The Corsair Void is one of three new gaming peripherals announced by the titular company last month during Gamescom, the other two being called Strafe and Scimitar. The brand new gear consisting of a mouse, a keyboard, and a headset were designed to work as a unit, but you can definitely also make great use of each product individually. While testing out the Corsair Void for the past week or so I learned that this headset can easily go head-to-head with any other similar products, but is it worth buying? That’s always a difficult question and the answer requires that we take an in-depth look at the Void, which is exactly what we’re going to do up next. Short disclaimer: this particular review is for the Yellowjacket special edition sent to us by Corsair, but don’t worry because I’ll make sure to tell you all about the differences between this variant and all the others a bit later on.
So let’s begin by talking about what you can expect to get when you buy a pair of new Corsair Void Yellow Jacket headsets. Naturally, you get the headsets themselves, but what else? Well, the first thing you’ll probably notice about the Yellowjacket is that it’s wireless, so expect to find a USB dongle, as well as a base station when you open up the box. You’ll also get a charging cable, a warranty and some leaflets that will help you with the setup process. It’s worth mentioning that the base station is exclusive to the Corsair Void Yellowjacket edition and features the same yellow and black color scheme found on the headsets, as do the USB adapter and the charging cable. As for the box itself, I’d say it looks pretty nice so you can definitely have it on display somewhere, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The setup process sounds pretty straightforward on paper, but I’m sorry to say that I experienced some difficulties while trying to get everything to work. First off, it is highly advisable that you fully charge the Corsair Void before its first use and you can tell the status of the battery life by checking the color of the Corsair logo found on each earcup, where red means almost empty, amber is low and green means good battery. The lights also pulse when the battery is low to give you an extra hint that you should reach for the charger. The problem I had with the whole thing was related to the fact that my Corsair Void Yellowjacket review unit did not seem to be charging at all even though I connected the cable and left it alone for several hours. Apparently, this is not an uncommon issue as I checked the forums and other people (granted, a small minority) were reporting the same thing. On the bright side, though, once the headsets did begin to charge it only took a couple of hours before the battery was full and I didn’t have any more problems ever since. The battery itself should easily last you an entire day regardless of how many hours you keep them on, which is definitely nice. If you disable the RGB lights, however, expect the battery to easily last several days or even a week.
The second part of the setup involves going to Corsair’s website and downloading the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) for the Void. The CUE is a nifty piece of software that will allow you customize the headsets in a number of ways, but more on that later. Since I already mentioned the battery, know that you can also use the CUE to check the battery level and see if the Corsair Void is actually charging, and you can also check for new firmware updates while you’re there. As a side note, I did have CUE installed while I was trying to charge the headsets and the program was telling me that it was charged while the earcup lights were saying that it was not. Pretty strange. My guess, though, is that these issues can be fixed with a software update so I’m personally not too concerned about them. As for the wireless part, things couldn’t be simpler – plug the base station into a free USB port, stick in the dongle, turn on the Corsair Void and just enjoy. Syncing between the adapter and the headsets should occur automatically if everything is turned on and you can check the LED lights on the dongle to see when the two devices have finished pairing.
Design and Utility
If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd at a LAN party just wear a pair of Corsair Void headsets and you can be sure that all eyes will be on you, especially if you’re wearing the Yellowjacket edition. In order to come up with the iconic design for the Void, Corsair collaborated with the folks over at BMW Designworks and I’d say they did a pretty good job because the headsets look really great and they’re very comfortable as well. Unlike most headsets, the Corsair Void features “true form” ear cups instead of traditional round ones, which have been designed to completely surround your ears instead of just resting on them. Combine that with the memory foam and the fact that you can adjust them to fit any head size, and you can be sure that you will be able to wear this pair of headsets for hours on end without feeling any sort of discomfort. I can see how the huge size might be a problem for some people (especially if you have a small head), but all in all, the Corsair Void is perfect if you want a comfortable pair of headsets.
