If you're going to ask more than $50 for a gaming headset, you have to offer something aside from a microphone and a set of cans. Those alone aren't enough to bear that kind of price, really. At $79.99, what does the Corsair Void Surround have to offer that sets it apart?
Compared to the other members of the Void line, the Void Surround isn't quite the baby of the bunch, but it's close, standing just above the Void Stereo headset. This is a wired headset with none of the RGB LED customization offered among the rest of the Void line. It's also anywhere from $20 to $70 cheaper depending on what other headsets you're looking at.
I wouldn't call it a "no frills" headset, though.
The biggest feature of the Corsair Void Surround, as you might've guessed from the name, is surround sound.
While the headset does feature a standard 3.5mm audio jack found on most headphones, and can be used with PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile devices, that's not the optimal configuration.
Instead, the headset comes with a USB attachment that adds Dolby 7.1 surround sound to your gaming experience.
As a regular audio headset, the Void Surround is fine. It sounds fine. It's not going to change the world, but it's not bad. If this was all the headset was, I'd be more doubtful of the current price tag. The flexibility to use it across just about any platform is useful, though. If you pick up the Void Surround, it ought to be the only headset you need until you decide to complicate things with a piece of wireless hardware.
Adding the USB dongle in, though, changes the experience quite a bit.
To get the surround sound running, you plug into the USB dongle and install the Corsair Utility Engine software. If you're already rolling with one of Corsair's RGB keyboards or mice, you might even be running this already.
The CUE software runs the 7.1 experience, and brings in the ability to add equalizers on top of the experience. While the headset's standard audio is just fine, the equalizers mean you can crank the bass up or down for an experience that better suits you.
My experience with the Void Surround has, generally, been a positive one.
They're light and comfortable, and I was able to wear them for quite a while before needing to take them off. They do a fair job of sealing out outside noise without suffocating your ears. They're entirely plastic, but that's to be expected with the price. They might not be as durable in the long run, but the trade off for the cheaper price and lighter build is going to be worth it for a lot of gamers.
For music, they're okay. Most people buying these aren't planning to use them for music, but it's still worth mentioning. They sound okay. They're not terrible, but not memorable, either. For games, though, the Void Surround makes for a pretty solid set for the price when you run them through the dongle.
Whether you use the dongle or not, the microphone on these cans sucks. Here's a sample of microphone's quality:
And a playlist of some of the other headsets I've reviewed.
It's better than a lot of lower-end microphones, and the CUE software lets you make some adjustments to the mic's sensitivity and sidetone, but there are definitely better experiences out there.
The dongle is the most interesting aspect these otherwise fine headphones. What I'd like to see Corsair do is make it available separately. In theory, you could plug any set of headphones into them to make them 7.1.
Corsair's Void Stereo headset is only $10 less, so it could make the dongle available for pretty cheap.
If you're looking for a solid, wired gaming headset, the Void is worth consideration. It's not wildly expensive, but the addition of 7.1 Dolby gives it a leg up on quite a few similarly priced headsets. While it is compatible with consoles, it's definitely a PC gamer's headset, though, so if you're going to be playing primarily on console, or even 50/50, I wouldn't make these the first choice. For PC gamers, though, Corsair has put together a nice piece of mid-range hardware.
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