FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Partner content
Story image

Hands-on review: The wireless headset with uncompromising sound quality

By Owen McCarthy
Tue 29 Oct 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Since Corsair’s VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless headset arrived, my ears have spent most of the time covered by them. I now understand how stout Cortez must have felt when he, according to Keats, “with all his men stood silent on a peak in Darien,” on first reaching the Pacific. Apart from the fact that it was actually Balboa standing there, I can identify with the wild surmise they must have felt.

I’ve been listening to Abbey Road for the umpteen-thousandth time, and it feels like the first time. Therefore, I’ve set out to have to discover what makes the Virtuoso RGB headsets so superlatively great!

I know I’m biased when it comes to Corsair products. From gaming cases through to mice and keyboards, you perceive some common themes.

Build Quality

From gaming mice to gaming cases to computer components, Corsair has the knack for building great products. Experience tells me that they also last.  Build quality coupled with endurance is always a winner.

Dynamic RGB lighting on each ear cup allows for virtually unlimited colour options and customisation using the iCue software. The build has a “solid” feel to it with the removable microphone slotting in comfortably. The machined aluminium construction promises durability, but not at the expense of comfort because this headset feels superlatively comfy, even after hours of use.

Corsair deliver on their promise that the memory foam and lightweight headband will combine to “deliver long-lasting comfort.” So, in effect, their chief weapons are build quality, colour themes, design and comfort.

I love to play games, and while not by any means an avid gamer, I appreciate any tools that enhance my gaming experience. That includes neat stuff that lights up, adding to the ambience.

I’d have loved to have spent longer sniping away at my opponents and racing around the Nürburgring, but deadlines and a feisty editor mean that I can report the Virtuoso made me feel like a pro gamer, even if my scores say otherwise.

“Uncompromising sound quality,” promise Corsair, courtesy of “A matched pair of precisely tuned 50mm high-density neodymium speaker drivers deliver immersive 7.1 surround sound.”

The frequency range of 20Hz-40,000Hz is double that of typical gaming headsets, according to Corsair. Their claim that “Everything from the loudest shot to the subtlest musical note is reproduced with amazing clarity, definition, and impact,” is confirmed by my experience.

I now understand the funny looks I get whenever I sing my version of Polythene Pam: “She’s killer-diller when she’s dressed to the hilt” does actually make more sense than “she’s getting dinner when she’s absolutely ill.”  Furthermore, I can now hear the grunts of falling zombies whenever I shoot them, which adds greatly to my own personal satisfaction.

I’m also impressed by the “broadcast-grade” quality of the detachable microphone, which, Corsair maintains, is “simply one of the best microphones ever put on a headset. The high-bandwidth omnidirectional microphone of the Virtuoso RGB Wireless provides wide dynamic range and superb vocal clarity rivalling that of standalone microphones.” The RGB LED ring lets you know whether your microphone’s status as either “live” or “mute.”

Three ways to connect

First of all, there is Slipstream Wireless, courtesy of the USB dongle. You’re promised up to 60ft of range, using Intelligent Frequency Shift (IFS) to ensure the strongest signal.

USB Wired is the method that promises the most dramatic sound quality, and most likely the one that most gamers will opt for. It ensures, “high-fidelity, 24bit/96kHz audio for the ultimate listening experience.”

For all your other devices you have a 3.5MM wired connection for practically any device with a 3.5MM audio jack.

I have used the Virtuoso Headset in all three configurations, even on my MacBook Pro (via the 3.5mm jack). Once I put the jacks the right way around, the sound was the best I’ve experienced in any headset.

I’ve been grooving along to Ed Sheeran’s No. 6 Collaborations Project instead of mowing the lawns. At this stage I must mention that I’ve used all three methods on my EliteBook. My MacBook Pro was able to use the 3.5mm jack, and the sound was just as brilliant. At this stage I should mention that Corsair have built these primarily for PC and Playstation 4 use, but the different ways of connecting will ensure a wide range of uses for you.

iCue software:

This is downloadable from the Corsair site, and it allows you to customise the settings of selected Corsair products. Even better, if you have your own custom gaming rig, you are promised synchronised lighting. Corsair says that this will Create advanced RGB lighting effects synchronised across all of your compatible devices to perfectly accentuate the unique look of your build thanks to iCue’s unrivalled level of lighting customisation.

Before clicking “buy” be sure to examine the three model options available to you. I like the aluminium and black  of the Carbon design, with the RGB displays adding to my coolness quotient.  Controls are on the right-hand side and for once, I don’t need to remove the headset to see what I’m doing. For lightness, comfort, sound-quality and looks, you’ll have a difficult time finding a superior headset.

While some may find the three options for connection a tad fiddly, it does provide the user with choices as well as ensuring a wide range of uses for the Virtuoso. I suggest investing in a cable/parts organiser for keeping all the bits together. 

