hopefully it is only a matter of time before they introduce the Sync software they displayed at Computex to the public, which allows their peripherals to sync up with the in-case lighting provided by the Corsair Lighting Node Pro and associated components.
The Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand also moonlights as a pretty capable sound card with 7.1 virtual surround support
Perhaps the most undervalued component of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset is the built-in sound card, which has a single 3.5 mm input/output that is capable of 7.1 virtual surround sound, along with serving double-duty as a mic input, which allows it to work with gaming headsets that have a single 3.5 mm connector for both the microphone and headset, such as the HyperX Cloud Alpha that I recently reviewed. The Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset should allow for cleaner routing of headset cables, since it won't have to run across a long distance and can easily be wrapped around the base of the stand.
Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand Contents and Specifications
- ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand
- USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Micro B cable, 1.8m
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
- PC with USB port
- Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
- Internet connection (for CUE software download)
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Corsair ships the $59.99 ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand
in a box that definitely evokes a premium feel. There is a yellow rim around the outside of the box, with a rainbow stripe across the bottom. Corsair uses this style of packaging on many of their products, which should help make them easier to identify for users specifically seeking out Corsair products on store shelves. Corsair seemed to be struggling with brand identify a couple years ago with their 'Corsair Gaming' brand and associated 'tramp stamp' logo, but things are a lot more under control now, with their products all featuring the Corsair "sails" logo that has a distinct, stylish look.
An illustrative manual that explains how to set up the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand and install Corsair CUE software is included in the box, along with the required USB 3.1 Micro B cable and a warranty guide. A two year warranty is standard for all of Corsair's audio products, so if the ST100 RGB Premium happens to fail due to manufacturing-related issues, Corsair has you covered. The ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is made from very high quality aluminum and I have no doubt that it will last for decades in terms of headset stand functionality, but it's good to know that the RGB lighting, sound card and USB ports are covered for two years, as these all can be susceptible to failure regardless of the initial quality of components used.
The MicroB USB USB 3.1 cable that Corsair ships with the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand has a rubber coating and is about six feet long. The cable length was more than adequate to be routed under my desk and to a vacant USB port on my PC that sits on the other side of the desk, but some users with larger desks may find the cable to be too short if they are trying to place the headset stand on the opposite side of their PC. Since this cable has a Micro-B end where it connects to the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand, this shortcoming may be a bit of a nuisance, but sourcing a longer replacement cable on Amazon shouldn't be an issue. Corsair did their research and six feet is the typical length of most premium peripheral cables, but it would be nice to have a slightly longer cable included to suit users with larger desktop environments. This cable also doesn't match the black and yellow connector style of other Corsair peripherals, which isn't a major issue since it won't typically be in a position where it will be seen, but that attention to detail would be nice.
Let's take a closer look at the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Gaming Headset Stand.
Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand - Solid Form
The Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is made from aircraft grade aluminum and it feels extremely durable from top to bottom. There is no rattling or other build quality issues apparent and everything flows every well. The stand also has a great balance, as I was able to push it up several degrees in any direction and it would immediately come down back on its base with no bounce, just a single setting thud.
The aircraft grade aluminum that Corsair manufactured the ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand with has a great feel to it, doesn't pick up fingerprints easily and is very easy to clean. The base of the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand also passed the scratch test with the metal edge of a USB drive. There are two screws that secure the central piece of the ST100 RGB to the base and everything fits together very well, with clean machining between the base and center bar. Corsair doesn't include a flat port cover for the USB 3.1 Gen 3 pass thru port, which would have been a nice aesthetic touch for users who aren't going to use the port.
The Corsair logo on the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand features an RGB lighting zone and is manufactured from a single piece of diffuse plastic material that looks great. The diffuse plastic material that Corsair uses does a great job of display LED effects in an even pattern without them being too bright. Unfortunately, because of how the aluminum and diffuse material are machined, there are very faint lines that go through the logo. The lines in the logo are a minor aesthetic shortcoming that many people won't notice, but it stood out to me in testing and it will definitely stand out to other PC enthusiasts who spend $60 on a headset stand and expect every little detail to be perfect.
Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 pass thru ports and a 3.5 mm audio jack are present on the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. The ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand doesn't need to be connected to a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port to function, but the pass-thru speed will be limited to the speed of the port it is connected to. The ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is rated for up to 2000mA of draw, so for the best compatibility and results, connect the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand to a properly power USB 3.0 port.
The headset support bar of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand has quite a bit of room from front to back and it will accommodate pretty much any headset I can think of. There is a grooved area for the headset band to rest in so that it doesn't slide off of the front or rear of the headset stand. Corsair has ensured that this area of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand has been machined properly and there aren't any sharp areas that will damage headset band material. The straight edges do push in a bit on the headband material, which shouldn't be a major issue, but Corsair could have definitely made this a non-issue by rolling the sides of the stand.
The diffused LED ring of the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand runs between the main rubber bottom and base. You can see where there is some slight imperfection on the machining where the ring meets the base of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand, but it's nothing major and there are no sharp edges. When dealing with aluminum being mated with other materials, these small types of imperfections along mated edges are often to be expected and Corsair has kept the machining on the ST100 RGB tight and within good tolerances, as to not allow for any sharp edges or major imperfections.
The USB 3.1 Gen 1 B port is placed on the rear of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand and the port seems to be solid enough, with the cable providing quite a bit of reinforcement thanks to the two connection points. With the back of the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand being so empty, it would have been cool to see Corsair use the area for some additional connectivity, such as more USB ports, or perhaps a dedicated volume control or physical switch to toggle 7.1 audio on the headset, as it would be out of the way and not affect aesthetics as much. Unfortunately, there are no hooks on the rear of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand to allow for cable management, which is a feature I really appreciate in a headset stand and one I expect in one touted as premium.
The base of the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand has a soft-touch rubber coating applied, along with a stamped Corsair logo and information sticker. The base of the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand holds great to wooden and glass surfaces and it was a very solid choice of material on Corsair's part, as it has a premium feel to it and looks to be applied in a way that will last for years and years of use.
Let's take a look at Corsair CUE software and how it interacts with the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand, next.
Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand - Who Are CUE?
The Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand requires that the latest version of Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) be installed to control the lighting effects and sound card. Without CUE installed, the ST100 RGB Premium will still work as a headset stand and the USB pass thru will work, but you will be stuck on default lighting modes and won't be able to adjust the sound equalizer or toggle surround mode. Corsair CUE is compatible with Windows 7 through Windows 10 and won't work with any other operating systems, so Linux users left are in the dark. I used the latest version of Corsair CUE available from the Corsair Website
, which is version 2.19.65.
The main CUE section of the Corsair ST100 RGB is pretty uneventful, with a clickable image of the headset stand featured, along with a graphic that you can click to learn more about Corsair's latest CUE software. By clicking the settings gear in the main section, it is easy to check that you are running the latest version of CUE and see the firmware version of your ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand.
My ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand shipped with the latest firmware version and was properly recognized by the CUE software right out of the box, as soon as it was plugged in.
Corsair CUE allows for quite a few different settings on the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. RGB effects can be done in layers, with specific zones set to do certain effects, so the options are very expansive. I noticed that in Lighting Link mode, the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand would display effects as if it was on the right side of the keyboard and designed to be placed right above right to the MM800 mousepad. As it stands, you can't actually tell Corsair CUE where your RGB devices are situated on the desk, so Lighting Link coordination is dependent on your layout matching Corsair's ideal, which I really hope changes soon.
I placed the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand on the left side of my desk, where it fit best, but this placement threw off the synchronization of Lighting Link mode. I run static color (blue or red) most of the time anyways, so this is not an issue to me, but it will be to those who want to do Lighting Link effects and run their ST100 RGB on the left side of their desk.
The white level on the Corsair logo is really impressive, since there is a minimal of blue tint.
Corsair did a great job with the lighting zones on the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand, as the transition effects are smooth and the colors all have a nice, smoothed look thanks to the diffuse material being used.
