We have been using the CORSAIR VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE gaming headset as our primary headset for the last few weeks, and we have been quite impressed with not only the fit and feel, but the audio quality as well. Starting off first with comfort, the memory foam padding on each earcup did a good job molding to the shape of our head, and provided a good amount of comfort when worn for multiple hours at a time. The faux leather material found on the headset was comfortable, though we like the breathability of the cloth material found on our VOID PRO headset. This is definitely a personal preference choice, and we quickly became accustomed to the material used on the VIRTUOSO headset.
Our audio testing consisted mostly of using the VIRTUOSO SE in wireless mode, as we prefer the flexibility and freedom a wireless headset gives us. When paired up to our PC using the SLIPSTREAM wireless dongle, we found that the headset provided the best results when in stereo mode as opposed to the 7.1 surround sound mode. While playing titles like Fortnite Battle Royale, Apex Legends, and the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, we were able to pinpoint sounds spatially a bit better in 7.1 mode, but there was a definite loss of audio quality in that mode compared to stereo. We ended up using the stereo mode most of the time, as we were much happier with those results.
When listening to music, we found the best results were had when using the USB connection, as it enables 24-bit/96kHz audio quality. While our listening library isn’t as sophisticated as a true audiophile, our listening mix of hip-hop and rap, classic rock, country, and EDM tracks gave us a good range of genres and songs to sample from. We did feel that the bass from the 50mm drivers was a bit underwhelming, and we were really expecting the rigid aluminum components to provide a solid housing to assist with low frequency reproduction. That isn’t to say that the VIRTUOSO isn’t capable of playing these frequencies, it just felt to us like there should be a bit more power behind the low notes. Vocals and acoustic stringed instruments were very clear, and when reviewing dialogue scenes from a few movies, we had no complaints.
Our least tested method was with the 3.5mm stereo cable, though we did listen to a few podcasts and some streaming audio with the headset connected to our original Pixel XL phone. Our results were positive overall, but we really think this headset shines when used wirelessly or with the USB connection.
Regarding microphone quality, there have definitely been some improvements in CORSAIR’s designs, as we found the VIRTUOSO’s microphone to sound quite a bit better than their VOID PRO. While we appreciate the integrated mute button, finding it in the heat of battle can be a challenge, and we really missed being able to flip the microphone up to mute it. That being said, this is most likely a technological design choice, as this may have been the best solution for a mute button on a removable microphone.
Check out a sample of the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE compared to the VOID PRO RGB.
VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE
VOID PRO RGB
With regards to battery life, CORSAIR touts a 20 hour use period, though this will vary depending on volume and lighting settings. We found we were able to use the headset for a week at a time, a few hours a night before we needed to plug it in for a charge. Testing wireless range is always a bit of a challenge, and every environment is going to be a bit different regarding layout, etc. That being said, our test PC is located in our basement office, and we were able to move around all areas of our basement and first floor with no cutout or noticeable degradation in audio quality. Moving to our second level did introduce some signal loss in various locations, but at that point, the signal is travelling through multiple walls and floors.
Being fully compatible with CORSAIR’s iCUE application, the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE can be customized in multiple aspects to fit your needs. From the HOME screen you can select the VIRTUOSO SE from the list of available devices, which will take you to a screen to adjust various settings like lighting and equalizer presets and custom settings. Additionally you can go the SETTINGS area of iCUE to see the operational and battery status, as well as adjusting the brightness of the headset’s LED lighting. Additional customization options are also available here, most of which come down to personal preference.
From the start, we knew that CORSAIR had designed the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE to be a premium gaming headset. By incorporating machined aluminum, comfy memory foam, and tons of attention to detail, this headset has a lot going for it. As we stated previously, the aluminum components help keep the weight of the headset down, while still providing a solid headset frame. The memory foam padding found on the earcups is ample enough to provide hours of comfortable use, and the leather-like material covering this padding does a good job of sealing out outside sounds. The multiple connectivity options – USB, 3.5mm and SLIPSTREAM wireless- give you plenty of options for using this headset not only with your PC, but with PS4 and other devices that support USB and 3.5mm audio devices.
Overall, the audio quality of the VIRTUOSO SE is great. Gaming sessions were immersive, in both stereo and 7.1 mode, though we did find the audio quality a bit lacking in 7.1 mode. Our music and video sampling provided great audio clarity, especially when using the headset in USB mode, where it supports up to 24-bit/96kHz audio quality. Even 24-bit/48kHz files still sounded better using the wired USB connection. That’s not to say that the SLIPSTREAM wireless mode didn’t sound good, it’s just that we noticed a higher fidelity when wired. Additionally, the microphone quality has improved significantly with this headset, which is particularly impressive, considering the microphone and it’s boom can be removed completely from the headset.
Premium products most certainly come with premium prices, and the CORSAIR VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE is no exception to this rule. Available at our favorite online store for $209.99, the VIRTUOSO SE is over twice the price of the VOID RGB PRO and HS70 wireless headsets. This price point may be hard for many to swallow, but when you consider the use of machined aluminum, matched 50mm drivers, premium USB and stereo cables, the cloth carrying pouch, and precision LED lighting, the cost becomes much more justifiable.
If you are looking for a premium gaming headset with high-end looks and features, checkout the CORSAIR VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless SE, which earns a 9 out of 10 and the ThinkComputers Recommended Award.
- Aluminum Construction
- Multiple Connectivity Options – SLIPSTREAM Wireless, USB, 3.5mm
- 50mm Drivers
- Removable Microphone
- Premium Cables
- Included Travel Pouch
- Great Audio Quality
- Improved Microphone Quality