In addition to comfort, the Void also offers a bit of welcome utility thanks to a few well-placed buttons located on the left ear cup. Specifically, you’ve got your power button for turning the headsets on and off, your mute button for muting the microphone and your CUE control button for managing audio settings on the fly. This includes not only turning the volume up and down, but also switching between different equalizer presets and even toggling Dolby surround on or off. Basically, if you wear a pair of Corsair Void headsets you won’t have to alt+tab from the game just to mess with the audio settings because you can just use the built-in buttons. An extra button for switching between headsets and speakers would have been very useful as well, but I guess we’ll just have to take what we can get. Also, it seems like you can’t charge the Void with the use of the base station, so you’ll need at least two free USB port at all times – one for the base station and one for the charger. I’m not saying this is a major hassle (unless you don’t have two free USB ports), but it would have been much easier if one could also use the base station to charge the headsets.
As for the built-in microphone, there are really no complaints as far as I’m concerned. The mike is not flexible, but you can move it up and down, which essentially lets you put it away when you’re not using it. It’s worth mentioning that you can’t mute the microphone by moving it all the way up (would have been nice) so you’ll still have to use the mute button for that and you can make sure that you’re muted by simply taking a quick look at the LED indicators. This feature on the Corsair Void goes by the name of InfoMic and it can also give you useful information in regards to battery life, Dolby status, and equalizer settings.
The sound quality offered by the Corsair Void is quite exceptional and can definitely give you an advantage while gaming. The Dolby 7.1 surround sound does a great job at accurately letting you know exactly where the enemies are so that you can charge at or avoid them, depending on the situation. Obviously, that doesn’t mean no one will be able to sneak up on you anymore, but overall it should help you become more aware of your surroundings as even the faintest noise can be heard clearly while wearing the headsets. However, the volume button can be cranked all the way up for eardrum-shattering sound so make sure to start at a lower volume and work your way up from there if necessary. Even at maximum volume, though, the size and shape of the earcups prevents most of the sound from escaping, which means that you won’t have to worry about other people hearing what you’re listening to for the most part.
Similar to the input, the sound output is equally impressive. No more yelling or holding the mike close to your mouth while speaking on Skype because the Corsair Void allows you to speak in a normal voice without having to worry that others might not be able to hear you clearly. If you still get the traditional “are you speaking from a tunnel?” comments just play around a bit with the settings in the Corsair Utility Engine until you can be heard clear again. I’ve noticed a number of complaints on the forums when it comes to the microphone, but I didn’t have any problems whatsoever with it so I guess any possible issues occur randomly.
Having said all that, this is still a gaming headset at the end of the day so I wouldn’t it them if you’re interested exclusively in listening to music and such. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely enjoy music with these headsets, but there are cheaper alternatives with better customization for audiophiles.
The Corsair Void is part of the new RGB family of peripherals and comes equipped with LEDs on each earcup that you can customize to your heart’s content. You’ve got no less than 16.8 million color options to choose from, as well as several patterns. Pretty much everything related to the RGB lights can be customized, including the brightness, the InfoMic, and the battery notifications. You’ll need to use the Corsair Utility Engine in order to make the adjustments and while you’re there, you can also change the language, check for updates, contact online support, create your own profiles, and more. As mentioned, you can customize the equalizer as well, although the options there are a bit limited if you ask me. While the RGB lights are definitely cool to look at and fun to customize, there’s little practical purpose to them as you won’t be able to see how they look once you put the headphones on, unless you’re standing in front of a mirror of course. Personally, I like leaving the lights on at all times for some unexplainable reason, but I can see why some people would prefer to turn them off in order to conserve battery life.
Price and Variants
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, the Corsair Void comes in multiple variants, the most expensive of which is the Best Buy exclusive Yellowjacket edition priced at $150. If you like the wireless factor but don’t care much for the black and yellow color scheme or the lack of a base station, you can check out the black variant priced at $130, which is otherwise completely identical. Aside from those two models, there are also two regular USB models (black and white) priced at $100 and a black stereo analog version that costs $70. You can learn more about how each model differs from its siblings by checking out Corsair’s press release right here.
The Corsair Void is by no means perfect, but the pros most definitely outweigh the cons across the board. Some of the problems related to the setup process, charging and microphone seem to occur randomly, with some users reporting no problems at all while others are complaining about several of them. As far as I can tell, the main issue here is the software rather than the hardware, so if Corsair can provide better drivers in the future I’m positive that this excellent pair of headsets can become even better and more appealing to the masses. That said, I happen to think that the Corsair Void is a great addition to the arsenal of any gamer, especially if you’re into team-based competitive eSports such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, CS: GO or Call of Duty.