The fanciest product in the Void Elite line, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless gaming headset is yet another entry into the extremely crowded market for gaming headsets around $100. This segment of the market has a few standouts and an enormous swath of extremely average products. The Void RGB Elite Wireless brings the features it’s named after—wireless audio and colored LED lights—and adds 7.1 surround to the mix.
Editor’s note: a critical software error on one of our testing stations led to publish of incorrect results. Our troubleshooting has uncovered the culprit, and the correct data has been added to the review on February 3, 2020.
What’s in the Box?
The Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless comes with the standard accoutrements you’d expect of a wireless gaming headset. There’s a micro-USB charging cord, 2.4GHz RF wireless dongle, a little foam tip for the attached microphone, and that’s about it.
Who’s the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless for?
- Gamers looking for something comfortable and wireless that works on PC and console.
- At-home workers who don’t want to take off their headphones when they get up to refill their coffee during a conference call.
What’s the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless like?
From the get go, it’s impossible to mistake the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless for any other kind of product: This is a gaming headset through and through. With RGB LED lights that cycle through a spectrum of colors, an attached boom mic, and an unsubtle angular design that screams for attention. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Corsair Void RGB Elite wireless gaming headset features a rather heavy metal frame, soft fabric cushions on the earcups, and a band that adjusts to fit even very wide heads comfortably. Everything about its design feels solidly constructed. And despite all that, from the moment I put it on, it felt like it was hanging by a thread. Even mildly abrupt head turns made it feel an inch away from careening onto my desk. Apart from keeping me slightly on edge the whole time I used the headset, this also impacted its ability to maintain a consistent seal, which isn’t great for isolation. Luckily, this is a gaming headset, so even that much movement doesn’t happen all that much.
When it doesn’t feel so precariously perched on your head, this is a really comfortable headset. The ear pads are covered with a flexible fabric that’ll be great for people with glasses. The headset is a little on the heavy side, but there’s enough cushioning in the right places that it’s easy to get used to. The hinges on the headphones don’t allow for much vertical tilt, which can make the weight feel a little oddly distributed (and contributes to the overall sense of looseness), but adjusting the band to compensate is pretty easy.
The Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless offers on-ear controls, with a mic mute button, as well as a volume dial on the left headphone. Oddly enough, the mic already mutes itself when flipped up—it’s nice to have more than one option, I guess.
Of course, this is also a wireless headset, relying on a 2.4GHz RF USB dongle, which means it’s compatible with PC, as well as Playstation 4 (Xbox One doesn’t support most USB audio connections, and the Nintendo Switch is slowly adding it). Setting it up is as easy as plugging in the dongle and turning on the headset. According to the box, Corsair claims a 40-foot connection range, and I ran into nothing challenging that—I never had any issues walking around my apartment with my headset plugged into the PC in my bedroom.
The iCUE app
Unfortunately, Corsair ties a number of the Void RGB Elite Wireless’ features to proprietary software. The iCUE app offers largely the same features as Razer Synapse or Logitech G HUB, in just as a mediocre a fashion. Using the app, you can customize and coordinate the colored LEDs of the Void Elite, as well as whatever other Corsair peripherals you use.
If that was all there was to the app, it would be kind of lame, but at least completely ignorable. However, iCUE is also tied into the some of the actual functionality of the headset. If you want to use the headset’s surround sound, it’s done through the app. Additionally, and perhaps most oddly, the only way to know the charge level of the headset is through app. When you charge the Void RGB Elite Wireless, an amber light on the bottom of the left headphone will turn on. When that light turns green, it means the headset is 90-100% charged—it never gives any more specific information. The only way to actually get an accurate charge reading is through iCUE.
In short, the app is a little slow, oddly laid out, and unfortunately necessary for using the headset’s full feature set.
How good is the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless’ battery?
On the headset’s box, Corsair claims 16 hours of playback time on a single charge and in our testing it actually did a little better. With the RGB lighting turned off, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless lasted just shy of 17 hours and 25 minutes of consistent playback. You might get a little better than that, as our testing is done at a slightly higher volume than people often listen at (~75dB). However, if you decide to turn on the LED lighting, expect worse battery life—I found the battery drained considerably faster with it on.
How do you connect the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless?
