Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset Review
This weeks peripheral of choice to review at pcG is the Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset (CA-9011124-NA). The Vengeance 1500 is only the second Gaming headset we’ve reviewed from Corsair, the other being the Silver award winning Corsair Vengeance 2000. In fact the Vengeance 1500 is the first product we’ve reviewed in two years and that happened to be the Vengeance C70. So I guess I best crack on! 😉
The Corsair Vengeance 1500 headset is said to deliver high performance gaming audio over USB. An accurate Dolby 7.1 multichannel audio helps you pinpoint your enemies location before they see you. The large 50mm drivers offer better bass response and crisp, clear midrange sound and the noise cancelling microphone lets you be heard loud and clear. The closed-back, circumaural earcups (over ear) reduce environmental noise for a more immersive gaming experience. Plus the large earcups feature microfiber-covered memory foam earpads for hours of comfortable gameplay.
‘Immersive, high fidelity Dolby 7.1 multi-channel gaming audio and superior comfort for competitive gaming
Vengeance 1500 delivers accurate reproduction of 5.1 and 7.1 channel gaming audio for an enveloping experience and the tactical advantage of being able to pinpoint your enemies’ location before they see you. The comfortable, closed-back design makes it ideal for long play sessions, and the advanced noise-cancelling microphone helps ensure clear communication.’
The Corsair Vengeance 1500 arrived in a rather cool looking box clearly made to show off the headset inside. On the predominately black left side, we have the Corsair logo, a partial rendition of the Vengeance 1500, the model name, a brief description being ‘Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset’, it tells us it’s a USB headset, that it’s ‘Designed for performance Gaming’ and lists a few features. Perhaps more importantly, the left part of the box is cut away and replaced by clear plastic boxing, just to show off the Vengeance 1500 and it looks pretty good.
On the other side of the box, we see more or less the same, except there is a brief description of all the features from the front (see below).
- Dolby Headphone 7.1 surround – Accurate multi-channel audio helps you locate opponents even if you can’t see them, for immersive, realistic Gaming.
- Large 50mm drivers – More realism, better bass response and crisp, clear midrange for more audio enjoyment and a competitive edge.
- Designed for comfort – Microfiber-covered memory foam earpads and a padded headband let you play longer.
The top of the box once again shows the model name and brand, the windowed portion also shows of the Vengeance 1500 from above.
Beneath the box tells us the package contents, system requirements, SKU (stock unit) details and Corsair software download details.
The left side of the box is again predominately black, with a red honeycomb effect. At the top we have pictures of the mic, inline remote and the Corsair logo from the headset itself. Beneath this we have the technical specifications (see below).
On the right all there is to see is the clear plastic window…….. Oh and obviously the Vengeance 1500! 😉
Because of the nature of the headset box being targeted at displaying the Vengeance 1500 to full effect, the box is in fact a box, in a sleeve, in a box (I could confuse you more, but won’t). This seems to protect the product well enough and easy enough to open, but to get the Vengeance 1500 packed away with the packaging fully entact, you’ll have to have patience, iron will and the skill set to solve a Rubik’s cube! 🙁
Once inside we find a quick install guide, warranty information (2yrs) and one very industrial looking Corsair Vengeance 1500.
- Vengeance 1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset
- Quick Start Guide
So pretty much what you’d expect really.
At the time of review the Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset is available from Ebuyer for £78. The Vengeance 1500 comes with a 2 year warranty as standard.
courtesy of Corsair
‘Dolby Headphone puts you in the middle of the action
The remarkable Dolby Headphone technology accurately reproduces multi-channel gaming audio for precise situational awareness and the competitive edge you can only get through positional audio. It also helps reduce “headphone fatigue,” which is essential if you play competitively or if you just enjoy playing for hours at a time.’
The massive 50mm drivers greatly reduce the overloading and distortion that can occur with gaming headsets that use smaller drivers that aren’t up to the task. You’ll get more accurate sound reproduction, particularly for the all-important low-frequency effects.’
The extra-wide, extra deep earcups make the Vengeance 1500 feel as good as it sounds. The memory foam earpads with microfiber covers provide a comfortable and reliable fit that conforms to the contours of your head without binding or pinching.’
‘Intense, immersive gaming
The circumaural, closed-back design blocks distracting sounds and keeps your head in the game, and the extra-large inline volume and microphone control is easy to grab and use when the action heats up — you don’t need to take your eyes off the screen.
