Corsair has expanded its headset line-up to now include nine models. Meeting the needs of the advanced gamer requires that all but one feature Dolby 7.1 surround sound technology. The distinctive Void range is currently split into, stereo, USB and wireless versions with prices starting at £65.
Enhancing the catalogue is the headset announced today, the Void Surround. More of a multi-platform headset than previous models, Corsair uses a regular 4-pole 3.5mm stereo connector which means it is suitable for games consoles, mobile devices, PCs, and good ol' music systems. In this regard it resembles the currently available Void Stereo.
The Void Surround's trick is to bundle in a USB adapter that, through a PC and relevant Dolby software, turns it into a 7.1 surround-capable device. It's no surprise to learn that, in this mode, it functions much like the USB-only Void, albeit without RGB lighting. It's plain to see the provenance of the hybrid name.
A change of models leads to a styling tweak. The headband logo is moved to the top instead of the side and the foam insert feels slightly different to the original, though still comfortable. Void continues to use a mixture of plastic and aluminium but build quality is decent enough. We like that the earcups turn inwards, for simpler transporting, but it's a shame Corsair doesn't bundle in a case of any sort into the bundle.
The non-detachable noise-cancelling mic follows the same red colour scheme as the earcups and is nicely adjustable. If anything it feels as if it's too close to your mouth, compared with other headsets, while the adjustment mechanism is quite loud. We're not fans of the two-tone finish on the sides, however, as the matte red sections are a direct contrast to the shiny, fingerprint-happy black parts emblazoned with the Corsair logo. The left-hand earcup carries a simple scroll volume wheel and a switch to toggle the unidirectional mic on or off.
Moving the buttons up to the headset means there is no in-line control along the 2m cable that's hardwired to the unit, but we don't feel this is remiss for a headset of this type. Take another look at the earcups; they're not completely circular because, according to Corsair, not everyone's ears have the same profile. What we can say after a few days of using the Void Surround is that it's comfortable for extended hours. You kind of forget that it's on your head, so if you're on Skype as much as Call of Duty, the Void is a safe bet.
The 50mm drivers provide a punchy sound that has the typical bass-heavy signature of most modern headsets. The treble is overshadowed by a pronounced bass line that feels overly hefty across the sound-stage. Void Surround offers reasonable volume and doesn't fall into the trap of losing articulation when pushed to the limit. The microphone, too, is clear and crisp, though we'd have liked some form of visual indication on its tip for when the mute button is activated.
That visual indication is apparent when using the supplied USB adapter/soundcard and Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software that covers the entire Void range. For the Surround model, a number of different equaliser presets can be applied that do make a genuine difference to the sound output. Other tabs, such as lighting, have no relevance on this model.
Testing in a myriad of games shows the Dolby 7.1 virtual sound to work well. The Surround is able to accurately pinpoint where grenades land and offers a real sense of depth to frenetic gameplay. It's good for movies, too, as the overt bass ratchets explosions up by a notch or two. We played around with the various settings and found the 'movie theater' mode to offer a bigger, wider soundstage without losing clarity. Let's be clear, the Void surround won't replace a quality stereo pair of headphones or high-end cans featuring the latest technology, but it makes a sufficiently good attempt at both to be a sensible middle-ground option.
Corsair wants to bridge the gap between its stereo and Dolby headsets by offering a hybrid Void. This model, known as Surround, excels at comfort while providing agreeable sonics at a £70 price point. Competition in this field is tough, notably coming from the HyperX Cloud II from Kingston that ships with a carry bag, replacement pads and an airplane adapter, so the Void Surround has a big job on its hands.
We come away with the feeling that this hybrid headset enables Corsair to play in a field that was previously inaccessible. If you're in the market for a do-it-all headset, put the Void Surround on your list.
No extras in bundle
Corsair Void Surround
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