Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset Review

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset review

Corsair is one of the biggest PC component and peripheral companies on the market, with impressive case, RAM, and PSU offerings. Gaming headsets are yet another product line in Corsair's wheelhouse, but they tend to only succeed in the budget end of the scale. Today we are looking at one of the brand's latest premium peripherals - The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE gaming headset.

This headset is high-end for sure, with some of the best build quality we have seen from a gaming headset. Furthermore, the Corsair Virtuoso offers a certain level of versatility that makes these well worth the high price. 

Let's take a closer look.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset

A highly regarded wireless gaming headset

With some of the most reliable performance to come from a wireless gaming headset ever, these are truly a great option for those looking to lose the cable. These feature one of the best build qualities we have seen from a gaming headset, a top-level microphone, and RGB lighting.

 

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Specifications

Let's take a quick look at the specs for the visually pleasing Corsair Virtuosos.

Inside the box, we see:

  • Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset
  • USB wireless transmitter
  • USB charging cable, 1.8m
  • 3.5mm stereo cable, 1.5m
  • Storage pouch
  • Warranty
  • Headphone Frequency Response
    20 - 40,000 Hz
  • Microphone Frequency Response
    100 - 10,000 Hz
  • Wireless
    Yes
  • Battery Life
    20 Hours
  • Pick-up Pattern
    Omni-directional
  • Weight
    371g
  • Cable Length
    1.8m (USB-C Cable)

Setup

The first thing to note prior to setting these up is that the sound quality out of the box is slightly above average. A slight EQ tweak was clearly needed for music and gaming and that’s where the software comes in.

Once the USB dongle or USB-C cable is connected the device is automatically set up leaving you with just the software to download. Corsairs iCUE software is very reliable and it has always been easy to use compared to a few competitors. While tweaks are limited, adjusting the sound made a big difference for me.

The headset works wirelessly with Corsair's Slipstream technology, which we will touch up later. For wired mode, you simply switch the headset to USB and plug in the connector to start your listening experience. Lastly, the headset also features a 3.5mm audio jack cable, so you can get this going with your phone, PS4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One.

Design

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is one of the most aesthetically pleasing gaming headsets on the market. These feature top-level build quality and a well thought out design too. The slightly cheaper none-SE version of this headset comes with black glossy earcups, which I'm personally am not a fan of, but the brushed aluminum on these is very pleasing on the eye.

I have always been a fan of Corsair's budget HS-series gaming headsets, as I always felt they offer decent value for money. This more premium feeling gaming headset is an expensive step, but it is one in the right direction, as many regards these as one of the best wireless gaming headsets currently available.

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Build Quality

The first thing you notice opening these up is the build quality, the coldness of that heavy aluminum finish feels great in the hand, as does the plush soft padding too. The brushed aluminum makes these feel not only luxurious but resilient, too, with a massive amount of flex in the headband. Flex aside, there is zero give in the earcups or frame, making them feel very durable. 

It isn’t just the headset that ships with superb build quality, all your little bits, and pieces do too! The design extends to the different connectors and microphone, making this a great looking overall package. The microphone has more weight to it that I’m used to but yet again feels like it is built to last, and the brushed aluminum is a great touch.

The microphone position can be easily adjusted as the smooth rubber material that shrouds the cable bends in any direction you desire.

Build quality has been nailed from Corsair here, giving brands like Sennheiser a run for their money.

Comfort

Generally speaking, the Corsair Virtuosos are a comfy pair of headphones, but this is the only area where the headset picks up a few cons. I actually really enjoyed this gaming headset, so it was a little annoying to mark it down in an area you’d think would be fine at this price point.

Firstly, the fit was actually really good, and the clamp pressure was perfect for my head while playing in my regular position. Unfortunately, they are a little loose if moving/ leaning down, and I could feel them wanting to slip off my head. 

The earcups are perfectly circular, meaning if you have large ears, they may not fit inside the plush padding properly. The memory foam padding was lackluster and really missed the mark when compared to the supremely comfortable Sennheiser GSP 370s. The headband offered some comfort and support, but this became itchy and uncomfortable with prolonged usage. Unfortunately, my ears touch the inner driver wall, and you really notice the scratchy material used there when compared to the pleather found on the cups themselves.

Despite weighing a similar amount to the GSP 670s (371 grams), these were certainly less noticeable on your head, which could be down to the Sennheiser pairs ridiculous clamping force.

As mentioned, these fit my head excellently, and they do come with a good amount of adjustment options too, catering for many different head shapes and sizes. The headband features ten adjustment steps that are tactile and marked with ruler-like inlays on either side.

The headband connects to a pair of solid hinges that allow the earcups to rotate 180 degrees. This feature is great for those that are going to be using these in their daily commute as you can have the Virtuosos around your neck without feeling like you may choke. Furthermore, the ability to fold these flat can always help when traveling with these in your bag. Lastly, the earcups feature a slight tilt, again increasing the fit, catering for you regardless if you have a square or oval-shaped head.

Overall, they are fine, and the comfort will vary from individual to individual, but I can’t help wonder why they haven’t gone for a more lightweight, breathable headband like we saw on the Sennheiser GSPs.

Performance

The quality of sound wasn’t particularly amazing out of the box, but with the EQ tweaked, my audio experience across gaming and music was very enjoyable. 

The difference between these and the GSP 370s was detail and clarity, but even that was fairly minute. Impressively, the bass on the Virtuosos was noticeably better than the Sennheisers. 

These are priced very closely to the Sennheiser GSP 370s, so I mostly compared the Corsair Virtuosos with them. While audiophiles and gamers that use headphones with standalone mics probably wouldn’t revert back to a pair like this, these offer the wireless market something unheard of - reliability!

