When the unique Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi SE launched again in 2019, it took the reins as the corporate’s new flagship. As our personal overview demonstrated, it was a powerful gaming headset that put sound high quality first but nonetheless had points with long-term consolation. Corsair has taken that suggestions in stride and returned with a model new revised model of its premier headset, the Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi XT. It claims higher padding, decreased clamp pressure, and high-resolution aptX HD Bluetooth for listening on the go, in addition to an elevated worth of $269.99.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi XT Assessment

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi XT – Design and Options

Because the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it” and that appears to be the maxim Corsair utilized with the Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi XT (which I’ll simply check with because the Virtuoso XT from right here on out). The final mannequin, Virtuoso SE, was a hanging headset in its simplicity: sculpted aluminum ear cups, gleamingly polished edges, leatherette cushions, backlit logos on every ear cup that will disappear when turned off – the mix of options lent the unique a glance that flew within the face of the aggressive design of typical gaming headsets to ship one thing altogether extra grown up.

All of that continues to be the identical with the Virtuoso XT and permits the headset to go the place different gaming headsets can’t. Like the unique, it may possibly simply go as a traditional pair of headphones simply by eradicating the mic and turning off the RGB. The XT one-ups that design by reducing the wire and including Bluetooth connectivity to turn into all-around extra versatile. In the event you’d slightly join with a wire, that’s nonetheless an choice too by way of USB or the three.5mm cable. For gaming on PC, PS4, or PS5, you may benefit from Corsair’s high-speed 2.4GHz Slipstream wi-fi with the included dongle. It’s an adaptable bundle, which is nice for players searching for an “all-in-one” headset that breaks the bonds of simply gaming at house.

And also you simply may need to try this with the Virtuoso XT. Not like most gaming headsets, it’s meant to compete with high-end headphones designed to place sound high quality first. Corsair claims that its 50mm neodymium drivers are customized, hand-selected, and matched for each headset to ship the most effective listening expertise attainable. In addition they function an expansive frequency response vary of 20Hz – 40,000Hz – a full 20kHz past the vary of human listening to and most different gaming headsets available on the market. It appears unusual at first – why design a headset that goes past what the consumer can truly hear? – however it’s a typical trait amongst premium audiophile headphones to make sure that each audible frequency comes via clear and freed from any distortion. In my expertise, that was undoubtedly the case.

There’s extra to pair of headphones than pure frequency response, nonetheless, and fortunately, Corsair demonstrates that with a tuning that excels past simply gaming. Gaming headsets get a nasty rap amongst audio fanatics for his or her bloated bass and muddy particulars, however that’s simply not the case right here. Like pair of music headphones, the Virtuosos are far more balanced to get pleasure from every kind of listening. The bass is current however pulled far again in comparison with conventional gaming headphones. It doesn’t overwhelm the mids or excessive notes however as an alternative offers a gentle spine to music, motion pictures, and video games. In reality, the headset skews the opposite means, drawing out these center and high-frequency particulars, eliminating the muddy, boomy sound most gaming headsets exhibit. That isn’t to say they don’t have punch and slam for these explosion-laden shootouts in Battlefield and Name of Responsibility, however count on to listen to appears like bullet casings and breaking glass come via extra clearly than ever earlier than.

This sort of tuning makes it an much more interesting choice for music lovers and players who need to get pleasure from each tiny element of their video games. The extent of element the XTs can present is definitely probably the greatest I’ve heard, trumping even the Sennheiser GSP-600s (reviewed right here), and simply competes with devoted music headsets. When plugged in over USB, the built-in DAC can produce sound as much as 24-bit/96kHz to help lossless audio. To benefit from cell listening, Corsair has geared up the Virtuoso XT with high-resolution aptX HD playback, which is altogether uncommon on the planet of gaming headsets.

The addition of Bluetooth is a large improve in usability away from the PC or console. Being freed from cables is all the time higher once you’re on the go, and because of aptX HD, you’ll nonetheless be capable of get pleasure from the identical top quality audio as should you had been plugged in. Corsair has constructed the headset to permit simultaneous connections, so that you by no means have to fret about lacking a name or replace since you had been enjoying a recreation. The entire volumes might be managed individually via the quantity curler, Bluetooth management buttons, or the in-line distant on the AUX cable, however I discovered myself wishing for an answer to steadiness out my sources. Twin connectivity is a superb improve however does minimize battery life a full 25% from the unique, coming in at 15 hours as an alternative of 20.

The secret for the XT is HiFi audio, however all of us have completely different tastes and the default tuning gained’t be everybody’s cup of tea. That’s the place Corsair’s iCUE software program is available in with customizable EQ presets. There are a number of accessible for Bass Increase, first-person shooters, and flicks however you’ll need to make your individual to actually dial in your sound. Sadly, there’s no method to save or choose these presets on the headset itself, so that you’re caught utilizing the software program.

