There are what seems like an unlimited number of headphone manufacturers on the market, offering various means of communication and sound quality to consumers. Some have gimmicks, some are for show with a well-known brand name, and others are luxury items that offer the highest quality possible for a small fortune. Corsair is no stranger in the headphone department, having an ever growing lineup under their H and Raptor brands. The American-based company is looking to expand even further with a new brand under the name Void. Its first offering looks to impress with a new stylized design, 7.1 virtual surround sound and wireless functionality (depending on the model). We sat down for an extended period of time to test out how the Void handles in a multitude of situations.
We were able to test out the Corsair Void Yellowjacket Special Edition headset for two weeks, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of its physical appearance at first, it eventually grew on me. It’s a matter of personal preferences as I’m one for more oval or circular earphones like Corsair’s Raptor and H series, where the Void is an angular, more stylized set with its bottom coming out a bit forward. It’s definitely an interesting style Corsair has created, having slanted earphones with a molded headband, but the rest of the headset really dresses to impress. It contains a strong base, and specifically with the Yellowjacket edition, the golden touches of yellow give the device some flair. While I’ve always been more of a leather ear cushion fan, the microfiber weaving of the Void converted me fast, with its soft, comfortable and breathable design. That’s the same with the top of the headrest as it includes the same microfiber material comforting your ears.
As its name suggests, the RGB Void comes with Corsair’s highly customizable lighting effects, allowing consumers to adjust the coloring on the ear plates. This is the highlight of Corsair’s keyboards as they fill up the entirety of your desk with bright and lively colors, and while their mice use it well, it’s more of a subtle effect there than anything else. The Void goes more towards the subtly route as the area of lighting is fairly small, covering only a couple of inches in total. Don’t get us wrong, though, it’s still a really nice offering from Corsair, even though you won’t be able to see it unless you take them off or look in a mirror. It’s something to show off to your friends or other gaming enthusiasts, giving buyers something they won’t find anywhere else.
There are two buttons found on the headset itself, one for power and one for muting the microphone. It’s good decision to make the mute button larger than the power button as it’s easy to remember which is which; you never want to accidentally turn off the device in the middle of a match. Just below these two is a wheel that adjust the audio level. Normally this is a simple gear, but Corsair has gone the extra mile by including one that doesn’t require consumers to consistently spin the wheel until their fingers burn. Instead, it’s made with a spring so that consumers just need to hold it in position, back or forward, to increase and decrease the audio at a high pace. It’s a subtle touch that goes a long way for those who have keyboards with minimal media functionality.
Other than that, there are some small design nuisances that need to be addressed. For one, the microphone doesn’t’ come with the most ideal form. Performance-wise it works well, but it’s something Corsair should look at, especially when other companies are offering microphones that can be detached, retracted and fold in all sorts of directions. This is a very traditional mic, going straight up at a 90 degree angle, and then roughly 45 degrees downward. It does bend inwards, but doing so requires a decent amount of force and was overlooked to us at first. There are also points that will partially lock the microphone in place, but it’s pretty flimsy. Finally, the USB wireless transmitter dock that’s exclusive to the Yellowjacket Special Edition isn’t streamlined at all. It has an interesting design, almost that of a roller coaster cart with a portion of it cutout, but that’s not the strangest decision. The fact there’s no pass-through built into the wireless base station is beyond me, adding an even more unnecessary mess of cables. This is a company that has a USB pass-through on their keyboards, but somehow you need an additional USB connection to charge the headset? Considering a company such as Logitech has been implementing a proper formula for over five years now, there’s no excuse here.
Moving past the design portion of the headset, what really matters is the audio quality, and the Void delivers. While it’s not revolutionary by any means, sporting the standard 32 ohm impedance, 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response and 50mm drivers, its sound quality is top notch. It may not come with noise cancelling earphones, but the audio levels are crystal clear. The 7.1 virtual surround sound isn’t particularly great, but that’s an opinion of the gimmicky feature and not necessarily of the device’s capabilities as you can never truly replicate the feeling of using a $1000+ surround sound setup. Voices/dialogue become way too soft and quiet in comparison to the rest of the audio, making it a bit difficult to hear what’s going on in films or games when using this feature. At the very least you’re able to turn it off if you don’t like it. The bass isn’t particularly strong, either, but it is adequate and you’re able to adjust it through Corsair’s Utility Engine, which contains 5 preset equalizers: Pure Direct, Bass Booster, FPS Competition, Clear Chat and Movie Theater. You’re also able to adjust all these levels manually to how you see fit.
Unfortunately, we had a lot of trouble with the Void’s connectivity. While it worked the majority of the time, we ran into frequent instances where the headset would lose connection to the PC and would not come back online unless certain criteria were met. Once every two or three days, the headset would receive no sound while still being on and, at least according to Corsair’s Utility Engine, working normally. No matter what we tried to get it back working properly, the only solution was to reset the PC entirely, causing much pain when you’re in the middle of a game or movie. The RGB lighting was working perfectly fine, but for whatever reason, the computer stopped receiving a signal from the device and the audio cutout. As for the battery life, the headset only takes a few hours to fully charge and lasts roughly 14 hours. A strong performance, ensuring for almost an entire day’s worth of wire-free play, at least when working correctly.
There are very few headsets I enjoy wearing on a frequent basis, especially wireless ones. The enclosure and sound quality are generally better than most 2.1 stereo speaker systems, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t enjoy the extra weight on my neck and heat against my ears. That’s where the Corsair Void comes in as it strikes the perfect balance. It’s comfortably lightweight, contains strong audio quality, breathable microfiber material, and a strong 35-40 foot connectivity radius. Its price is right considering it retails for $129.99 for the standard wireless 7.1 model and $149.99 for the Yellowjacket Special Edition. Unfortunately, while this sounds all positive, there’s a lot that troubles the Void, too. We ran into multiple instances where the device would no longer receive audio unless the computer was reset, there are various questionable design choices, such as no charging from the USB base station, and the microphone is far too plain, having little flexibility while sticking out like a sore thumb. The Corsair Void has its issues, but when it works, it’s a headset well worth wearing.