Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset Review

Testing
Games

I tested six PC games with Dolby Headphone and 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter. As you can see in the table below, each game worked with Dolby Headphone and 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter.

Game

Dolby Headphone

7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter

Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY
Crysis 1
F.3.A.R.
Left 4 Dead 1 * *
NFS: The Run
Saints Row: The Third

To test if the virtual surround was working or not, I would find a static noise (usually something on fire), I’d walk away from it, close my eyes and see if I could lead myself back to it just by listening to the direction of the sound. Once I thought I found the source of the sound, I’d stop moving my character and just turn in circles to see if I could tell the difference between in front and behind me. Then I’d open my eyes to see if my senses were correct. Each time they were.

A more ‘accurate’ way of testing is in the 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter mode you can move speakers closer to your or further away. Doing this increases or decreases the volume respectively. I’d move the left, right, and center speakers far away, and the surrounds close to see if they had any output. They always had output which means the game was outputting a surround track.

Movies

There’s a few movies I know inside and out, a couple of them are The Fast and the Furious, and The Punisher. I watched each on my PC with the Vengeance 1500 as my home theater, and the Vengeance 1500 delivered. Regardless if it was in Dolby Headphone or 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter, the sound was crisp, accurate, and immersive. Although like I mentioned earlier in the Interface section, dialog in Dolby Headphone could seem a bit ‘distant’. While both modes are great, I preferred 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter since the center channel could be more accurately positioned.

Music & Sound Quality
First off, the Vengeance 1500 won’t win any awards for booming bass. So if you like a lot of bass, the Vengeance 1500 is probably not for you. Although I never found the lack of eardrum shattering bass an issue. The Vengeance 1500 probably produces the best overall sound out of any PC headset I’ve ever reviewed. Its sound quality is between the Logitech F540 and Sennheiser PC350. The Logitech F540 has an excellent blend of highs, mids, and lows. Whereas the Sennheiser PC350 has exceptional highs and mids, but they’re a bit too bright and overshadow any lows that do exist. But the Vengeance 1500 finds the right balance of all three. You may not hear every nuance in a song that a really high-end pair of headphones could provide, but Corsair has accomplished an outstanding sounding headset for their price range.

Mic Quality
The Vengeance 1500 takes no prisoners when it comes to mic quality. It outshines the wireless headsets I’ve reviewed (Logitech F540, Razer Chimaera), and it’s just a tad behind the Sennheiser PC350’s mic. Below are four audio samples of the mic from each headset I’ve reviewed.

Corsair Vengeance 1500

Razer Chimaera

Logitech Wireless Headset F540

Sennheiser PC350

Comfort
I’ve worn the Vengeance 1500 longer than any other headset I’ve reviewed. It is extremely comfortable. There were many times that I even forgot I was wearing a headset, until I got caught on the wire, or went to scratch my head. Corsair really hit the nail on the head here.

Other Observations

Inline Volume Control
The Vengeance 1500 contains its audio chip inside the volume control (as pretty much every USB headset does). This one tends to get a bit warm if it is plugged in (in use or not). Not a big deal, just something that caught me by surprise. Maybe Corsair could put some breathing holes in it for the next hardware iteration. Also, there isn’t a clip or anywhere to put the volume control. Because of this, I lost count how many times it has got stuck underneath my keyboard tray when I try to move or take off the headset. Finally, there isn’t a button to mute the overall volume. You either have to hold down on the – button, or just take the headset off.

Microphone
As seen in the unboxing video, the microphone ‘clicks’ into many different positions. Usually headsets just sweep, and you stop it where you want. I like the idea of the mic clicking into place, but if you have the headset on and you quickly move the mic, it creates a mini-earthquake in both of your ears. Hopefully Corsair can figure out a way to minimize the echo from moving the mic in their future headsets.

Static
This headset can get loud, louder than my ears can comfortably handle. I rarely turned the headset past 25% when listening to music. Movies and games can be a bit quieter, so I kept the volume around 50%. Although, I wanted to know what’d happen if I turned it to 100%. Obviously I didn’t want to mess up my ears, so I turned off all output and turned the volume all the way up. There is definitely some audible static, but nothing really significant. In other words, if you had audio playing at 100%, the audio would be so loud, any static wouldn’t be noticed.

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