The software program additionally offers another options essential to the headset, like lighting management. With solely two lighting zones, the choices are restricted and never very thrilling. The software program additionally means that you can alter your microphone degree and the way a lot sidetone you hear in your ear. The software program additionally means that you can management how lengthy the gadget stays energetic earlier than going to sleep to protect battery.

Returning again to the bodily construct of the headset, Corsair has actually carried out a superb job of constructing the Virtuoso XT really feel like a premium headset. It’s sturdy and the heavy use of steel within the earcups, yokes, and band make it really feel made to final. There is a superb consideration to element, from the matching aluminum trim on the microphone, to the etched measurements on the scarf, to the triangle sample emblazoned on the inside ear cup, the complete headphones really feel exceptionally well-considered.

The unique Virtuoso was usually critiqued for having an excessive amount of clamp pressure and too little padding, and the XT addresses each of these points. The quantity of padding has been elevated, successfully stopping hotspots from forming on the highest of my head even after I wore the headset for a full workday. The reminiscence foam cushions, trimmed in leatherette, felt good towards my pores and skin and did job of blocking out exterior noise whereas solely turning into reasonably heat. Throughout summertime, I may see them inflicting my ears to sweat, nonetheless, so I might have appreciated to have seen an alternate set of pads included within the field at this worth. Clamp pressure can be an entire non-issue on this headset, although Corsair might have gone too far the opposite course as they’d an inclination to slip round after I would transfer round an excessive amount of.

The ultimate key function of the Virtuoso XT is the omnidirectional microphone. Corsair calls the microphone “broadcast high quality,” which is a stretch, however it’s unmistakably good. Utilizing Slipstream wi-fi, it produces a full-bodied sound with solely reasonable compression. It doesn’t compete with a devoted desktop mic just like the Elgato Wave 3 (reviewed right here) however is completely tremendous for chatting with pals or hopping on a convention name over Google Meet. There’s an LED ring across the finish to let once you’re muted and the gooseneck feels sturdy and well-made, although it tends to lose its place over time.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wi-fi XT – Efficiency

For the reason that Virtuoso XT is such a multi-purpose gadget, I examined it with a mixture of PC and console video games, music, and for watching reveals on Netflix and Hulu. On PC, I performed a number of rounds of Battlefield V and Name of Responsibility: Chilly Battle and labored my means via a number of marketing campaign ranges in Doom Everlasting. On PlayStation 5, I spent a while with Astro’s Playroom, Hitman 3, and Purple Useless Redemption 2. For music listening, I listened to Spotify throughout each connection kind and with aptX HD enabled over Bluetooth.

The gaming expertise delivered by these headphones was implausible. At first, I felt the shortage of bass fairly considerably however that’s solely as a result of I used to be used to my final gaming headset, the HyperX Cloud Alpha. After getting used to the brand new sound, I actually started to get pleasure from how far more I may hear all through the frequency spectrum. Footsteps specifically got here ahead however I used to be additionally in a position to hear the automated callouts of my teammates higher.

Not like the Virtuoso SE, the XTs use Dolby Atmos as an alternative of Corsair’s personal 7.1 encompass sound answer. Merely connecting the headphones with Atmos put in will activate the license so there’s nothing separate to purchase. In comparison with their inventory sound, Atmos provides depth and house to what you’re listening to, together with music and flicks. The headphones sound nice on their very own and I didn’t wrestle to select the course of footsteps or gunfire, however Atmos offers such an enchancment to soundstage, there’s no motive to not use it.

For music, the Virtuosos are probably the greatest gaming headsets I’ve heard but, proper up there with the Audeze Penrose. Though the sheer amount of bass is much less, the standard of what you may hear is improved. Bass notes have extra texture and ring out tighter making them really feel extra outlined. The mids are clear and for the reason that bass isn’t stepping on them, it’s simpler to choose aside each instrument and audio cue. The highs are gentle and by no means sibilant. Even carrying the headphones for lengthy, multi-hour stretches, I by no means discovered them fatiguing.

The microphone additionally did its job nicely. My teammates had no bother listening to me over Discord and after I used it for calls, the particular person on the opposite finish reported that I sounded clear – extra so than on my standard Galaxy Buds Professional. I additionally used the headset for a number of on-line conferences. There, my colleagues observed that I sounded extra compressed than my standard desktop mic however had been nonetheless in a position to hear me tremendous all through my displays.

Taken as an entire, the bundle is surprisingly stable. Even with the decreased battery life, I used to be nonetheless in a position to get a full day of listening with juice to spare. It was liberating having the ability to stand up from my desk without having to take them off, even when I wanted to step outdoors for contemporary air. The fixed Bluetooth connection is a significant improve and the enhancements to consolation make them a really cheap all-day put on.

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By tracy