The default setting of the sound card on the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is stereo mode, but it is easily changed by just clicking the toggle button. There are several predefined equalizer modes available, but I found that some of them boosted the frequencies too much, creating distorted sound. The default neutral sound was just fine. The FPS mode offered boosted midrange, which actually sounded pretty good, as well. The sound card on the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand offers decent functionality, but don't expect high level controls or audiophile-level quality. I found the sound to be clean, if not distinguished and the mic input worked great, providing clear, crisp audio without any drop outs or inconsistency.
The Corsair CUE software worked great and didn't have any issues to note. The ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand offers quite a bit of functionality through CUE, with a respectable amount of lighting settings available out of the box. The audio controls were basic and simple to control, with nothing important or major to note.
Let's wrap up this review with my overall thoughts on the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand, next.
Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand - A Shrine For Your Headset
When I first saw Corsair demo the ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand, I wanted to try it out and see how it would fit in on my desktop. Now that I've got it, I am very happy with what Corsair has produced and the ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand is exceeding my expectations in terms of how much practical use it would see. I was able to run the single-connector wire from the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset to the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand and eliminate the extension cable, which gave my desktop a cleaner look. I now use the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium as the exclusive sound card when using a headset, in addition to using the USB pass thru ports to connect the receivers of my wireless peripherals. I originally was interested in the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium because it looks great and I needed a place to store my headphones, but it ended up serving much more functional purpose than that.
The sound card included with the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand offers good, clean output and its ability to double as a mic input while it also functions as an audio output will be very welcome with owners of single-connector gaming headsets. I found that the ST100 RGB Premium's built in sound card was capable of outputting audio fairly well to my 65 Ohm HyperX Cloud Alpha headset, but this is likely going to be about the upper range of impedance supported by the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand. The virtual surround worked fine, with clearly defined sound produced that was comparable to the other virtual algorithms I've heard. I did notice it was a bit difficult to tell whether shots were in front or behind me with the 7.1 virtual enabled, though, so I often left it disabled, which worked better in most of the games I tried. The ST100 RGB Premium isn't designed to replaced a high end DAC, but it is a a decently capable sound card that can bring virtual 7.1 surround audio to any headset, while also providing a clean microphone input that isn't subject to the possible noise presented by the onboard audio on certain motherboards.
While the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is a properly executed product that looks great and has some solid functionality, there are a few issues for Corsair to iron out before they release their next revision. The upper band of the ST100 RGB should have rolled edges on the sides, because as it is, the straight edges will cause soft headband materials to indent. This issue will correct itself when you take the headset off of the stand, but Corsair should have thought about this from the beginning. The back bar of the ST100 RGB could have been outfitted with two small hooks for cable management, as it would have been nice to wrap extra long headset cables around the back of the stand during storage.
Sticklers for attention to detail might complain about the Corsair logo having small connecting lines that aren't present on the logo with other products, but unless you are looking really closely, it isn't noticeable. Corsair designed the ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand for use on the right side of the desk and the effects with Corsair Lighting Link are coordinated as such, which is another small issue that may be a letdown to the hardcore enthusiasts who buy this product.
Whether you need a premium headset stand is a personal choice and I feel that it is really a niche product, but the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand has an undeniable cool factor. In addition to looking good and working great as a headset stand, the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is also packing some decent functionality that can come in handy to users looking to clean up their desktop aesthetic. You can purchase the Corsai Gaming ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand for $59.99 shipped at Amazon
. Razer also offers their Chroma Base Station RGB headset stand for $59.99 shipped
, but the Corsair unit has a better overall build quality, a built-in sound card and the faster USB 3.1 technology. If you are the type of user who has already invested in premium components for your desktop and want the Cadillac of headset stands, the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset Stand is probably already in your Amazon shopping cart. For the rest of you, a banana holder will work just fine
and will save you about fifty bucks.
Legit Bottom Line: If you are an RGB junkie looking for a headset stand with some added functionality, the Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand is a well-built piece of tech that will look amazing on pretty much any desktop.