Whether you’re commanding your teammates or simply sharing the moment while playing with old friends, you deserve to be heard. The unidirectional, noise-cancelling microphone is tuned to capture your voice loudly and clearly, while screening out extraneous noise from outside your game. Said all you have to say? It’s easy to flip the mic out of sight when not in use.’
|Frequency Response||40Hz – 20kHz 5/-5dB, -10dB @ 35Hz|
|Impedance||32 Ohms @ 1kHz|
|Connector(Microphone)||USB Type A|
|USB power consumption||250mW|
|Type||Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser with adjustable, rotating boom|
|Frequency Response||100Hz to 10kHz|
- PC with USB port
- Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows Vista®, or Windows XP
- Internet connection (for software download)
Now it’s in my hands I can tell you a little more about the Vengeance 1500. It’s a large, pretty chunky and almost industrial looking headset. Predominately black and brushed gunmetal with some blue accents. It’s not a bad looking headset at all, but it’s missing that certain something that makes it desirable.
As shown in the photos above, the Vengeance 1500 features rotatable ear cups which rotate approximately 90°. Perhaps a little oddly, when fully rotated the cups face towards the front. It’s something I’ve found in certain headsets before and although it helps the headset to sit more comfortably around your ears, they aren’t usually very comfortable when off and hanging around your neck when fully rotated.
The right side shows off a mass of brushed gunmetal. Whilst sadly not metal, this does seem to be a pretty tough if a little hollow plastic. Looks pretty cool though, especially with the Corsair brand and logo moulded into the arm. The external cup is matte black with a gloss black rim, to break the colour up a little, Corsair have seen fit to add another thin rim of metallic blue. This works rather nicely in contrast to the darker colours.
The left ear cup is more or less identical except this side features a non detachable and rotatable mic boom.
The outer headband is heavily cushioned and covered in a perforated leather effect material, with light blue stitching around the outside. What you can’t see in the photo is that underneath the covering is a light blue microfibre material. It’s quite a simple, no fuss design and perhaps a little chunky, but I rather like it.
The inner headband features the same leather like material, but without the perforations. What’s nice about the cushioning is that it’s made from memory foam. So it practice this should feel a little more comfortable on your head and should wear more evenly with age.
The inner ear cups are lined with a brilliant blue microfibre, which again adds to the contrast. The lining is well fixed and offers no movement. The cups themselves once again feature memoryfoam cushioning and Corsair have chosen to go for a velour type fabric over fake leather (I’m told that if you ask Corsair nicely enough, they will send you some cup covers of the non furry variety. Checking the movement on the cups reveals there is also a small amount of up and down tilt to help aid comfort.
The mic boom is approximately 145mm in length. This is fully matte black and features a hard rubber section in the middle to make it flexible enough to position it where needed (near your mouth! 😉 ). As mentioned before, the boom can be rotated all the way up to the ear cup, so that it’s out of the way when not in use, which is handy as it’s not detachable. It may not look like much, but it’s certainly functional.
The Corsair Vengeance 1500 arms have your typical industry standard sliders to help adjust it to the size of your head. These have plenty of play and when fully extended will give an additional 32mm either side. I think it’s safe to say they are bigger enough even for Shrek.
Being a wired headset, the Vengeance 1500 features a long 3m cable. This is fixed and has very high quality braiding which is very similar to paracord, this means it’s flexible, very smooth to the touch and shouldn’t go fluffy over time. Half way down the cable lives the inline audio remote. This has a clip on the back and on the front volume up, down and mute. What’s quite nice about the inline, is it’s covered in a soft touch coating of some sort. You may have noticed the light strips segregating each switch, which are LEDs. When on, the LED will light up bright blue, when the mute is pressed it should flash blue and red. At the very end of the braided cable is a bright blue USB plug. I couldn’t say if this is for aesthetic purposes or if it’s a USB 3.0 plug, but makes a nice change from black all the same.
It’s big with a sense of purpose and it may not be the most eye catching headset out there, but will the audio performance make up for this with a-Vengeance?
To find out it will be paired up with the on-board audio of our Test Motherboard the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING, which features a Realtek ALC1150 chipset with MSIs Audio Boost technology…….. I didn’t at all actually, because the Corsair Vengeance 1500 are driven via USB, they have their own independent drivers and no need for onboard sound. 😉
So the Corsair Vengeance 1500 are simply plugged into the nearest available USB port and the latest drivers installed.
The Corsair Vengeance 1500 was tested using our Intel Test Rig, running Windows 7 64bit (service pack 1) with all necessary Drivers installed. No further software is required for full functionality of the headset, hence none was supplied or installed! 😉
The following Games were used during testing:
- Survarium (beta)
- Far Cry 3
- Payday 2
- Metro Last Light (benchmark)
- Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
I’m not going to lie, I’ve only ever used one USB headset in the past and that very quickly ended up being filed under B(Bin). In short it was terrible and I didn’t have high hopes for the Corsair Vengeance 1500……
So in dead silence the Vengeance 1500 drivers were installed and the headset plugged in. Then the familiar fuzzy sound of white noise crept in immediately, it didn’t look good already. So whilst working (ie not Gaming James 😉 ) I threw on some music and wow…… I couldn’t have been more wrong! The 50mm drivers in this headset can literally produce enough noise to shake out your teeth, you can literally see the sound as it’s being blasted into your skull. So bearing this in mind you’d think the quality would drop wouldn’t you? Nope when loud there’s no distortion whatsoever and I was genuinely shocked, especially after a shaky start.