At the time of writing I couldn’t find any New Zealand links to this spanking new model so here is a link to their international site.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Stray (PlayStation 5)
Stray is a new unique 2022 video game where you control a cute ginger cat. As a person that feeds eight stray cats, I knew Stray was a game that I really needed to play.
Story image
Cyber resilience
NZ’s Cyber Resilience Framework to be evolving and potentially automated
The government's already putting $2.4 million into the Cyber Resilience Framework in its initial stages, what is it and why is it important?
Story image
Blockchain
Australian Grand Prix uses CENNZnet blockchain for fan experience
CENNZnet was employed by Power'd Digital to deliver the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix's 2022 AusGP Access program.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Sweet Transit (PC Steam early access)
Team 17’s Sweet Transit invites players to build a thriving colony in a world whereby trains are the only form of transport.
Story image
SmartWatch
Hands-on review: Huawei Watch D smart watch
The Huawei Watch D is the latest flagship smart watch from the Chinese tech giant, and it's further proof that the company is more than capable of competing with the likes of Samsung and Apple in the highly competitive wearable market.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: JBL Flip 6 portable speaker
Once you switch it on, and listen away for up to 12 hours, you will quickly realise that this is a little speaker looking for a party.
Story image
Home security
Hands-on review: Eufy Wire-Free Dual Cam Video Doorbell 2K
We have had our house secured by Eufy products for over seven months now. We love the brand, and it has never let us down.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Digimon Survive (PlayStation 5)
Since there’s little actual gameplay in Digimon Survive, the biggest draw card to the game is its long and interesting story.
Story image
Planning
Digital key for smart investment in public infrastructure for NZ cities
Major public infrastructure projects can better manage risks of cost overruns and delays if they deploy data and digital tools at the earliest planning stages.
Story image
i-PRO
I-Pro officially marks launch of brand in Australia and New Zealand
I-Pro has officially launched in Australia and New Zealand, following a series of new releases as an entity that started in early April.
Story image
Malware
Minors using Discord servers to spread malware for cash
Avast has discovered an online community of minors constructing, exchanging and spreading malware, including ransomware and a mix of information stealers and cryptominers.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: HP Evo Spectre X360 Flip Ultrabook 13.5” laptop
The Spectre comes with a keyboard that makes working for long hours something to be looked forward to. It has to be one of the best keyboards I have seen on a 13.5” laptop.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboard
SteelSeries has taken the design of its range of Apex keyboards to create a smaller version, the Apex Pro Mini. Techday’s Darren Price checks it out.
Story image
Gaming
Logitech G’s new Aurora collection looks to help change gaming stereotypes
The company’s new Aurora collection is designed to be gender inclusive, not gender exclusive, addressing the needs and wants of women gamers while also still appealing to a wider general audience.
Story image
Netsafe
Major media companies sign new online safety framework for Aotearoa
A new joint development between Netsafe and some of the world's leading social media companies is set to provide Kiwis with safer online experiences.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro gaming headset
SteelSeries, being no stranger to creating premium gaming peripherals, sent over its Arctis Nova Pro wired headset kit for us to take a look at.
Story image
Sustainability
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
VPN
Hands-on review: Norton Secure VPN
Norton is obviously serious about your privacy. They have a “No-log” policy, which simply means that they do not track or store any of your on-line activities.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: James Donkey RS4 Knight Wireless Gaming Keyboard
I have always liked mechanical keyboards, and this is no exception. I find the action much easier to use than the modern keyboards with limited travel.
Story image
Internet
InternetNZ appoints new chief executive. Will take over in October
InternetNZ has announced the appointment of its new chief executive, with Vivien Maidaborn taking over the role from interim chief Andrew Cushen in October.
Story image
Fibre
Orcon brings faster fibre to Christchurch with Hyperfibre offering
Orcon has today launched the next generation of fibre speeds in Christchurch, bringing its Hyperfibre offering to the city.
Story image
Apple
2degrees unveils eSIM functionality for selected devices
2degrees has enabled eSIM functionality to work with a variety of Apple, Samsung and Oppo devices, including a range of iPads.
Story image
Arlo
Hands-on review: Arlo Go 2 security camera
In my humble opinion, Arlo Go 2 offers security for anyone needing to keep a remote eye on prized possessions or premises at different locations.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series
If there's something missing in today's gaming industry, it's the wonderful discovery of finding new games for hire at your local video rental store. I remember my family hired out the first Klonoa game for the PSOne back in 1997, and it was a blast to play as a kid.
Story image
Gaming
Chorus announces Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports
Chorus has put its support behind New Zealand's Esports community with a newly announced three-year Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: Xencelabs Graphic Display Tablet
Xencelabs seemed to show up out of nowhere on the market. I had no idea who they were or what they were about, but I was very intrigued.
Story image
Smartphone
Samsung introduces new generation of foldable smartphones
Samsung has unveiled its new range of Galaxy Z smartphones, bringing new developments to the company’s foldable smartphone portfolio.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
Gaming
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Samsung
New range of Samsung Smart Watches announced with health focus
Samsung has announced new additions to its SmartWatch portfolio, with the Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro to be released in late August.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Auckland Transport announce new cloud agreement
Auckland Transport (AT) and Microsoft have announced a new cloud agreement aimed at promoting innovation, reducing costs and improving sustainability in transport services.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: TCL 30 SE mobile phone
TCL continues to provide consumers with budget phones that still pack a punch with the TCL 30 SE mobile phone. 
Story image
Broadband
MyRepublic unveils 'choose the speed you need' mobile plans
Broadband provider MyRepublic has announced the details of its new 'choose the speed you need' mobile plans, designed for New Zealanders. 
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Disgaea 6 Complete
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny originally came out in 2021, and more than a year later, the game has now been re-released.
Story image
Printers
Comedy legend Jimeoin fronts Epson advertising campaign in NZ and Australia
According to Epson the company’s EcoTank models now account for 74% of all printers sold in the category in New Zealand, alone.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Malware
Research shows attacks on the gaming industry are getting worse
Web application attacks in the gaming sector have grown by 167% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022, according to new research from Akamai.
Story image
Distribution
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
Phishing
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Product Management
TeamViewer and Siemens to innovate product lifecycle space with AR
TeamViewer's new partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software to bring the power of TeamViewer's AR platform, Frontline, to Siemen Teamcenter software.
Story image
Home Entertainment
Hands-on review: TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV
We introduce you today to a TV that brings the height of immersion to your viewing experience: The TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV.
Story image
Virtual Reality / VR
Virtual reality app reduces phobias through NZ trial
"With this VR app treatment, trialists had increased control in exposure to their fears, as well as control over when and where exposure occurs."