Styling and features
Straight out of the box, the Virtuoso has the feel that it has been lovingly crafted and designed specifically with gamers in mind. From the quilted-look carry pouch, to the braided cables, it oozes quality – which it should given the premium price tag. Once you take a closer look at the headset itself, it has all the hallmarks of a stylish unit made for gamers.
The padded headrest and the ear cups are covered in a black leather (or leather-like) material, with the earcups themselves padded with memory foam. The brushed metal look aluminium frame gives the headset an elegance that you don’t get with a plastic moulded frame. The external section of the earcups shine in the light with polished look, while a Corsair logo is partially hidden in the middle. The frame has a sturdiness to it but adds a tad more weight than other headsets I have tested in the past.
The right earcup houses a number of controls, each of which are perfectly placed, and it is easy to tell just by looking at them as to their purpose. Towards the rear is the volume control dial for when attached via a cable. The volume dial has a fine grid pattern that has a tactile feel. The bottom of the earcup houses the pairing button for Bluetooth as well as the Bluetooth volume controls with a button each to increase and decrease the volume. In between these volume controls is a selector switch that allows users to quickly switch between wired and wireless connectivity.
The left earcup isn’t as crowded but houses all the inputs. There is a USC Type-C port for wired USB Connection (a standard USB type A is on the other end of the cable), a 3.5mm jack, and a port for a detachable boom microphone. Both the 3.5mm cable and the USB cable are braided, with the audio jack housing a separate volume control dial and mute switch. Both earcup can swivel, allowing them to fit more comfortably in a backpack or in the included carry pouch.
I mentioned earlier that there is a near invisible Corsair logo in the middle of the earcups. Well, that is until the headset is plugged in. Once plugged in, the RGB comes into effect, allowing gamers to select their favourite colour or coloured styling (with the use of the downloadable Corsair iCue software). Although I’m not totally sold on the need for it, I can see other gamers customising the glowing ship to match their other gaming peripherals.
Connectivity and Performance
Although the Corsair Virtuoso looks stylish, it is all for nothing if it doesn’t do the job required of it. The Virtuoso has the greatest range of connectivity options of any headset we’ve reviewed until this point. The headset allows for connection via a 3.5mm plug and a USB-C port for gamers who prefer a wired option, or a 2.4GHz dongle and Bluetooth for those wishing for the untethered approach. All four options are easily to set up, whether you want to connect to a laptop, a console, or a mobile device. At around 15 hours, the battery has a decent life, but it cannot compete with the 100-hour battery of the Sennheiser GSP 370.
All of the connectivity option provided for quality audio, although I did find that the wired USB connection provided the best output across my testing. I felt that it was able to produce a deeper bass than with the other options, most likely due to the Dolby Atmos support. When gaming though, the Virtuoso performed superbly, with the 50mm drivers directing the audio in a precise manner. It helps build that immersive experience that many games strive for, allowing gamers to pinpoint the location of enemy footsteps whilst also giving clarity to gunshots and explosions that are happening in the distance.
This audio quality flows through to other media. When watching the latest movie or streaming your favourite show on Netflix of Disney+, the Virtuoso excels. But it also performs amazingly when listening to music. The deep bass of The Prodigy’s Diesel Power comes through amazingly clear, particularly when connected via the USB cable. But even when using Bluetooth or the 3.5mm cable with my phone, I felt the tones flow through my eardrums.
The headset is reasonably heavy, particularly around the earcups, which is to be expected with all the built-in controls and the aluminium construction. But the large round ear cups sit comfortably around the ears and block out much of the outside noise. The memory foam padding around the earcups remained comfortable even after a lengthy usage and because most of the weight is around the ears, I found that the headband did not begin to weigh me down at all.
The one main letdown of the Virtuoso was the detachable microphone, which although it picked up everything clearly, it seemed a little on the muted side compared to other headsets I have used. I did like the feature on the microphone that lights up red whenever the mic is on mute. It is a wonderful visual cue, and the microphone will even automatically turn back on to answer calls when connected to your phone.
The Corsair Virtuoso produces some of the best quality audio from any gaming headset I have tested, with well laid out controls – both on the earcups and on the inline controls. Having the detachable boom microphone is a bonus, as it enables the headset to be used for purposes other than just gaming. They’re a perfect set for listening to your favourite tunes whilst commuting or going for a walk. Other headsets with built in swivel mics feel like you’re walking around with an antenna, but the Virtuoso has no such problem. The only issue I had with the Virtuoso was when I bent over to tie my shoelaces. The relatively heavy earcups fit over the ears well, but the circular design means that they have a tendency to slip when you look down. But other than that, and the somewhat quiet microphone, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT Gaming Headset is perfect for any headset needs – be it gaming or other forms of entertainment.
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