Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Headset Review
Published: 26th September 2019 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
The rapid explosion of digital media has had a profound effect upon the way that we output audio from our PCs. In a few short years we've gone from plastic stereo speakers that crackled but did enough through multi-speaker arrangements and now to high quality audio whether from speaker systems or headsets. After all, it wasn't that long ago that the only need you had for high end audio was if you were playing CDs or DVDs through your home system, and many of us either didn't bother or utilised the HiFi's we already owned for that purpose.
Now most of our media is digital, whether it is your Spotify playlist or Netflix - or any of the competing options - the ability to have high quality audio output is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The rapid expansion of online gaming has also contributed to the rise in audio solutions that don't just output good quality audio but can broadcast you to the world too.
The Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE headset has thrown Corsair's hat into this world of high-end, high fidelity headsets and has done so with aplomb. The first thing that strikes you is the build quality. We often talk about the theatre of opening certain boxes and the Virtuoso has that in spades with the headset resting upon a quality carry bag and the various cables all neatly stowed in a separate cardboard box. It's all very nice. The actual Virtuoso headset is an extremely solid item. In fact it feels so good in the hand you could be forgiven for thinking it's been hewn from a single billet of aluminium. Metal just has a coolness to the touch that plastic can't replicate, and when every surface of the Virtuoso is either cool metal or leather then you are left in no doubt that, as an item in the hand, it is deserving of the price you've paid. Special note has to be paid to the detachable microphone which is the nicest microphone we've ever reviewed here at OC3D. Metal both ends with a connecting bar that is flexible enough to be easily positioned to your liking, yet sturdy enough to never move from that spot. It's excellent.
Naturally feeling gorgeous is one thing, but headsets are all about their performance and in this regard the Virtuoso isn't found wanting. The custom 50mm Neodymium drivers go beyond the regulation 20Hz-20kHz that most headsets have and instead steps into the 20Hz-40kHz bracket that is reserved for the highest quality items. The difference is clear the moment you play your old favourite song, or any other audio source you're familiar with when you suddenly notice sounds that had been hidden on lesser headsets. Anything from Hollywood movies through AAA games to the whole broad spectrum of musical genres, the Virtuoso breathes new fidelity to your listening experience. The default audio profile is perfectly tuned and whilst you can adjust the equaliser easily within the iCUE software there is almost no need beyond personal taste. The microphone boasts of being broadcast quality and none of our experience with it from recording ourselves to gaming with friends did anything to negate this claim. It's outstanding.
Connectivity is well handled too. You can run the Virtuoso with the USB cable, or a 3.5mm jack, but the Slipstream wireless performance is what really sets it apart. The freedom that the lack of cables bring has to be experienced, but of particular note is the excellent range. Admittedly there aren't many situations when you'll be far enough from your output to need to test the 60 feet of range, but if you do you'll be delighted that it easily matches that and if no walls are in the way can go further without losing signal.
We only have two slight negatives. The microphone LED that indicates its current state is almost distractingly bright. You have to move the mic a long way beyond ideal to get it out of your vision, but fortunately it is good enough to cope. You can disable the light, but then you'll need a good memory or some other indicator to know if you're shouting into the void rather than at your terrible team mates. The other thing is the 7.1 surround which, like all headsets, requires a surround source to get the most out of otherwise it just sounds strange converting stereo sources. This isn't an issue as you can toggle between Stereo and 7.1 easily, but every time you do a woman speaks loudly in your ears to tell you what you've done. I know what I've done as the only way to toggle it is to go into the software and click the button. Shut her up at the first opportunity otherwise she'll drive you crazy. Admittedly both very very minor issues with an otherwise flawless headset, but just something to be aware of.
The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE has sublime build quality, outstanding audio quality and one of the best headset microphones on the market. It's one of the few premium products that lives up to its price tag and wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.