As I mentioned above, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless is a wireless gaming headset that employs a 2.4 GHz USB RF dongle to connect to devices. That’s the only way it method it supports. There’s no backup 3.5mm cord option, as is common with wireless gaming headsets, and the headset’s micro-USB port is only for charging—there’s no wired option, short of occupying two USB ports for the dongle and charging cord.
Gaming with the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless gaming headset
Despite the obnoxious integration with the iCUE app, gaming with the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless is generally a pretty positive experience. On PC, surround sound is available, and games like Overwatch and Fortnite work like a charm with it. Oddly, it’s not immediately apparent what standard of surround sound is being used here, whether it’s Dolby, DTS, or something else, but that hardly matters.
Playing on both Playstation 4 games like Dauntless and The Outer Worlds sound great. However, the USB dongle is actually too large to fit into the front of a PS4 Pro, which means you have to plug it into the back of the console, right next to the exhaust port—I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t uncomfortable with how much heat gets blown at it.
Additionally, as surround sound is tied to the iCUE app, it’s unavailable on console, which sucks, but it’s not too big of an issue, as there’s very little support for it in console games anyway. And really, if you’re not playing shooters, it’s unlikely surround sound would make any experience tangibly better. Even if you are playing shooters, it’s rarely makes that big of a difference.
How does the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless sound?
The Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless offers pretty average sound for a gaming headset. There’s a notable de-emphasis in the bass range below 100Hz, and a little bit of an over emphasis in the mids. Otherwise, this is pretty standard frequency response for a gaming headset, with the same characteristic slight drop in the high range as many products in the same price range.
In music, this means the sounds of voices will come through a little louder than they should; potentially drowning out the subtler sounds of strings and cymbals in the background. Even with this de-emphasis, you probably won’t have much trouble discerning bassy sounds, but if they’re meant to completely dominate a song—as in many EDM tracks—they likely won’t on this headset.
Partway through Lady of Light by Magic Sword, an interlude led by a pretty dominant slap-bass line plays. Normally, the bass sits at the forefront of that part of the song, which is largely otherwise led by synth-y string sounds, yet it’s still quieter than most of the other parts of the song on the Void RGB Elite Wireless.
In games, this kind of sound profile isn’t quite so problematic. Games rarely layer sounds in the same way as music, so you won’t run into any issues with explosions being too quiet, for example. If anything it means, really loud noises will have less opportunity to drown out dialogue or voice chat audio. The increased emphasis on mids also means that sounds like footsteps in games like Fortnite might actually be ever so slightly easier to hear, which could be pretty meaningful.
The iCUE app can mitigate some of these output issues, as it lets you set custom EQ profiles, but there’s only so much that will do—and it won’t have any effect during console-based gaming sessions.
Similarly to its rather average audio output, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless offers pretty average isolation for a gaming headset. It won’t keep out much more than the sounds of TV playing in another room or the fridge whirring down the hall. Outside the home, this will struggle, but it’s not really designed for that anyway. Even ignoring how loose this headset is, with an RF USB dongle, it’s hardly a portable option.
The Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless actually offers remarkably accurate microphone audio for a gaming headset. You won’t be recording podcasts with it anytime soon, but short of a slight de-emphasis in the bass range, this will output accurate audio pretty much across the sound spectrum. The low bass response means that some deeper voices might sound a little distorted, but everyone else shouldn’t run into any issues.
In a program like Discord, you m might want to boost your audio output a little, as the mic is a little on the quiet side, but nothing that can’t be easily adjusted for. Listen for yourself:
Should you buy the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless gaming headset?
Maybe, but there are better options.
When it’s not on sale, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless runs for about $100. If surround sound is really important to you, this is the obvious option—surround sound typically only shows up on more expensive headsets. However, for only a little more money, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 offers all the same features, with out feeling like it’s constantly on the verge of falling to the floor. The Arctis 7 often goes on sale, so the jump in price might not even be all that severe.
If surround sound isn’t actually all that important, this becomes a harder decision. Headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and the HyperX Cloud Alpha are both cheaper, sound better, and fit securely on your head. The Arctis 1 Wireless also brings wireless audio to the Nintendo Switch in addition to PC and Playstation 4, both when docked and undocked.
Ultimately, the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless is a rather average offering in an already very crowded market. It doesn’t have any glaring issues while gaming, nor does anything it offers particularly stand out. In short, you could do far worse than this, but if you slightly narrow your focus to the features you actually want, you could do far better, too.