Corsair VOID Surround Headset Review
The kind of headphones you use for music offer a bit of insight into your tastes. You might be content just to use the little buds provided with your phone, as they're fairly perfunctory but work just fine. Then again, you might want a more personal space with your music, and may have invested in a better set of headphones that sonically immerse you in your own world. The same could be said of gaming headsets, which have exploded these past few years as online gaming, eSports, and streaming have become more commonplace. Some players might be fine with the default headsets packed in with their consoles, but others will want a more specific bit of gear tailored to their exact needs.
The Corsair VOID Surround falls between the basic and high-end experiences, offering a comfortable set of over-ear headphones with sound quality that puts the budget earpieces to shame. Though it doesn't have quite as much depth or range as some ultra premium competitors, Corsair's latest headset does do everything they can do nearly as well at a fraction of the price.
Right out of the box, you can use the VOID for consoles with little muss and fuss. Take it out, unwrap the cord, plug it into your controller, and get playing. The VOID is what Corsair dubs a hybrid headset, in that it offers stereo sound at default, but for PC gaming can deliver Dolby 7.1 surround with the aid of a USB attachment. That means you won't get a true surround experience on consoles, as the USB accessory requires additional, free software to be installed to use properly. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker for console gamers though. While you can't adjust the audio mix at all like you could on a PC, the VOID delivers perfectly decent audio in stereo. Things do get a little distorted when there's a lot happening on screen, but whether playing Madden, Call of Duty or Battlefront, the VOID boasts mostly crisp, clear audio.
On the PC end, adding in the software and additional surround support helps alleviate a bit of the issue. You can set your mixes up however you like using the Corsair Utility Engine, which offers five equalizer modes to at default, and allows you to customize your own if you wish. The included EQ options are more than enough for a casual user, but tailoring your mixes to specific games is a good option to include for those who spend a lot more time in the headphones. All that said, the difference between the default stereo sound and the USB-boosted surround was negligible. The VOID did do a better job bouncing ambient noise back and forth between each ear with the surround options turned on, but you get almost the same sound profile just plugging the headset into the jack on your PC as you do from the USB add-on.
No matter which way you want to use it, the Corsair VOID Surround is a comfortable headset. It's got a nice, light frame, and the cloth ear covers keep it from getting too sweaty when gaming for hours at a clip. While it is a comfortable headset, it did fit a little loose, with the ear cups not sitting as tightly against the head as we would have liked. That little bit of space was enough to let in a little outside noise. These aren't noise-canceling headphones, so a bit of real world sound is expected, but it would have been nice if the headset had a firmer grip on the head.
Additionally, the microphone isn't very flexible. It provided clear chat audio, but it's a bit limited in adjustable range. Corsair has it situated on the left ear, and you can only raise it or lower it based on ratchet articulation. There's very little give in how far or near you can place the microphone to your mouth, but the default distance certainly couldn't be considered too close. Having the mute button on the left ear cup, as well as the additional volume controls on the rear of the left cup, was a smart move though. It keeps the streamlined aesthetic together and doesn't leave a little box dangling from the cord like so many competitors.
Corsair's VOID Surround headset is a solid effort in the midrange tier. It's vastly superior to whatever little headsets have been included with consoles. Compared to headsets in the same $70-100 range, it's right there in the mix, particularly when it comes to first-party options from Sony and Microsoft. The Dolby 7.1 surround options are nice, but don't define a true strength or weakness for the VOID. Even with just the stereo sound provided at default, the Corsair VOID Surround is an extremely capable headset for gamers of all persuasions.
The Corsair VOID Surround headset is available now for $79.99. A sample headset was provided for this review.