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Corsair Vengeance 1500

Eight 5.1- And 7.1-Channel Gaming Headsets, Reviewed

Corsair is probably best known for its PC memory, SSDs, and power supplies, but the company recently made a splash in the audio world with its excellent SP2500, previously reviewed in Bringing Home The Bass: 2.1-Channel Speaker Roundup. We also had a look at the company’s previous-generation HS1 headset in On The Bench: Corsair's HS1 USB Gaming Headset.

We were very impressed with both products. So, we're of course curious to see what else Corsair does in the audio space. Today we're testing its Vengeance 1500.

Despite a moderate £75 price tag, the Vengeance is probably the classiest-looking headset in the bunch thanks to tasteful brushed metal accents and a functional design. It’s certainly more attractive than the HS1 that came before, which is rather plain in comparison.

At 11.4 oz, the Vengeance 1500 is fairly light, and its memory foam pads are very comfortable. Again, though, they're a little tighter than we'd prefer, potentially cutting an all-night gaming session shorter.

The microphone boom can be rotated out of the way, as with most models in this round-up. When it comes to the mic's sound quality, the frequency spectrum's high-end is a little muted, though this does a fair job of minimizing background noise.

Virtual surround sound is enabled through Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which takes two-channel stereo and up-converts it to 6.1- or 7.1-channel sound. So, there's only one speaker per ear. Fortunately, it's a large 50 mm driver with a rated frequency response between 20 and 20 kHz, just like we saw from the HS1.

The controls are simultaneously simple and elegant, featuring plus and minus volume buttons and a microphone mute button. During normal operation, the controls are illuminated by blue LEDs. When the mic is muted, they're red. Our only real complaint about the inline remote is that there's no way to clip it on to your clothes.

Corsair's Vengeance is a USB-only model, so it can't be plugged into a sound card. Instead, you have to count on the headset's own audio processing capabilities.

The software is easy to navigate; a single screen presents the equalizer and surround controls. You don't have to deal with any gimmicky voice or environmental effects, although there is a virtual speaker shifter and settings to specify the desired environment size.

If you don't turn on Pro Logic IIx in this control panel, you don't get the up-convert functionality, and virtualized surround sound won't work in your games.

At its £75 price tag, Corsair only gives you a warranty paper and a link to the company's site where you can download the complementary software.

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