|Photo credit Moose Photos|
When the canary yellow box arrived with the Void RGB Elite 7.1 wireless gaming headset I had a hint things were going to be different. Like most other folks I’ve been doing a lot of Zooming lately, and the built-in mic in my HD camera which is 2.5 feet away makes me sound muffled. Normally that’s something people prefer, but because I’m usually speaking with engineers, they have to comment about it. And as much I hate looking geekier than I already do by wearing a headset, I realized I was going to have to bite the bullet and suit up.
But first, I thought, I better check it out on my gaming machine, just to make sure it works and everything, y’know.
The installation was remarkably easy. Crazy easy. Plug the headset into a USB-mini HDMI cable to charge up the battery. While its charging, download Corsair’s app, ICUE. Install. Plug-in USB Bluetooth transceiver. Done. Open up the ICUE app to select special features like 7.1 surround sound or the equalizer. There’s a mic volume slider, and a sidetone slider, as well as the ability to position the effects (spatial location) of the 7.1 sound. During the installation, the software recognized conflicting apps that were running and offered to close them, which was an easy yes.
The Void uses 2.4 GHz Bluetooth and has enough bandwidth to deliver an honest 20Hz to 30KHz. Well, I can’t say for sure it delivers 30KHz, I’ve never heard 30KHz that I know of, I can tell you the highs are there and so are lows. The dynamic range of the headphones is 116 dB (±3dB).
|Corsair’s Void, RGB wireless headset|
Once charged, the battery in the headset will run for 16 hours so it won’t run out while you are using the headset. The head-tension and giant earmuffs are extremely comfortable. I have a pair of very expensive noise-canceling headphone and after an hour I have to take them off because my head physically hurts—not the case with the Corsair headset.
If you don’t want to use the mic, flip it up to hide it, and it automatically turns off. I know that because there’s a lady inside the headset that tells me that. She also tells me what level I’ve set the volume, and if I have 7.1 turned on or not. You can control all those things with push-button dial in the back of the left earphone. There’s also a button on the left side, just under the power button, that will turn the mic off and on. The mic by the way has a -42 dB (±3dB) sensitivity. The arm of the mic is a semi-firm, pliable rubber so you can bend it toward your mouth if need be.
The Bluetooth transceiver is amazingly powerful, and you can get up to 40 feet away and it will still find you.
And what an experience it is when you put on the headset. I have a 5.1 speaker system on my game machine powered with an EVGA Nu Audio soundboard (reviewed here) and it sounds great. Big one cubic foot subwoofer, five excellent speakers, really nice. And very annoying to anyone else who is in sound range, which includes the cats. I have been startled a couple of times by the sound, but usually, it’s a fright scare when something pops up in front of me. I’ve also been killed several times because I didn’t hear something or someone behind me in time.
Wearing the Void the first thing I noticed was loneliness. Everything got quiet, I was alone in the silence. It’s a little disorienting at first. The fans in the PC, the disk drive, the general hum of things in the lab—gone. It changes the whole room, and it forces and focuses your attention on the game in front of you. That’s the good news and the bad. Good because you can hear stuff you never heard before. And bad for the same reason. I damn near jumped out of the chair when I heard a mutant drop in behind me while hunting in Fallout 76. And it kept happening. I heard bullets whizzing by and I physically ducked, that’s how immersive it got.
That immersion made the headset disappear. It was already comfortable, but I was so drawn into the game—a game I know well and have played for over a year, I completely forgot I was wearing a headset. I was too busy trying to stay alive and scrounging for ammunition.
Next, I had to try it for its intended purpose, Zoom and Skype calls. So, I installed it on my workstation. The first test was Pandora and a little Annie Lennox—mission accomplished. The Void took over the sound in my workstation, disconnecting the 5.1 sound system I have, or had, hooked up. That’s the good news because it also disconnected the mic in my camera.
But . . . When I took off and turned off the headset, my speakers did not automatically come back on as I expected them to. That can be taken care of by opening Sound Settings and selecting the output device. But it should be automatic.
Next test, Phil Collins, In the Air Tonight . . “ badda boom boom bam!! THE best test of a subwoofer, and attack for the side and center speakers there is—period. OMG—does it sound great on these headphones.
For $100 you get a complete sound system with a high-quality mic and no wires. What a no-brainer decision.
|Once a geek, always a geek|