Corsair Vengeance 1300 Headset Review
By André Gordirro on March 7, 2012
Corsair first entered the gaming-grade headset market with the HS1, a digital model we already tested. Now they put on the market the Vengeance line, comprised of an analog model (the 1300) and its digital equivalent (the 1500). We will test the Vengeance 1300, beginning with a look at its physical characteristics and then proceeding to its performance.
The Vengeance 1300 is a big headset with padded ear cups. It has a 50 mm driver and can rotate on its own axis, making it easy to store and transport. The ear cups are covered by faux leather.
To break the all-black color scheme, there is an elegant blue ring around each ear cup. From the left side, the microphone can be rotated to an upward position when the user is only listening to music or to simply transport and store the headset.
The cloth-wrapped cable ends in two minijack connectors (3.5 mm). There is a control unit in the middle of the cable with a volume wheel and a button to mute the microphone. Different from the HS1 and the Vengeance 1500, the unit on the model 1300 doesn’t feature lightning.
The main characteristic of the Vengeance 1300 is that it is an analog headset. This way, it can be used right out of the box, no installation software required. On the other hand, since it is an analog headset, it does not benefit from the Dolby Digital mix found on most games. The user loses digital sound clarity and fidelity, plus any multichannel effects. The Vengeance 1300 can only play stereo sound, not surround sound.
The Vengeance 1300 can be adjusted up to three inches on each side, and its headrest features a very soft padding. It’s one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve tested. The headrest applies a mild pressure over the ears, which helps enhance the acoustic isolation. We didn’t feel any discomfort after our usual four hours-long gaming session.
The unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone captures voice with great clarity. It was praised in the midst of all the explosions and intense firefights in our Battlefield 3 games by our fellow virtual soldiers. The microphone is the best feature of the Vengeance 1300 alongside the comfortable headrest and ear cups padding.
As we said, since it doesn’t require installation software, the Vengeance 1300 was directly plugged into our Intel Pearl Creek DG31PR on-board soundcard. The initial adjustment through the Windows 7 audio device manager took some time. We had to cancel some initial distortion and decrease the microphone boost to avoid registering the sound of a construction site right outside of our building (despite the noise-cancelling feature). Once that was done, the Vengeance 1300 proved to be a modest stereo headset. Then we had to open the system’s EQ to fine tune the headset’s performance. That changed things considerably.
In the end, the Vengeance 1300 had good performance while listening to music, but it was more or less effective in action games due to being an analog headset. It lost the surround sound ambiance found on Dolby Digital mixes. The stereo sound of aircraft flying over in Battlefield 3 was well played, and we managed to locate the source of enemy fire during the online matches. However, we lacked the more complete sound immersion found on digital headsets. This, of course, is the price of choosing an analog stereo headset over a digital model, and it was not a fault of the equipment per se.
As we have praised on the old HS1 model, the control unit is easy to locate in the middle of the cable and can be easily put on the desktop. Although the unit is not backlit, the thumb easily finds the volume wheel and the button to mute the microphone.
Since the ear cups rotate on their own axis, the Vengeance 1300 can be simply put on the table or stored in a backpack. In that case, since it is an analog model and doesn’t require installation software, the headset can work fairly quickly on other computers. However, you should take some time to adjust the EQ, as each on-board soundcard has its own quirks.
The main specifications for the Corsair Vengeance 1300 headset include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Vengeance 1300 is a headset for those who don’t care about multichannel surround sound and just want a comfortable piece of equipment that is also easy to store and carry. It has an excellent voice capture, but it requires some equalization so the sound can have more depth, especially for those with an on-board soundcard. Complete sound immersion, however, is out of the question because it is a stereo analog headset.