Corsair Void Surround ReviewManufacturer: Corsair
UK price (as reviewed): £69.99 (inc VAT)
(£59.99 introductory offer)
US price (as reviewed): $79.99 (ex Tax)
($59.99 introductory offer)
This is the third Corsair Void headset we've reviewed since November and the Void Surround lands in the middle of the Void Stereo
and Void RGB Wireless
. As its name suggests, the Void Surround rises above the standard stereo version and offers virtual Dolby 7.1 surround sound. This is by way of a USB adaptor - while the original Void Stereo only hooked up using 3.5mm minijacks, the Void Surround can use either the USB sound card or a single 3.5mm headphone jack.
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In order to use the microphone on your PC or take advantage of the 7.1 surround sound, you'll need to use the USB sound card, but the 3.5mm jack is of the 4-pole variety so as long as your other devices support this, you'll be able to ditch the USB connection if you want to and still maintain most features, except the 7.1 surround support of course. It's surprisingly small, though, but we're not complaining here as some of the monstrosities we've seen dangling from the headphones over the years make it a welcome inclusion. Equally welcome is the price - the Void Surround costs about the same as the Void Stereo, but for the next two weeks you can grab it for a very reasonable £59.99.
So, what are the differences compared to the Void Stereo other than the colour? Besides the USB Dolby 7.1 adaptor and the ability to use Corsair's CUE software, not much. Both headsets sport the same aluminium/plastic frame with a fairly lightweight design, large head cushion and microfibre-wrapped foam-padded circumaural ear cushions with generous amounts of padding. The earcups themselves also rotate so like Corsair's other Void headsets, this one can be flat-packed too, while the headset overall provides a light, but secure pressure that doesn't cramp your ears and was pleasant to use for long periods.
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The pull-down microphone is uni-directional and has a modicum of adjustability, but like the other headsets in the range, it doesn't rotate down quite far enough for our liking and you can't reposition it horizontally by more than a centimetre or two either. The shiny metal cap covering the microphone can catch the light at certain angles too and can be distracting as a result. Thankfully the microphone was clear with not a hint of distortion and next to no background noise, although it did sound a bit tinny compared to some of the best we've seen such as CM Storm's Sirus-C - not that you'd likely notice this amongst gunfire and explosions mind you.
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As per usual with Corsair's Void headsets, controls are minimal and located on the left earcup. You get a large mic mute button and extra large volume dial that's much easier to use than other examples we've seen due to its size, yet it's well-hidden from view so as not to spoil the edgy, angular look of the headset, which dons a red and black colour scheme. The lack of an in-line remote may pain some readers, but it was better than having a large control box dangling from your ear. The cable stands at 1.8m, which is plenty long enough to kick back in your office chair, although using the Void Surround with a console (it also boasts universal compatibility), will likely require an extension cable.
The headset uses the same 50mm neodymium drivers as those in the Void Stereo so sound quality was unsurprisingly similar, although like the more expensive Void RGB Wireless, the Void Surround claims a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response compared to just 100Hz to 10kHz for the Void Stereo. It's a very bass-centric headset so a lot will depend on your music tastes in terms of how pleasing it is in terms of audio quality.
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The mid-range and high-end don't suffer significantly because of this, but our favourite Qpad and Kingston headsets definitely had more clarity here, which was evident in vocal and instrument-heavy music and quieter in-game scenes. As a general use gaming headset, there's not much to dislike at all, the low-end is lively and punchy and picks out plenty of detail. With single drivers in each earcup, there's obviously a limited scope for 7.1 audio. This is nothing unfamiliar - many headsets offer this and in some situations there's a discernable difference compared to stereo. However, it's not worth opting for the Void Surround just for this feature - it's welcome but not groundbreaking.
The software allows you to choose and customise a variety of presets including bass boost, chat, movies and FPS competition that tweak various aspects of the equaliser, all of which are user-customisable too. You can toggle the Dolby 7.1 surround effects on or off and, perhaps most importantly, you can assign profiles to specific applications with a customised or pre-set equaliser to each. The software doesn't actually show the profile change visually, but there's an audible beep and we definitely heard the new audio settings kick in
The Void Surround is a well-made, capable and very comfortable headset with slightly more lively audio than the Void Stereo in some situations plus the boon of USB connectivity and Dolby 7.1 surround effects too. It's a somewhat basic design, like its siblings, although we didn't miss an in-line remote and quickly got used to the buttons on the earcup. The microphone offers clear audio too, while the headset drivers themselves are great for bass-centric music and games.
The microphone isn't as adjustable as we'd like though, and it's with more delicate audio that the Void Surround falls behind some of the competition too - not by much, but it's enough to recommend the similarly-priced and top award-winning Kingston HyperX Cloud
if you're just as much a music fan as you are a gamer. If you can pick one up during the launch period, you'll be saving an important £5-10 over the Kingston headset. The price will likely rise to £70 after this, though, but we still feel it deserves a Recommended award.
Corsair Void Surround