Corsair Vengeance 1300 gaming headset £55
24th Jan 2012 | 16:37
Can Corsair construct capable cans? Categorically, yes
Corsair is claiming audiophile-quality from its new Vengeance 1300 Analog Gaming Headset. Can it deliver?
While that kind of desk-furniture is completely new to Corsair, this gaming headset's less of a stretch from its comfort zone – our ears are still recovering from the divine racket that the SP2500 2.1 speaker system can wail out.
It's first crack at the headset cherry, the Corsair HS1, was a decent effort for a first go.
To make it's subsequent headset worth buying though, Corsair needs to take the SP2500's sound quality and add comfort, mic clarity, 3D positioning and intuitive controls.
No mean feat, and by promising 'audiophile quality' from a relatively cheap headset Corsair is aiming high.
50 mm drivers have been fitted to avoid distortion and cope with rumbling low-end frequencies, and both the earpieces and headband are generously foam padded to save your head in marathon sessions.
So can the Vengeance 1300 really deliver on all of its promises?
Firstly, let's start by saying that using the phrase 'audiophile quality' is a mistake.
When you appeal to the most finicky members of a community, you'll always find a few snot-nosed know-it-alls determined to prove you wrong.
It's like saying 'hey, internet! This new thing is as good as The Empire Strikes Back!'
So, no, the Vengeance 1300 headset doesn't offer audiophile quality.
The low-end's too exaggerated for that, and it'll never offer better clarity and true frequency response than Audio-Technica's ATH-M50, even with those slightly bigger 50 mm drivers.
But a gaming headset doesn't need to offer that kind of quality – most gamers would rather spend their pennies on a GPU than a sound card, and since a headset can only blast our what the sound chip produces the chances are that this and most headsets are wildly overqualified for the job.
What we can say is that our ears heard no distortion even at frankly dangerous volume levels; it appears no dubstep bassline or BF3 tank fight is too much for the Vengeance 1300.
Background noise is deftly cut out as soon as you don the cans too, which is great for maxing out immersion levels or gaming near a construction site.
If you have a 3D soundcard, the Vengeance 1300 will give Creative's SoundBlaster Omega cans a run for their money in the positional audio stakes. Considering Creative's headset is pricier, that's impressive.
A-word aside, it turns out that SP2500 sound quality has been captured and crammed into these cans after all.
We're assured by anyone that would talk to us on Ventrilo that the mic sounds 'fine,' and we like the simple and effective volume and mute controls, but as much as we love the Vengeance 1300 for its sound quality, rugged build and clean aesthetic, it isn't the most comfortable set on the market.
The heavy foam-padding cuts out background noise brilliantly but after 30 minutes of continuous wearing the Vengeance 1300 starts to get uncomfortable.
In the sub-£60 price range, Corsair's sophomore headset is pretty much the cream of the crop.
Those looking to save even more pennies will find their basic needs sated by Sony's DR-GA100 set, but they'll miss out on the Vengeance 1300's great noise-cancelling ability and top-drawer sound quality.
Comfort does become a bit of an issue even prior to the hour mark, and that's enough of a problem to prompt some shopping around, but headsets that find the balance between sound quality and comfort are rare, and headsets that do that for below £60 are even rarer.
The Vengeance 1300 strikes a good balance that the price sweetens further still.
If you're on a budget this is a no brainer, but if you can spend more you'll find more comfort to match the Vengeance 1300's sound quality.