Best Virtuoso SE Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022:
Corsair wants to make its mark among the benchmarks for gaming audio with its Virtuoso and Virtuoso SE headsets. These models promise above all a first-rate audio experience. Let’s discover together what they are really worth …
The Virtuoso SE is the cream of the crop for Corsair gaming headsets and therefore costs much more (launched at € 199.99) than the new Void Pro RGB and HS70 SE. And the promises are very numerous: “ impeccable audio quality ”, lightness, robustness, comfort, versatility, “best microphone ever to have a headset”, numerous connections… In short, the ideal gaming headset , at least on paper. What about in practice?
Best Virtuoso SE Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022
1. Corsair CA-9011180-NA Virtuoso RGB Wireless Se Gaming Headset – High-Fidelity 7.1. Surround Sound W/ Broadcast Quality Microphone – Memory Foam Earcups – 20 Hour Battery Life – Gunmetal (Renewed)
2. Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Charger, BoxWave [PD miniCube (18W)] 18W PD Wall Charger for Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless, RGB Wireless SE – Winter White
Corsair Virtuoso revive simplicity. Unlike Void, the look here is relatively conventional, with very rounded lines. If this is not a small gaming touch of the backlight – discreet and only available on the SE version -, this model displays a certain sobriety. After these aesthetic considerations, we notice the quality of manufacture and finishes.
The Virtuoso SE consists of aluminum (shell of the ear cups, hinges and base of the headband), plastic and imitation leather. The set is robust, but not the most flexible and lightest (more or less 370 g). After a month of use, we noticed discreet squeaks in the hinges when we rotate the ear cups. Hopefully they will not be heard more over time.
If the Virtuoso SE is not the most comfortable wireless gaming headset on the market, it still does quite well. It quickly finds its place on the head, the roll bar offers a sufficiently generous deployment for all the heads (from 34 to 44 cm approximately, by measuring from ear to ear and passing by the top of the head) and the auricles include generously the flags of the ears. The support is correct, although the helmet has a small tendency to slip. At least, there is no marked clamping effect.
However, the helmet never gets completely forgotten. In question, a slight lack of depth to accommodate the ears – the horn touches a little the protective grille of the speakers – and especially a relatively marked pressure point at the top of the head (really noticeable after 30 min to 1 h, according to the morphologies). The most strenuous players will therefore have to take regular short breaks.
The Virtuoso SE does not skimp on connections, and that’s good, since it is the fault of certain wireless gaming models . The wireless connection is logically on the game thanks to the small dongleUSB to connect to PC or PS4, but it is also possible to use it wired via its USB-C to USB-A cable, but also in analog via mini-jack. The only thing missing is Bluetooth to be perfectly complete. In the first two cases, the headphones are recognized by a snap of the fingers, but only as a stereo device.
On PC, you can therefore consider pairing it with the excellent sound virtualization Dolby Atmos for Headphones, which is moreover much more natural and more precise than the 7.1 software offered via iCUE. All necessary cables are provided, and all are of good quality. The manufacturer has also put the package on the accessories, since there is also a fabric carrying pocket to store the helmet and everything else.
On the other hand, the controls integrated into the helmet leave us a little hungry. The Virtuoso SE has great ease of use for it, but it only offers general volume control and the ability to mute the microphone. The volume wheel and the mute button are both pleasant to use – we recognize them very easily, the digital volume control is done in a relatively precise way -, but we would have liked to have the possibility of managing the balance between the sound of the game and that of the chat . This very practical functionality is unfortunately not available here.
Corsair’s iCUE software is once again there to provide additional functionality and controls to the Virtuoso SE. The interface is a bit more intuitive and more fluid than on the versions previously tested, but it still takes some time to get used to it. We should also not expect an avalanche of new possibilities.
The necessary is there to manage the RGB backlight and to customize the frequency response of the headphones (10-band graphic EQ), these settings being assignable to profiles. You can also manage the microphone volume and the microphone return in the headphones and activate 7.1 virtual surround . You always have to poke around in the advanced settings to find a vague estimate of the remaining battery, which is not the most obvious. It is also possible to manage automatic standby and activate voice commands. Small annoying detail if you use the microphone return in the headphones: cutting the microphone does not cut the microphone return.
The factory sound reproduction of the Virtuoso SE is surprising to say the least, especially given its claims. In passive (mini-jack, headphones off) or active without user intervention (therefore no equalization), we have the right to a particularly colorful sound rendering. Fortunately, the equalizer is there.
Overall, the Virtuoso SE offers by default a signature marked in W. The bass / bass extremes benefit from good reproduction. He demonstrated relative neutrality and correct precision in this area. The bass is particularly deep and the feeling of sitting satisfactory, no complaints on this point. On the other hand, we feel a slight deficit of “percussiveness” and detail at the bass level, especially when there is a lot of information to decipher in this region (large percussions coupled with explosions and effects in games / movies , very fast attacks of bass drum and bass in music, for example).
The hollow very asserted in the low mids / midrange does not help either since it decreases both the definition of the bass (it is the roundness which is especially in front) and gives a narrow aspect to the voices, especially feminine. The second withdrawal in the high mids, typical on gaming headsets, is also the cause of this phenomenon.
In addition, it has an impact on the sound presence and the overall overly warm and soft rendering offered by the headphones. Many sources find it difficult to express themselves, to emerge, but the less you can listen to the headphones for long hours without harm. Paradoxically, the sound rendering is not as muffled as one might think: we can easily perceive certain subtle details and room effects, the reproduction of the stereo scene is very good in width.
As often, the EQ of the application allows us to compensate for certain faults in the frequency response of the headphones. We can thus clearly gain in sound and air sensation by generously pushing the high / treble mids – we still advise you to stay below the +6 dB bar. The sound is sharper and the timbre much better respected. The veil described above disappears, the foreground of the sound scene is clearly more identifiable and we better appreciate the distances in play. The bass / low mids also gain in definition if we subtly push the band of 250 Hz and especially that of 500 Hz. Unfortunately, we cannot improve the small deficit of precision in the bass, but all that allows to get the best from the headphones.
As we have already seen on other headsets from the same manufacturer, the 7.1 virtual surround offered by the iCUE software is not very interesting. The perception of space is much more blurred, the frequency response of the headphones is more uneven and we note as a bonus processing artefacts which are reflected in the treble (significant loss of precision).
The SE version of the Virtuoso comes with a specific gooseneck microphone which promises better performance than that of the standard version of the helmet. The microphone has indeed a different finish and is more imposing. It is detachable and can be easily cut using a button located at its base.
Compared to many microphones arranged on wireless headsets, this one indeed offers a very good capture of the voice. It offers a warm rendering of voices while respecting timbre very well and retaining good intelligibility. There is no exaggerated sensitivity to plosives and wheezes, even in the absence of a windscreen. On the other hand, it does not cut the surrounding noise extremely, at least not as much as some direct competitors; a point to take into account if you usually play in a noisy environment.
- Good perception of the stereo scene and details after retouching the EQ.
- Very good quality microphone pickup.
- Can be used wirelessly (PS4 / PC) and wired (mini-jack and USB).
- Neat finishes, some good ergonomic ideas.
- Lots of accessories.
- Accidental sound rendering in passive and active use without EQ.
- Marked pressure at the top of the head.
- Unable to manage the balance between game / chat sound on headphones.
- Anecdotal virtual surround.
Corsair’s Virtuoso SE isn’t as perfect as it sounds, but our test ends with a good overall impression. This wireless gaming headset stands out in particular for its varied connectivity and its very good microphone. However the sound rendering leaves us all the same on our hunger, just like comfort. If these two points are essential for you, the Plantronics RIG 800HD and HyperX. Cloud Flight are positioned as very interesting and less expensive alternatives. If you are looking for a good gaming headset with as many connection possibilities – or even Bluetooth as a bonus – this is the side of the Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless that we will have to watch.
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