Whilst playing through the likes of Survarium, Insurgency and Payday 2, the Vengeance 1500 proved to be pretty good in giving me a sense of direction of gunfire, right up until the moment I fell dead…..
In Batman Arkham Origins everything suddenly feels that more eerily sinister. Metro Last Light had me instantly reaching for the volume (this doesn’t happen often), as I happily listened along to the tense build up of the theatrical beginning, before being blown away by the cinematics of the wall coming down.
The inline audio remote also did its job as expected. Volume up, down and mute all worked perfectly. The LED also looked pretty cool too. These light up a bright blue when on, but when muted flash red and blue, which was visually pleasing at first, but a bit annoying when seen from the corner of your eye when gaming.
One minor grievance I did have with the Vengeance 1500 was simply because its power, it is there and can perform, so you use it. This isn’t a problem for me as I like loud, I like VERY loud! Sadly those around me don’t like to hear it quite so loudly from another room., but hey, how’s that my problem? 😉
Comfort-wise I personally found the Vengeance to be adequate, but nothing to shout home about. Initially the headband was a little too tight, but stretches to fit within a matter of use. They aren’t overly heavy at 381g, but the headset dimensions (25.4 x 15.2 x 30.5cm) means your aware they are there all the time and with a slight tilt of your head you feel a little like a nodding dog…..
The ear cup cushions are another issue for me, they just aren’t quite thick enough. When the circumaural ear cups are large enough to fit perfectly over ear (and I do mean perfectly), I found my ears press lightly against the microfiber fabric inside the cup, this itself isn’t a huge problem, but with the amount of sheer power delivered by the Vengeance 1500 50mm drivers, when at volume the drivers pulse and vibrate much like a small insect fluttering around your ears and mine are pretty small (ears that is!). I’m not a huge fan of velour style cushion coverings either, I find them irritating in the same way I feel the fluffy bit of velcro irritating, thankfully I’ve have a reliable source who claims Corsair will send you some slightly smoother replacements if asked nicely enough. 🙂
Considering the less than desirable look of the mic boom, on the whole it isn’t bad at all. With the flexibility required to get it near and not in your mouth and with the likes of Steam Chat and Razer Comms picked up everything accurately, sadly even my quiet mumblings and whines whilst hitting a losing streak……
The boom itself isn’t huge either and being rotatable means you are less likely to miss it being non detachable.
No tilt to mute?!?!?
The Corsair Gaming Headset software is rather nice and simple to use with a good looking interface. In the top left you have the option to choose from 2.0 stereo, Dolby Pro Logic, or Dolby Pro Logic II. You can use any of the three toggles when using 2.0 Stereo or 5.1 surround in your Source type selection, but if choosing 7.1 Surround as your source type you can’t use Dolby Pro Logic II. These are of course all virtual, some don’t sound even sound bad at all, in fact I quite liked Dolby Pro Logic II with 5,1 Surround selected, but in game I feel it’s better to let the game audio do the work for you. On top of that there are also control levels for volume and mic, mic check and an equalizer with a selection of preset profiles.
The Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset arrived at pcG as our first Corsair review item in two years, the packaging while not being the most protective in the world, was clearly geared at displaying the headset inside to its maximum and did a good job of it.
The brushed gunmetal, black and blue accents of the Vengeance 1500 help add to the industrial look, it’s well built and the headset itself whilst big (25.4 x 15.2 x 30.5cm), is not too heavy at 381g. Although when you tilt your head to one side you certainly notice.
Of course just when you think the Vengeance 1500 is big physically, you get caught out by the sound performance which is massive! This started off badly with a lot of white noise when no audio is running, but boot up a Game and everything changes rapidly. It’s certainly the loudest headset I’ve ever been deafened by and surprisingly even the sound quality is just as good, with a heavy bass, good treble and mid-range. It really does sound good.
For a USB headset, the Corsair Vengeance 1500 has really surprised me. I was expecting a dud if I’m honest, but instead Corsair have produced something big physically, with big sound and what could be a near perfect Gaming headset. It really is a shame that the ear cup cushions aren’t heavier and a little thicker or Corsair don’t ship the fake leather cushion covers with it as standard and I feel the headset itself is probably just a shade too big. At £74.99 it’s a good price, but also in a very heavily competitive segment of the PC headset market. If Corsair can shrink the next model, work on the comfort level and keep the sound there’s a very good chance they’ll blow that competition away. I for one look forward to it. 😉
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Many thanks to Corsair for providing this sample for review