Sound

As far as audio experiences go with gaming headsets, this is easily up there with the best around this price point. As mentioned, it took a few EQ tweaks to get these at an enjoyable level, but once done, they were great across the board. 

The Corsair Virtuosos have a warm sound profile and some of the best bass accuracy we have seen from a gaming headset. This boomy pair is also really satisfying in the mid-range and features superb treble accuracy, which deals with the sharp piercing sounds of music very well. The big feature in terms of audio here is the high-resolution capabilities these possess. The Virtuosos feature a headphone frequency response of 20Hz-40KHz, delivering double of what we see with typical gaming headsets through those 50mm neodymium drivers.

The dense plastic earcups with the foam padding do somewhat provide some passive isolation, but it isn’t really enough to fully immerse yourself out in the world. These are best kept at home where loud noises are few and far between.

Naturally, this gaming headset is best suited for gaming purposes, whether you’re wireless or wired.

This pair was tested through a few FPS titles, including the bullet-tastic Squad. In CS:GO, where positional cues are of high importance, these were doing more than enough. The virtual surround sound didn’t feel quite as accurate as the GSP line of headphones from Sennheiser, but to say these improved my gameplay would be fair.

Squad, which is an immersive FPS delight, showcased what this pair from Corsair had to offer with its lower end. The deep bass from overhead mortar fire or distant anti-tank fire was superb, with deep bassy hits making feel part of the action.

One thing to note with the sound performance was the obvious increase when plugging them in. That’s right, wired mode enhanced the sound, with a 24 bit/ 96KHz audio. When plugged into the USB-C cable, there was a minor gripe that came from the braided cable rubbing against my clothing. Due to the type-C port being on an angle, so the 3.5mm jack is facing straight down, you get this unfortunate noise picked up in the earcup.

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB wireless SE gaming headset may not have Bluetooth. Still, they can be used across multiple platforms and even work with a USB-C to USB-C connector, although Corsair doesn’t include this with the product.

The best thing about this particular wireless pair of headphones was the latency. There were no audible dropouts or delays throughout my extensive usage, which is very rare from wireless gaming headsets. The virtual 7.1 surround sound on these really enhanced the audio in my FPS titles, with very accurate sound cues enabling me to pinpoint other players with ease.

Microphone

The omnidirectional microphone that comes with the Corsair Virtuosos is one of the best I have ever used from a gaming headset. The mic has a frequency range of 100Hz to 10KHz and is completely detachable. This very robust and versatile mic may not be up to the challenge of actually being broadcast quality, but it is certainly one of the closest to this label. The dynamic range on this mic delivers clean vocal clarity and a lighting ring to indicate if it is muted or not in your peripheral vision.

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The mic connects to the main headset via micro-USB and has a very satisfying push to mute button at the base. When you first try on the headset and push the button, you are greeted with a female voice prompt. This voice prompt becomes old quite quick, and I found it to leak into Discord, which is always annoying for other people. Thankfully, Corsair allows you to disable the voice prompt feature leaving you with just the lighting to indicate your mic's current status.

A minor concern with the microphone is that the cheaper model of these produces better results, but it is barely noticeable.

Features

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With the Virtuosos being in the high-end of the gaming headset market, naturally, these are packed with some very useful features. Let’s take a closer look at what this wireless pair offers.

Connectivity

These are some of the best wireless gaming headphones I have personally used, and that is mostly down to the impressive Slipstream technology that is inside the USB dongle. These use a hyper-fast wireless connection that just doesn’t seem to fail like other wireless models I have tried. The Virtuosos come with up to a 60ft range, which is more than enough, and they use intelligent frequency shift (IFS), ensuring you are always receiving the strongest connection.

This pair comes with a 1.5 meter 3.5mm audio jack, allowing this to be used with your console or mobile devices.  Unfortunately, when this isn’t being used with a PC, you won’t be able to take advantage of the software or 7.1 surround sound. As previously mentioned, you can go into wired mode with the Virtuosos by connecting the included 1.8-meter USB-C cable. When in wired mode, you get high-fidelity, with 24bit/96KHz audio.

This pair offers up to 20-hours of usage when fully charged, which has held up so far with the testing. To charge the headset, you just plug in the USB-C cable, which not only offers fast charging, but it allows you to have continuous usage.

RGB Lighting

Each earcup features this perforated pinhole like RGB lighting. The earcups are the only place on the entire headset we see the company branding and that is a massive plus. That’s right no “CORSAIR” plastered everywhere, making these a nice stylish pair for more than just gaming.

The RGB lighting can be controlled via the iCUE software, with us seeing similar lighting effects we saw across their peripheral range. The RGB lighting is a bit of a gimmick but the LED ring on the mic is a superb touch, it’s just a shame that also cant be tweaked.

Our Verdict

The Corsair Virtuoso SE wireless gaming headset offers quite a lot for the price. While the comfort wasn’t particularly outstanding, this pair fit near perfectly on my head. If you are looking to use this headset for extended gaming sessions, they may start to irritate you, but this will obviously be different depending on the user. The microphone is one of the best you can get with a headset at this price, and the audio is superb, with very satisfying bass.

The design on these is gorgeous, and with the lossless sound, RGB lighting, high-grade materials, and plenty of connectivity options, these are one of the best wireless gaming headsets currently available. If battery life and comfort are the highest of your priorities, then I would consider the Sennheiser GSP 370’s, but for a feature-packed wireless gaming headset, the Corsair Virtuoso’s are a solid option.

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