Switching the Vengeance 2000 is requires you to hold down the power button for one to two seconds – it will then automatically connect to the transmitter and begin receiving audio right away, with no discernible delay. As long as there’s power in the headset's internal battery, pulling out the power cable when charging won’t make the signal drop, so you can quickly insert or remove the cable without worrying about missing an important VOIP command or instruction.
Click to enlarge - The headband is study and comfortable
In the open plan office where we ran this particular test, we could get over forty feet away from the transmitter and still receive a signal – this is obviously a best case scenario, as putting one or two walls in the way will add interferance, but we especially liked the way the headset automatically reconnects once you return to within range of the transmitter, saving you the need to press the power button a second time.
Corsair claims you’ll get up to ten hours of battery life from the Vengeance 2000, and during our testing we only had to charge it once in a week of on and off play. When you do eventually run out of power, you can fall back to the wired connection. The Micro USB cable bundled with the headset was more than long enough for us to use at a desk, even with our PC under it.
Not having to worry about wires is great, but it’s useless if sound quality isn’t up to scratch. Thankfully, the Vengeance 2000 was an excellent performer. A single 50mm speaker driver in each ear cup provides clear and punchy audio, with a powerful mid-range and crisp high-end. The larger speaker drivers help produce a wider frequency range, meaning the slightly weedy bass of earlier headsets is gone, replaced with enough rumble to rattle your eyeballs. Some people may actually need to reduce the intensity of the lower frequencies, as they can potentially overpower acoustic music tracks. However, as this is primarily a gaming headset, the intensity they bring to online fire fights more than makes up for this.
Click to enlarge - The headset connects via a micro-USB connection, with a 1.5m cable included.
Explosions and gunshots thump through each driver, but crucially we could still place footsteps as we heard them approach, helping us survive a few extra rounds of survival in Modern Warfare 3. Corsair’s virtual surround sound implementation is similar to Dolby Headphone or Creative's XMS3D, adjusting volume levels and echo to emulate sounds from different positions, although the headset appears in Windows as a 2-channel device. The positional audio worked excellently, particularly in first-person shooters where placing enemy footsteps is particularly crucial.
Corsair’s audio software suite gives you control over headset and microphone volume levels, as well as a digital equaliser to adjust individual frequency levels. Lovers of heavy bass will appreciate the Audiophile pre-sets, which boost bass and treble without losing any of the mid-range. We thought it worked best for music, especially bass-heavy electronica and rock, but it was also effective for bringing extra presence to games. Dedicated FPS and MMO pre-sets boost sub-bass and treble to help you hear other players over background audio, but we frequently found ourselves switching back to the Audiophile pre-sets.
You can also choose from three different surround effects; studio, cinema and hall. We thought studio was the most effective, as both cinema and hall added too much bass, muffling certain mid-range sounds.
Click to enlarge
Corsair has done a fantastic job with the Vengeance 2000. Its wireless features work flawlessly, helping you forget you're not using a wired headset. They look great too and are well built, but crucially sound quality and the virtual surround effects are both superb. You don’t get the same level of customisation in the software suite as you might with a headset using multiple speakers in each ear, but positional audio is incredibly accurate for a digital effect.
However, owners of expensive sound cards won’t be able to use the USB-based headset at the same time as their dedicated hardware. We aren’t sure its merits will be enough to convince these people to make the switch, although as we’ve yet to see a wireless headset that lets you use an existing sound card, there’s no real alternative if you’re determined to cut the cord.
At £120, the Vengeance 2000 is quite the investment, but If you’re using the integrated audio on your motherboard and want a seriously loud surround sound wireless headset, the choice is clear – the Vengeance 2000 is a great wireless headset.