Corsair Gaming ventures out to create a go-to gaming headset for all platforms with its new Void Surround hybrid stereo headset.
I’ve got a tangled web of auxiliary splitters and USB cables behind my PC large enough for Kumonga to live in, so the idea of single plug solution for surround sound gaming is pretty compelling. Sure, Corsair isn’t the first to have this epiphany, but their Void Surround gaming headset is a universally compatible sound solution for gamers on nearly any current platform.
The Void Surround gaming headset packs both stereo and Dolby 7.1 surround sound playback with universal compatibility between PC, Xbox One, PS4, and mobile devices. A 3.5mm auxiliary cable extends from the headset to plug into your device, and an included Dolby 7.1 USB dongle receives the headset’s audio jack to unlock surround sound on your PC.
The Void Surround comes in a red and black color scheme and lacks the customizable RBG lighting that is found in Corsair’s other Void headsets. You’ll find some metal infrastructure here, but the unit has a largely plastic look and feel. Keeping with the design of other headsets in the lineup, the Surround has a volume dial and mute button located on the outside of the left speaker. This frees up the audio cord of any bulky volume control modules and takes the guesswork out of finding your audio controls in the middle of a game.
Since the Void Surround works with both consoles and PC the cord length has to make compromises. It extends to about 6 feet in length which ends up feeling a bit too long for the console—since it connects right to your controller—but shorter than I’d like for PC use.
The ear cups easily surround the ear instead of resting on top of it. The memory foam pads on the speaker cups and headband are comfortable even though it doesn’t feel very dense. The foam is wrapped in a soft cloth which keeps the headset from feeling sticky, and combined with the large speaker cups size, did a good job of keeping my ears from getting too hot.
The speaker cups have a 90-degree rotation that lets them better fit your head and also allows you to fold them down for storage or make them a bit more comfortable to wear around your neck. The headset as a whole is very comfortable and it’s a deceptively light unit considering its size, but that doesn’t stop it from still feeling heavy after extended use.
The headband extends several inches to accommodate large-headed human beings like myself and uses the same foam and soft cloth as the ear cups. The angled headband rests further forward on your head that a typical pair of headphones, so it definitely feels odd until you get used to it.
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The unidirectional noise-canceling microphone serves its purpose as a communication device, but don’t expect much use beyond this. The microphone quality isn’t going to satisfy any semi-serious web content creator, and the microphone lacks a windscreen to shield it from plosives. You could reduce this by repositioning the microphone, but the boom arm has a limited range of movement. The arm has a stylish ribbed design which flexes without breaking, but it does a poor job of holding adjustments.
The Void Surround has an available sidetone to allow you to monitor yourself in the headset, but this feature feels incredibly underwhelming. Even at it’s highest setting, the sidetone is too faint to matter. When I cranked the headset to its loudest volume, I was able to start hearing myself, but it also introduces a lot of annoying feedback that kills the sound experience.
Ignoring the sidetone feature, the audio quality in the Void Surround is great. It has a powerful bass that has actually frightened me on several occasions. I’ve been happily using the Turtle Beach EarForce X12 for several years now, but the jump from amplified stereo to Dolby 7.1 surround is unmistakable. Shooters like Rainbow Six Siege, Star Wars Battlefront, and Arma 3 do an excellent job of harnessing the power of surround sound to further immerse you in the action and make you a much more aware player.
You certainly can’t get a ”true” 7.1 experience in just a headset due to hardware limitations. It’s taking a physical space experience and condensing it down to a headset, but the degree of accuracy at which the Void Surround recreates it is more than sufficient.
There are a lot of games that don’t do enough to harness the true power of surround sound, but if you pick the right game or developer (such as DICE) the audio experience is elevated to a new tier of play. If you’re graduating from a stereo or amplified stereo headset as I was, the Void Surround is a satisfying jump that doesn’t disappoint.
For 79.99 USD you’ll have to make your own call whether or not they’re worth it. You’re getting Dolby 7.1 without many other frills, but if you’re a multi-platform gamer, you can consolidate down to one simple, high-quality headset with many potential uses.
This headset was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.