Your ears and eyes will dig it.
Editor’s note: IGN is ramping tech and hardware reviews back up, one product category at a time. We’re kicking off with deep dives into some of the best-of-the best headsets, GPUs, Mice, Monitors, and keyboards from the last few years.
Corsair’s headset lineup has gotten a bit confusing over the years since the company seemingly couldn’t decide on a name or a number for its headsets, but it’s now settled on the word VOID for its high-end model. It’s available in both wired and wireless versions, and I reviewed the wired USB version (See it on Amazon). It is listed as having an MSRP of $79.99 and sits in the middle of the Corsair VOID lineup, which includes a $99.99 Wireless model at the top and a $49.99 Stereo model at the other end.
Design and Features
The Corsair VOID USB is an affordable (ish) gaming headset that simulates 7.1 surround sound and boasts solid build quality and a supremely comfortable design. What makes the Corsair VOID so comfortable are the soft memory foam on both the headband and ear cups and the actual shape of the ear cups themselves. The “True Form” ear cups are not your typical round or oval shape, but are shaped more like a trapezoid to mimic the shape of your ear.
Corsair offers two color options for the VOID USB headset: White and Carbon, and we received the white model for review. It features a white-and-black headband and the headphones are connected by sturdy, silver metal brackets. The brackets also let the earcups pivot so they can lay down flat, making them more comfortable when you have the headset resting on your neck or if you need to stuff it into a backpack.
The padded memory-foam headband feels supremely comfortable. It offers ample height adjustment, even for this large-headed reviewer. Overall, the headset has a pleasing weight to it, and feels sturdy and well-built but not so heavy that it’s cumbersome to wear. The ear cups feature soft, memory-foam padding, and like the headband padding, are covered by black microfiber cloth. The cloth felt comfortable but I worried that it might begin to degrade over time, especially if it rubs up against stubble-covered faces, so I wish Corsair included a leatherette option. Inside, a beefy 50mm driver powers each earphone.
I have no complaints about the shape of the ear cups, and glasses-wearing gamers like myself will appreciate their shape, as I found them comfortable to wear since the padding on the front of the ear is runs straight down instead of being rounded, leaving it closer to your ear so it doesn’t press on the stem of your glasses as much as a round or oval ear cup.
The USB cord is nearly six feet in length, offering plenty of room to maneuver while tethered to your computer. My only complaint about the cord is it’s not braided. A braided cable is more supple, gets tangled less, and its cloth sheath is less prone to tearing than a rubber coating.
The unidirectional, noise-cancelling microphone sits at the end of an adjustable, rubber boom. The boom lets you swing the mic up so it’s out of your way and then lower it into position to talk, but it does not let you move the microphone closer or further from your mouth like you can on some headsets. An LED at the tip of the mic boom glows red when the mic is muted, but it’s difficult to see when you are wearing the headset because it’s angled away from you. I still found it useful for quickly checking if the mic was muted by just moving my finger over the mic and looking for the red glow of the LED. There is a second LED on the mic that goes unused on this model; it alerts owners of the wireless model when the battery is low.
As a member of Corsair’s RGB family of gaming peripherals, the headset features LED lighting on the side of each ear cup. The left ear cup features a large mute button, which we found more convenient to use than an inline control. On the back corner of the bottom edge of the left ear cup, below the mute button, is a volume rocker. You can also press this rocker to cycle through five EQ presets or long-press it to toggle Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound on and off.
You can just plug the Corsair VOID USB into a USB port on your PC or laptop and start using the headset. If you head to Corsair’s site, however, and install its CUE software (Corsair Utility Engine), you’ll be able to customize lighting effects, EQ presets and mic and sidetone volume levels. With the Corsair Engine Utility (CUE) software, you can tweak settings for the lighting effects, EQ presets and the microphone.
For lighting effects, you can choose from among five lighting effects or just a static color. The lighting looks cool and though not exactly useful per se is a nice feature to have, if only to show off a bit at a LAN party. For EQ presets, you start with five presets but you can create your own. If you create your own, you will need to disable one of the default presets; you can have only five available at one time on the headset. Lastly, you can adjust the brightness of the mic’s status LED and set an interval time for it to shine if you don’t want the LED to stay lit the entire time the mic is muted, which defeats the purpose of the LED if you ask me.
Elsewhere in CUE, you’ll find sliders to adjust the mic and sidetone volume. When sidetone is enabled, sound from the mic is sent to the ear cups so you can hear yourself during conversations. Overall, the CUE software is well organized and easy to use, allowing you to jump in quickly to make a change and get right back to gaming.
I fired up Battlefield 3 to find out how the Corsair VOID USB handled a game that takes place on a large map. The sound was clear and dynamic, but I had an easier time telling left and right sounds than front and back with Dolby 7.1 surround sound enabled. The audio field felt larger in stereo though compared to Dolby 7.1, but it didn’t feel as expansive as when I was using 7.1 surround sound on the HyperX Cloud II headset, which gave me a better sense of directional sound.
I also tested the Corsair VOID USB’s ability to handle music playback by playing The Weekend’s “Starboy” and was impressed by the results. The bass response was powerful and clear, and the mids and highs were crisp and clean. The Bass Boost EQ preset aided the sound; it provided fuller bass without it sounding muddy or dulling the mid-tones.
Lastly, the Corsair VOID USB is not the headset for you if you want something akin to full noise cancellation. For one, the earcup design eliminates most but not all ambient noise. Second, the volume level at maximum remains relatively low. The VOID are many things, but ear-splitting headphones they are not.
The Corsair VOID USB Dolby 7.1 RGB Gaming Headset has an MSRP of $79.99, but like a lot of PC hardware it can generally be nabbed at a discount. Best Buy and a few other retailers regularly sell it for $59, which is around the same price it is selling for currently on Amazon: